I’ve been studying the famous Kings and Queens of Scotland — in playing card form — recently. To complete this deck of 52 with five jokers they stretched the definition of “famous” a wee bit thin. Sure, my knowledge of Scottish history is a bit vague, but Jack of Diamonds, King Malcolm 1V? Malcolm the Maiden? Really? Turns out Malcolm ruled from 1153 till 1165, from the age of 12 to just 24.
While I was rummaging online to find out more about Malcolm, I stumbled on a Wikipedia page about my ancestor, Somerled, Lord of the Isles. I’ve always felt pretty special being descended from him. Lord of the Isles! How glamourous! How romantic! How special I must be! Not so special, according to Wikipedia,
“In 2005 a study by Professor of Human Genetics Bryan Sykes of Oxford led to the conclusion that Somerled has possibly 500,000 living descendants – making him the second most common currently-known ancestor after Genghis Khan.”
Half a million special people.