18    Mar 20113 comments

Whose Tree Goes Back the Furthest?

Many people claim to have distant family trees, going back to Charlemagne, Charles Martel, or even Adam and Eve. But while many of these may have some truth - and, statistically, most of us probably are related to Charlemagne in one way or another - many long trees ultimately rely on leaps of faith. Many old records are far more vague than birth certificates, and many of our high-climbing ancestors even falsified such links to try and prove their worth.

So how long is the longest tree that has a chance of standing up to scrutiny? It's hard to say for sure, and there doesn't seem to be agreement on a single case, but here are three of suggestions we've come up with. If you know of any other examples, drop us a message in the comments down below.

1. Confucius

Confucius is often claimed to have the longest-running documented family tree. The record of his lineage was in fact updated for the fifth time just two years ago, in a staggering 43,000-page set of books, detailing 83 generations.

One can even take a test to establish genetic linkage to Confucius in China, although how the DNA sample to confirm this was obtained has not been explained.

2. Roy Blackmore
Roy Blakmore is something of a legend within the genealogy world.

Over the course of three decades, and without the use of computers and the Internet, he pieced together one of the largest family trees the world has ever seen. His tree now numbers around 10,000, and goes back to William the Conqueror, Alred the Great, and the Cerdick family in AD 500. And all of this is through rigorous research and with supporting documents - Roy followed the paper trail the whole way.

3. Manfred Huchthausen
The final tree takes a slightly different format - but does go a long way back.

It came about not through chasing up documents and finding links to ancestors, but through genetic testing.

Some well-preserved skeletons, with calcium deposits forming a protective layer around them, were found in the Lichenstein Cave in Germany's Lower Saxony, and were suitable for genetic testing. Scientists asked for local volunteers, to see if they could identify anyone with a strong match to their rare genetic signature. And so they did, in the form of Manfred Huchthausen, and another local resident, Uwe Lange.

They now claim to have the longest proven family tree in the world, and with some good reason. But while they have identified their ancestor, the lack of any ancestors inbetween them might to some make the word 'tree' seem unapplicable.

What are your thoughts? Do you have any other examples you'd like to share?

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Comments (3) Trackbacks (0)
  1. You should check out my information on Ancestry.Com Melody Koert-Saul, aka Yapsalot2, I have taken once section of my famly back to adam, and it can be validated by ancestry.com

    http://www.myheritage.com/site-131118642/donahoe, this might help
  2. So, if Native Americans can state what should happen to the remains of their ancestors, does this mean that Herren Huchthausen u. Lange may lay claim to the bones of their ancestor? I'd love to enshrine one of my ancestors from time immemorial, and I'd imagine they would too. Sadly, we all know that these bones will spend the rest of their existence in a box labeled "specimen nr. xxxx," collecting dust in the bowels of some hallowed hall of higher learning. *Sigh* Though I must admit that they would, in all likelihood, be far better protected and preserved there, than in private hands.
  3. Any person of Italian American hertgaie who take seriously their history in this country would not make the mistake of considering themselves white. When the first Italian immigrants arrived at Ellis Island they were referred to as WOPS , without papers, our ancestors were undocumented aliens. The largest lynching in U.S. history occurred at the end of the nineteenth century and involved Italian American laborers in New Orleans, who were wrongfully accused of murder and hanged by the neck by a lynch mob when it was intimated that they might be innocent. Famously, Sacco and Vendetti were wrongly accused of the rape and murder of a small child and executed; less famous were the concentration camps for Italian Americans in World War II. Any Italian American who take the white side of the race issue oe the native side of the immigration issue is a sycophant or a fool. And that is the difference between Alito and Sotomayor.

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