Genealogy: if carried to its entirely logical and mathematical extreme, leads to a surprising - but, if you think about it, rather obvious - conclusion.
Consider: each of us has two biological parents, four grandparents, 8 great-grandparents, 16 great-great-grandparents ...... and so it goes, doubling with every generation.
Let's be conservative, and say an average generation is about 25 years; so four generations per century. Eight generations, 200 years: 256 ancestors. Twelve generations, 300 years: 4096 ancestors.
So how many generations would it take, do you think, and how many years, for the number of your possible ancestors to exceed the entire population of the planet? A hundred generations, or 2500 years? Two hundred, or 5000 years?
Actually, 28. Only 700 years.
28 generations ago, the number of your possible ancestors was 268,435,456. The population of the whole planet was probably around 200 million.
The fourteenth century. Feudalism still ruled; the majority of the population were peasants and serfs, tied to the land. Bubonic plague - the Black Death. The Hundred Years War. The destruction of the Templars. The beginnings of the witch persecutions in Europe. Not a good time to be living in Europe. But, for those of us of European ancestry, probably everyone living at that time - peasants, artisans, soldiers, outlaws, criminals, merchants, the aristocracy, even royalty - even priests, even monks and nuns - English, Welsh, Scottish, French, Scandinavians, Spanish, Italians - were, if not our direct ancestors, at least related to us in some way.
So if genealogy counts for anything - we're all Welsh, all Vikings, all Picts, all ..... Atlanteans??.....; all Royalty, all Aristocracy, all peasants, adventurers, clerks, alchemists, sheep-stealers, cattle-rustlers, rebels, witches, inquisitors.......
And, perhaps, all of us carry the blood of the Merovingians - and, perhaps, if certain legends are to be believed - the blood of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene.....