Napoleon wrote:I'll even admit this: lots of Europeans are related to Charlemagne. It's not wholly uncommon. That's one reason why many presidents are related to him; Charlemagne is almost like the Adam of Europe. See, I just said it's not anything huge, yet interesting to some. When I posted it I expected many other members to say that they, too, were related to Charlemagne.
I find it interesting. I'm fascinated by things like this. Nelson, AC, and Blue have all done a good job, but I will jump in for a bit.
For the record, I too am descended from Charlemagne. I seldom mention it because it is nearly always misunderstood. Here's the deal and why it is very common.
1. ALL the "noble" houses of Europe intermarried extensively. They were all inter-related in odd ways. Generally when two people married, they already were related in some off-hand way. Charlemagne (or Charles the Great in english) was one of the early "nobles" and many families married their kids to his descendants because of the prestige. Therefore, after many generations, nearly all the so-called "noble" families could trace a part of their lineage back to Charlemagne.
2. Due to the first point, I have found that if you can trace any part of your family tree back to a medieval European noble, even a minor one, then you are descended in some fashion from Charlemagne. I've helped a number of people with their family history and several of them have some sort of minor "noble" connection. If they do, eventually it ties into the same family trees of all the "nobility" of Europe and everyone is related.
3. Does this make Charlemagne the "Adam" of Europe? Nope. You have to take into consideration that only the "nobility" were recording their lineage up until 1700s or even later. Therefore, you find records that early, the odds are that its "noble" families. There are still hundreds and thousands of ancestors you have that are not recorded, stretching back the beginning of time.
4. So, while possibly millions of people are descended from Charlemagne, the blood is very diluted. Its like putting a drop of blue food coloring in a glass and constantly pouring the water into ever-increasing buckets of water. Eventually you have a lake, without a tinge of blue, but you can say that the food coloring is still there.
5. Does any of this matter? Not in the least.
I hope this clears up the issue for everyone. If not, there isn't anything more I can do.
PS. After my wife and I were married, her mother gave me some early family history stuff. I ended up tracing one branch of her mother's family back to a minor nobleman. This, as I mentioned before, tied into the same noble mishmash that I had traced a branch of my family back to. We ended up having a common ancestor 31 generations ago. Yup, you heard right. I married my own 31st cousin.