I'm certainly not descended from the bonobos in the above photograph (Credit: W. H. Calvin Ape Bonobo San Diego Zoo. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0). However, at some point, perhaps around seven million years ago, we do share common ancestry. That is a link in the inter-connectivity of Life on Earth. Also an excuse to post a photo of those wonderful beings.
I recently attended a lecture on Total Genealogy, but I was disappointed that the subject was surname study. I had hoped that it would relate more to my own concept of the term. A genealogy that doesn't just embrace documentary research of recorded ancestors over the past 500 years or so, but a more general interest in heritage, that overlaps with DNA, genetics, population genetics, anthropology, physical anthropology, archaeology, local history, national and regional history, cultural and social history, prehistory, linguistics, human evolution, and yes, even our shared ancestry with those bonobo cousins. Everything ancestral, how we came to be how we are, and above all, time travel in our imaginations. That is what I mean by Total Genealogy.
Researching the written record, following names is great fun. Why should the fun stop there though? Where were my ancestors 12,000 years ago? Actually, DNA and population studies gives my imagination some good answers to that question. What did my ancestors 500,000 years look like? How did they live? If I could time travel, what would I see?
Total genealogy leads you to bridges, the concept of genetic folding, and of bottlenecks. You start to relate closer to all humans, and see everyone as a distant cousin. It embraces a love of heritage, of people, and of the Natural World. It leaves me in awe.