# How likely is it that I am related to a specific person who was living 20 or 30 generations ago? [duplicate]

I have discovered that I am related to someone specific who lived in 1066. How likely is this? In other words, the answer could be “No big deal. When you go back that many generations,the math shows that you are X percent likely to be related to anyone, where X is large - say 50-90% - because you have so many ancestors and the population then was so small.” Or the answer could be “WOW, that’s significant. Because the likelihood of that is small, where X is low.” So maybe the general question is “What is the likelihood that Person A, living now, is related to Person B, living in 1066?” And to specify even more narrowly, let’s constrain to the European/ Scandinavian/ Finnish populations that existed then.

• Do you have a paper record that supports you being "related to someone who lived in 1066"?
– PolyGeo
Jun 28 '18 at 0:13
• 1066 is a lot more than 20 generations ago. It's probably closer to 30 generations (@ 30 years per generation) Jun 28 '18 at 2:16
• Please use the edit button beneath your question to revise it with any requested clarifications, and any additional information you wish to include in your question to make what it is asking clearer.
– PolyGeo
Jun 28 '18 at 3:34
• The research target is not named, but I would like to note that celebrity genealogy is not on-topic for this site. See genealogy.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic Jun 28 '18 at 3:56
• There are actually 2 questions here - how likely is it that I am descended from someone around in 1066 (to which the answer is, assuming that you have significant European ancestry, very likely). But the 2nd question is, how likely is it that I can prove it? There is considerable debate over the accuracy of most trees going back that far. We know very few names of knights at the Battle of Hastings. The one guy there with lots of known descendants today is Duke William, and I think there is at least one other non Royal with known descendants. The rest is medieval wishful thinking - probably Jun 29 '18 at 23:45

I can say without a shadow of a doubt that you are "related to someone who lived in 1066", and to a very large number of people who were living in 1066.

Whether you are related to a particular person who was living in 1066 is very hard to prove, and at this point in time I think the best evidence that you will be able to muster are paper records that support every link in the lineage that you have assembled from that person to you.

• I have the paper record for a specific ancestor. so the question is “How much of a coincidence is that? How likely or unlikely?” I have edited the question to clarify. Thanks for pressing for clarity. Much appreciated.
– PWD
Jun 28 '18 at 12:53
• The paper records will be a large number of documents. It is usually very hard to find these for ancestors before church records were kept.
– PolyGeo
Jun 28 '18 at 12:57
• Clarification. I have the link through FamilySearch.org
– PWD
Jun 28 '18 at 12:59
• It sounds like a tree by someone else. Can you provide a link to it?
– PolyGeo
Jun 28 '18 at 13:02
• Telling us "I have a link through FamilySearch.org" tells us very little. It could be FamilySearch's FamilyTree, a user-submitted genealogy, someone's unsourced FamilyHistory book. What exactly did you look at? If you don't want to cite what you are looking at specifically, at least say the type of source (an online tree, a user-submitted genealogy, an authored work, etc.). Jun 29 '18 at 20:19