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Genealogy Blog

28 January 2014

New York City Commissioner: My Ancestors Were Slaves of Benedict Cumberbatch's Family

She is the grand-daughter of Caribbean immigrants to America who has just been appointed to a top job by Bill de Blasio, New York's new mayor. He is the dashing British actor who stars as Sherlock Holmes in the hit television series on both sides of the Atlantic and plays a plantation owner in the Oscar-nominated film 12 Years A Slave.

Despite their very different backgrounds, Stacey Cumberbatch and Benedict Cumberbatch apparently do not just share a distinctively English-sounding surname.

Source & Full Story

26 January 2014

Are You Related to Ellen DeGeneres?

DeGeneres was born on January 26, 1958 in Metairie, Louisiana, the daughter of Elizabeth Jane DeGeneres (née Pfeffer), a speech therapist, and Elliott Everett DeGeneres, an insurance agent. She is of French, English, German, and Irish descent.

She has one brother, Vance DeGeneres, who is a producer and musician. DeGeneres was raised as a Christian Scientist until the age of thirteen. In 1973, DeGeneres's parents filed for separation and were divorced the following year.

Ellen DeGeneres' Family Tree

24 January 2014

Megan Smolenyak, The Roots Detective, Takes a Look at Jimmy Fallon’s Irish Side

Since even Jimmy’s Irish roots are quite diverse, exploring a chunk at a time will make his ancestry easier to follow, and his only American-born great-grandparents, William and Mary Fallon, provide a logical place to dive in.

Departing the old country in sporadic bursts between 1841 and 1883, William and Mary’s parents and grandparents were the first of Jimmy’s ancestors to make their way to the United States. Launching the immigrant parade were William Fallon’s grandparents, Henry and Mary (née O’Brien) Stickevers, who alighted with an infant son on July 17, 1841.

Source & Full Story

17 January 2014

Are You Related to Michelle Obama?

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson was born on January 17, 1964, in Chicago, Illinois, to Fraser Robinson III, a city water plant employee and Democratic precinct captain, and Marian (née Shields), a secretary at Spiegel's catalog store.

Her mother was a full-time homemaker until Michelle entered high school. The Robinson and Shields families can trace their roots to pre-Civil War African Americans in the American South. Specifically, she is descended from the Gullah people of South Carolina's Lowcountry region. Her paternal great-great grandfather, Jim Robinson, was an American slave on Friendfield Plantation in the state of South Carolina, where some of her paternal family still reside.

Michelle Obama's Family Tree

6 January 2014

Are You Related to Phil Everly?

Phil Everly, one half of the rock and country duo the Everly Brothers, has died Jan. 3, in California at the age of 74.

He was born on January 19, 1939 in Chicago, Illinois. Don and Phil father, Ike Everly, was a musician and had a show on KMA and KFNF in Shenandoah, Iowa, in the 1940s, with his wife Margaret and two young sons. Singing on the show gave the brothers their first exposure to the music industry. The family sang together and lived and traveled in the area singing as the Everly Family.

Phil Everly's Family Tree

4 January 2014

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. 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 Loveless's Family Tree

30 December 2013

Are You Related to Del Shannon?

Del Shannon was born Charles Weedon Westover 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.

Del Shannon's Family Tree

18 December 2013

Are You Related to Katie Holmes?

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

13 December 2013

Are You Related to Taylor Swift?

Taylor Alison Swift was born on December 13, 1989 in Reading, Pennsylvania. Her father, Scott Swift, is a Merrill Lynch financial adviser. Scott was raised in Pennsylvania and is the descendant of three generations of bank presidents. Her mother, Andrea (née Finlay), is a homemaker who previously worked as a mutual fund marketing executive. Andrea spent the first ten years of her life in Singapore, before settling in Texas.

She attended preschool and kindergarten at the Alvernia Montessori School, run by Franciscan nuns, and was later educated at the Wyndcroft School, a co-ed private school.

Taylor Swift's Family Tree

8 December 2013

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 ancestry included English, Scottish, and Irish.

Jim Morrison's Family Tree

27 November 2013

Are You Related to Jimi Hendrix?

Jimi Hendrix was born on November 27, 1942 in Seattle, Washington, USA. He was of a mixed genealogy that included African American, Irish, and Cherokee ancestors.

His paternal great grandmother, Zenora, was a full-blooded Cherokee from Georgia who married an Irishman named Moore. In 1883, they had a daughter whom they named Zenora "Nora" Rose Moore, Hendrix' paternal grandmother. The illegitimate son of a black slave woman named Fanny and her white overseer, Jimi's paternal grandfather, Bertran Philander Ross Hendrix (born 1866), was named after his biological father, a grain dealer from Urbana, Ohio, and one of the wealthiest white men in the area at the time.

Jimi Hendrix's Family Tree

25 November 2013

Burglars Steal A Laptop Holding Family History

A chauffeur has branded those responsible for stealing a laptop containing his family’s history “scum of the earth”. Richard Arrandale discovered his home in Oxford Road, Kidlington, had been burgled when he returned home from work.

Thieves had taken the family’s washing machine, dishwasher, two televisions, a stereo system and a DVD player. Also stolen was the laptop which contained a 12-year family history project which his father, Bryan Arradale, aged 87, had been working on.

Source & Full Story

23 November 2013

Are You Related to Miley Cyrus?

Destiny Hope Cyrus was born on November 23, 1992, in Nashville, Tennessee, to Letitia Jean "Tish" (née Finley) and country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. Her name was derived from her parents' belief that she would accomplish great things with her life, and was given the nickname "Smiley", later shortened to "Miley", because she often smiled as an infant.

Against the advice of her father's record company, Cyrus's parents secretly married a month after Cyrus's birth on December 28, 1992.

Miley Cyrus' Family Tree

21 November 2013

Signature of Reagan's ancestor found on 1841 census

Hidden among tens of thousands of signatures on the 'largest farewell card' in the world was a link to the future US president.

In spindly letters on the Morpeth Roll, Thomas Reagan – the great-great-grandfather of the late US president Ronald Reagan – from Ballyporeen, Co Tipperary, signed his name in 1841. He was one of 160,000 Irish people who wanted to thank the outgoing chief secretary of Ireland, reforming Whig George Howard, Lord Morpeth, for his work towards improving conditions.

Source & Full Story

The Mother Who Gave Away Three Babies By Knocking On The Doors of Total Strangers And The Astonishing Heartwarming Story of How The Siblings Were Reunited After 60 Years

No one will ever know what went through the young mother’s mind as she knocked on doors, begging strangers to take her three-month- old daughter.

It was the summer of 1946 in the Potteries village of Bucknall. She was turned down twice before the third stranger agreed to take her baby in. At which point Rosemary, then 28, promptly disappeared to fetch the baby’s few belongings from her lodgings around the corner.

Source & Full Story

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