Genealogy

Osama Bin Laden's family tree

Since the US raid on Osama Bin Laden's compound in Pakistan on 2 May, three of his wives and an unspecified number of his children have been detained by Pakistani authorities. This graphic highlights some details about the complex family network and its suspected links with al-Qaeda.

Genetic impact of African slave trade revealed in DNA study

A major DNA study has shed new light on the fate of millions of Africans who were traded as slaves to the Americas between the 16th and 19th centuries.

US first lady 'slave roots' found

Research into the family of US First Lady Michelle Obama has revealed that her great-great-great-grandmother was a slave given away at the age of six. According to genealogist Megan Smolenyak, the girl was described in papers only as "negro girl Melvinia".

DNA study deals blow to theory of European origins

A new study deals a blow to the idea that most European men are descended from farmers who migrated from the Near East 5,000-10,000 years ago.The findings challenge previous research showing that the genetic signature of the farmers displaced that of Europe's indigenous hunters.

DNA 'could predict your surname'

Forensic scientists could use DNA retrieved from a crime scene to predict the surname of the suspect, according to a new British study. It is not perfect, but could be an important investigative tool when combined with other intelligence.

Adoptees use DNA to find surname

Male adoptees are using consumer DNA tests to predict the surnames carried by their biological fathers, the BBC has learned. They are using the fact that men who share a surname sometimes have genetic likenesses too.

Confucian family tree 'triples'

Two million people are now recognised as being descendants of the Chinese philosopher Confucius, more than tripling the number in the last count. The announcement was made as the fifth update to Confucius' family tree was unveiled on the 2,560th anniversary of his birth, say Chinese state media.

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