Thursday, November 30, 2017

Am I Related to William Shakespeare?

I read an article about Prince Harry's fiancee, Meghan Markle, and that she was related to William Shakespeare and Winston Churchill.  I know my grandchildren (and maybe a cousin or two) will be amazed by this, so I wondered if perhaps I, and they, were also related to Shakespeare and Churchill also, and therefore are cousins of Meghan Markle.  for the record, we've already determined that we are related to Prince Harry through British Royals.

1)  I started with, which told me, yes, you are related to William Shakespeare:

So it looks like William Shakespeare (1564-1616) is my 5th cousin 12 times removed.  My line goes back to John Whalesborough (1380-1518) and Joan Raleigh, through their daughter Anne, and cousin Bill's line is through their daughter Elizabeth.  NOTE: this is through my Richmond/White line.

2)  What about WikiTree?  

The closest relationship found on WikiTree was that cousin Bill and I are 7th cousins 11 times removed.  The common ancestor 20 generations back is Henry Webb (1350-1397).  There are other, more distant, relationships, but not the relationship found by  NOTE: this is through my Richmond/White line.

3)  What about FamilySearch Family Tree?  

According to FamilySearch Family Tree, I am not directly related to William Shakespeare.  I am however, related to Anne Hathaway, William's wife.  The common ancestor is Robert Hathaway, (1500-1545) Anne's grandfather.  He is my 13th great-grandfather.  This makes me Anne Hathaway's first cousin 13 times removed.  NOTE: this is through my Carringer/Auble line.

4)  So the answer is MAYBE.  Three different online family trees, three different answers.  Hmmm.  If I am related, I think it's certain that I didn't inherit any of cousin Bill's talent, creativity or wisdom through one of those lines.

But this was a fun genea-diversion on a cloudy day here in the genea-cave in Chula Vista.

Are you related to William Shakespeare?  And therefore to Meghan Markle?


Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver

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