Saturday, May 17, 2008

Cullen Vampire DNA

Just for fun, let's imagine that we could test the DNA of the fictional Cullen family of vampires from the Twilight books by Stephenie Meyer

I haven't read the books yet (maybe I'll wait for the movie coming out later this year), but it seems like there is a big family tree of vampires with the last name Cullen. Most of these were adopted: Edward Cullen, Emmett Cullen and Alice Cullen all had different last names originally. So we wouldn't expect them to match any of the members of the Cullen Family DNA Project.

But the patriarch of the family, and the original vampire, Dr. Carlisle Cullen, was born a Cullen in London, England in the 1600s. His father was an Anglican minister. These are some good clues to tracing his possible real-life Cullen relatives. As discussed in the post below, there were three main centers of the Cullen surname in England: in Somerset in the southwest, around Nottingham in the middle of the country, and Kent in the Southeast.

Of course, Kent is close to London, so it's most likely that Carlisle is related to our member C-23 whose ancestor Arthur Cullen was from Deal, Kent:

After living as a vampire in Europe for two centuries, Carlisle Cullen came to the American midwest (Chicago then Wisconsin). Interestingly, there was a real man named Joseph Cullen who came to Kentucky around 1850. He was born in Kent, England, and he was a Protestant minister. Could this be a connection to Carlisle's family?

So to summarize, please get in touch if you are a Cullen man willing to be tested for our DNA project. The Cullen family of vampires may be fictional, but we can see if you have a real genetic connection to our other families in Kent and throughout the world.