Friday, July 22, 2016

Some Family Trees Based on Starz Outlander

My wife loves the show Outlander, and I have begun to watch it with her. Based on the story, I was interested in looking at the family trees for the various characters in the family tree visualization tool.

The extra Outlander trees are available in the family tree visualization tool via a few more samples that are enabled if you add something special to the web address (and there are a few direct links to specific Outlander trees):

Extra "Outlander" Samples Available if You Use Right Web Address

Warning - I have not read the books, but there are doubtlessly spoilers below. So be warned.
What About All those Other Ancestors of Frank?

One major aspect of the story is the main female character Claire trying to avoid affecting the lives of the ancestors of her modern-day husband Frank. The book can focus on just a few of these ancestors, of course, but I was wondering how many other ancestors there would have been alive at the time she goes back to.

So, my wife and I created a tree that fills out the handful of ancestors mentioned in the book. There are more than 200 of these ignored ones. She even added names for all of them, which you can explore if you load the sample - a task she said she enjoyed because it's always fun to create baby names.

The filled-out tree is shown below (it is the "Frank" sample). I think that all of the direct-line ancestors to Alexander Randall are actually mentioned in the book, because Frank is interested in genealogy as well.

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Claire spends so much effort trying to avoid affecting the future for Alexander Randall,
but what about those 126 others we don't hear about?
Lots of stories there, I suppose.
Images from Outlander Facebook page
Quite an Age Difference Between Parents

I will not go into much detail here, but if you are familiar with the books, this is what the family tree looks like for the descendants of two of the main characters - I thought it was interesting.

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Love across the (many) years
Images from Outlander Facebook site and EW
Pedigree Collapse in Fiction

"Pedigree collapse" occurs in a family tree when cousins have children together. It happens for all of our trees eventually. Here, the cousins are fairly distant (this is determined using the "Cousin Calculator" functionality of the tree visualization tool).

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This is what the tree looks like for
two 2nd cousins five times removed who get together
Images from EW, Outlander wikia
And Next...

My wife got pretty excited about all the names she got to come up with to fill out the tree, and maybe she'll write an installment of fan fiction for all 200+ of them. She also noted (and she's right) that the tree for all the ancestors of Frank alive at the time Claire messes with the time-space continuum would would not be so nicely placed in... time. It would be fairly staggered (which is certainly the case if you have ever looked at trees for real people this far back). I gave them all the same birth date do far to make the tree look nicer for demonstrating my kind-of-lame point, but I think she's going to make the birth dates more "realistic" based on where her stories may go.

(click for full image)
I imagine that Wilhemina Mulling is not mentioned in the book
but there's a story there.

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