The Wold Newton family is a literary concept derived from a form of crossover fiction developed by the science fiction writer Philip José Farmer.
Farmer suggested in two fictional "biographies" of fictional characters (Tarzan Alive and Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life), that the (real) meteorite which fell in Wold Newton, Yorkshire, England, on December 13, 1795, was radioactive and caused genetic mutations in the occupants of a passing coach.
Many of their descendants were thus endowed with extremely high intelligence and strength, as well as an exceptional capacity and drive to perform good, or, as the case may be, evil deeds.
The progeny of these travellers were purported to have been the real-life originals of fictionalised characters, both heroic and villainous, over the last few hundred years, such as Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, Doc Savage, and Lord Peter Wimsey.
|The Wold Newton Meteorite Monument|
Something, of course, very familiar to a lot of role-players as well who look to create a single, unified game setting for their campaigns and certainly touches on my own dreams for the Knight City Villains & Vigilantes campaign, of one day having a multitude of teams (some face-to-face games, some play-by-email) fighting crime around the fantasy Earth I'm toying with in my head.