Last updated on July 20, 2006
I stumbled upon the Wikipedia article detailing relationships between presidents of the United States. I found this snippet interesting:
The most recent common ancestor of all persons of Western European descent may be as recent as 1000 AD, according to mathematical modeling (from Comments on Royal Descent at Ancestry.com). Computational scientist Mark Humphrys believes that everyone in the West is almost certainly descended from Charlemagne, and nearly as certainly descended from Muhammad, or even less well-known historical figures such as Strongbow (from The “Bush is Descended from Strongbow” Media Flurry of Jan. 2005). Many family trees going back ten generations or more will connect to more than one dozen U.S. Presidents, if all female ancestors and their descendants are traced. This list should be of the closer, more significant relationships that have notable qualities.
I remember how excited I was to find my own connections to Charlemagne and Strongbow, among other illustrious antecedents. Somehow it comforts me to see that just about everyone else can make those connections, too.
Update: Thanks to Chris, I found another interesting article in the same vein.