This is one of the most common questions I have heard researchers ask. With all the famous people in the world past and present, there is a strong chance there will be at least one well known person in your line.
For instance, a few years ago a distant cousin sent a large amount of information to me about my father’s line. Included in this information was a simple pedigree listing. Well to my surprise it states that we are in fact related to the sister of Thomas Jefferson, King Alfred of England, and a Catholic Saint. Who knew! I was shocked to say the least.
Some time ago I saw a clip on the news about President George W. Bush and it showed just a few of the famous persons he was in fact linked to by family lineage. Please take a look at the clip and see if you are as intrigued as I was after seeing just who was listed.
CBS News “The Early Show” and the New York Post http://www.veoh.com/videos/v138895659BzmHbJ
It is amazing to me to think just how we are connected to so many other people. If you are from a small town, you probably already know this. I smaller communities, many families are connected by blood lines or by marriage at least. Most everyone is somehow connected. And a word of caution, be careful who you talk about, they maybe someone’s brother. (funny, but true). In big cities or communities, this is not as common. Much more research will need to be done to locate your ancestors.
Along these lines, I just read a small article in US Magazine April 14, 2008.
It states Quote, “If you go back far enough, we’re all related to someone famous” says Ancestry.com’s Megan Smolenyak. After all, if you rewind 10 generations, your family may be composed of more than 100,000 descendants. And many of these celeb relatives-research by Ancestry.com and the New England Historical Genealogical Society-are cousins once or twice removed. (A cousin once removed means the child of one’s cousin. Twice removed means the grandchild.)
Finding famous kin is mainly a matter of following a paper trail (e.g., land records, wills). Curious to know yours? Gather family records, then plug in the info at a site like Ancestry.com or HeritageQuestOnline.com.
A pictorial Family Tree of sorts is included in the magazine article and theses are some of the connections:
Hillary Clinton:Madonna-10 cousin, Alanis Morissette-9th cousin once removed, Celine Dion-10th cousin, andAngelina Jolie-9th cousin twice removed.
Barack Obama:Brad Pitt-9th cousin, Gerald Ford-10th cousin once removed, Lyndon B. Johnson-4th cousin thrice removed, and George W. Bush-10th cousin, once removed.
John McCain: Laura Bush-6th cousin Tom Hanks:William Shakespeare-distant relative and William the Conqueror-Distant Relative
Oprah Winfrey:Lisa Marie Presley-Distant Cousin
Britney Spears: John Edwards-7th cousin, thrice removed
Princess Diana: Jake & Maggie Gyllenhaal-10th cousins, thrice removed, Andrew Firestone-10th cousin, thrice removed, Nancy Reagan-10th cousin, Katharine Hepburn-17th cousin, twice removed.
To help you find your “FAMOUS PEOPLE”, the Sweetwater County Library System provides two genealogy databases for your use: Ancestry Library Edition and Heritage Quest Online.
Click on www.sweetwaterlibraries.com and click on Databases.
For more information contact your local library.
Who are you related to? Share with us.