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Galton writes: 'I propose to express by formulae the relation that subsists between the statures of specified men and those of their kinsmen in any given degree, and to explain the processes through which family peculiarities of stature gradually diminish, until in every remote degree of kinship the group of kinsmen becomes undistinguishable from a group selected out of the general population at random. I shall determine the constants in my formulae referring to kinship with a useful degree of precision. These constants may provisionally and with some reservation be held applicable to other human peculiarities than stature, while the formulae themselves are, I presume, applicable to every one-dimensioned faculty that all men possess in some degree, but that different men possess in different degrees.'

Annotations in pencil and ink. Includes six geometrical diagrams and graphs.

Subject: Genetics / Mathematics

Received 1 January 1886 [written as 1 January 1885 on paper]. Read 21 January 1886.

A version of this paper was published in volume 40 of the Proceedings of the Royal Society as 'Family likeness in stature'.

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Physical description
Ink and graphite pencil paper
Page extent
73 pages

Creator name

Francis Galton

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Francis Galton, Paper, 'Family likeness in stature' by Francis Galton, 1884-1885, PP/8/4, The Royal Society Archives, London,, accessed on 20 July 2024

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  • Proceedings Papers

    Dates: 1882 - 1894

    The archival collection known as 'Proceedings Papers' is comprised of manuscripts and occasional proofs of scientific papers sent to the Royal Society which were read before meetings of Fellows and printed in full in the Proceedings of the Royal Society.

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