This has nothing to do with national or international politics, military shenanigans, environmental catastrophes or any of that good stuff.
It's all about how far back you go.
I'm lucky. My name is relatively uncommon, it comes with a thoroughly understood and numerically limited number of variations and spellings. There aren't enough anomalies to make tracing tedious, much less really difficult.
I'm lucky to have a distant relative, a retired US Air Force Colonel who set about to use all the very latest technology to research, catalogue and delineate our line, even to the point of DNA verification.
Thanks to Cousin Jim, I now know each and every generation of my past right back to a Teutonic knight on the Island of Gottland, just off Sweden circa 1275. I know who he married, their children and every descendant leading straight to my family ever since. It's a direct, unbroken line - full of registry information such as births, weddings, deaths, and burials.
From an item I read two weeks ago, the concept that Cousin Jim and others pioneered will soon show up on mainstream, nearly fully automated.
But, in the meantime, I'd like to have some fun. If you read this and know about your genealogy, just how far back can you trace your family tree?