Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Australia, Famous Faces

We’ve been doing some research into the 2013 character of the hotly anticipated film, The Great Gatsby. Through some careful digging it appears that life, or family history in this case, imitates art for some of the lead characters.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s (Gatsby) great grandfather went from a street sweeper in 1900 (shown in the 1900 U.S. Census record below) -

to real-estate broker in 1930 (shown in the 1930 U.S Census record below). Like the character he plays in the film, the rise of the Nouveau riche, seems to be in the DiCaprio’s blood!

The Great Gatsby love story is epitomised in Tobey Maguire’s great grandparents tale of love conquering all. Through researching his family tree it appears that Tobey’s Great grandparents on his father’s side are from opposite ends of the world but found true love with one another. Bartholomeus Kropfl (Tobey’s great grandfather) is from Austria while Ana (Tobey’s great grandmother) is from Puerto Rico.

Director Baz Luhrmann it appears has his own tale of a rise from rags to riches. Baz’s 5th great grandfather, Pierce Collits, owned a famous inn in the Vale of Clwydd (near Lithgow) in the early 1800s. He came to arrive in Australia as  he was convicted of receiving stolen goods and was sent from Thomastown, County Kilkenny, Ireland to Australia in the early 1800s with his wife and children.

Over the years, he was involved in the community as a constable, pound-keeper and inspector of cattle and eventually built his Inn in Val of Clwydd. For 10 years it was the most famous landmark on the arduous trek from Sydney to the ever-expanding town of Bathurst.  A road was eventually built that bypassed the inn causing Collits to move his business to Little Hartley where he built another inn known as the Grand Fleece Inn (which stands today)!

And just look what happened when radio hosts Fitzy and Wippa told actress Carey Mulligan about her family history! View the clip.

Uncover your family story today at Ancestry.com.au.