Massive shock!

Using computer modelling which factors in shifting birth rates and family sizes over around 200 years, the group estimates that a typical Briton has 193,000 living cousins – if everyone from first cousin through to sixth cousins are included.

Genetically related populations are genetically related.

Who would have thought it, eh?

I’ve five first cousins (people I share a grandparent with), don’t know the number of second cousins (people I share a great grandparent with) but there’s certainly 50 or more of them out there and so on. using Terry Pratchett’s idea of 30 years being a grandfather 6 th cousin takes us back to a marriage contracted in 1835. and there’s been something of a population explosion since then, only part of which is immigration.

Not, really, a surprising number. Although the story is pretty good PR for the website, they’re good at that, I have to say. They get such a story in every few months…..

7 thoughts on “Massive shock!”

  1. “a typical Briton has 193,000 living cousins – if everyone from first cousin through to sixth cousins are included”: I’ve never met a Briton who seems to have viewed a sixth cousin as a cousin. Religious minorities? Royal personages, or more likely their sixth cousins?

  2. There was a time in my life when, if a read that a study was done “Using computer modelling” it would have increased the credibility of the study.

    Now, not so much.

  3. Bloke in Costa Rica

    I would count first cousins and to a lesser extent first cousins once removed and that’s it. Otherwise why stop at sixth? If you go back far enough then we’re all cousins. I ate my cousin the avocado on Saturday. We hadn’t met before, but he made for very nice guacamole.

  4. I like genealogy, and have a family that can be traced quite far back.

    But, I’m realistic about this, and have admitted to the depressing quantitative truth: I’m very weakly related to a huge number of people. Makes the whole exercise seem pointless, really.

  5. hmm, 6th root of 192000 = 7.39091034398 , so we need average of more than seven cousins to get to that. Stable population requires 4 cousins on average. Average of 7.3 cousins seems a little high, especially given falling birth rates of last 50 years, but i’m probably wrong.

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