Charlemagne, or ‘Charles the Great’, was the ruler of what is now France in the early Middle Ages. He had 18 children by 10 different wives and concubines. His children then went on to populate Europe, which is why it is a truism that everyone with European ancestry is descended from Charlemagne. At one point, I overheard a waitress telling one of her tables that her brother had told her she was descended from Charlemagne. I did not say, “we all are”.
From the Guardian:
“If you’re vaguely of European extraction, you are also the fruits of Charlemagne’s prodigious loins. A fecund ruler, he sired at least 18 children by motley wives and concubines, including Charles the Younger, Pippin the Hunchback, Drogo of Metz, Hruodrud, Ruodhaid, and not forgetting Hugh.
This is merely a numbers game. You have two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, and so on. But this ancestral expansion is not borne back ceaselessly into the past. If it were, your family tree when Charlemagne was Le Grand Fromage would harbour more than a billion ancestors – more people than were alive then. What this means is that pedigrees begin to fold in on themselves a few generations back, and become less arboreal, and more web-like. In 2013, geneticists Peter Ralph and Graham Coop showed that all Europeans are descended from exactly the same people. Basically, everyone alive in the ninth century who left descendants is the ancestor of every living European today, including Charlemagne, Drogo, Pippin and Hugh. Quel dommage.” https://www.theguardian.com/science/commentisfree/2015/may/24/business-genetic-ancestry-charlemagne-adam-rutherford
From the BBC:
“Charlemagne (Charles the Great) was king of the Franks and Christian emperor of the West. He did much to define the shape and character of medieval Europe and presided over the Carolingian Renaissance.
Charlemagne was born in the late 740s near Liège in modern day Belgium, the son of the Frankish king Pepin the Short. When Pepin died in 768, his kingdom was divided between his two sons and for three years Charlemagne ruled with his younger brother Carloman. When Carloman died suddenly in 771, Charlemagne became sole ruler.
Charlemagne spent the early part of his reign on several military campaigns to expand his kingdom. He invaded Saxony in 772 and eventually achieved its total conquest and conversion to Christianity. He also extended his dominance to the south, conquering the kingdom of the Lombards in northern Italy. In 778, he invaded northern Spain, then controlled by the Moors. Between 780 and 800, Charlemagne added Bohemia to his empire and subdued the Avars in the middle Danube basin to form a buffer state for the eastern border of his empire.
In 800 a rebellion against Pope Leo III began. Charlemagne went to his aid in Rome and defeated the rebellion. As a token of thanks, Leo crowned Charlemagne on Christmas Day that year, declaring him emperor of the Romans. Although this did not give Charlemagne any new powers, it legitimised his rule over his Italian territories and attempted to revive the imperial tradition of the western Roman emperor.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/charlemagne.shtml
“A genetic survey concludes that all Europeans living today are related to the same set of ancestors who lived 1,000 years ago. And you wouldn’t have to go back much further to find that everyone in the world is related to each other.
“We find it remarkable because it’s counterintuitive to us,” Graham Coop, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California at Davis, told NBC News. “But it’s not totally unexpected, based on genetic analysis.”
Family researchers have long known that if you go back far enough, everyone with a European connection ends up being related to Charlemagne. The concept was laid out scientifically more than a decade ago. Now Coop and University of Southern California geneticist Peter Ralph have come up with the evidence. Their findings were published on Tuesday in the open-access journal PLOS Biology.
“Anyone alive 1,000 years ago who left any descendants will be an ancestor of every European,” the researchers say in an FAQ file about their study. “While the world population is larger than the European population, the rate of growth of number of ancestors quickly dwarfs this difference, and so every human is likely related genealogically to every other human over only a slightly longer time period.”
…The cold, hard genetic evidence points to a warm and fuzzy fact. “It underlines the commonality of all of our histories,” Coop said. “You don’t have to go back many generations to find that we’re all related to each other.”
For the rest of the article see: http://cosmiclog.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/07/18107175-all-europeans-are-related-if-you-go-back-just-1000-years-scientists-say?lite