Some years ago, my brother and I did some research on my father's side of the family. Using transcribed parish records, Mormon fiches (the Mormons have very good records) and local library searches we managed a direct line back to the 1500s in the South Hams of Devon and found one reference to land ownership in South Huish, S.Devon in 1428. With more effort we could probably get back further still. Lapthorn was Loppedethorn.
We are related (1700s link) to the Gosport sail-makers Ratsey and Lapthorn who made the sails for HMS Victory.
As far as I can tell, we were "ordinary" folk: mariners, millwights, etc. I have not found links to nobility or royalty!
This represents 13 generations back to the 1500s. My research has been corroborated by fellow genealogist Norman Ford.
As yet, I have not checked out other branches. For each generation back there are 2 trees, so go back 13 generations and there are a vast number of possible ancestoral lines! I am still humbled to think that ALL these ancestors had to have lived and breathed for me to be here today, right back ti the beginning of time. Life is indeed precious.