Have you ever been jealous when some friend or acquaintance bragged to you about all the famous and/or noble people he had found hanging from his family tree (so to speak)? No need. Odds are, you too have a notable ancestor hiding among the foliage of your family tree! After all, if it could be true for Brooke Shields, it could be true for anyone.
"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 Conqueror and King Harold II, 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.
What is it about Brooke Shields? Well, nothing special -- at least genealogically.
"Even without a documented connection to a notable forebear, experts say, the odds are virtually 100 percent that every person on Earth is descended from one royal personage or another."
(Nod to E-Skojec.com for the link.)
How cool! This, I think, calls for My First Meme:
1. Which famous person would you most like to learn that you are descended from? Pope John Paul II (collaterally, of course). Hey, if Brooke Shields can be descended from five popes, then I can have one of the greatest among them as an indirect ancestor.
2. Which famous person would you hate to learn that you are descended from? Brigham Young. Although with some fifty wives and over fifty known children (source), he's likely to have a multitude of direct and collateral descendants here in the U.S.
3. If you could be ancestor to any living famous person, who would it be and why? Dan Brown. It would give me the chance to make sure there was some decent Christian catechesis in the family that might have molded him into not writing The Da Vinci Code (or, failing that, at least not writing it as it ended up being written).
4. If you could go back in time and meet any known ancestor(s) of yours, who would it be? Direct and collateral ancestors who fought on both sides of the American Civil War. The old adage that that war tore apart families is quite literally true.