Difflugia wrote: ↑Mon Feb 01, 2021 10:50 am
My suspicion is that Americans of European descent have about a 42/43 chance of being descended from King John. It might even be closer to 43/43 and they just lacked the proper documentation for Martin van Buren (I'd bet that nearly everyone from the Netherlands has a bit of royal Habsburg somewhere in the family tree). When you factor in that the presidential pool is at least metaphorically a bit incestuous and over-represents old money (over a third of the presidents were ivy leaguers), the answer is probably statistical near-certainty rather than mere coincidence.
Apparently, most everyone of English descent can trace ancestry back to William the Conqueror. It has to do with the fact that kings tended to have a lot of offspring, and that people of noble descent tended to live long enough to reproduce a lot. Turns out, almost everyone's family line dies out after a given number of generations, and most of us are the descendants of a relatively few people.
A cousin has advised me that both of us are descended from William the Conqueror. It's not that great an honor, and the important part is that it's not a genetic thing. Queen Elizabeth II is a direct descendant of William, but likely has none of his genes at all.
For reasons that should be obvious.