Of the four founders we know that at least one line has died out. Ravenclaw has definitely died out as Helena was the last descendant and she's long dead. Slytherin may have also died out but that depends if the Cursed Child is canon or not. Also Hufflepuff may have died out but it depends if Hepzibah Smith has any descendants.

  • 2
    According to the Ilvermorny article on Pottermore, Isolt Sayre, a Gaunt descendant, moved to America in the 1600s and had two childen, one of whom (Martha) married. However, it's not indicated whether she had children herself. – Kitkat Jul 16 at 18:36
  • 3
    @Valorum How so? That's a reference to the fact that Rionach never had kids--as a Squib, Martha might now have felt the same compunction. But who knows! – Kitkat Jul 16 at 19:32
  • 8
    You'd have thought that of all people, surely Hermione would know this... – Adi219 Jul 16 at 23:23
  • 5
    @Adi219 It wasn't mentioned in Hogwarts: A History. – Thunderforge Jul 17 at 15:53
  • 1
    @Thunderforge Brilliant. Thanks for the laugh - and smile. Needed that. Well and Adi219 too. :) – Pryftan Jul 18 at 0:11
up vote 1 down vote accepted

(SPOILER ALERT)

You are right that Ravenclaw's line died out. And Valorum is right that Hepzibah Smith's family being descended from Hufflepuff.

Slytherin's descendants have many possibilities. Delphini Riddle, Voldemort and Bellatrix's daughter, is definitely a descendant. There may also be American descendants. Isolt Sayre came to America in 1620. She married a Muggle (No-Maj in America), James Steward, and had 4 children. Two were adopted, so they didn't carry the Slytherin bloodline. They also had biological twin girls, one of which married:

Martha, the elder of James and Isolt’s twins, was a Squib. Deeply loved though Martha was by her parents and adoptive brothers, it was painful for her to grow up at Ilvermorny when she was unable to perform magic. She eventually married the non-magical brother of a friend from the Pocomtuc tribe and lived henceforth as a No-Maj.

We do not know if she had children, but if she did she may still have living descendants, although they would be Muggles (Until a Muggle-born is/was born).

Godric Gryffindor is the most difficult to find descendants of. I could find no article containing his family tree. One photo showed descendants of every founder but Gryffindor. So I looked over lists of families who lived in Godric's Hollow. I found this:

Godric Gryffindor † Ignotus Peverell † Bowman Wright † H. Knighton † D. Williams † Bathilda Bagshot † Dumbledore family (formerly) Potter family (formerly) Abbott family

And my theory began. When searching through Pottermore I found this:

Many readers suspected Harry might be descended from a powerful wizard like Godric Gryffindor. Book seven would reveal his famous ancestor was Ignotus Peverell, the youngest sibling from ‘The Tale of the Three Brothers.'

What if there was a connection between the two? Maybe the Peverells were descendants of Gryffindor. We know Cadmus Peverell (2nd brother), was an ancestor of the Gaunts, meaning he married a Slytherin descendant. So Ignotus could have married a Gryffindor descendent. His son's wife is unknown. Linfred and Henry Potter also have no records of their spouse. That leaves a lot of space for "Ms. Gryffindor" to marry into either the Potters or Peverells. The two families joined some time in the twelfth century:

Linfred’s eldest son, Hardwin, married a beautiful young witch by the name of Iolanthe Peverell, who came from the village of Godric’s Hollow.

Lastly, the etymology of the names. Some of Harry's name definitions are: army commander, mighty in war, and rules the home. Some Godric definitions are: God ruler, rules with God, powerful ruler. They sound very similar. And on one site, part of the descriptions sounded alike. For Harry:

...they often feel misunderstood and could suffer from loneliness...

For Godric:

...often afraid of being misunderstood or unfavourably judged.

I may be totally wrong, or it may have all been J. K. Rowling's master plan.

Both families have a strong tie to Godric's Hollow. The Potters are also a very Gryffindor family (not including Albus Severus). And Harry pulled Gryffindor's sword out of Gryffindor's hat! I think that must have some importance. So that is my theory.

Sources:

https://www.pottermore.com/features/the-potter-family-tree https://www.pottermore.com/features/clues-jkr-gave-us-about-the-harry-potter-books-harrys-friends-and-family
https://www.pottermore.com/writing-by-jk-rowling/the-potter-family http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Peverell_family https://www.pottermore.com/writing-by-jk-rowling/ilvermorny http://www.first-names-meanings.com/names/name-GODRIC.html http://www.first-names-meanings.com/names/name-HARRY.html

  • 2
    A quick formatting tip you can inline your links like: [link text](link). – TheLethalCarrot Aug 1 at 8:11
  • Thanks! I will use that! – Smartie Aug 2 at 15:39

Hepzibah Smith claims to be descended from Helga Hufflepuff.

‘A badger,’ murmured Voldemort, examining the engraving upon the cup. ‘Then this was …?’
‘Helga Hufflepuff’s, as you very well know, you clever boy!’ said Hepzibah, leaning forwards with a loud creaking of corsets and actually pinching his hollow cheek. ‘Didn’t I tell you I was distantly descended? This has been handed down in the family for years and years. Lovely, isn’t it? And all sorts of powers it’s supposed to possess, too, but I haven’t tested them thoroughly, I just keep it nice and safe in here …’

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Additionally, we know that at the point that she met Voldemort she had other living relatives;

Now,’ said Hepzibah happily, taking the boxes from the elf, laying them in her lap and preparing to open the topmost one, ‘I think you’ll like this, Tom … oh, if my family knew I was showing you … they can’t wait to get their hands on this!’

She opened the lid. Harry edged forwards a little to get a better view and saw what looked like a small golden cup with two finely wrought handles.”

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Chapter 20 - Lord Voldemort’s Request.

and

“By the time Hokey was convicted, Hepzibah’s family had realised that two of her greatest treasures were missing. It took them a while to be sure of this, for she had many hiding places, having always guarded her collection most jealously. But before they were sure beyond doubt that the cup and the locket were both gone, the assistant who had worked at Borgin and Burkes, the young man who had visited Hepzibah so regularly and charmed her so well, had resigned his post and vanished.” -

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Chapter 20 - Lord Voldemort’s Request.

Hepzibah was unfortunately killed by Voldemort and it's not known whether her family (or the other Smiths mention in the books and other writings such as Sally Smith and Zacharias Smith) are directly related to her, and hence to Helga, but it's likely that she was survived by her family who, in turn, are likely to be directly related to one of the Hogwarts Founders.

  • 7
    Did Hepzibah have any children? Because if not, I'm not sure she counts as "living" any more than Voldy does. – Kitkat Jul 16 at 18:33
  • 13
    @Kitkat - A fair point. I was going on "relatives seen within the book series" rather than "relatives alive at the end of the books" – Valorum Jul 16 at 18:42
  • 1
    "Sally Smith" was never mentioned in the books, only on Pottermore as one of the "Original Forty" students Rowling created in Harry's year at Hogwarts: pottermore.com/writing-by-jk-rowling/the-original-forty – BolteAltamont Jul 16 at 20:08
  • @BolteAltamont Maybe. But to be fair to Richard it's not really that relevant since as he points out it's not known whether other Smiths mention in the books and other writings ... – Pryftan Jul 18 at 0:15
  • Sally Smith is almost certainly the same character as Zacharias Smith (before JKR finalized the name/gender). – ibid Jul 18 at 0:43

Statistically it is likely that either everybody of magical descent (and maybe the muggleborn too) is a descendant of the founders, or none is.

We know from the discussion infront of the Black family tree that all purebloods are related to each other. Even if they didn't do it consciously, there is no way around it.

Hogwarts was founded more than thousand years ago, that means the founders also lived more than thousand years ago. From Professor Binns

You all know, of course, that Hogwarts was founded over a thousand years ago

If we assume that magicals have children on average at age 50, that is still at least 20 generations. If you go back 20 generation, each person must have more than a million ancestors 20 generations ago. As the population, especially the magical population, was less than one million, it follows that there must be some overlap, in other words, there must be common ancestors between the father and the mother. The only exception is if mother and father are from two distinct subsets of the community. But that only means that the subsets are even smaller than the whole community, which means even more inbreeding. And one generation later the two subsets are not longer unrelated.

So for any of the founders, it is likely that their descendants either died out soon, or that every member of the community is a descendant of them.

This applies also to the Gaunts. Even if they did marry brother and sister for the last few generations, it is likely that they didn't do it for ten or twenty generations.

Edit:
Rowling confirmed this in a web chat in 2007:

Harry and Voldemort are distantly related through the Peverells, Nearly all wizarding families are related if you trace them back through the centuries

  • To those who downvoted, would you care to explain the reason? Do you think the reasoning is not elaborate enough, or do you just not like logic applied to facts? – QuestionAuthority Jul 21 at 17:16
  • I downvoted because it offers nothing by way of confirmation in terms of evidence. – Valorum Jul 21 at 23:03
  • 1
    @Valorum The other answer also offers nothing by way of confirmation in terms of evidence. This provides a very high probability in terms of real life facts and the confirmation by Rowling herself that it is indeed so. – QuestionAuthority Jul 21 at 23:17
  • @QuestionAuthority - Families die out all the time. Although it's likely that the founders are related somehow to living descendants (heck, we're all related if you go back far enough), there's zero evidence in this answer that the founders own particular genes have been passed down – Valorum Jul 28 at 9:35
  • 2
    If someone jumped off a bridge would you too jump of a bridge? Simply because others have failed to provide evidence doesn’t mean yours is suddenly great if it doesn’t as well. – Edlothiad Jul 30 at 6:29

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.