Tight Genes

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Turns out Kate Middleton is 13th cousin, thrice removed, of Maryland’s own Francis Scott Key, the same fellow who wrote “The Star Spangled Banner,” we now know, thanks to news of the book, The Ancestry of Catherine Middleton, just released by the New England Historic Genealogical Society. While the several-hundred-year study, which detangles Middleton’s roots since 1521, doesn’t sound like a page-turner, pages do deliver amusing proof that the pretty princess, 29, is also loosely related to Colonial Maryland governor Sir Thomas Bladen, George Washington, General S. Patton, and talk-show-queen Ellen DeGeneres, among other famous folks. Which makes a person wonder if every one of us isn’t distantly stitched to someone famous (or infamous). Connections, once you start tracing bloodlines, abound. Check it: Baltimore native Elizabeth “Betsy” Bonaparte married Emperor Napoleon’s weak-willed brother, Jerome, in 1803–Napoleon I hated Betsy and did not invite her to set up house in France; Jerry, though he dug her, dumped her in 1805. Liz’s son, Bo, was the first president of the Maryland Club. (Although we can’t confirm if any of his relations still live in town. Anyone?) Baltimore style-setter Diana Warfield Daly is distantly related to Wallis Warfield Simpson, the de-throwning diva with the best-dialogue in “The King’s Speech” and the best-style ever to hit the royal family. Johns Hopkins Cardiologist James L. Weiss is the distant second-cousin-twice-removed of Harry Houdini. (Is that where he gets his life-saving magic?) If you knew you had old ties to someone history-book big, like Abraham Lincoln, how cool, right? On the other hand, what if you were related to John Wilkes Booth? We’d love to know who’s related to whom. Tell us what you know on the community page or below in comments…



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