Monday, 16 April 2012

Tom Conti Related to Napoleon

Yesterday's Observer revealed that a Scottish DNA project has found that actor Tom Conti, the laid back star of films such as Reubem, Reuben and Shirley Valentine is related to Napoleon.

Conti's father Alfonso was an Italian immigrant, and his mother was Scottish, but of Irish ancestry.

According to the DNA research his lineage is Saracen, and he descends from a family that settled in Italy around the tenth century. One branch of the family, of which Napoleon was a member, settled in Corsica.

Conti described his relationship to Napoleon as "quite a shock" at first, but now he is "rather pleased".

I cannot imagine Conti ever leading an army into battle, but as a Lothario he may well be in the same league as both Wellington and Napoleon.


Albert B said...

Interesting indeed. Since Napoleon's Y-DNA has been identified as E1b1b1c1* by Prof. Lucotte a few months ago, I guess that we would see several claims of this type linked people to Napoleon. There is however some deviation aboiut where to place Napoleon's ancestors (prior to 1000AC): Lucotte stated they were Caucasian, this article mentions Saracen, and I pointed out in an article on this subject that a bigger probabilityw as that they were Berber (true Berber, not the Arabic origin). One ancestor of Napoleon was nicknamed "the Moor of Sarzane"... Bonaparte was an adopted name, presumably when their first ancestor came to Italy from Northern Africa and took a Christian name with his conversion ~ c1000. If interested in more details about Napoleon's DNA, check (or just the conclusion at page 5

Hels said...

Italy, Ireland, Scotland, Corsica, Berber etc etc... people wandered all the time, not just during wars. And they married and had babies with other wanderers.

Just as well. Imagine if everyone on Corsica had stayed put and married a local, generation after generation. Everyone would have been a cousin.

John Tyrrell said...

I have to confess my ignorance about DNA. Apparently Conti has the rare M34 marker on his Y-chromosome, as does Prince Charles Napoleon Bonaparte. The Observer article claims that few in the UK are likely to have this marker. We shall see!

The article also says that the current project has revealed that the Scots in general have been found to have a wide ancestry - Berber as well as the expected Viking and Irish origins.

Albert Benhamou said...

M34 marker is "rare" among European populations but not rare if someone would look at the right significance. In terms of probability, Napoleon's ancestors have Berber origin (pre-Roman in the Northern Africa region), and possibly Jewish. Because M34 is predominant among Berbers, and is also the 2nd largest Y-DNA among Jews (the 1st being J1-type). This question is obviously open to debate, and we can only make assumptions based on statistical data.