Jennifer Lawrence got an unexpected invitation to Thanksgiving dinner this year from her cousin Jeremy Renner:
The offer was unexpected because Lawrence and Renner had no idea they were related until Ancestry and People released the story a few days before.
The two were costars in 2013’s American Hustle, and this year, both took to the screen again in larger-than-life roles. Lawrence’s compelling portrayal of Katniss Everdeen, the post-apocalyptic archer leading a national revolution in the Hunger Games saga, has made her one of the most memorable cinematic heroines in recent memory. And Renner’s Hawkeye is part of the all-star cast that led Avengers: Age of Ultron to the impressive 1 billion dollar club.
Now it turns out the pair have more in common than just their characters’ formidable archery skills. Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner are 5th cousins, once removed!
The really remarkable thing is, researchers at Ancestry just happened to stumble on the relationship when they were looking for something else.
When the team at Ancestry began looking for a family connection between Lawrence and her Hunger Games pal Josh Hutcherson, Jeremy Renner wasn’t on their radar. The possible Katniss-Peeta connection wasn’t a complete shot in the dark, since both Lawrence and Hutcherson have deep Kentucky roots. But the research went nowhere, according to Ancestry family historian Michelle Ercanbrack, so they kept the trees they created on file for future reference and moved on.
Fast-forward a few months, and the genealogists found themselves looking into Jeremy Renner’s family tree, where they came across a Tague family in Kentucky that seemed familiar. Once they realized that Renner and Lawrence shared the line, connecting the two didn’t take long at all. Their common ancestor is Robert Tague, a farmer, who is Lawrence’s 5th great-grandfather on her father’s side and Renner’s 4th on his mother’s side. That makes JLaw and Jeremy 5th cousins once removed. (The “once removed” business just means that Lawrence, who is 25, is a generation younger than Renner, 44.)
Finding a relationship this close is rare—even if you are looking for it. Ercanbrack says finding a connection this close between the stars was shocking even to the research team.
“With how closely Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner are related, we’re surprised they haven’t bumped into each other at a family reunion,” she joked.
Or maybe a holiday dinner.
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