Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Genealogy from the Beginning

Since I started my blog with big picture posts and pre-historical "genealogy" I guess the next place to start is with the earliest written genealogies. So I will start with the book of Genesis from the Christian Bible.

This of course, starts with Adam and Eve. Serious historians do not view the Book of Genesis as based on historical facts. The genealogical diagram I show at the left is almost all mythological or legendary. I suspect that there may be some historical basis to some of the stories, such as some local flood that created verbal stories like Noah and the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh thousands of years earlier. But these stories were not written down until about the 6th century BCE, several thousand years after these events supposedly occurred. 

Nevertheless, the legends are interesting reading and do help us understand even our current Western Culture which is based on Christianity. I won't get into detailed stories of the people in the chart to the left which are well known in our western society. For those who are not familiar with these stories I would recommend reading the Bible or one of the many current Bible Story books. Summaries of these stories could also be found elsewhere on the internet, such as on Wikipedia.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Stephen Oppenheimer's scientific studies in his book "Eden in the East" believes that the pre-flood stories originated in the Southeast Asia Ice Age continent of Sundaland and subsequent flooding. I won't go into details as to his research but he is quite thorough. I highly recommend his book (see links below).

After the flood many early Christian commentators have described the division of the world into three parts, settled by the three sons of Noah:

  • Asia is settled by the descendants of Shem, the ancestor of the Israelites, Jewish and Arabic peoples. The Lebor Gabála Érenn says that he had 30 sons. Josephus says he had only 5 sons.
  • Europe is settled by the descendants of Japeth, the "Gentiles" of the Bible. The Lebor Gabála Érennsays that he had 15 sons. Josephus says that he had 7 sons.
  • Africa is settled by the descendants of Ham. The Lebor Gabála Érenn says that he had 30 sons. Josephus says he had only 4 sons.
In my online genealogy database, all these people will show up, including my descent from both Japeth and Shem along multiple lines into European Royalty, which I will show in later blogs. Let me reiterate that I do not take all these ancient genealogies as historical fact.

Titus Flavius Josephus was a famous Jewish historian, born as Joseph ben Matityahu, but changed his name when he began to work for the Romans in 67 CE, during the Roman war against the Jews. In his book "Antiquities of the Jews" he retells much of the story told in the Bible up until his day. Chapter 6 discusses how Noah directed his sons to settle the world. This is where the number of sons of Shem, Japeth and Ham shown above come from.

One cannot always trust Josephus when it comes to material written centuries and millenia after they happened. One interesting error is when he claims the Galatians in Asia Minor were descendants of Gomer, the son of Japeth. The Galatians in Asia Minor were actually a Celtic tribe that had come from southern France/northern Spain. See this article on Wikipedia:

During the Middle Ages, it seems that Christian writers wanted to connect the known Nordic, British and Irish royalty with Biblical genealogies, so we will eventually discuss the genealogical connections to the "Gentile" line of Japeth via King Priam of Troy and Ascanius to Odin, King of Scandinavia, the Irish Monarchs and the early British Royalty. But I think in the next few blogs I will continue the Biblical and Arabic genealogy from Abraham.

Here are links to some of the key people in my online genealogy database:

Here are some links to help you learn more:

Here again are some links to Stephen Oppenheimer's books:,

Cumberland Family Software:

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