Link: Effective size through genealogy

less than 1 minute read

Sandwalk: “What William the Conqueror’s Companions Teach Us about Effective Population Size”.

Let's assume that there are 20 well-documented companions. Only one of these (William Mallet) has possibly passed on his Y chromosome to the present time and even that male line of descent is disputed. This is fully consistent with our understanding of genetics when you consider that most male lines are likely to die out in a few generations. Those that survive ten generations or so are unlikely to become extinct since there will likely be several male lines at that time.
Only 10 of the companions have descendants who are alive today. This could be due to the fact that genealogists don't have perfect records for all the companions and their families but it's also quite in line with expectations.

A nice illustration, with a link to my own review article (available free here), “From genes to numbers: Effective population sizes in human evolution”.