I couldn't care whether it's fashionable or not. I'm looking it merely from a statistical point of view. I also don't get what people mean when they talk about direct descent. There's descent, plain and simple, and there are people you are not descended from. There are not different categories of descent. You are not, for instance, descended from your uncle and you are not descended from your uncle's wife. Every person is descended from his or her parents (at that generation), who are descended from their parents (at that generation). This means you are descended from your grandparents (all four of them, three if you're Tasmanian), but no one else at that generation, so no great-uncles or aunts. Following from this, you are descended from all eight of your great-grandparents. If you go back six generations, you're talking about being descended from 2^6 people, or 64 people. If you go back eight generations, youre talking about 2^8 people or 256 people. It doesn't matter who is who in your geneology. It doesn't matter whether we're talking MMMMMMMM or MMFMMMMM or any other combination. You're descended equally from all of them -- 1/256 -- genetically. What is so hard about this that people can't grasp this?
Following from this, it means that at eight generations, it doesn't matter if the other 255 were aliens from Mars, if one of them was a convict, a person has direct convict heritage.
Unless there's an enormous initial population, everyone married his sister, or people didn't have kids, there's going to be inter-marriage such that that even if a very small percentage of the initial population was composed of convicts, subsequent generations will have ever increasing numbers of people with such convicts as their ancestors.
Here's a very simple example:
Family 1 has a father who is a convict (C) and a mother who is not a convict (N).
Family 2 has a father who is not a convict (N) and a mother who is not a convict (N).
Family 3 has a father who is not a convict (N) and a mother who is not a convict (N).
Family 4 has a father who is not a convict (N) and a mother who is not a convict (N).
Each family produces two chidren. We'll call them 1.1 (CN), 1.2 (CN), 2.1 (NN), 2.2 (NN), 3.1 (NN), 3.2 (NN), 4.1 (NN) and 4.2 (NN). The letters after their names represent their ancestors, and whether they were convicts or non-convicts. Let's assume that at this point, there are no convicts anymore (but obviously, people's ancestors may have been convicts). Let's assume, for the sake of simplicity that every .1 is a male, and every .2 is a female.
1.1 marries 2.2, 1.2 marries 2.1, 3.1 marries 4.2 and 3.2 marries 4.1. They all have two children (whom I will denote by their father's lineage), one male and one female.
Thus, you get 1.1.1 (CNNN), 1.1.2 (CNNN), 2.1.1 (NNCN), 2.1.2 (NNCN), 3.1.1 (NNNN), 3.1.2 (NNNN), 4.1.1 (NNNN) and 4.1.2 (NNNN).
Obviously, you can see that from one initial convict, who represented 1/8 of the population, by his grandchildren's generation, 1/2 of the population has convict ancestry. Is it really so difficult to extrapolate from this simple example across an entire, larger population, over several generations, to suggest that even with significant migration later, any particular convict's descendents are fairly widespread throughout the society and quite possibly represent a significantly higher percentage of that society than he did in his day?
Have you people not studied mathematics and/or biology?
And you coming in to scold us all like some kind of sour-puss kindie assistant who favors olive cardigans and lemon drinks without sugar. -- Muzha Man
One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words "Socialism" and "Communism" draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, "Nature Cure" quack, pacifist, and feminist in England. -- George Orwell