## The number of Ancestors

Expand Messages
• Hi, The walk through on the number of ancestors anyone has goes something like this. Say that the average number of years per generation is 25. Now we know
Message 1 of 4 , Jun 14, 2008
• 0 Attachment
Hi,

The walk through on the number of ancestors anyone has goes something like this. Say that the average number of years per generation is 25. Now we know that the number of ancestors grows exponentially each generation: two parents, four grandparents, eight great grandparents.

Here then are the generations, number of needed ancestors, and year for each generation going back.

 1 2 1950 2 4 1925 3 8 1900 4 16 1875 5 32 1850 6 64 1825 7 128 1800 8 256 1775 9 512 1750 10 1024 1725 11 2048 1700 12 4096 1675 13 8192 1650 14 16384 1625 15 32768 1600 16 65536 1575 17 131072 1550 18 262144 1525 19 524288 1500 20 1048576 1475

The number of needed ancestors rapidly exceeds the historic population. For most of us it turns out that our ancestors were marrying cousins from a limited number of towns. Depending on the norms of the day they might have been 2nd cousins or 10th cousins.

If we could all get all of our lines back even 15 generations then we would see the same names cropping up time after time.

Regards,
Rebekah
• After 9 or 10 generations you far exceeds the average population of the Shtetl, and you d have to figure that the original population of Ashkenazim in northern
Message 2 of 4 , Jun 14, 2008
• 0 Attachment
After 9 or 10 generations you far exceeds the average population of
the Shtetl, and you'd have to figure that the original population of
Ashkenazim in northern France could not have been more than a few
hundred families. That and the prevalence of genetic disorders among
the Ashkenazim, one could speculate that there must be more than one
bottleneck in the family tree. That and I am my own grampa.

, --- In Ashkenazi-Q@yahoogroups.com, "Rebekah Canada"
<rebekahthorn@...> wrote:
>
> Hi,
>
> The walk through on the number of ancestors anyone has goes
something like
> this. Say that the average number of years per generation is 25. Now
we know
> that the number of ancestors grows exponentially each generation: two
> parents, four grandparents, eight great grandparents.
>
> Here then are the generations, number of needed ancestors, and year
for each
> generation going back.
>
> 1 2 1950 2 4 1925 3 8 1900 4 16 1875 5 32 1850 6 64 1825 7 128
1800 8
> 256 1775 9 512 1750 10 1024 1725 11 2048 1700 12 4096 1675 13 8192
1650 14
> 16384 1625 15 32768 1600 16 65536 1575 17 131072 1550 18 262144 1525 19
> 524288 1500 20 1048576 1475
>
> The number of needed ancestors rapidly exceeds the historic
population. For
> most of us it turns out that our ancestors were marrying cousins from a
> limited number of towns. Depending on the norms of the day they
might have
> been 2nd cousins or 10th cousins.
>
> If we could all get all of our lines back even 15 generations then
we would
> see the same names cropping up time after time.
>
>
> Regards,
> Rebekah
>
• Right, Rebecca, I ve seen this happen in American families from the 1600 s, 1700 s, etc. There was a limited amount of people to choose mates from, and they
Message 3 of 4 , Jun 14, 2008
• 0 Attachment
Right, Rebecca,
I've seen this happen in American families from the 1600's, 1700's, etc.  There was a limited amount of people to choose mates from, and they often married cousins.  I've seen this on my own Jewish families.  It's interesting to see just in my city the new immigrants marrying each other and the tree will have branches throughout showing they are marrying each other at different generations.  After all, transportation was limited.  I've seen the same names cropping up on my trees.  That's when it gets interesting.  The more your tree branches out, the more you get a chance to see the connections.
----- Original Message -----
From: Chet
Sent: Saturday, June 14, 2008 2:09 AM
Subject: [Ashkenazi-Q] Re: The number of Ancestors

After 9 or 10 generations you far exceeds the average population of
the Shtetl, and you'd have to figure that the original population of
Ashkenazim in northern France could not have been more than a few
hundred families. That and the prevalence of genetic disorders among
the Ashkenazim, one could speculate that there must be more than one
bottleneck in the family tree. That and I am my own grampa.

, --- In Ashkenazi-Q@ yahoogroups. com, "Rebekah Canada"
<rebekahthorn@ ...> wrote:
>
> Hi,
>
> The walk through on the number of ancestors anyone has goes
something like
> this. Say that the average number of years per generation is 25. Now
we know
> that the number of ancestors grows exponentially each generation: two
> parents, four grandparents, eight great grandparents.
>
> Here then are the generations, number of needed ancestors, and year
for each
> generation going back.
>
> 1 2 1950 2 4 1925 3 8 1900 4 16 1875 5 32 1850 6 64 1825 7 128
1800 8
> 256 1775 9 512 1750 10 1024 1725 11 2048 1700 12 4096 1675 13 8192
1650 14
> 16384 1625 15 32768 1600 16 65536 1575 17 131072 1550 18 262144 1525 19
> 524288 1500 20 1048576 1475
>
> The number of needed ancestors rapidly exceeds the historic
population. For
> most of us it turns out that our ancestors were marrying cousins from a
> limited number of towns. Depending on the norms of the day they
might have
> been 2nd cousins or 10th cousins.
>
> If we could all get all of our lines back even 15 generations then
we would
> see the same names cropping up time after time.
>
>
> Regards,
> Rebekah
>

• Chet, Things don t get as bad as being your own grampa. :-) But you can see how with a small starting population like 25,000 in the thirteen hundreds
Message 4 of 4 , Jun 14, 2008
• 0 Attachment
Chet,

Things don't get as bad as being your own grampa. :-) But you can see
how with a small starting population like 25,000 in the thirteen
hundreds intermarriage was necessary. There are other factors. Social
structure would have played a part too. So there might have been
social groupings that would necessitate looking to another Shtetl for
a spouse.

I have uploaded a copy of 'A genetic profile of contemporary Jewish
populations' by Harry Ostrer. It is mentioned as a source in some of
Dr. Behar's papers. I think that the links between diseases in
different Jewish populations is interesting and can help us understand
movements between the groups. With small populations it only would
take one or two people with a recessive trait like one of these
diseases or even blue eyes. Within a few generations it might be
spread throughout the Shtetl and into surrounding ones. Those
recessives may well have been carried into Germany by the
pre-Ashkenazi population.

Finding the connections is important then. As Nadene mentioned,
tracking cousins helps show the big picture.

--
Peace and Light,
Rebekah
Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.