Illuminations, Epiphanies, & Reflections
Jesus, and Sea Monsters
One thing I've learned as I've browsed through on-line genealogy sites searching for connections to this family tree is that a very great many people will exercise very great latitude in stretching dates and imagining connections in order to link themselves with royalty or other famous persons. If I had wanted to, I could have easily made connections, questionable though they would have been, to Abraham Lincoln's mother, Otto von Bismarck, Robin Hood, Muhammad, King David, Cleopatra, Marcus Aurelius, a number of popes, all of the Caesars, Alexander the Great, and many more names of similar renown.
In fact, such an effort isn't necessary. Statistical genealogists have shown that, "Millions of people have provable descents from medieval monarchs [and] the number of people with unprovable descents must be massive." As noted in a recent news article, "even without a documented connection to a notable forebear, experts say the odds are virtually 100 percent that every person on Earth is descended from one royal personage or another."
No doubt this is true. While researching my wife's direct familial descent, one lone legitimate link among the thousands in her family tree is connected to a chain that leads to Henry II and from him back to Charlemagne. Another obscure, but most likely legitimate, link turned up a connection that wound its way to William the Conqueror.
Once links like these to royalty have been made, imaginations can rapidly run rampant as royal lineages have often been embellished to link dynasties with ancient legends and mythology. For example, William the Conqueror's lineage can be arguably traced back to the Merovingian kings of France, and once you've entered the realm of the Whose-a-berts and Cloth-a-whosits, several fantastical ties are possible:
The Holy Blood, Holy Grail hypothesis expounded by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln, and popularized by Dan Brown, Tom Hanks, and Ron Howard in The Da Vinci Code, attempts to establish those kings as the direct descendants of Jesus of Nazareth and Mary Magdalene.
Others have suggested that the Merovingian kings were descendants of the last rulers of the lost continent of Atlantis, who in turn were the human offspring of Poseidon.
And for the more traditionally oriented, for centuries it was claimed that the first Merovingian king, Merovee, was not so much the son of the legendary Frankish warrior, Clodio, as he was the product of his mother's Tritonic abduction and rape by a sea monster known as the Quinotar. This explanation of course is also a favorite of those Revelationist wackos who believe that Merovingian blue-blood will run in the body of the Anti-Christ. "Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time. . . . And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his ten horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy." Revelations 12 and 13.
So what does this all mean? Well, for me it means that there is an awful lot of sloppy research that has produced a tremendous amount of faulty histories that can be all too easily and often naively melded together to produce a laughable and pointless family tree that dates back a thousand. Personally, I'd rather concentrate on the recent past and the historical times within which my verifiable ancestors lived. For me, that is much more interesting than tracking down sea monsters.