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Genealogy Blog

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

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

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