Dr Adam Rutherford, the author of a book on genes entitled A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived, said the passage of time and overlapping ancestries meant “there is a time in history where all lines of all family trees cross through all people.”
Rutherford added: “Every European is descended from every European alive in the 10th century, if they have any living descendants. We know from his royal pedigree that Charlemagne has living descendants (Richard Branson boasted of it, Christopher Lee, too), which means that literally every European is also descended from Charlemagne.
“The basic problem is that we think of family trees fanning out from us into the past, but that means that the number of ancestors we have doubles every generation back. By 1,000 years ago, every person has more ancestors than people who have ever existed.”