History of England Charity

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Sunday, October 28, 2012


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Fr. John Hogg

From here in the States, I'm really enjoying your podcast! Keep up the amazing and interesting work. I've been listening to it over the past few weeks while my wife and I have been moving into our new house, and I'm now having to look for other history podcasts, because I'm almost caught up.

I'm not sure if it would be interesting to you or other listeners, but if you look at it mathematically and genealogically, it's pretty easy to show that in the period of time you're still talking about, pretty much everyone in England, the States, and a lot of other countries are directly descended from all of the main protagonists of the story at this point in time. That is probably true through, at least, Edward III.

Anyways, keep up the good work!

The History of England

Hi John, thank you very much - I do love a compliment! So. I'm a descendant of Edward II? and presumably that means I could claim descent from pretty much any monarch before him? I choose Alfred...

Fr. John Hogg

Descent from Alfred is actually usually pretty easy to prove. There are bogus family trees on the internet that should be avoided, and it's always a good idea to check your sources to be sure, but even relying on legitimate historical sources, most people of English descent can document, step by step, their descent from Alfred.

The English have always been good record keepers, especially when it comes to even minor nobility, and with everyone else for the last few hundred years at least. And many dukes have a third son or daughter, who doesn't inherit and so moves down the ladder a little bit, and then they have third children, etc, and pretty soon, you've got a chimney sweep.

Even for those that can't show their line from Alfred step-by-step, still, if you look at the math, it's still a near certainty. He lived 36 generations ago, and 2^36 is over 68 billion, far more than the number of people that were alive at the time, meaning most people who were alive at the time are your ancestors in thousands of different ways.

So yes, you are a direct descendant of Alfred the Great, and you can probably prove it.

Rob Shinnick

The Ray Harris intro momentarily baffled me, since I had just listened to one of his before coming over here to listen to one of yours! Haha

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