The Common Ancestor I Share with Charles Darwin

“I should infer from analogy that probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed.” 

Charles Darwin

I don’t know about you, but yesterday morning–at around 7:20 AM–I received an email from FamilySearch inviting me to see my famous relatives. If you didn’t know about this, go check your email now. Do it now.

Of course, I clicked on it. Who wouldn’t want to see which famous people they’re related to?

There were some surprises on there–namely Martin van Buren, Jane Austen, and Henry David Thoreau. But the one I was most excited to see was none other than Charles Darwin himself. I had already looked on FamilySearch to find my relation to the discoverer of the theory of natural selection, but could only find it through marriage.

But today FamilySearch came through in a big way, and I learned that Charles Darwin is my 10th cousin 3 times removed. Cool. That means that he is the straight-on 10th cousin of my great-grandfather.

But what’s even more awesome than knowing my relation to Charles Darwin is discovering our most-recent common ancestor (MRCA). Charles Darwin, the man who made common ancestry big, shares a common ancestor with me, and–if FamilySearch is correct–his name is Richard Ryche (Lord). According to FamilySearch, Richard Ryche was born in 1470 AD, and was a sir, a knight, and a lord; and he fathered a man named Richard Rich, who was the “1st Baron Rich”, and a chancellor during King Edward VI’s reign… and apparently he tortured the Protestant martyr Anne Askew… Yeah, I come through the Baron Richard Rich line. Darwin comes through another son of Richard Ryche. And of course, Joan Dingley, the mother of these two sons, is also our MCRA.

Anyways, I thought that was cool. How are YOU related to Charles Darwin? Who is the MRCA you share with him?

P.S. I always thought it would be cool to find out the MRCA that Charles Darwin and Joseph Smith shared, so if you know that information, PLEASE tell me! I would be much obliged. Family history is fun.


Sources and Notes

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