Is someone famous in your family tree?

Are you a descendant of a notable character in history?  Many families tell stories of a famous ancestor - a king or explorer, an actor or rogue - and a surprising number of these family legends turn out to be true.  So how can you find out about your own ancestral celebrities?

The first step in finding out if you're the descendant of a famous person is to find the relevant genealogy.  For many historical figures, a great deal of family history research has been done already.  If your own family tree leads back to one of these individuals, then verifying the story can be simple.

If the famous ancestor's family tree is not well documented, you can do the research yourself to establish the line of descent.  Such work will be simpler if you have access to a research library or collections of private papers, or if you have the help of a known descendant.

If your family tree doesn't seem to link up, but you still believe you are a descendant, you may have other ways to discover if the claim is true.  Family papers and documents may tell the story of an illicit relationship - one not formally acknowledged by the official records, but factual nonetheless.  Some claims of being a descendant can be verified or disproved by DNA analysis, but that requires the cooperation of the acknowledged family.

The simplest way to discover your famous ancestors is to share the research done by other descendants. allows you to grow your family tree with help from thousands of other researchers.  As the world's oldest Internet family tree, offers you rich opportunities to find your place in the world.

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