If you were to make a list of 25 famous people you would like to be related to, who would they be? Think about that. Anyone from today, 15 years ago, 50 years ago, 500 years ago. Entertainers, politicians, athletes, actors/actresses, writers, etc.
Genealogy is a subject I’ve had interest in for several years. Like millions of others, I’ve created a family tree (now over 3,000 names), taken the DNA test (Ancestry, for me), and found out all kinds of information I had not previously known about various ancestors, not to mention all the ancestors I’ve discovered. It’s a journey that’s fascinating, at times frustrating, and always fun.
One of very interesting part of doing my family’s genealogy (as well as my wife’s), are the possible relations to famous people. I’ve been getting this information from a free Ancestry app called We’re Related.
We’re Related will take your family tree (I believe minimum requirement is your tree made either back to your grandparents or great-grandparents) and compare it with the other trees on the Ancestry site and lets you know when it finds a possible famous relative. It’s not 100% accurate, because the trees are created by Ancestry members and not every tree is 100% accurate. But it gives you a good starting point in which to do further research to see if you truly are a distant cousin to George Washington or Elvis. And, if you have a Facebook account, it will tell you if any of your Facebook friends are possible relatives. That’s how my wife and I found out we are 8th cousins!
Since downloading the app, last summer, to date (1/25/19), it has given me a list of 213 possible cousins, including four Facebook friends. Out of that 213, 32 are musicians, including 12 Country Music-related acts.
Who are the Country Music performers, and how closely are they possibly related? Below, I’ve included a list. I’ve not yet confirmed these connections, so remember, these are POSSIBLE cousins of mine, according to We’re Related.
John Denver is a possible 8th cousin
Kenny Rogers is a possible 7th cousin, 2x removed
Roy Orbison is a possible 8th cousin, 1x removed
Conway Twitty is a possible 8th cousin, 1x removed
Dolly Parton is a possible 9th cousin (Obviously, her sister Stella is, as well)
Willie Nelson is a possible 8th cousin, 1x removed
Brad Paisley is a possible 8th cousin, 2x removed
Johnny Cash is a possible 9th cousin
Elvis Presley is a possible 7th cousin
Blake Shelton is a possible 8th cousin, 1x removed
Carrie Underwood is a possible 9th cousin
Luke Bryan is a possible 8th cousin, 1x removed
I have done some research into both the possible Elvis and Johnny Cash connections. I’m not 100% certain on the accuracy, but what I’ve found, thus far, seems to lead me to believe these are accurate.
Of course, looking just beyond our world of Country Music, many other interesting names have popped up, as well. Some of them include
The Mannings, Peyton & Eli, plus Andrew Luck (Nice, since I’m a big Colts fan)
Nat King Cole
Both President Bush’s and both President Adams’
Paul “Bear” Bryant
Famous Yankees Derek Jeter, Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig (too bad I’m a Reds fan)
To date, the late actress Rita Hayworth is the closest possible cousin, 5th, 1x removed through my dad’s paternal line.
Speaking of legendary screen stars, both Hepburns, Katherine and Audrey, are possible cousins
Former presidents Reagan, JFK, Obama, Teddy Roosevelt, and Nixon are possible cousins.
Robin Williams, Marlon Brando, Dr. Martin Luther King, Thomas Edison, Marie Antoinette, Grace Kelly, and Dale Earnhardt are some other names that pop up, as well. How many of these are accurate? I know all of them aren’t. I have found a couple of instances where the trees the app had apparently used to make the connections (at least on my side) were in error. Still, it’s fun to look at, and there’s no doubt that at least some of the people on the list, I really am related to. Hopefully, someday, I’ll have them all researched and be able to say, for certain, which ones are.
If you have used the We’re Related app, what celebrities has it given you as possible cousins?
Mike the Country Musicologist is a lifelong music and radio fanatic, lover of vintage agriculture, and big sports fan, including the Colts, Reds, Hurricanes, Pacers, Purdue & Butler Universities. He has collected records since childhood, and focuses on classic country and top 40 oldies music. He convinced Vincennes University to give him an Associate’s Degree in broadcasting. He’s worked for several stations in Indiana and North Carolina. Be sure to follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.