Interesting reading today after genealogy researchers Ancestry.com discovered that Madonna and the newest judge on American Idol, Ellen DeGeneres, are 11th cousins.
The family tree experts have found that the two entertainers are related through a common 10th great-grandfather – a Frenchman named Martin Aucoin. Apparently, in the early 1600s, Aucoin’s daughters Jeanne and Michele left their native country of France to settle in Nova Scotia, where both Madonna and Ellen’s families remained for several generations.
DeGeneres’s family left Canada in the late 1700s when her 5th great-grandfather Joseph Martin relocated to Louisiana. It wasn’t until the late 1870s that Madonna’s 2nd great-grandmother Emilie Daniel left Quebec and crossed the “Borderline” toMichigan, where the singer herself calls home.
“It’s not every day you discover two celebrity icons are related, but it’s their similarities that make the connection so extraordinary,” said Anastasia Tyler, a genealogist at Ancestry.com. “They were born the same year, have both written books and been on tour, are known for their impressive dance moves – and with Ellen’s latest gig on American Idol – are both legendary figures on the music scene.”
The new-found family connection between DeGeneres and Madonna is one of many interesting discoveries uncovered by Ancestry.com. In 2009, the family history Web site connected financier Warren Buffett to President Obama and also revealed that Emma Watson, who plays Hermione in the Harry Potter movie series, is related to a 16th-century woman accused of witchcraft.
“Fun stories and amazing surprises like this can be found in everyone’s family tree,” said Tyler. “You never know what adventures, heroes – even superstars – you might find until you dig into your family’s roots.”
Ancestry.com is of course a partner with NBC on the new, hit television series “Who Do You Think You Are?” and provided important family history research for the show, including tracing the roots of the seven celebrities featured.
For anyone interested in discovering a long-lost relative or perhaps a famous figure in their family tree, visit www.ancestry.com.