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If the questions “Am I related to anyone famous?” or “Am I related to royalty?” have recently crossed your mind, our quick guide to genealogy will help you answer both.
Whether you are creating your family tree or simply curious about your ancestors’ history, the research can be quite fun.
Tracing your lineage and descent from ancestors can be done by using historical records that will help you find out who you are related to. To do this:
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If you have ever wondered: “Am I related to Robert E. Lee, Jesse James, Hitler, or a Knight Templar?” you will not only have to trace back your own ancestry but also theirs to find out.
Aside from going back several generations in your family tree, you will also need to follow as many side branches as possible.
This extensive research will provide you with more information and more potential points where your genealogical history may have crossed paths with that of a famous person or member of a royal family.
One of the advantages of searching for famous relatives or royalty as opposed to family members that are less known is the amount of information that is easy to find about more well-known people.
Once you have a list of names from generations of your own family, as well as a second list from those of the famous ancestor you suspect you may be related to, you will need further information to help you discover your connection.
Some useful places to look for genealogical information regarding a possible connection with celebrities or royalty include:
A great way to get started can be reading the biography of this relative which can often be easily found on the internet. Royal family members’ lives and celebrities’ lives have been amply documented in books and the media as well.
Old newspapers can be quite valuable, especially for finding obituaries, marriage announcements, references of the famous relative’s participation in historical events, or accounts of their daily life
Historical records such as vital records can help you learn more about your famous relatives as well as verify information cited elsewhere.
In states where records are open, you may be able to obtain a birth certificate copy quite easily. In others, if the event was recorded less than 75 years prior, you may have to provide proof of legitimate interest.
Famous people are often cited on cemetery websites, complete with photographs and locations of their tombstones and final resting places. This may, in turn, help you uncover further information and facilitate obtaining a copy of their death certificate or their birth certificate.
Lineages of renowned families can often be found online as well. Many heritage and lineage society publications or platforms also offer valuable sources of genealogical background information for famous individuals or royal families.
Aside from the resources mentioned above, and regardless of whether you are tracing back your ancestry in general, or specifically looking for famous relatives, DNA tests can prove useful.
The growing popularity of this type of genetic testing has opened new possibilities by helping users compare their results with those of others to find matches. Once users send their DNA sample back to have it processed, they are given access to the data of matching relatives who share parts of their DNA.
Although this service is not designed specifically for finding out whether you have famous relatives, it can help you connect the dots quite efficiently by opening the door to more family records of distant relatives.
Once you know their names and basic information, you can request a copy of their birth certificate, marriage, divorce, or death certificate. This, in turn, will provide you with more information that can lead you to accurately discovering more details about your family lineage.
Fortunately, there is a vast amount of information that has become available through databases and online resources.
There are also free web resources that can help you in your family history that do not involve DNA testing. Some of these websites compile family trees and other genealogical information to help users figure out whether they are related to celebrities or other famous historical figures.
Some useful online genealogy databases that you can check out include:
In this digital age, tracing back your ancestry has become much easier than in the past when records were exclusively kept on paper. Good luck with your search!