Family social status tends to remain relatively fixed for centuries regardless of environment changes. According to a new study published in the book 'The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility' by Gregory Clark, social status is just as inherited as height.

From an American Conservative book review:
"The intergenerational correlation in all the societies for which we construct surname estimates—medieval England, modern England, the United States, India, Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, Chile, and even egalitarian Sweden—is... much higher than conventionally estimated. Social status is inherited as strongly as any biological trait, such as height... Clark introduces us to the reality of this persistence of status with a few notable examples. For instance, the family of famed diarist Samuel Pepys has had high social status from 1500 until today, while that of Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web, apparently has been upper crust since the Domesday Book of 1086. And in noting the many prominent members of the Darwin family, he remarks, 'It is also interesting that Darwin’s fourth-generation descendants include Adrian Maynard Keynes and William Huxley Darwin.' The elite tend to marry the elite."
The book destroys the idea of white privilege with stunning revelations about the persistently low status of French Canadian immigrants. If white privilege is so important in modern American society, why do the very white French have such a hard time succeeding?
"And if white privilege is really a major force in the United States, what are we to make of the persistently low social status of French Canadian immigrants, a group of people that is, after all, pretty darned white, and many of whom have been in the States for a couple of centuries? (I had no idea this low social status was even the case before reading Clark’s book. Did you?)."
One of the questions I asked after reading several article on this new research was whether religiosity runs in a family? Is there a sort of religious elite that parallels the economic upper class?

The reasons I suggest this question is that I've noticed this kind of thing among my peers. Most of the highly religious people I know come from families who have been highly religious for generations. Even if the children don't maintain the same beliefs, their spiritual zeal is similar to that of the their parents.

My own family is highly religious, and is descended from groups that were involved in both the First and Second Great Awakenings. I have an ancestor listed in 'Fox's Book of Martyrs.' My extended family is also highly religious, but the one adopted member of my father's family is not. Interesting.