2010 Australian Election - 21 August 2010

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Re: 2010 Australian Election - 21 August 2010

Postby headhonchoII » 23 Aug 2010, 16:23

Satellite TV wrote:
headhonchoII wrote:Eh what do you not get. There were 160,000 convicts and 400,000 free settlers around the 1850-60s. Therefore within a few generation almost native born Australians (white folk) would have ancestors belonging to both groups.


Nearly all the convicts where men, did they succesfully propogate children? Lets face it men to women ratio was four to 1 at the time.


This is neither here nor there especially as most convicts became free men eventually, there probably wasn't a huge difference between free settlers and convicts (not that I know a lot about Australian history of that time). Many of the convict women would have a disproportionate contribution to the current gene pool, again because of the founder effect.

I think where most people go wrong in their genealogy is they focus on their surname or their grandparents surname...actually that is very misleading. It is useless to ask people who their ancestors were as they will focus on their parents surnames in general. That is missing the 100-1000s of other names in their family tree. Also most family trees are not clear and many families, especially in days gone by, adopted or transferred kids around without notifying authorities.

If the new immigrants intermarried with the families that were in Australia from prior to WWII then it is still highly likely their families have convict genes. Remember the doubling of ancestors each generation..it gives you more of a chance to get some convict genes into your family tree..due to mixing and intermarriage between different groups. So by my very rough reckoning at LEAST 50% of native born Aussies (white folk) should have convict genes knocking about. Each generation increase the diversity of your ancestors (which is why some Americans can claim to be Polish, Greek, Irish and German all at the same time).
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Re: 2010 Australian Election - 21 August 2010

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 23 Aug 2010, 16:39

headhoncho: I get what you're saying. On my mother's side, her father migrated from England after WW2, but her mother's side is a dodgy lot so there's bound to be a convict or ten somewhere back along the line. Likewise, my father's side is half German, but at least part of the other side is of English origin that has been in Australia for at least six generations. Only assuming that my family tree goes back six generations in Australia (sixty four ancestors), and discounting the half post WW2 English and the half German, we're still talking about only needing one out of 32 people, or about 3%, to have any convict blood and I would have convict blood.

I think it's an emotive reaction you're getting, since it only takes one, as you rightly point out, and the longer one can trace a family tree back, combined with having any English heritage from the time, the less likely it is that there wouldn't be at least one convict in the family tree.

Anyway, who gives a shit? I don't care who my ancestors were. I also don't care who anyone else's ancestors were. As far as I can tell, unless someone gives up citizenship, it doesn't matter who his ancestors were or how far back he can trace his family tree (which is why I don't buy into this whole thing about Aborigines being "more Australian" or original Australians -- the oldest Australian is only a bit more than 100 years old, therefore they're only a bit more than 100 years older than a kid born today, and 40,000 years of Aboriginal history are irrelevant). Furthermore, anyone who has been naturalised is as much of an Australian as anyone else.
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Re: 2010 Australian Election - 21 August 2010

Postby Satellite TV » 23 Aug 2010, 16:55

GuyInTaiwan wrote: Furthermore, anyone who has been naturalised is as much of an Australian as anyone else.



Well there is a a large number of people who are not Australian Citizens, but they are still included when it comes to making up the numbers.

Anyways it's fashionable to say you come from a convict past, even if you didn't.
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Re: 2010 Australian Election - 21 August 2010

Postby ice raven » 23 Aug 2010, 17:03

How many Americans have convicts in their family tree? There've been a fair few people sent to prison there, over the years, and they had families. Bet if you looked really carefully at everybody's family tree over the past 100 years, most people would have a few shady characters in it.

So all Americans are cons, right?
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Re: 2010 Australian Election - 21 August 2010

Postby headhonchoII » 23 Aug 2010, 17:04

Sure, but if you have a few branches of the family going back prior to WWII then you probably do, fashion or no fashion. I find Australia a bit strange sometimes....first everybody didn't want to admit they had convict ancestors, now it is fashionable to do it and now there are lots of people denying convict heritage even though it must be extremely common. People should do their own research instead of looking to the media. Now it's fashoinable to promote Australia as multicultural but then there's a huge hubbub about boat people (few thousand people a year)... a land of contradictions. I spent a year there but don't pretend to know the ins and outs of the place.

Iceraven, don't get your point, we all have 'convict' genes in our blood..as we all must have had ancestors who had been imprisoned or tortured in the past. Just because they were called convict doesn't mean they were 'bad', even if they were so what, it's just part of family history.
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Re: 2010 Australian Election - 21 August 2010

Postby ice raven » 23 Aug 2010, 17:23

I don't quite get your point:

As Sat TV pointed out, the number of convicts that came was comparatively small, considering the native population, and especially considering how many people immigrated later. I think it's reasonable to say that most aussies were not directly descended from convicts. If you want to nitpick and say everyone was related because great aunt sue married someone who was related to a convict, then you can apply that everywhere so we're all related to convicts, so it's a moot point.

The convict period was an important part in Australian history, and shaped the public consciousness. Maybe some Australians have a bit of a "convict complex", and certainly other countries like to rib them about it. But it is a time that has long since passed, and most modern Australians today were not even descended from the original convicts.
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Re: 2010 Australian Election - 21 August 2010

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 23 Aug 2010, 18:12

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

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Re: 2010 Australian Election - 21 August 2010

Postby headhonchoII » 23 Aug 2010, 20:08

I have a post-grad degree in this area, good on you GIT, you have explained it very professionally.
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And I can still hear my old hound dog barkin' chasin' down a hoodoo there
Chasin' down a hoodoo there.
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Re: 2010 Australian Election - 21 August 2010

Postby Charlie Phillips » 23 Aug 2010, 20:08

Convicts were transported to the British colonies of North America from 1620 to 1776 - far longer than Australia . Does that make North Americans a society of convicts?
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Re: 2010 Australian Election - 21 August 2010

Postby headhonchoII » 23 Aug 2010, 20:14

No it DOES NOT make America a society of convicts but it does mean many Americans have 'convicts' genes in their blood, what's the big deal? The key to all this, as GIT pointed out, is the 'founder' effect, the earlier you get into a small gene pool the more chance you will have as the generations proceed for your gene to spread through the population.

The amount of genes contributed to the current overall population may be small as they get diluted through the generations (assuming continued migration of people from another outside gene pool), but the number of carriers of any particular gene from one of the founding population will be very wide. So you could have genes in you that are only .01% of the convict ancestors genes...but you are certainly a direct descendant of that person.
I can remember the fourth of July runnin' through the backwood bare.
And I can still hear my old hound dog barkin' chasin' down a hoodoo there
Chasin' down a hoodoo there.
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