Did you know the longest maintained family tree belonged to Confucius? It is now in its 83rd generation and has over 3 million descendants.
In 2008, Roy Blackmore claimed to have the biggest family tree. He lives in Taunton, Somerset, England. He has compiled 9,390 relatives over 30 years of research. His tree extends back 37 generations to around 500 AD. He did all his research without the privilege of the internet.
Manfred Huchthausen and Uwe Lange claim to have the “longest proven family tree” in the world. In 2008, they had their DNA tested against that of some 3,000-year-old skeletons. The bones, found in Lichenstein Cave, were a strong match to their rare genetic signature. Lange says he could trace his family, by name, to 1550 AD. Now, he can go back 120 generations. But, with this gap between ancestors, can they call this the longest proven “family tree?”
All three of the examples above have something in common. They are talking about the number of people in their trees and the length the trees extend back into time.
In my Aldous family, I was able to go back ten generations to Stephen Aldous. Stephen was born in 1678 Fressingfield, Suffolk, England. Currently, I have 1,537 people in this tree, but I was only tracing the paternal side of the Aldous name. As I keep growing this tree, I will have thousands more to add.
Like a real living tree, each branch of your family tree has more branches that extend out. You have yourself, your parents, grandparents, and so on. But you also have aunts, uncles, cousins, and more. These individuals marry into other families which include their spouses, parents, and children. The list of relatives is immense!
I read a comment from a person on MyHeritage.com that said she had a tree that went back 100 generations. Her ancestor was King Kamehameha the Great of Hawaii. Another person said that she could trace one line of her tree back to Adam and Eve.
And, what about royalty and historical figures? Are you related to kings, emperors, presidents, or religious notables?
There is pride in telling a person that you are a direct descendant of the Pilgrims, Quakers, and such. There is value in the knowledge that you can document this information in the form of a family tree.
You can take the time to do the research yourself or hire a professional genealogist for the job. It all comes down to the same result. Your tree will be history in the making!
If you have a large family tree you would like to share with me; please leave a comment below.
Photo by veeterzy on Unsplash.