"Each has his own tree of ancestors, but at the top of all sits Probably Arboreal." - Robert Louis Stevenson

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

On famous ‘cousins’

A nice bit of family history from BBC News here. I’m not sure I’ve quite grasped why the BBC thinks this is important, but it’s certainly very interesting.
My Lancashire songwriter ancestor Joseph Bryan Geoghegan wrote a song entitled Brigham Young (1875), so perhaps he was inspired by the events this article describes? I haven’t seen the lyrics, so I really don’t know!
Sadly I haven’t yet uncovered any famous cousins of my own, but  I do sometimes wonder, particularly about some with more unusual surnames that also appear in my tree. The example that instantly springs to mind is singer Ellie Goulding, as it’s quite an unusual surname. However, Wikipedia informs me that her family is Jewish, which doesn’t really fit! You’ve got to be wary about purposely trying to trace back a link, it’s all too easy to make an assumption and join up the wrong dots to make it ‘true’.
I suppose, given name-changes and marriages, the truth is you’re just as likely to be distantly related to someone with a surname you’ve never even heard of as someone with the same surname as you.
L x

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