The Meanings of 6 Celebrity Surnames

Posted by Ancestry Team on March 19, 2015 in Celebrity, Surnames

Surnames, like the families and lineages they represent, can bestow a sense of identity on individuals to forge into the future with. Knowing the meaning of surnames can also help individuals discover their roots and where they originate. Sometimes, the meanings of family surnames are obvious, particularly if they originate in the same language spoken… Read more

Fascinating Secrets From 6 First Ladies’ Family Trees

Posted by Ancestry Team on March 19, 2015 in Celebrity

Think the U.S. presidents have interesting ancestry? Their wives come from equally surprising bloodlines. Here are six first ladies with amazing family trees. Hillary Clinton is related to Angelina Jolie. According to a study by the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Hillary Clinton and Angelina Jolie are ninth cousins twice removed. Their common ancestor is… Read more

5 Famous People You Didn’t Know Were Kicked Out of College

Posted by Ancestry Team on March 2, 2015 in Celebrity

Even successful people hit bumps along the way. It’s reassuring to see that these famous people went on to do very well, even though they were expelled from college, whether for academic reasons or…other circumstances. Check out some of these fantastic—and entertaining—finds from the School Lists & Yearbooks collections on Ancestry. Edgar Allan Poe The author had… Read more

You Won’t Believe Who Abraham Lincoln’s Relative Is

Posted by sdalton on February 18, 2015 in Celebrity

After researching more than three centuries of Abraham Lincoln’s family tree, Ancestry family historians have revealed a Lincoln family secret: famous actor George Clooney is related to the former president. The family bloodline for both notable figures links to Lincoln’s maternal grandmother, Lucy Hanks. Due to this common ancestor, Clooney is Lincoln’s half-first cousin five… Read more

Decoding History: Ancestry of Benedict Cumberbatch Revealed

Posted by Paul Rawlins on February 11, 2015 in Celebrity, Military Records

New research reveals that actor Benedict Cumberbatch is related to revolutionary code breaker Alan Turing, whom he portrays in the newly released biographical thriller, The Imitation Game. Researchers from Ancestry were able to crack Cumberbatch’s ancestral cipher and identify that both men share a common ancestor in John Beaufort, the Earl of Somerset, making them 17x… Read more

First Foodie: What Presidents Ate in the White House

Posted by Ancestry Team on January 28, 2015 in Celebrity

From a love of French cuisine to down-home barbecue, each president brings his own tastes to the White House. While not all our commanders-in-chief were epicures, they inevitably influenced our ancestors’ eating habits. Here’s a look at some presidential palates. Thomas Jefferson As minister to France, Jefferson couldn’t get enough of the cuisine in Paris.… Read more

Pilgrims’ Progress: 7 Celebrities Who Are Mayflower Descendents

Posted by Ancestry Team on December 30, 2014 in Celebrity

Visit any town in Massachusetts for a day, and there’s a good chance someone will point to a big fancy house and say, “That family’s been here since the Mayflower.” But it isn’t just wealthy New Englanders who can claim they’re descended from those first Pilgrims. Not at all. Given how far and wide families… Read more

10 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Are Scottish

Posted by Ancestry Team on September 29, 2014 in Celebrity

On September 18, 2014, Scottish voters decided not to sever their 307-year-old union with England and become an independent country, free from any official ties to the United Kingdom. The question divided the country, roiled the UK, and drew the gaze of the world. More quietly, Scotland has attracted the attention of television drama fans… Read more

Vanessa Williams Explains Her Family Tree

Posted by wexon on September 26, 2014 in Celebrity

The following appeared in the Los Angeles Times, April 27, 2013. Written by Jessica P. Ogilvie. The world within Vanessa Williams 5 QUESTIONS Most of us are curious about our family lineage. For Vanessa Williams, who recently took part in the show “Who Do You Think You Are” and explored her family’s history, the task… Read more

8 Celebrities With Asian Ancestry

Posted by Ancestry Team on July 21, 2014 in Celebrity

For decades, Asian characters in Hollywood films and television shows were commonly played by non-Asian actors, and then for a few more decades, the only Asians portrayed were martial artists in action flicks. Even in today’s increasingly multicultural America (according to the 2010 census, 5.6 percent of the population is Asian, and it’s the fastest-growing… Read more