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8876Mathematical geneology

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  • Gina Vick
    Mar 30, 2003
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      Well, I don't know about computer number theory. I'm an amateur geneologist, and I think
      there's at least a modicum of truth about the idea that we could all eventually trace to at
      least one line of noble ancestry. On my father's mother's side, I can trace back 12
      generations (I am currently assembling the rigourous paper trail that "proves" this) which
      then, from a single person, absolutely explodes into a trail of previously documented and
      published geneologies which gets more and more interesting with each previous generation --
      it's really a 2,000 year story of a fall from the heights of an empire to an unlanded
      decendent of minor peerages and quite interesting. And quite a romp through history in the
      process -- my personal favorite g-something grandmother (story-wise) is Hildis Princess of
      Vandals -- she has an interesting story and it would be great fun to put her at the center
      of a novel. And then there's grandpa Rollo, who evidently was one of the main maurading
      Viking leaders of his time 1200 years or so ago. Tracing through the stories is my
      mythopoetic project of my lifetime.

      My view is the geneology trail is an incredibly fragile thing and can't really be made
      personally relevant (i.e., a true matter of heritage) through mathematical theory. And yes,
      it's really got this ungentried American excited to research history and realize if
      such-and-such person hadn't lived, I personally would not exist. I feel blessed to have had
      this one ancestor open up so much other information.

      Gina


      > > . . . I might add that a recent article is out there in
      > > which a man got curious and used computer number theory on genealogical
      > > research . . .
      >
      > This is a nitpicky point, but whatever mathematical methods this man used and
      > whatever computer resources he used, he did not use "computer number theory."
      > I've tried to think of any possible way to apply number theory to this
      > subject and I can't come up with any. There is no subject called "computer
      > number theory," as far as I know. I presume you mean just that this man
      > found a mathematical technique to analyze genealogical data and used
      > computers to aid his research.
      >
      > Wendell Wagner
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
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      --
      Gina M. Vick
      303-525-5145
      The search for wisdom is infused by a yearning to receive
      enlightenment through a direct relationship with God. Done well, philosophical
      inquiry verges on being a concentrated act of prayer.