Sunday, July 2, 2006

Royal Roots for All?

The AP writer, Matt Crenson, has two articles in today's newspapers concerning ancestry of most living people to famous figures in history.

In "Genealogists Discover Royal Roots for All", he asserts that since Brooke Shields has many famous people in her ancestry, including English kings, the Medicis, five popes, even Mohammed, that the rest of us must have them too.

Actress Brooke Shields has a pretty impressive pedigree - hanging from her family tree are Catherine de Medici and Lucrezia Borgia, Charlemagne and El Cid, William the Conquerer and King Harold, vanquished by William at the Battle of Hastings.

Shields also descends from five popes, a whole mess of early New England settlers, and the royal houses of virtually every European country. She counts renaissance pundit Niccolo Machiavelli and conquistador Hernando Cortes as ancestors.

Pretty impressive work, all of that.

Later in the article, the writer discusses one potential ancestor of Brooke Shields - Mohammed. But there are several "problem children" in the line.

It's an interesting article, based of course on the works of genealogists specializing in medieval genealogy, coupled with math experts in probability.

It may even spur an interest in genealogy, at least amongst movie stars, sports figures and politicians, all trying to out-do Brooke's ancestral findings. Maybe there will even be work for poor struggling genealogists.

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