Am I My Brother's Keeper?

by Bill Yoh

I have three incurable diseases - fossil collecting, stamp collecting and geneology. Fellow Niwotians, do any of you have a picture of your great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather? Well, I do. I found him on a Hungarian stamp, issued in 1994, commemorating the 400th anniversary of his death. He is my 8,194th grandfather.

I never, in my wildest dreams, thought that two of my three incurable diseases would merge-but they did. without my knowledge of my genealogy, the stamps would, only, have been just, another Hungarian stamp, to add to my collection. But now, it has beco me one of my prized possessions (value: 25 cents).

In the progression of ancestors, beginning with two parents, four grandparents, eight great grandparents, we find, by the 14th generation, we, already, have 8,192 grandparents. As that progression continues, we have 1,048,576 grandparents by the time of King Edwards V's reign in 1280 (our 25th generation),we have 8,388,608 grand- parents. Get ready for this (brace yourself), we have 1,073,741,824 (yes, over a billion) grandparents by the time of William the Conqueror,in the 11th century.

One should, now, better understand the term, "Am I my brother's keeper?", for we are literally cousins. This, also, reveals that those of us with European roots all descend from the kings of the Middle Ages and from the ancient kings of Europe, before 1,000 A.D.

To be concervative, in the laws of probability, everyone during and before William the Conqueror is your blood relative. This includes all the royal houses of Europe, including Germany, France, England, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Greece, and Turkey in Europe, all the Scandinavian countries (including the Vikings) and all the tribal leaders of the Celts, Picts, Goths, Visagoths, Franks,Vandals, Huns and all the other peoples who invaded Europe.

These laws of probability mean that you are a descendent (directly) of over 20 kings of England, going back to EGBERT, in the 6th Cengury, and of over 7 kings of France, going back to HENRY II and even, further back to CHARLEMAGNE, in the 9th Century. Yo u are a descendent of over 7 kings of Germany and are a direct descendent of the first czar of Russia, VLADIMIR the GREAT. It, also, means that you descend from the Roman line, back to CONSTANTINE.

Many of our ancestors had children by mistresses or by concubines -but this was O.K., as these children were recorded in history as "natural born" - but who was their mother? They are our, forever to be, unknown grandmothers.

Our Hispanic kinsmen married Moors (who were Arabs and Berbers), and I never attempted to trace their parentage. The Crusaders, really, "muddied the waters" as they married the women they met in Antioch or other places in the Holy Land.

I could go on and on, but suffice it to say this to you, gentle readers, I'm with a group of royalty! Hi cousins!!!