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Genealogy Blog

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

17 January 2015

Are You Related to Jim Carrey?

James Eugene Carrey was born on January 17, 1962, in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, to Kathleen (née Oram), a homemaker, and Percy Carrey (1927–1994), a musician and accountant. He has three older siblings, John, Patricia, and Rita. He was raised Roman Catholic.

His mother was of French, Irish, and Scottish descent and his father was of French-Canadian ancestry (the family's original surname was Carré).

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Battle of Waterloo: Search for UK Soldiers' Descendants

A search is being launched for Britons whose ancestors fought at Waterloo, on the 200th anniversary of Britain and its allies' victory over Napoleon.

Hundreds of thousands of people in the UK are estimated to have relatives who fought in June 1815. The campaign is one of several events planned to commemorate a turning point in European history.

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16 January 2015

Where Have All the Scots Irish Gone? Numbers Way Down

The 2013 census survey showed 3 million Americans with Scots Irish ancestry in 2013. That’s way down from 5.4 million in the 2006 census.

It is not clear what caused the drop, but it does seem that Scots Irish ancestry is far less valued than it used to be or people are just referring to Irish ancestry if the census figures are correct. In 2013 33 million Americans were of Irish descent according to the latest figures. The combined total is 36 million of Irish extraction if you include the 3 million Scots Irish.

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9 January 2015

Are You Related to Lee Van Cleef?

Clarence Leroy "Lee" Van Cleef, Jr. was born on January 9, 1925 in Somerville, New Jersey, the son of Marion Levinia (née Van Fleet) and Clarence LeRoy Van Cleef Sr. Both of his parents were of Dutch ancestry. The rumor that Van Cleef's mother was also of Indonesian ancestry has been proven false.

At the age of 17, Van Cleef obtained his high school diploma early in his senior year in order to enlist in the United States Navy in September, 1942.

Lee Van Cleef's Family Tree

8 January 2015

Jersey Deportees to Australia Shown in Archive Book

A cattle thief and a brothel owner who murdered a police officer were among Jersey residents deported to Australia in the 19th Century.

A book showing details of deportees has been made public by the Jersey Archive. The Transportation Register is the last of its kind and also includes information on more than 60 convicts sent from the island to Australia.

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4 January 2015

Are You Related to Patty Loveless?

Patty Lee Ramey was born on January 4, 1957, the sixth of seven children to John and Naomie Ramey outside of Pikeville, Kentucky on 4 January 1957. Although born in Pikeville, the family lived in Elkhorn City, Kentucky where her father was a coal miner.

Patty Ramey's interest in music started when she was a young child. In 1969, when she was twelve, the Ramey family moved to Louisville, Kentucky in search of medical care for John Ramey, who was afflicted with "Black Lung Disease" (Coalworker's pneumoconiosis). Patty would attend Fairdale Jr. High school for two years, and Fairdale High for four, graduating in 1975.

Patty Loveless' Family Tree

30 December 2014

Are You Related to Del Shannon?

Charles Weedon Westover was born on December 30, 1934, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and grew up in nearby Coopersville. He learned ukulele and guitar and listened to country and western music, including Hank Williams, Hank Snow, and Lefty Frizzell.

He was drafted into the Army in 1954, and while in Germany played guitar in a band called the Cool Flames. When his service ended, he returned to Battle Creek, Michigan, and worked as a carpet salesman and as a truck driver in a furniture factory. He found part-time work as a rhythm guitarist in singer Doug DeMott's group called Moonlight Ramblers, working at the Hi-Lo Club.

Del Shannon's Family Tree

21 December 2014

Are You Related to Samuel L. Jackson?

Jackson was born on December 21, 1948, in Washington, D.C. and grew up as an only child in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

His father lived away from the family in Kansas City, Missouri, and later died from alcoholism. Jackson only met his father twice during his life. Jackson was raised by his mother, Elizabeth Jackson (née Montgomery), who was a factory worker and later a supplies buyer for a mental institution, and by his maternal grandparents and extended family. According to DNA tests, Jackson partially descends from the Benga people of Gabon.

Samuel L. Jackson's Family Tree

18 December 2014

Are You Related to Katie Holmes?

Kate Noelle "Katie" Holmes was born on December 18, 1978 in Toledo, Ohio. She is the youngest of five children born to Kathleen (née Stothers), a homemaker and philanthropist, and Martin Joseph Holmes, Sr., an attorney.

She has three sisters and one brother: Tamera, Holly Ann, Martin Joseph, Jr., and Nancy Kay. Holmes was baptized a Roman Catholic and attended Christ the King Church in Toledo. She graduated from the all-female Notre Dame Academy in Toledo (also her mother's alma mater), where she was a 4.0 student.

Katie Holmes' Family Tree

8 December 2014

1890 Census Records for Waterville, Maine, Gets Reprinted as New 284-Page Book

You may know that 99 percent of the 1890 U.S. Census was destroyed by fire years ago, leaving an unfortunate gap between the 1880 and 1900 censuses.

Some communities have put together a kind of “substitute census” using other local records, but in Waterville, there remains a copy of the 1890 Census — the real thing. Thanks to the efforts of Taconnett Falls Chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society, “Waterville, Maine Census of 1890” has been reprinted.

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Are You Related to Jim Morrison?

James Douglas Morrison was born on December 8, 1943 in Melbourne, Florida, the son of Clara Virginia (née Clarke) and future Rear Admiral George Stephen Morrison.

Morrison had a sister, Anne Robin, who was born in 1947 in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and a brother, Andrew Lee Morrison, who was born in 1948 in Los Altos, California. His ancestors were Scottish, Irish, and English. In 1947, Morrison, then four years old, allegedly witnessed a car accident in the desert, in which a family of Native Americans were injured and possibly killed.

Jim Morrison's Family Tree

28 November 2014

Are You Related to Anna Nicole Smith?

Born Vickie Lynn Hogan on November 28, 1967 in Houston, Texas, and raised in Mexia, Texas, Anna Nicole was the daughter of Donald Eugene Hogan (July 12, 1947 – September 19, 2009) and Virgie Mae (née Tabers; born July 12, 1951), who married on February 22, 1967 and divorced on November 4, 1969.

She had five half siblings including half-sister Donna Hogan. Anna Nicole was raised by her mother and aunt. Virgie subsequently married Donald R. Hart in 1971. After Virgie married Donald, Anna Nicole changed her name from Vickie Hogan to Nikki Hart.

Anna Nicole Smith's Family Tree

26 November 2014

How England’s 1% Remained the Same Since 1066

If your surname reveals that you descended from the “in” crowd in the England of 1066—the Norman Conquerors—then even now you are more likely than the average Brit to be upper class.

To a surprising degree, the social status of your ancestors many generations in the past still exerts an influence on your life chances, say Gregory Clark of the University of California, Davis, and Neil Cummins of the London School of Economics.

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23 November 2014

Are You Related to Miley Cyrus?

Destiny Hope Cyrus was born on November 23, 1992, in Franklin, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville, to Letitia Jean "Tish" Finley Cyrus and country singer Billy Ray Cyrus.

She grew up on a 500-acre (2.0 km2) farm in Franklin. Her name was derived from her parents' belief that she would accomplish great things, and she was given the nickname "Smiley", later shortened to "Miley", because she often smiled as an infant.

Miley Cyrus' Family Tree

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