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Genealogy Blog

28 March 2015

Are You Related to Lady Gaga?

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta was born on March 28, 1986 at the Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, New York City, to a Catholic family.

She is the elder daughter of Cynthia Louise "Cindy" (Bissett; born c. 1955), and internet entrepreneur Joseph Anthony "Joe" Germanotta, Jr. Gaga is of 75 percent Italian ancestry, and also has French Canadian ancestry. Her sister Natali (born c. 1992) is a fashion student.

Lady Gaga's Family Tree

26 March 2015

Are You Related to Diana Ross?

Diana Ross was born on March 26, 1944 at Hutzel Women's Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. The second-eldest child of Ernestine (née Moten; January 27, 1916 – October 9, 1984), a schoolteacher, and Fred Ross, Sr. (July 4, 1920 – November 21, 2007), a former United States Army soldier, Ross would later say that she didn't see much of her father until he had returned from service following World War II.

Much has been made of whether her first name ends in an "a" or an "e". According to Ross, her mother actually named her "Diane" but a clerical error resulted in her name being recorded as "Diana" on her birth certificate.

Diana Ross' Family Tree

24 March 2015

Angie Harmon 'Finds a Relative Who Was Bought and Sold' as a Slave

Angie Harmon discovered her fifth great-grandfather Michael was an indentured servant in the latest teaser of TLC's Who Do You Think You Are.

The 42-year-old actress - who always believed she was of Greek, Irish and Native American descent - made a surprising discovery when she traced all the way up her family tree. The Rizzoli & Isles star searched through old family records to find more information regarding her ancestor who emigrated from Germany as a slave.

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19 March 2015

Are You Related to Glenn Close?

Close was born on March 19, 1947, in Greenwich, Connecticut, the daughter of socialite Bettine Moore Close and William Taliaferro Close, a doctor who operated a clinic in the Belgian Congo and served as a personal physician to Congo/Zaire President Mobutu Sese Seko.

Her father was a descendant of the Taliaferros of Virginia; her paternal grandfather, Edward Bennett Close, a stockbroker and director of the American Hospital Association, was first married to Post Cereals' Marjorie Merriweather Post.

Glenn Close's Family Tree

12 March 2015

Millions of People Are Descended From Genghis Khan and 10 Other Asian Dynastic Leaders, Researchers Find

Geneticists from the University of Leicester have discovered that millions of modern Asian men are descended from 11 powerful dynastic leaders who lived up to 4,000 years ago – including Mongolian warlord Genghis Khan.

The study, which is funded by the Wellcome Trust and published in the journal European Journal of Human Genetics, examined the male-specific Y chromosome, which is passed from father to son, in more than 5,000 Asian men belonging to 127 populations.

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10 March 2015

Are You Related to Edie Brickell?

Brickell was born on March 10, 1966, in Oak Cliff, Dallas, Texas, to mother Larry Jean (Sellers) Linden and father Paul Edward Brickell. She has one older sibling, Laura. She attended high school at the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas. She attended Southern Methodist University until she joined a band and decided to focus on songwriting.

In 1985, Brickell was invited to sing one night with friends from her high school in a local folk rock group, New Bohemians. She would join the band as lead singer.

Edie Brickell's Family Tree

2 March 2015

Are You Related to Karen Carpenter?

Carpenter was born on March 2, 1950, in New Haven, Connecticut, the daughter of Agnes Reuwer (née Tatum) and Harold Bertram Carpenter.

When she was young, she enjoyed playing baseball with other children on the street. On the TV program This Is Your Life, she stated that she liked pitching. Later, in the early 1970s, she would become the pitcher on the Carpenters' official softball team. Her brother Richard developed an interest in music at an early age, becoming a piano prodigy. The family moved in June 1963 to the Los Angeles suburb of Downey.

Karen Carpenter's Family Tree

25 February 2015

Revealed: Benedict Cumberbatch Is a Descendant of Slave owners in Barbados

Almost five years ago, a hand-written letter arrived at the stage door of London’s National Theatre, where Benedict Cumberbatch was starring in a revival of Terence Rattigan’s After The Dance.

It came from the actor’s cousin, Helen Ashton, who had discovered ‘something interesting’ about their shared ancestry stretching back to when the family’s fortune was made from sugar and slavery in Barbados.

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22 February 2015

Are You Related to Drew Barrymore?

Barrymore was born on February 22, 1975, in Culver City, California, to American actor John Drew Barrymore and Jaid Barrymore (née Makó), an aspiring actress.

Barrymore's mother was born in a Displaced persons camp in Brannenburg, West Germany, to Hungarian World War II refugees. Barrymore's father was of English, Irish, and German ancestry. Her parents divorced in 1984, when she was nine years old. She is one of four children with a half-brother, John Blyth Barrymore, who is also an actor, and two half-sisters, Blyth Dolores Barrymore and Jessica Blyth Barrymore (Brahma).

Drew Barrymore's Family Tree

18 February 2015

Immigrants Made Up 1% of the Population in Medieval England, Researchers Find

About one out of every hundred people in late medieval England was an immigrant, according to researchers at the universities of York and Sheffield. They have also launched a new database that offers details about 65,000 immigrants who lived in England between 1330 and 1550.

The England’s Immigrants project was created by these universities with support from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). It is led by Mark Ormrod, of the University of York’s Centre for Medieval Studies.

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17 February 2015

Why British People Are Looking for Ancestors in India Decades After the Raj Ended

In the middle of 2013, an odd piece of news hit the international pages of Indian newspapers.

DNA-testing showed that Prince William of the United Kingdom had some Indian ancestry on his maternal side around eight generations ago. The British, who had so long ruled India, were now set to be ruled by someone who had Indian blood.

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Are You Related to Hal Holbrook?

Holbrook was born on February 17, 1925, in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Aileen (Davenport) Holbrook, a vaudeville dancer, and Harold Rowe Holbrook, Sr.

After being abandoned by his parents at age two, he and his two sisters were raised by his paternal grandparents, first in South Weymouth, Massachusetts, and then in the Cleveland suburb of Lakewood. He graduated from the Culver Academies and Denison University, where an honors project about Mark Twain led him to develop the one-man show for which he is best known, a series of performances called Mark Twain Tonight.

Hal Holbrook's Family Tree

10 February 2015

Are You Related to Laura Dern?

Dern was born on February 10, 1967, in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd, and great-granddaughter of former Utah governor and Secretary of War, George Dern.

The poet, writer, and Librarian of Congress Archibald MacLeish was her great-great-uncle. Laura Dern's film debut was a cameo in her mother's film White Lightning (1973).

Laura Dern's Family Tree

30 January 2015

Are You Related to Gene Hackman?

Hackman was born on January 30, 1930, in San Bernardino, California, the son of Lyda Hackman (née Gray) and Eugene Ezra Hackman. He has a brother, Richard.

He has Pennsylvania Dutch (German), English, and Scottish ancestry, and his mother was born in Canada. His family moved frequently, finally settling in Danville, Illinois, where they lived in the house of his English-born maternal grandmother, Beatrice. Hackman's father operated the printing press for the Commercial-News, a local paper.

Gene Hackman's Family Tree

26 January 2015

Are You Related to Ellen DeGeneres?

DeGeneres was born on January 26, 1958, in Metairie, Louisiana, the daughter of Elizabeth Jane "Betty" Pfeffer, a speech therapist, and Elliott Everett DeGeneres, an insurance agent. She has one brother, Vance, a musician and producer.

She is of French, English, German, and Irish descent. She was raised as a Christian Scientist until age 13. In 1973, her parents filed for separation and were divorced the following year.

Ellen DeGeneres' Family Tree

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