#### Davidic Ancestry in the First Century?

the.power.owns.you@...

I'm doing a personal research project to see if I can find a reasonable estimate for the number or percentage of Jews at the beginning of the first century who could trace their lineage to King David. Given that King David was born some 1,000 years prior to the first century, I would imagine that it would be a somewhat significant portion of the population at the time (speaking of, what is also a reasonable estimate of the total Jewish population around that time?). One relevant factor which I would think needs to be considered is that not every child born would survive to adulthood, but I'm not sure how to estimate how many childbearing people that would result in for each generation. Another relevant factor would be that it was much more common in ancient times for people to marry within their own family lines, such as to first or second cousins, so that would somewhat narrow the branching of the genealogy as opposed to each generation continually marrying outside of their family line, but again I'm not sure exactly how much that would narrow the numbers by.

I don't need specific names for any of this, just a general estimate if the information is accessible, or otherwise some advice for how I might go calculating the number on my own. Thanks!

at the 2002 iajgs conference (in toronto as it happens), one of the presentations touched on a very similar theme, that within a given population, is it mathematically possible to prove whether 2 individuals were related?  the answer lies in reversing the question, and asking what it would take for them not to share a common ancestor:  for each generation that they are not related, there would have to be 2x as many distinct ancestors.  and fairly quickly, that number, 2^n, would exceed the total number of humans.  assuming about 25 years per generation, 1000 years would be 40 generations; 2^40 is a trillion.  that's a far bigger number than there have ever been humans on earth. (estimated at 100 billion.)

the flipside is that assuming that the person's line didn't die out, and assuming that there weren't any special taboos or physical barriers limiting their offspring, it would also mean that after a sufficient number of generations, everyone is descended from any given individual.

so either king david's line ended, and no one is, or after 1000 years everyone was his descendant.

but what is the purpose of your research?

....... tom klein, toronto

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main@... wrote:

I'm doing a personal research project to see if I can find a reasonable estimate for the number or percentage of Jews at the beginning of the first century who could trace their lineage to King David. Given that King David was born some 1,000 years prior to the first century, I would imagine that it would be a somewhat significant portion of the population at the time (speaking of, what is also a reasonable estimate of the total Jewish population around that time?). One relevant factor which I would think needs to be considered is that not every child born would survive to adulthood, but I'm not sure how to estimate how many childbearing people that would result in for each generation. Another relevant factor would be that it was much more common in ancient times for people to marry within their own family lines, such as to first or second cousins, so that would somewhat narrow the branching of the genealogy as opposed to each generation continually marrying outside of their family line, but again I'm not sure exactly how much that would narrow the numbers by.

I don't need specific names for any of this, just a general estimate if the information is accessible, or otherwise some advice for how I might go calculating the number on my own. Thanks!

Louis Kessler

Check out:  https://www.davidicdynasty.org/

Louis Kessler

"I'm doing a personal research project to see if I can find a reasonable estimate for the number or percentage of Jews at the beginning of the first century who could trace their lineage to King David. Given that King David was born some 1,000 years prior to the first century, I would imagine that it would be a somewhat significant portion of the population at the time (speaking of, what is also a reasonable estimate of the total Jewish population around that time?). One relevant factor which I would think needs to be considered is that not every child born would survive to adulthood, but I'm not sure how to estimate how many childbearing people that would result in for each generation. Another relevant factor would be that it was much more common in ancient times for people to marry within their own family lines, such as to first or second cousins, so that would somewhat narrow the branching of the genealogy as opposed to each generation continually marrying outside of their family line, but again I'm not sure exactly how much that would narrow the numbers by.

I don't need specific names for any of this, just a general estimate if the information is accessible, or otherwise some advice for how I might go calculating the number on my own. "Thanks!

Eva Lawrence

Tom Klein writes
"either King David's line ended, and no one is, or after 1000 years everyone was his descendant"
The theory that everyone's family branches out indefinitely is  fallacious.  In any population, the number of families available to marry into was restricted by limited
possibilities of travel  and limited communications - far worse historically  than.in modern times.  Custom, too,meant that cousin marriage was usual, particularly in the upper and wealthier classes.   Limited knowledge meant that local records often aren't specific enough to provide reliable proofs,   based on calendars and place-names which differ over time and and may  even be subjective.. However,  only  an estimate of number of descendants is wanted, one could work ones way through the Bible from Samuel onwards and follow the generations as they are enumerated, extrapolating from there.. You don't say whether you are counting only the male lines or also the female lines, which aren't available, of course.Also there was quite a lot of 'marrying out' during the Exile in Babylon,  and those lines, too would be ignored thereafter.
Eva Lawrence
St Albans, UK.

Alberto Guido Chester

These mathematical issues are my cup of tea.

Besides Tom Klein´s comment reproduced below, I suggest the original poster to look in the Jewishgen archives for my 1994 (yes, not a typo) post titled "how many Jews have been in the history of mankind" (and replies) and further mathematical inquiries as posted by A.R. Liboff, Michael Bernet  their respective replies.

A demographic timeline of Jewish history I find very interesting is available at

Hope this helps

Alberto Guido Chester
Buenos Aires, Argentina

"at the 2002 iajgs conference (in toronto as it happens), one of the presentations touched on a very similar theme, that within a given population, is it mathematically possible to prove whether 2 individuals were related?  the answer lies in reversing the question, and asking what it would take for them not to share a common ancestor:  for each generation that they are not related, there would have to be 2x as many distinct ancestors.  and fairly quickly, that number, 2^n, would exceed the total number of humans.  assuming about 25 years per generation, 1000 years would be 40 generations; 2^40 is a trillion.  that's a far bigger number than there have ever been humans on earth. (estimated at 100 billion.)

the flipside is that assuming that the person's line didn't die out, and assuming that there weren't any special taboos or physical barriers limiting their offspring, it would also mean that after a sufficient number of generations, everyone is descended from any given individual.

so either king david's line ended, and no one is, or after 1000 years everyone was his descendant.

but what is the purpose of your research?

....... tom klein, toronto"

Jeff at SG

I totally agree with you. In some of my lectures many years ago I had a section with a PowerPoint slide that asked 'who in this room is descended from King David?'

I then went on to show the increasing numbers of people needed in each ancestral generation and showed just like you that it soon exceeded the number of people alive on the planet at that time (leave alone just Jews). Of course that was because the same individuals appeared repeatedly in many different places in the ancestral tree.

I also presented a study by the Yale statstician Joseph Chang (Advances in Applied Probability, 1999) who calculated that if an individual moved into a certain area of the world and had at least one child, then, 800 years later:
=E2=80=94there was a 20% chance that that individual's line had gone extinct. That is, there was no one living in that part of the world descended from him.
=E2=80=94there was an 80% chance that individual was the direct ancestor of everyone in that part of the world.

The final slide in this section then rre-asked the question of who in the room was descended from King David. With my verbal answer, 'probably everyone'.

Another interesting point related to me by Bennet Greenspan is that even though there are several families claiming direct male descent from King David (actually from his descendants, the exilarchs in Babylonia) their Y-DNAs did not match. So they couldn't possibly all be direct male descendants.....

I always though claiming Davidic descent was silly. Even though the British Royal family also makes that claim.

YaleZuss@...

1000 years is approximately 40 generations.  If in each generation, the average number of children who go on to have their own children is 2, after 40 generations there could be a trillion descendants.  This number is some 10,000 times larger than the likely global population at the time, so it is impossible to rule out David being an ancestors of everyone in the known world.  Note: I am not claiming that he was.

--Yale Zussman   SEND ANY REPLIES BY PRIVATE EMAIL to  <YaleZuss@...>

isak@bm.technion.ac.il

I totally agree with Jeff. Besides the high probability that there has never been a King David, at least in the form described in our "Tanach", there is a vast literature on Branching processes starting with "the rate of extinction of surnames along the generations" by Galton and Watson, 1875. It has been further shown that for a generation duration of around 25 years, and given a certain "David", after 500-800 years the whole population will be his descendants.  Even if we consider "Assortative mating" (Endogamy), common to very many Jewish communities, this process of disseminating the "Davidic" traits is only moderately delayed.

We used this modelling to understand the spreading of mutations typical for the Jewish population, and gave an example of the spreading of the genetic disease FMF (Familial Mediterranean Fever). See: Levi and Gath, Effects of mating patterns on genealogical trees: Assessment of the high carrier rate of Familial Mediterranean Fever in rural Israeli districts, Journal of Theoretical Biology,  443 (2018) 92–99.

Prof. Isak Gath MD, DIC, DSc

Faculty of Biomedical Engineering             Tel. Office #972-4-8294115

Technion Israel Institute of Technology             Home #972-4-9835704

32000 Haifa, Israel

Marcel Apsel

Yale Zuss has at least the honesty to say he was not claiming that he is of Davidic descent.  Me too.  A major problem in Jewish genealogy is that some people are desperate to be linked to a famous scholar and it happens quite often that even some rabbis are fabricating genealogies through syllogism, by using distorted analyses.  And those distorted analyses will be used in the future as correct facts  I see it often in geni, were for example, a son is born 30 years after the mother passed away, or a girl named after a living mother (Ashkenazi) etc …

I heard once that even the British royal family claims to be of Davidic descent.  I do not know it this is through or not; anyhow impossible to prove.  One thing is for sure : the third heir of the British crown, prince George is Jewish; his mother princess Kate is Jewish, because princess Kate’s mother was a Goldsmith and from Jewish descent.  In Great Britain a lot of politicians are of Jewish descent.  Order, order, John Bercow, former speaker of the Parliament is a descendant of Romanian Jews.  Etc. etc …

Marcel Apsel

Antwerp, Belgium

Harvey Kaplan

Marcel

As far as I know, it's a myth that the Duchess of Cambridge is Jewish. eg see:

I'm sure that if it was definite, we would know about it and be reminded constantly.

Harvey Kaplan

Glasgow, Scotland

On Fri, 22 May 2020 at 17:34, Marcel Apsel <marcap@...> wrote:

Yale Zuss has at least the honesty to say he was not claiming that he is of Davidic descent.  Me too.  A major problem in Jewish genealogy is that some people are desperate to be linked to a famous scholar and it happens quite often that even some rabbis are fabricating genealogies through syllogism, by using distorted analyses.  And those distorted analyses will be used in the future as correct facts  I see it often in geni, were for example, a son is born 30 years after the mother passed away, or a girl named after a living mother (Ashkenazi) etc …

I heard once that even the British royal family claims to be of Davidic descent.  I do not know it this is through or not; anyhow impossible to prove.  One thing is for sure : the third heir of the British crown, prince George is Jewish; his mother princess Kate is Jewish, because princess Kate’s mother was a Goldsmith and from Jewish descent.  In Great Britain a lot of politicians are of Jewish descent.  Order, order, John Bercow, former speaker of the Parliament is a descendant of Romanian Jews.  Etc. etc …

Marcel Apsel

Antwerp, Belgium

Marcel Apsel

Hi Harvey,

You have a point that Princess Kate is maybe not of Jewish descent.  I have been told some years ago that her maternal grandfather was of Jewish descent.  I found out tonight that her ancestor John Goldsmith lived in the East End.  The information I got years ago that a lot of Jews during the 17th and 18th century moved from Amsterdam (mostly Sefardi) and Northern Germany (mostly Ashkenazi) to London and settled in the East End of London.  During de following decades (mostly after 1750) a lot of Jews assimilated completely and tried to wipe out their Jewish connections.  I cannot proof anything  about John Goldsmiith and I am not looking forward to find a proof, even though he lived in the East End, but I have a personal experience with a colleague of our local Jewish Genealogical Society, whose family name is Jones and this family live in Belgium for almost 150 years, coming from the East End of London, where their ancestors settled about 100 years earlier (about 1750) and before then coming somewhere from Northern Germany.  He has done some research in London himself about 10-15 years ago with no really positive results.  He knows that ancestors of his (about 200 years ago) were called Jonathan and I told him that probably they wanted to Anglicize their name into a British sounding name and as hypothesis I told him that Jones was probably (with no proof) a phonetic adaption In English from Jonathan.  My conclusion is that plenty former Eastenders might be of Jewish descents, because at a certain moment they had a large community.  But again, this is only an assumption and not formal proof.

Marcel Apsel

Antwerpen, Belgium

Harvey Kaplan

Hi Marcel

Even if she had a Jewish ancestor, it's unlikely to have made her mother Jewish, so it would be wrong to say that her children are Jewish.

Of course, many people in Europe and elsewhere had Jewish ancestry somewhere - which is now being indicated by dna testing - but it's really only academic.

best wishes

Harvey Kaplan

On Sun, 24 May 2020 at 02:07, Marcel Apsel <marcap@...> wrote:

Hi Harvey,

You have a point that Princess Kate is maybe not of Jewish descent.  I have been told some years ago that her maternal grandfather was of Jewish descent.  I found out tonight that her ancestor John Goldsmith lived in the East End.  The information I got years ago that a lot of Jews during the 17th and 18th century moved from Amsterdam (mostly Sefardi) and Northern Germany (mostly Ashkenazi) to London and settled in the East End of London.  During de following decades (mostly after 1750) a lot of Jews assimilated completely and tried to wipe out their Jewish connections.  I cannot proof anything  about John Goldsmiith and I am not looking forward to find a proof, even though he lived in the East End, but I have a personal experience with a colleague of our local Jewish Genealogical Society, whose family name is Jones and this family live in Belgium for almost 150 years, coming from the East End of London, where their ancestors settled about 100 years earlier (about 1750) and before then coming somewhere from Northern Germany.  He has done some research in London himself about 10-15 years ago with no really positive results.  He knows that ancestors of his (about 200 years ago) were called Jonathan and I told him that probably they wanted to Anglicize their name into a British sounding name and as hypothesis I told him that Jones was probably (with no proof) a phonetic adaption In English from Jonathan.  My conclusion is that plenty former Eastenders might be of Jewish descents, because at a certain moment they had a large community.  But again, this is only an assumption and not formal proof.

Marcel Apsel

Antwerpen, Belgium

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