Doing family research for all of these years, one would think that I am aware of every famous relation to myself. It wasn't until I read about the Obama/Palin relationship yesterday that I decided to take a deep, deep look into my tree to see if I share some roots with some famous people.
It sounds difficult, but finding famous relations is actually not so hard if one of your family lines has an Ancestral File Number with the LDS. Pick an ancestor at the LDS website, locate the ancestral number next to the name of your ancestor, and enter it at Relative Finder. Then click on what type of report you would like (Presidents, Kings and Queens, etc.), and tah dah...famous. Or in my case, royalty. Royalty? ROYALTY! You've got to be kidding!!
Yes, it turns out that I am directly related through my dad's side (yes, the same guy that lives in t-shirts with sayings on them, faded jeans, and worn out cowboy boots) to some very well-known European royalty, including Charlemagne and William the Conqueror.
I am also distantly related to some extremely well known and very respectable names like George Washington and Winston Churchill. It's an honor to be related to them!
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I am distantly related to three Mayflower passengers (I've always wanted to claim a relation, so woo hoo for me!) , as well as to a signer of the Declaration of Independence. As you may know, I am completely fascinated with the colonial period of American history, and I'm so thrilled to be able to claim relation to some heavy hitters during that time.
But does it matter to me that Edward III of England is my 20th great-grandfather (that's great-grandfather times 20). Heck yeah! I love history and think it's awesome that I am related to all of these people. Can most people claim relation to famous people too? I think so. You have to remember that there wasn't television back in the day. People had to occupy their time doing something!