Family Ties to Napoleon

After looking through the Member’s Bulletin of the Napoleonic Society of America (, I decided to try a Find: Relatives search for everyone in the beta 2002 Pre-Release Family Forest who is, according to recorded history, lineage-linked to Napoleon.

After a long search, Family Explorer found 73,478 people who were lineage-linked to Napoleon in the Family Forest as of February 10, 2002. Due to a 32-bit technical limitation, only the first 32,000 people could be displayed on the alphabetic Relatives List.

The last person to appear on the list was Jeannette Belle Hinchlift (23rd cousin 4 times removed), so we’ll have to wait to see the exact relationships of anyone whose surname comes after Hinchlift. But there are many recognizable names in the first 32,000 of Napoleon’s Family Forest relatives. Some of them are:

Julius Caesar, 66th great-granduncle
Mark Anthony, 64th great-grandfather
El Cid, 24th great-grandfather
William the Conqueror, 23rd great-granduncle
Earl Roger “The Surety” Bigod, 22nd great-grandfather
King Phillip III the Bold of France, 18th great-grandfather
King John II of France, 16th great-grandfather
King Henry IV the Great of Navarre & France, 5th great-grandfather
King George III of Great-Britain, 5th cousin once removed
Queen Elizabeth II of Great-Britain, 6th cousin 5 times removed
President John Quincy Adams, 22nd cousin once removed
President Buchanan, 15th cousin 3 times removed
Both Presidents Bush, 17th and 18th cousins 6 times removed
President Garfield, 23rd cousin 2 times removed
President Grant, 22nd cousin once removed
Both Presidents Harrison, 22nd cousin and 22nd cousin twice removed
Vice President Fairbanks, 21st cousin twice removed
Katharine Hepburn, 18th cousin _ times removed
Michael Douglas, 18th cousin 7 times removed
and yours truly, 22nd cousin 7 times removed

Even though it is a very distant relationship, I’m sure I would have paid
much more attention in school if I knew then that I had actual family ties
to Napoleon.

Wouldn’t most students have a greater interest in history, and an
inspiration to greatness, if they knew their own family ties to the
fascinating people who created it?

Most Recent Common Ancestor

It’s always nice to find reinforcement for what many believe are my way-out-in-leftfield theories. Some reinforcement from Mark Humphrys and others was found at

They use the term Most Recent Common Ancestor, abbreviated as MRCA, to refer to the search for the couple closest to present time that each and every one of us will reach if we could follow all of our own ancestral pathways far enough into the past.

There is a statement about midway through that says “when you go far enough back, every individual is either an ancestor of the whole world today, or else is an ancestor of no one alive today.” It then goes on to suggest that “far enough back” may be 700 AD, at least for the Western world.

This is the concept I was trying to describe in the Gladiator Captain’s Log Each and every person portrayed at the Coliseum, both in the stands and in the arena, was either an ancestor of all of us, or an ancestor of none of us.

Most of the records about most of our ancestors have been irretrievably lost forever. However, by looking at the patterns of genetic migration that can be seen by connecting the recorded history that has survived, we can gain fascinating insights into the wondrous and colorful ancient ancestry that was truly our own.