You don't know me, but I'm your 12th cousin


You know what would be more interesting than hearing this guy go on about his family tree? Actually getting those “MIT researchers” to talk about the spread of disease, migration patterns, and other actually interesting things about mapping genealogies on a massive scale.

I really am sick of TED.

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What does that make them…?

His aunt’s fifth great aunt’s husband’s father’s wife’s 7th great nephew works out to his sixth great aunt’s mother-in-law’s 7th great nephew. The relationship is much clearer now!

/come from a largish clan.
//French Canadians, eh…

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Hey cuz!

(mom’s maternal side is French Canadian)

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heheheheheheh… such a classic.

“We’ve been jammed!”

“Are you CHICKEN, Colonel Sanders?”

“That’s the combination to my luggage.”



Spaceballs is holding up pretty well. It’s still funny.

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Non, monsieur…French Canadian family lines go like this:

We’re 4th cousins twice removed on the Lalonde side; 5th cousins once removed on the Landry side; 6th cousins on the Melacon side; 2nd cousins 5 times removed on the Terriot side; 3rd cousins 5 times removed on the Dugas side; and 7th cousins once removed on the Pelletret side. And I’ve probably missed a few.


I shall henceforth read your user name as cousin Liz
(Cousin hidalgo liz)

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I have really only dabbled in Genealogy, but what is a bit unfortunate about this feel-good talk is that it encourages the worst forms of junk genealogy.

By definition, we ARE!

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What I’ve found is that people come to it in a state worse than ignorance: they think they know, but it’s almost entirely wrong.

But it is possible, as a reasonably intelligent non-scientist, to follow the research and learn enough to have a decent understanding about what’s going on.

In AJ Jacobs’ case, most of his matches are going to be much further back than it seems because Ashkenazis are an endogamous population (inbred). So are French Canadians, Mennonites, Amish, small island populations, etc. This is why he has so many matches. Most are probably estimated as “3rd-distant cousin”, although the designation would more realistically be something like 6th-10th cousin, and without proper record keeping (which there isn’t for Ashkenazis) there is absolutely no way to ever find the common ancestor. So he can call them all cousin, but he can’t prove it despite the DNA segment matches.

Whenever I hear of "TED talks" I release the safety catch of my Browning.

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