'What a fine long pedigree you have given the human race.' - Charles Darwin to Charles Lyell, 1863. How is the Royal Family descended from fish? How distantly are we related to dinosaurs? How much of your DNA came from Neanderthals? How are the builders of Stonehenge connected to your great-grandpa? According to science, life first appeared on Earth about 3,500 million years ago. Every living thing is descended from that first spark, including all of us. But if we trace a direct line down from those original life forms to ourselves, what do we find? What is the full story of our family tree over the past 3,500 million years, and how are we able to trace ourselves so far back?From single-celled organisms to sea-dwelling vertebrates; amphibians to reptiles; tiny mammals to primitive man; the first Homo sapiens to the cave painters of Ice Age Europe and the first farmers down to the Norman Conquest, this book charts not only the extraordinary story of our ancient ancestors but also our 40,000-year-long quest to discover our roots, from ancient origin myths of world-shaping mammoths and great floods down to the scientific discovery of our descent from the Genetic Adam and the Mitochondrial Eve.
This is the amazing story of our ancient ancestors, as told by one of Britain's leading genealogists.
Anthony Adolph (www.anthonyadolph.co.uk) is a well-known professional genealogist with a particular interest in tracing family lines as far back as possible. He researched and co-presented Channel Four's Extraordinary Ancestors, Radio Four's Meet the Descendants and BBC One's Gene Detectives, has appeared on Heir Hunters and Who Do You Think You Are? and was a commentator for Sky and ITN News on the birth of his 10th cousin twice removed, Prince George of Cambridge. His books include Tracing Your Aristocratic Ancestry; Tracing Your Family History; Tracing Your Scottish Family History; Tracing Your Irish Family History; Who Am I?, introducing genealogy to children; The King's Henchman, the biography of Henry Jermyn, Earl of St Albans; and Brutus of Troy.