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Insanely International Ancestry

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This trope is when a character is shown to have many, many ancestors that lived in various parts of the world, sometimes in different eras or time periods. This can sometimes be reasonable (Bob has ancestors that lived in Revolution-era France, Victorian Britain, and Roaring Twenties Chicago), or downright ridiculous (Bob also has ancestors from Imperial China, Reconquista-era Spain, pre-colonial Hawaii, etc).

While this trope could just be a fun little detail, it could become a plot point for multiple reasons. The ancestors could have learned special skills passed down through the family, either genetically or through lessons, such as area specific combat skills or language, or have allies that support their family to this day. A current member of the family could be inspired by their family history to try and do good in the world (especially if they happen to be related to someone historically famous.) If the story involves Time Travel, the current member of the family could go back and meet his ancestors.

Note: For examples of this trope to count, a character's ancestry should be exaggerated a bit, with approximately 3 to 4 nationalities and/or cultures in a character's background.This is of course a sub-trope of Mixed Ancestry. Can be related to Heroic Lineage if the ancestors were each awesome in some way, Cast of Snowflakes if each ancestor had a unique look, or Really Gets Around if some of the ancestors were all the offspring of the same person. Compare Multinational Team for a non-family version. Might justify a Multiethnic Name.


Examples:

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     Comic Books 
  • Inverted in the comic 7Brothers, which features eight protagonists of just about every ethnicity (European, Asian, Native American, African-American, etc.) all with a common Chinese ancestor: when an Evil Sorcerer went around the world on the treasure fleets, his apprentice seduced the local women as often as he could, leaving them with a child whose descendants his spirit could talk to and help to take down the sorcerer once he escaped his imprisonment.
  • By force of Continuity Drift and Depending on the Writer, Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge's ancestors include two Egyptian pharaohs, various Ancient Roman characters, Native Americans, French noblemen, Italian merchants, Spanish Conquistadors, the Scottish McDuck clan, and more. In the 1970's, a special comic arc that ran over twelve issues in Italy attempted to Justify it by showing how the family line had moved across the world for various reasons, but later writers couldn't keep that timeline straight and by now it raises more questions than it answers note 
  • In the comic book series The Crogan Adventures, a dad often tells his two sons stories about their ancestors, including a pirate, a French Legionnaire, and two brothers on opposite sides of the Revolutionary War.
  • Achille Talon has a similar set-up to the Crogan example, with Talon's ancestors all being spoofs of various historical figure, from a Roman legionnaire to a Christopher Columbus knockoff.

    Live-Action Television 
  • In F Troop, Corporal Agarn seems to have family from all over the world. Those that appeared on the show included a French-Canadian, a Russian and a Mexican.

     Video Games 
  • Desmond Miles, the modern-day protagonist of the first three Assassin's Creed games, has as ancestors a Levantine Arab member of the Hashashin in Altair ibn La-Ahad in Assassin's Creed I, an Italian nobleman in Ezio Auditore in the Assassin's Creed II trilogy, a half-Iroquois/half-British hunter alternately named Connor Kenway or Ratonhnhaketon in Assassin's Creed III, and Connor in turn is descended from the famed Welsh pirate Edward Kenway in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.
  • Sly Cooper shows that Sly's ancestors lived in Feudal Japan, Ancient Egypt, 13th century England, Ancient Arabia, the Wild West, etc, and even go as far back as the Ice Age.
  • inverted in Power Instinct series, since the major family from the series, the Goketsuji, are from Japan. For a tournament in which the fighters have to get some heritage from the family as exclusive requirement to enter, there're characters from USA (Keith Wayne, White Buffalo), England (Annie Hamilton), Italy (Angela Belti) and even Arabia (Sahad Asran Ryuto) apart of Japan.

     Webcomics 
  • El Goonish Shive: Ashley has ancestry from across the Orient, except for Japan.

     Western Animation 
  • Goofy: Something especially notable in his comics incarnations is that Goofy has a ridiculously old and spread-out family tree. In almost any given situation where history is brought up, he'll offhandedly mention having a great-great-great-great-grandfather or -uncle from the period and region in question and pop up to his enormous and cluttered attic to fish out yet another centuries-old souvenir that his family stashed there. This eventually got to be something of a classic Running Gag with him. It was eventually deliberately exaggerated in the Italian comic series Goofy's Great-grand-ancestors (I Bis-bis di Pippo), which focused on following en extensive series of Goofy lookalikes through 1800's Paris, Columbus' ships on the way to the Americas, the European Middle Ages, Ancient Rome, China, Greece and Egypt, Babylon, the Stone Age, and eventually culminating in a Precambrian single-celled lifeform that already had Goofy's distinctive ears.
  • A more down-to-earth Disney example is the Mexican rooster Panchito Pistoles, from The Three Caballeros. From hearing his song about his full name, it seems like the writers tried to cover as much of Latin America as possible in his family background. His paternal grandmother grew up in Lima, Peru, but his father grew up in Ecuador. Meanwhile, his mother was born in Bahia, Brazil (where later the marriage took place). And in the final verses, Panchito says he's "Descended from family in Mexico, Chile, Brazil and a couple in Dallas", so there's even more family stories before settling in Mexico. Apparently, the family really enjoys getting to know the world (or at least the American continent).
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Pinkie Pie and Applejack both have families that span over the Equestrian continent. The Apples have even founded another town: Appleoosa. So widespread are both families that Pinkie might be a legitimate cousin to the apples. As of S7, the Pears are another branch of the Apple clan by marriage. And they're in the equivalent to Canada. This has been used to get help from relatives, learn how different families do things, and as a framing device for other stories.

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