There’s one common human thread that everyone shares, whether you’re Cindy Crawford, an office worker in Munich or you have the most important job of all (Mom, of course) in Salt Lake City-everyone wants to know where, and who, they came from. Genealogy is the study and tracing of your lines of descent, and everyone’s story line is unique. No matter what your ancestors did, knowing your roots doesn’t determine who you are, but it sure does offer some insight (not to mention some great conversation starters).
Celebrities are just like us, except people are a lot more interested in finding out what’s in Kelly Clarkson’s grocery cart than the peanut butter and broccoli you’re pushing around. It comes as no surprise that when it comes to genealogy, we can’t get enough of finding out who our favorite A-listers ancestors were. Here are some of the most shocking celebrity genealogy revelations-so far.
Digging Up History
Zooey Deschanel may be best known for epitomizing “adorkable,” especially on her show New Girl, and it seems like she comes from a long line of strong women. One of her ancestors was Sarah Henderson Pownall, an abolitionist who helped blaze trails-and left plenty of documentation behind to prove it. The forward-thinking Pownall’s actions, beliefs and dreams are clear, so maybe there’s a seed of truth to the whole nature vs. nurture debate since Deschanel is known for her free loving ways.
If it seems like some people have all the luck, Cindy Crawford’s ancestral roots seem to prove it. The un-aging supermodel recently discovered that she’s related to Ernest Hemingway. As if being the descendant of a literary giant wasn’t enough, Crawford is also distantly related to an Italian king and Charlemagne. With royalty and greatness running in her blood, Crawford has said that’s “Not bad for a girl from the Midwest.”
It All Started with a Big Bang?
Jim Parsons, best known for playing Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory, has revealed that his great-grandfather six times over was the “architect first class” to the King of France in the late 18th century. While visiting France, Parsons got to experience what every genealogist works towards: Seeing first-hand the result of an ancestor’s hard work. Stepping into a historic church that his ancestor designed and helped to build, there’s nothing like a tangible artifact to remind all of us just how real our roots are.
Not everyone is related to royalty, we can’t all trace our lineage back a thousand years, and sometimes-most of the time-the most incredible of stories aren’t laced with paparazzi and celebrities. Each story is thrilling, mesmerizing, heartbreaking, inspiring and filled with joy because they’re real. There’s no telling what a person will unearth when they start digging into their family history. There may be dead ends and family rumors dispelled or proven, but a glimpse into the past can be an excellent springboard into a more well-informed future.