Your Family Tree is Wrong

There’s a lot of interest in genealogy.
From web sites to TV shows and even the occasional scandal many
people proudly claim that they are distant relatives of
celebrities, or that their ancestors did something unique such as sign the
Declaration of Independence or sell on the Mayflower. However your
family tree is wrong. One reason is misattributed paternity. This is when the believed father is not the biological one. The largest study ever perform measured
the rate misattributed paternity at 2.66 percent. This may seem like a small
number, but the number of ancestors in your family tree grows exponentially. So after five generations your family
tree has roughly a 50 percent chance of being correct. Then this goes down to a tenth of a
percent by the eighth generation. Keep in mind this is just one of many
problems with genealogical records, and the real
percetntages are likely much worse meanwhile the royal family traces part
of their family tree back over thirty generations. Many people consider their ancestry a
defining part their identity. Whether you want to believe it or not
most family trees are unlikely to be accurate for much more than a century. However, your family tree
does not determine who you are.


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