Descending from Strongbow

 

Madam, - The report "US president may have family tie to Strongbow" is somewhat misleading (The Irish Times, January 26th). At my DCU website, "Royal Descents of famous people", I have been collecting this type of genealogy for years, and there are a few salient points:

1. The descent of Bush from Strongbow may be news to the artists working on the Ros Tapestry, but it has been well known among genealogists for years, certainly since the work of Otto-Georg Richter in 1994. A sketch by me of this descent has been online since around 1996.

2. There is no particular reason to highlight Strongbow among Bush's ancestors. Bush descends from many famous people, including Strongbow; Aoife; Dermot MacMurrough; Brian Boru; Charlemagne; Edward I; King John; Malcolm III, King of Scotland; Hugh Capet, King of France; William the Conqueror; Edmund II, Ironside; Alfred the Great; Lady Godiva; and Cerdic, first King of the Saxons.

3. Going the other way, there is no particular reason to highlight Bush among Strongbow's descendants. Strongbow is the ancestor of, among others: George W. Bush, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, The Duke of Wellington, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Charles Darwin, Bertrand Russell, Richard Dawkins, Robert Emmet, Terence O'Neill, William of Orange, Lord Edward FitzGerald, Marie Antoinette, Tsar Nicholas II, Kaiser William II, and the entire British Royal family.

All these people descend from Dermot MacMurrough as well.

The first computer simulation of the genealogy of Ireland (carried out last year by my M.Sc. students here at DCU) indicates that the vast majority (over 90 per cent) of the population of Ireland probably descends from Strongbow. - Yours, etc.,

Dr MARK HUMPHRYS, Lecturer, School of Computing, Dublin City University, Dublin 9.