[APG Public List] celebrity connections to royaltyorfamous historical people

Myra Vanderpool Gormley myravg at wamail.net
Fri Jun 25 15:55:24 MDT 2010

Joan --
I think it is human nature to want to know about our R&F (rich and famous, even infamous) connections -- hence that's why we have all these stories handed down in American families  about being related to presidents, explorers, adventurers,  military "heroes, " Indian princesses," Jesse James, Salem witches, Pocahantus, et al.. It is this curiosity that often propels us to begin a genealogical search to learn the truth. While possible links to nobility and royalty were of more interest 100-150 years ago and they still exist, that  interest does not appear to be on the scale that it once was. (Personally, I think that curiosity was more about potential money/inheritance than in genealogy.)
Genealogical connections to others more than 100-150  years in the past is usually a "yawner" and not nearly as "cool" as learning you're a cousin to an astronaut, movie star, singer, or that great-grandma really did have Native American heritage.
The media informs and entertains -- but it is not particularly good at educating  in depth (think "sound bytes"). Nevertheless, you have a wonderful opportunity to stress that it is the quest for the truth and facts about one's ancestry, rather than any R&F ties, that  is the real push behind genealogical  research today. Finding out the truth about your family and its role in history is what brings the greatest pleasure. 
Myra Vanderpool Gormley
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