Is Aliénor d'Aquitaine your ancestor? [closed]

+31 votes
1.5k views

Aliénor d'Aquitaine is one of the most fascinating women in European history. According to her profile on Roglo, a data base pretty much centered around European Aristocracy, Aliénor has over 1.3 million descendants in the said data base, this number representing more than 15% of the total number of profiles. The actual number of descendants of Aliénor is of course far larger than that, but how large?

My conjecture is that Aliénor stands at the right place and time to be a potential ancestor of about anyone living today and having European ancestors - that means I guess, over 99,99% of WikiTreers. What arguments have I to support this conjecture?

#1. Aliénor married a king of France and a king of England. In less than five generations, she had descendants all over Europe., from Russia to Portugal, and Scandinavia to Italy.

#2. The theoretical number of ancestors living in the 12th century, barring pedigree collapse, for someone living today, is in the 100 million range (based on a mean of 27 generations), which is the range of European population at the time. Of course if you are able to track your ancestors that far away in time, you are bound to meet pedigree collapse, and the more so if you attach somehow your ancestry to European aristocracy, who was pretty much endogamic.

If this conjecture is challenging, it's also certainly practically undecidable. If you actually have found Aliénor in your ancestors, it does comfort your belief in the conjecture, but it does not prove it true. But OTOH if you have not found her so far, it does not prove the conjecture false either, because you have not, and nobody will ever have, a complete list of your ancestors living in the 12th century (remember, potentially millions of them), which would be necessary to show a counter-example, if any.

True, false or undecidable, this conjecture is worth exploring, why not through a dedicated project here in WikiTree?

- Figuring out the actual number of Aliénor's descendants currently in WikiTree, and why not flag them (sticker, whatever)

- Working towards expanding the existing branches, in particular those spinning off the main trunk of European aristocracy.

- Any other idea ...

[edited 2021-08-03] : alternative form of the question : Who can track her ancestors back to before 1200, and has NOT Aliénor among them?

[edited 2021-10-12] : I have kept this post open, just to wonder how amazingly off-topic answers keep coming : most of them, sorry to say, seem to have just read the question title, and don't address the most important point of the post under the title, i.e., the possible (UN)DECIDABILITY of the conjecture.

Since this very point did not seem to get interest from anyone, the post is now closed.

WikiTree profile: Eleanor of Aquitaine
closed with the note: Reason explained in the last post edit : too many off-topic answers
in The Tree House by Bernard Vatant G2G6 Mach 6 (69.0k points)
closed by Bernard Vatant
Look above at what cousin Ed Trowbridge said.  I have a Trowbridge line, (on my dad's side, Carol-- you are on my mom's side), so a lot of those descents are tied up with the Trowbridges.  The royal and noble lines intermarry quite a bit. Not always a good thing.
Hi Cousin Carolyn, I figured that I was on the maternal line. It (the line from Eleanor) our shared maternal line. Take care!

She is my 25 great grandmother with 332 lines between her and myself. 

I tried to download every book that I could find on Alienor through archive.org , but one can only borrow each book for twelve days. 

Since this post has came back to life after one year of dormance, and for those who read French, for what it's worth, my own possible descendancy from Aliénor can be checked on this page, 31 generations, of which 8 are lacking in WikiTree to bridge a two centuries gap between Philippa de Laval (ca.1288 - 1350) and Jean Jégou (ca.1470 - bef. 1534). Having no qualification whatsoever in medieval genealogy, I won't venture in assessing the confidence of the missing links copied from various secondary sources, let alone add them to WikiTree. But if someone has both qualification, will and bandwidth, please proceed!

Hi Bernard, I don't really have time to look at this in depth, but to start with there are some problems with the dates you have on that list.  For instance, line 25 Jeanne de Beaumont-Brienne is older than her father, and line 24 Philippe de Laval, is about 47 when she gives birth to her daughter Blanche de Rochefort, not impossible but unlikely.

Moreri's 'Le grand dictionnaire historique ...' p. 20 although not perhaps ideal as a source, does have line 20 Guyon de La Chapelle as descendant of Ailette de Molac, but doesn't mention a daughter Mabille, unless this is an alternative name for daughter Marie, or Jeanne?  However Moreri has Guyon's son and grandson as Seigneur de Molac, which would make it unlikely that Mabille would be Dame de Molac.  

I wouldn't want to necessarily guarantee any of the lines from 24 to 15, but that relationship from lines 20 to 19 would appear to be the one most at risk.

John, thanks for taking the time to look into that, allowing me to fix dates at least! Jeanne de Brienne birth date was probably a copy-paste mistake, I've changed it to value given by WikiTree (1230 > 1263). Same for Philippa de Laval, (1335 > 1325). 

As for the rest, I agree with your cautious conclusion smiley

Eleanor is my husband's 31st great grandmother.

According to data analysis in "The pear shaped tree", less than 17,000 profiles in WikiTree were born in the 1200s. I've started to count the descendants of Aliénor born in the 1200s, will be interesting to figure which proportion they represent.

She's my 24th great-grandmother on my mother's side, with 100 different paths to get there, including pathways to her on my father's side as well, lol.
24th gg grandson.

60 Answers

+2 votes
She is my 25th Great-Grandmother.
by S. Browning G2G1 (1.9k points)
+2 votes
she is my 23 great grandmother and i have 908 connections to her
by Samantha Latimer G2G1 (1.9k points)
+2 votes
Yes for me, 94 variations.
by Linda Boddy G2G3 (3.6k points)
+2 votes
27th Great Grandmother ! (Through my French line.) C'est Bon !
by Gerald Baraboo G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
+3 votes
Yes, she is my maternal 23rd great grandmother.
by Catherine Fussell G2G3 (3.4k points)
+3 votes
She is my 22nd ggm.
by Susan Ellen Smith G2G6 Mach 3 (37.1k points)
+3 votes
25th Great Grandmother.

82 different paths were found between Aliénor and Jason.
by Jason Cowley G2G2 (2.5k points)
+3 votes

26th great granddaughter

1. Stephanie is the daughter of [private father] 
2. [Private] is the son of Bernard Delacour Beamish (1907-1976) 
3. Bernard is the son of Charles Bernard Beamish (1875-1950) 
4. Charles is the son of Albert Beamish (abt.1840-abt.1920) 
5. Albert is the son of Charles Beamish (1801-1867) 
6. Charles is the son of William Beamish (1760-1828) 
7. William is the son of Alice (Bernard) Beamish (-1792) 
8. Alice is the daughter of Rose (Echlin) Bernard (abt.1695-) 
9. Rose is the daughter of John Echlin (-abt.1710) 
10. John is the son of Robert Echlin (1628-1657) 
11. Robert is the son of Mary (Stafford) Echlin (abt.1608-) 
12. Mary is the daughter of Francis Stafford (abt.1565-1609) 
13. Francis is the son of Thomas (Stafford) of Bradfield (1515-1584)  
14. Thomas is the son of William (Stafford) of Bradfield (bef.1482-1538)
15. William is the son of Humphrey Stafford Esq. MP (abt.1427-1486) 
16. Humphrey is the son of Eleanor (Aylesbury) Stafford (abt.1406-aft.1481) 
17. Eleanor is the daughter of Thomas Aylesbury (abt.1369-1418) 
18. Thomas is the son of Isabel (Strange) Aylesbury (-bef.1369) 
19. Isabel is the daughter of Eubulo Strange (-bef.1401) 
20. Eubulo is the son of Aline (FitzAlan) Strange (1314-1386)
21. Aline is the daughter of Edmund FitzAlan (1285-1326) 
22. Edmund is the son of Richard FitzAlan (1267-1302)
23. Richard is the son of Isabella (Mortimer) FitzAlan (1248-bef.1274) 
24. Isabella is the daughter of Roger (Mortimer) de Mortimer (abt.1231-1282) 
25. Roger is the son of Gwladus (ferch Llywelyn) de Mortimer (abt.1205-abt.1251) 
26. Gwladus is the daughter of Joan FitzJohn (bef.1189-1237) 
27. Joan is the daughter of John (Plantagenet) of England (1166-1216) 
28. John is the son of Aliénor (Aquitaine) of Aquitaine (abt.1124-1204) 
This makes Aliénor the 26th great grandmother of Stephanie.

by Stephanie Alakas G2G2 (2.5k points)
+3 votes
22nd great grandmother,  VIA Courtenay, Holcombe, Woodson
by Janice Sutherland G2G6 Mach 4 (45.5k points)
+2 votes
I am her 23rd great grand daughter through my Pierrepoint line
by Janine Barber G2G6 Pilot (185k points)
+2 votes

Not a descendant, but a second cousin 27 times removed.  That is, if you believe all 30 connections between me and Eleanor.  I think she is just a little too recent to be a common ancestor of everyone of European descent.

EVERY baby is a ROYAL baby - Numberphile

by Herbert Tardy G2G6 Pilot (692k points)

Thanks Herbert, very cool link.

Yes, maybe Aliénor is just a couple of centuries too recent to be a common ancestor. But she will be at some point. If you want to help, marry your grandchildren to proven descendants. wink

+1 vote

She is my 24th Great Grandmother.smiley

by LG Price G2G6 Mach 3 (39.9k points)
+2 votes
She is my 24th great grandmother with 8 connections.
by Jennifer Robins G2G6 Pilot (116k points)
+1 vote
25th great grandmother with 480 other shared connections ;) I had already traced lineage to her on both sides of my family but found one pathway false when checking out the various Edwards III connections. I think these posts are a lot of fun! Thanks for sharing!!!

Cheers! Becky Elizabeth (Simmons-11603)
by Becky Simmons G2G6 (7.0k points)
+1 vote
Per Wikitree, Alienor and Henry II are my 23rd great-grandparents, through their son, John. My DNA was done through 23andMe, and I've made it available on GedMatch. If this is of any interest in researching Alienor and/or Henry, I will be happy to participate.

Karen
by Karen Morris G2G1 (1.4k points)
+1 vote
Yes. 25th GGM, through 15 different pathways. Extraordinary.
by Frances Piercy-Reins G2G6 Mach 4 (41.5k points)
+1 vote
I'm descended from three of her children, but have no clue how to find out how many descents that would make.

I'm guessing there is a way to find out using the family tree software (I have Reunion), but I don't know how, and doing it manually would take forever.

Can anyone tell me how to do this on Reunion? How to see how many descents there are from a particular individual but only to another specific individual?
by Monica Edmunds G2G6 Mach 3 (30.8k points)
0 votes
She's my 24th great grandmother - 28th GGM depending upon which of the 112 paths between us you follow. All on my American father's side which has been so interesting, as my mother was a British war bride! How I wish they were both still alive to share all the connections I've found.
by Sandy Boone G2G Crew (920 points)
0 votes
My 24th Greatgrandmother
by Kern Brogan G2G6 (8.7k points)
0 votes
She is my 22nd great grandmother.
by Henrique De Melo Banha G2G6 (6.0k points)

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