### Sometimes I get unusual reactions to my "Descent From Charlemagne" chart.

How many ancestors would I have if I go back 36 generations?
Take 2 to the 36th power:
236 = 68,719,476,736

I decided to create a table to literally "show the math"
in regard to just how many ancestors one can count.

Ancestry charts are of course geometric: We have 2 parents,
4 grandparents, 8 great-grandparents, and so on.

For example, when you make an ancestry chart,
if you go back 5 generations, there are 32 "slots"
to fill in names. Many family historians can easily
show some overlap of the same person showing up in
more than one of these slots, especially if they can go
back many generations in the same general living location.

If you go back to Charlemagne's time, you would have to
fill in billions of slots, more than the entire population
of the earth!

 2 Parents 10th = 1,024 19th = 524,288 28th = 268,435,456 2 x 2 Grandparents 11th 2,048 20th 1,048,576 29th 536,870,912 23 8 Great-Grandparents 12th 4,096 21st 2,097,152 30th 1,073,741,824 24 16 GG-Grandparents 13th 8,192 22nd 4,194,304 31st 2,147,483,648 25 32 3G-Grandparents 14th 16,384 23rd 8,388,608 32nd 4,294,967,296 6th 64 4G etc. 15th 32,768 24th 16,777,216 33rd 8,589,934,592 7th 128 etc. etc. 16th 65,536 25th 33,554,432 34th 17,179,869,184 8th 256 17th 131,072 26th 67,108,864 35th 34,359,738,368 9th 512 18th 262,144 27th 134,217,728 36th 68,719,476,736

Charlemagne was my 36th Great-Grandfather, and at
that level of past generations, there would be well over
68 billion "slots" to fill, which would
have been over 100 times the population of the entire earth
(it is even over 10 times our present population).

There are probably thousands of ways to connect to
Charlemagne. I was able to uncover the "paper trail"
to show only 1 of them... Just how many descendants
might he have? I recently read an estimate of over
600 million people currently alive today.

Back to my Charlemagne descent page.