Golden Globe

From a Family Forest perspective, watching the 61st Annual Golden Globe Awards recently was both fun and frustrating.

In general, it was fun seeing so many famous people being recognized for their mastery of their crafts, and it was fun viewing so many teasers of great productions.

From a Family Forest perspective, it was fun looking for the attendees, presenters, and honorees who are already lineage-linked into the Family Forest. Some of them who appeared on stage were Nicolas Cage, Sophia Coppola, Clint Eastwood, Sarah Ferguson, and the recipient of the lifetime achievement award, Michael Douglas.

Tens of millions of people share ancestors from as recently as the 1600’s with these famous celebrities, and I believe most of those cousins would be truly delighted to discover their own family ties to these celebrities. That’s the frustrating part for me. Why am I having so much difficulty getting people to consider the possibility that this is true?

So far, no one I’ve corresponded with and/or spoken to at A&E Networks, Discovery Communications, Disney, Warner Brothers, and a number of other Hollywood entertainment companies seems to believe that it is even possible that 1) they own programming and/or movies that portray the actual ancestors of many tens of millions of living people, and 2) tens of millions of living people share early American ancestors with a number of Hollywood celebrities.

Knowing they’ll eventually wake up at some point, I returned to growing the Family Forest so that the ancestral connection points move generations closer to the huge audiences that have personal family ties to Hollywood programming and movies.

One of the first people I looked at in the Family Forest World Record Edition (WRE) was a presenter at the Golden Globes, Sarah Ferguson. Although the WRE can fill in more than 3,940,650 boxes on her 40-generation ancestor chart, I spotted several of her ancestral dead ends that I could quickly extend.

In less than three hours I was able to make connections that will fill in millions of additional boxes on her ancestor chart when the next Family Forest edition is released.

While I was extending many of Sarah Ferguson’s ancestral pathways many centuries, I simultaneously filled in more than 3,887,975 boxes on the ancestor charts of her two nephews, Prince William and Prince Harry.

Which major media is going to be the first to either acknowledge these incredible claims, or try to prove us wrong?

The Royal Channel

Channel definition: 6) a means of access. 7) a course of direction. 8) a route through which anything passes or progresses. (from The Random House College Dictionary)

On page 432 of the September 2003 issue of Vanity Fair magazine, Prince Ernest August of Hanover is said to have been 54th in line to the British throne before he relinquished his right of succession.

The ability to make this determination proves that detailed genealogical records extend for quite a distance from kings and queens. Sources that are frequently referenced to grow the Family Forest show that this type of record keeping has been standard operating procedure for thousands of years, and furthermore, a large amount of the results of that record keeping has survived to present day.

What happens when computer technology is applied to systematically digitally map out all of the known surviving recorded history about the genealogical data in and near the Royal Channel during the last two thousand years?

No one knows yet. But we are getting much closer to knowing, as the Family Forest project progresses, and some very interesting phenomena are appearing.

Linking in the present day claimants to ancient European royal thrones this week magnified one phenomenon that had previously appeared. The center of the Royal Channel of ancestral history is extremely interconnected.

In fact, we have already connected enough of the dots of recorded royal ancestry of even the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of kings to produce maps of pedigree charts with millions of boxes filled in. These maps can be seen by starting with one of many thousands of people in the World Record Edition who lived in the 1800’s.

So imagine what happens when the youngest claimants to royal thrones are lineage linked to a dozen or dozens of their ancestors who lived in the 1800’s and who already have millions of boxes filled in on their ancestor charts. Maps can be seen (as soon as technology permits) with tens of millions of boxes filled in on their ancestor charts.

The most interesting phenomenon concerning the Royal Channel is especially important to everyone who still believes the Royal Channel has nothing to do with him or her.

I believe with absolute certainty that within your own ancestry during the previous twenty generations, you have actual ancestors who are already lineage-linked into the Royal Channel in the Family Forest.

This means that beyond a certain point some centuries ago, many of the famous kings and queens you have read about or seen in movies are people you deserve to call grandfather or grandmother, preceded by some number of “greats.”

Key Largo

The Turner Classic Movie presentation of Key Largo was perfect timing, and not just because of all of the present hurricane focus. I had just finished creating a number of Kinship Reports of Hollywood personalities from the Family Forest World Record Edition for the new Family Forest Hollywood Relations CD, and along came a movie that has three of its key characters within the Family Forest.

I receive addition enjoyment from movies like Key Largo when I can look at a map of ancestral pathways that shows that, according to recorded history, I share ancestors with one or more of the actors. Many millions of people share 1600’s ancestors with past and present Hollywood icons, and I am certain they will also receive this addition enjoyment when they discover their own connections to the stars.

The Hollywood icon with one of the best Kinship Reports in the Family Forest Hollywood Relations CD is Humphrey Bogart. Below are illustrations of how interconnected family ties actually are within a four or five century time frame.

Some of the interesting relationships of Humphrey Bogart are:

6th cousin once removed of President Warren G. Harding.
6th cousin twice removed of Major-General George B. McClellan.
6th cousin 4 times removed of Phineas Taylor “P.T.” Barnum.
7th cousin once removed of President Millard Fillmore.
7th cousin twice removed of Louisa May Alcott.
7th cousin twice removed of General Abner Doubleday.
8th cousin twice removed of Lucille Ball.
8th cousin twice removed of President Grover Cleveland.
8th cousin twice removed of Wilbur and Orville Wright.
9th cousin of Bing Crosby.
9th cousin once removed of Johnny Carson.
9th cousin once removed of Hugh Hefner.
9th cousin once removed of Peter Fonda.
10th cousin of Anthony Perkins.
10th cousin of Pete Seeger.
10th cousin once removed of President George Herbert Walker Bush.
10th cousin twice removed of President George Walker Bush.
10th cousin twice removed of President Ulysses S. Grant.
12th cousin 12 times removed of Anne Boleyn.
13th cousin 7 times removed of President George Washington.

Some of the numerous Family Forest surnames that belong to Humphrey Bogart’s cousins in his Kinship Report include:

Abbott, Adams, Alcott, Alden, Aldrich, Alexander, Allen, Andrews, Armington, Arnold, Ashley, Avery, Babcock, Bacon, Bailey, Baker, Bakewell, Balch, Baldwin, Ball, Bancroft, Barclay, Barker, Barnard, Barnes, Barnewell, Barney, Barstow, Bartlett, Bassett, Batcheller, Bates, Batte, Baxter, Bayly, Beal, Bearce, Bell, Benedict, Bennett, Berkeley, Bernard, Bertie, Bicknell, Bierce, Billings, Bingham, Blakistone, Blatchford, Blount, Bolles, Bond, Booth, Boothe, Bosworth, Bothe, Bourchier, Bourne, Bowen, Boyd, Boyden, Boyle, Bradbury, Bradford, Bradstreet, Brandon, Breed, Brent, Brereton, Brewster, Brooke, Brown, Browne, Bruce, Bruen, Bruges, Buell, Bulkeley, Bullitt, Burdg, Burgh, Burlingame, Burnham, Burrough, Burroughs, Bush, Bushnell, Butler, Butterfield, Cabot, Caldwell, Camp, Campbell, Capell, Capron, Carey, Carmichael, Carpenter, Carson, Carter, Catlin, Cavendish, Cecil, Chandler, Chapman, Cheever, Chesebrough, Chester, Chipman, Church, Churchill, Claiborne, Clapp, Clark, Clarke, Cleveland, Clifford, Clifton, Clinton, Cobb, Codman, Cogswell, Coit, Cole, Collins, Coney, Constable, Conway, Conyers, Cook, Cooke, Coot, Cope, Corbet, Cornwallis, Cotton, Cowles, Cox, Cotymore, Cranston, Crary, Crichton, Crocker, Crosby, Culpeper, Cummings, Cunningham, Curtis, Curzon, Cushman, Dacre, Danby, Dandridge, Daniels, Danvers, Darcy, Davis, Dean, Delafield, Deming, Denison, Denny, Derby, de Vere, Devereux, Dewey, Digby, Diggs, Disney, Dodge, Doubleday, Douglas, Drummond, Drury, Dudley, Dundas, Dunham, Dunlop, Dutcher, Eastman, Eddy, Edson, Edwards, Egerton, Eldredge, Ely, Emerson, Emery, Epes, Eppes, Erskine, Eure, Everett, Fairfax, Fallows, Fane, Farnese, Farnsworth, Farnham, Farwell, Fenwick, Field, Fienes, Fiennes, Fillmore, Fiske, Fitzalen, Fitzgerald, Flagg, Fleet, Fleete, Fleetwood, Fleming, Foliot, Folliott, Folsom, Fonda, Forbes, Ford, Forster, Foster, Fowler, Freeman, Frink, Fuller, Fulton, Gallup, Galpin, Gascoigne, Gaylord, Geer, Gifford, Goodrich, Gordon, Gore, Gorges, Gorham, Gould, Graham, Grant, Graves, Gray, Green, Greene, Gregory, Greville, Grey, Griffith, Griswold, Hale, Hall, Hallett, Hamilton, Harding, Harlakenden, Harris, Haskins, Hastings, Hawley, Hay, Hefner, Henderson, Hepbron, Hepburn, Hersey, Hewitt, Hickok, Hickox, Hills, Hobart, Hodgkins, Holland, Hollister, Holmes, Holt, Home, Hook, Hooker, Hopkins, Hopton, Houghton, Howard, Howe, Howland, Hudson, Hull, Humphrey, Hungerford, Hunt, Huntington, Hurd, Hussey, Hutchinson, Hyde, Innes, Isham, Jackson, Jenks, Johnson, Jones, Judd, Keeler, Heith, Kellogg, Kennedy, Kent, Ker, Kerr, Ketchum, Kimball, King, Kinney, Kirkland, Kirkpatrick, Kitchel, Kitchell, Knapp, Knight, Knowles, Knyvet, Knyvett, Ladd, Laflin, Lambart, Lanier, Leach, Lee, Leete, Leffingwell, Leigh, Le Scrope, Lewis, Lincoln, Lindsay, Little, Livingston, Lloyd, Logan, Loomis, Lothrop, Lovel, Low, Lowe, Ludlow, Lugg, Luttrell, Lygon, Lyman, Lyon, MacKenzie, Macomber, Macy, Mallory, Manners, Marbury, Marvin, Maule, Maverick, Maxwell, May, Mayhew, McCall, McClellan, McClung, McCormick, McIntosh, Medbery, Meriwether, Merrick, Mills, Miner, Minor, Molesworth, Montgomery, Moody, Moore, Mordaunt, Morgan, Morse, Muirhead, Murray, Nelson, Nevill, Neville, Newberry, Newcomb, Newell, Niles, Noel, Norris, North, Norton, Noyes, Ogle, Oliphant, Otis, Oxenbridge, Page, Paget, Paine, Palmer, Park, Parke, Parker, Parks, Parr, Parsons, Paston, Patterson, Paulet, Payne, Peabody, Peck, Pelham, Pendleton, Percy, Perkins, Peters, Petre, Pettibone, Peyton, Phelps, Philbrick, Pierce, Pierrepont, Pillsbury, Pitkin, Pole, Pollock, Pond, Ponsonby, Poole, Porter, Powers, Pratt, Puglsey, Purmort, Quincy, Randolph, Ratcliffe, Rawdon, Reade, Remington, Reynolds, Rice, Rich, Roberts, Robertson, Rogers, Rowe, Rowley, Ruggles, Russell, Ruthven, Sackville, Saltonstall, Sanborn, Sandford, Sandys, Sargent, Savage, Scott, Searle, Seeger, Seton, Seymour, Shaffer, Shallcross, Shaw, Sheldon, Sherman, Sherwood, Shipman, Shute, Sinclair, Skipwith, Smith, Snell, Snow, Somerset, Somerville, Soule, Southard, Southworth, Spencer, Spotswood, Spottswood, Sprecher, Stafford, Stanley, Stanton, Stapleton, Starr, Steele, Stevens, Stewart, St. George, Stinson, St. John, St. Leger, Stoddard, Stone, Strong, Stuart, Sturgis, Sullivan, Swift, Sydney, Symonds, Taintor, Talbot, Talcott, Tallmadge, Tallmon, Taylor, Tempest, Tennant, Thacher, Thompson, Throckmorton, Thwing, Tichborne, Tilghman, Tobey, Torrey, Tower, Towne, Tracy, Tredwell, Trowbridge, Tryon, Tucker, Tyrrell, Vernon, Villiers, Vincent, Wadhams, Wakefield, Waldegrave, Waldo, Wales, Walker, Waller, Walton, Warburton, Ward, Warner, Warren, Washburn, Washington, Waterman, Watkins, Watrous, Watson, Wattles, Webb, Webster, Weld, Welles, Wells, Wentworth, West, Wharton, Wheeler, Whitcomb, White, Whiting, Whitney, Whittingham, Wiggin, Willard, Willcox, Williams, Willis, Willoughby, Wilson, Windsor, Wingfield, Winslow, Wise, Witter, Wood, Woodbridge, Woodbury, Woodhouse, Woodhull, Woodward, Worth, Wotton, Wright, Wriothesley, Wrisley, Wroth, Wyatt, Wyche, Wyer, Wyllys, Wyndham, and Young.

Famous Cousins

Set aside the common misconceptions about our ancestry we have all grown up with, and consider the following thoughts, which appear to be highly likely from exploring the recorded history mapped out within the Family Forest(tm).

It has been estimated that a typical couple living in the early 1600’s who had children and grandchildren can have, as a rule of thumb, more than one million living descendants today.

If it were possible (it only rarely, if ever, is) to see a map of all of one’s own ancestral pathways back to the early 1600’s, most of us would find that we descend from literally hundreds of different early 1600’s couples. For simplicity, let’s just round that off to only one hundred different couples for now.

Most, if not all, of those early 1600’s couples on an individual’s chart have a number of descendants who would also trace their own ancestral pathways back to a number of the other early 1600’s couples on an individual’s chart.

So it is probably an overstatement to say that each person today shares early 1600’s ancestors (which makes them varying degrees of distant cousins) with 100 million other people.

But it is probably safe to say that each of us shares early 1600’s ancestors with at least ten million other people, and most likely tens of millions of other people.

So how many of the ten million or more people who share early 1600’s ancestors with Katharine Hepburn (or Humphrey Bogart, or Clint Eastwood, or Tom Hanks, or Reese Witherspoon, or Britney Spears, etc.) know it? How many will be delighted when they find out?

How do you think you will feel when you discover that some of the very famous people you see on the big screen and on television are actually your own cousins?

Gods and Generals

If moviegoers knew how much delight they could be experiencing, they would be very interested in discovering their own personal family ties to the characters in Gods and Generals (and its sister film, Gettysburg), so they can add a new and exciting dimension to their own movie experiences.

We’ve been busy connecting a number of the key characters in both movies into the Family Forest. Here’s a sampling of some of the interesting connections so far.

General Robert E. Lee’s (portrayed by Robert Duvall in Gods and Generals, and by Martin Sheen in Gettysburg) family ties is a story by itself. Just through his early 1600’s ancestors, tens of millions of moviegoers share ancestors with him. For instance,

Start with one of General Robert E. Lee 1600’s ancestors, Captain Robert Higginson, and look at his descendants. Two of them are Lieutenant-General James Longstreet (portrayed by Bruce Boxleitner in Gods and Generals, and by Tom Berenger in Gettysburg) and General Lewis A. Armistead (portrayed by John Prosky in Gods and Generals, and by Richard Jordan in Gettysburg).

Other people who show up on Captain Robert Higginson’s descendant chart include both Presidents Harrison, Martha Dandridge (America’s first First Lady), General George S. Patton, the founders of Pillsbury, Irving Berlin, and people who are the ancestors of hundreds of thousands of people.

Or start with just one more of General Robert E. Lee’s many 1600’s ancestors, Colonel Augustine Warner, and look at his descendants. People who show up on his descendant chart include Lee Marvin, VP Stevenson, Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, Meriwether “The Explorer” Lewis, General George S. Patton, President Washington, the British Royal Family, and again, people who are the ancestors of hundreds of thousands of people.

Back to Confederate General Longstreet, he also shares 1600’s ancestor Captain Adam Thorogood with the wife of Union General (later President) U.S. Grant, as well as with F. Scott Fitzgerald, and again, people who are the ancestors of hundreds of thousands of people.

Lieutenant-General Ambrose Powell “A. P.” Hill (portrayed by William Sanderson in Gods and Generals, and by Patrick Falci in Gettysburg), through his wife Kitty Morgan, is the brother-in-law of Brigadier-General John Hunt Morgan, the famous Confederate raider.

People who show up on the Morgan descendant chart from the 1600’s include, in addition to the two generals just named, Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Princess Diana, Tennessee Williams, VP Fairbanks, Julia Child, J. P. Morgan, President Harding, and Major-General George Brinton McClellan (portrayed by James Parkes in Gods and Generals).

General McClellan also shares a 1600’s ancestor, Mayflower Pilgrim Elder William Brewster, with Katharine Hepburn, Julia Child, VP Hannibal Hamlin, Bing Crosby, President Hoover, Buffalo Bill Cody, President Taylor, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Alan Shepard the astronaut.

A descendant chart of Thomas Early & Elizabeth Johnson who came to VA from England shows some of their descendents being Lieutenant-General Jubal Anderson Early (portrayed by MacIntyre Dixon in Gettysburg) and Major-General John Buford, Jr. (portrayed by Sam Elliott in Gettysburg), as well as one other Union general and one other Confederate general.

Some of the other people in the Family Forest who are also in one or both of these movies are General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson (portrayed by Stephen Lang in Gods and Generals), Major-General Isaac R. Trimble (portrayed by William Morgan Sheppard in both Gods and Generals, and Gettysburg), Major-General James Lawson Kemper (portrayed by Royce D. Applegate in both Gods and Generals, and Gettysburg), General Edward Porter Alexander (portrayed by James Patrick Stuart in Gods and Generals), Major-General George Edward Pickett (portrayed by Bill Campbell in Gods and Generals, and by Stephen Lang in Gettysburg), and Colonel Waller Tazewell Patton (portrayed by Ted Turner in Gettysburg).


Yesterday I caught part of a 1939 historical film on Turner Classic Movies called “Juarez.” After visiting Internet Movie Database, Inc. to learn more about the cast and characters, I discovered a number of interesting connections in the Family Forest.

The first character I explored was Emperor Maximilian (portrayed by Brian Aherne). His 20-generation ancestor chart fills in 247,318 boxes, meaning that almost 25% of his ancestry over a six-century timeframe is mapped out in the Family Forest.

The second character I explored was Emperor Maximilian’s wife, the former Maria Charlotta of Belgium (portrayed by Bette Davis). Her 20-generation ancestor chart fills in a lesser but still sizable 16% (165,646 boxes) of her ancestry during the same timeframe in the Family Forest.

Emperor Napoleon III (portrayed by Claude Rains) was lagging way behind. His 20-generation ancestor chart only filled in 5,546 boxes (about one half of one percent).

The interesting part was first seeing that all three of these characters have ancestral pathways that reach some of the same common ancestors many centuries ago, and then discovering that Bette Davis is also descended from some of the ancestors. One common ancestor to all four is King Henry II of England (portrayed by Peter O’ Toole in the1968 movie “The Lion in Winter,” and Patrick Stewart in the 2003 made-for-TV version).

So Bette Davis shares ancestors with the character she played in “Juarez,” the wife of the character she played, and Emperor Napoleon III. I wonder if the possibility ever crossed her mind?

While I was exploring Bette Davis’ ancestry, I stopped on another one of her ancestors, Robert Charlton (1450-1522), and displayed a 20-generation outline report of his descendants in the Family Forest.

A quick look through the 48-page outline revealed a number of well-known names, including, Howard Hughes, Katharine Hepburn, Lee de Forest (important inventor in the radio & television industries), members of the du Pont family, General William Tecumseh Sherman, Cole Porter, President Teddy Roosevelt, the National Geographic Grosvenors, both Presidents Bush, Alan Shepard (the astronaut), Norman Rockwell, John Hancock, President Coolidge, and members of the Ford and Firestone families.

This means several things about each of these people. In the Family Forest it’s possible to point-and-click travel from each of these people through fully sourced family ties to reach each of the other people. It’s possible to travel from each of these people through fully sourced family ties to reach Bette Davis. It’s possible to travel from each of these people through fully sourced family ties to reach at least three of the key characters in “Juarez.”

Old (and new) movies become so much more captivating when one discovers his or her own personal family ties to people in the cast and crew, and these delightful experiences are waiting to be found by each of us.


Last night Kristine and I channel-surfed to Turner Classic Movies in time to catch only a small part of the full showing of D.W. Griffith’s classic 1916 silent film “Intolerance.” (for a great in-depth review by Tim Dirks, see )

We were immediately pulled in, and as usually, I was pre-occupied with the connections between the film and the Family Forest. The star, Lillian Gish, and at least one of the extras, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., are already in the Family Forest and a number of the characters from The French Story segment are lineage-linked to centuries of family ties that travel forward and backward through almost the entire 2,500 year timeframe of the movie.

But what really caught my attention was the age of some of the older actors. Although the earliest one of the named actors was born in 1850, some of the old men extras appear to have been in their eighties.

This means that some of the actual people you see in “Intolerance” would have been born in the late 1820’s or early 1830’s, which is about the time that some of my great-great-grandparents were born.

Some of those old actors could have served in the Civil War 50 years earlier, and may have even fought in the same battles portrayed in the new “Gods and Generals” movie.

Theoretically, (assuming an average generation length of twenty years) there can be people alive today who are the grandchildren of the grandchildren of the grandchildren of some of those old extras in “Intolerance.”

Even if some of your ancestors did not appear in “Intolerance,” you still have numerous family ties to the movie, through two different routes (the characters and the actors).

First, considering the timeframe of the movie, some of your ancestors were almost 100% certain to have been portrayed in at least the two earlier stories within the movie.

Second, I believe it is virtually impossible for anyone reading this to not share early 1600’s ancestors with a number of the actors in “Intolerance.”

Deep in the Heart of Texas

My brother and I each spent a very different day in Texas last week.

For him, the journey required a jet. For me, only books were needed.

For him, the trip was present day only. For me, the trip spanned more than a century and a half.

For him, he was only able to visit Fort Worth. I virtually visited Fort Worth, along with Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and The Alamo, the Hill Country, some of the world-famous Texas ranches, and many points in between.

He was able to meet only a few people IRL (in real life). I was able to see a wealth of fascinating Texas history through the lives of hundreds of Texans, a number of which are our cousins through our Montague ancestors. Some of them included Texas Rangers, America’s first lady Ambassador to Britain, the woman the Buick Electra was named after, political and business leaders, Civil War veterans, and a sports commentator.

I don’t know if he took any virtual side trips. My exploration triggered a number of pleasing recollections from my personal memory archives, including swimming in an absolutely crystal clear stream among the cypress trees on the outskirts of Wimberley.

I’m not sure what his mission was. My mission was to find, extend, and digitally map more Family Forest ancestral pathways into and out of Texas.

At the end of the day, numerous additional ancestral pathways that began in Rome, Scandinavia, England, France, Germany, New England, Virginia, etc. centuries earlier had reached Texas. Some of our neighbors who see me at the keyboard almost all the time are probably shaking their heads and thinking, “The poor guy never gets to go anywhere.” But they don’t need to feel sorry for me. At the beginning of each day, I am fortunate enough to be able to wonder “Where, and when, will my travels take me today?”

Don Juan

Last night Kristine and I tuned into the 1926 version of Don Juan on Turner Classic Movies. After listening to Robert Osborne’s enticing introduction, I wanted to just kick back and enjoy the movie. But it was not to be.

As with most classic movies I try to watch these days, I keep going back to the Family Forest 2002 Edition for historical perspective. I’m searching to see which of the characters and/or actors are already included in the Family Forest, and how they are related to other famous people and/or people who may also be watching the movie.

When I did a relatives search on the star of Don Juan, John Barrymore, it was not surprising to find his famous brother, Lionel Barrymore, and John’s granddaughter, E.T. star Drew Barrymore.

The surprises came when I was scrolling through the 3,404 names that appeared in the relatives Match List and found Humphrey Bogart, Sir Winston Churchill, Vice President Charles Dawes, President Pierce, both Presidents Adams, both Presidents Bush, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana.

I then did a relatives search on the co-star of Don Juan, Lucille V. “Mary Astor” Langshanke. Her list was much smaller (449 people) but I was surprised again, as I also found both Presidents Adams in her relatives Match List.

Two of the key characters in Don Juan are Lucrezia Borgia and her brother Cesare. Both are in the Family Forest 2002 Edition, and Lucrezia is the ancestor of another famous Hollywood actress, Brooke Shields.

While looking further at Brooke Shield’s ancestry (once I begin following my curiosity, it’s hard to stop), I found multiple ancestral lines leading back to the same Eleanor of Aquitaine who was an ancestor of Katharine Hepburn (and portrayed by Katharine in The Lion in Winter, see

Other than the inconvenience of running into the other room to check the computer, the Family Forest really enhances our enjoyment of classic movies, and continues to surprise us with the interconnected family ties of the casts, characters, and audience of Hollywood movies.

From Servant, to Ancestor of Kings

I just entered a person into the Family Forest who sometime this century will most probably become an ancestor of kings.

His name is Francis Coote, Esq., of Eaton, in Norfolk, England. According to Burke’s, Francis was a servant to Queen Elizabeth I.

A number of centuries later, one of his descendants, Diana Frances Spencer, would marry a prince and become the mother of two sons who are in line to become king.

Over hundreds of years, surprising things can happen that would be almost impossible to imagine. When one of Princess Diana’s sons becomes king, who would have been more surprised, Queen Elizabeth I, or Francis?

Queen Elizabeth I was never, and will never be, an ancestor of kings. Would it ever have crossed her mind that someone who was a servant to her was destined to become an ancestor of kings of her kingdom?

On a trying day of complying with royal wishes, would Francis have ever grumbled to himself “One day my descendants will be in charge here!”?