5 Celebrities with famous ancestors – Fame runs in the family

Celebrities, through their talent, have earned their place under the sun. But some had it written in the stars as they are descendants of famous people before them. You might be surprised to know which famous celebrities today come from a famous ancestor. These celebs are usually quite pleased with their ancestors, unlike Ben Affleck, who found out his ancestor was a slave holder.

George W. Bush

Many people know the presidential father and son. But not many know that George W. Bush is actually a descendant of Pocahontas. His eighth great-grandfather, Robert Bolling, married Jane Rolfe, who is actually Pocahontas’ granddaughter. But Bolling later married again, this time to Ann Stith, of whom George W is a direct descendant. But wait, there’s more! Pocahontas’ great-grandson, John Bolling (son of John and Jane Rolfe Bolling), married George W’s 8th great-aunt, Mary Kennon.

Olivia Newton John

Olivia Newton John is the daughter of Irene Born Helene. Her mom’s father is Max Born, a German Jewish physicist who won a Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in quantum mechanics. Her mom’s mother, Hedwig Ehrenberg, is the great-granddaughter of Victor Ehrenberg, a German jurist. Before him was Newton John’s matrilineal great-grandmother’s father, Rudolf von Jhering, another German jurist.


Who would have thought that the ultra-talented superstar Beyonce is a descendant of Austrian composer Gustav Bahler? Writer Norman Lebrecht uncovered the link through his book on Mahler. Lebrecht learned that Mahler’s close family members migrated to the US. This was how one of Mahler’s family members crossed paths with Beyonce’s family in the US, making Beyonce Mahler’s eighth cousin, four times removed.

Cindy Crawford

Supermodel Cindy Crawford is known for her classy style and beauty. And through the show, “Who do you think you are? America” the world gets to know her famous lineage. And where shall we start? She is the granddaughter of Ramona Hemingway. After some digging, she confirms she is Ernest Hemingway’s cousin, twice removed! When she continued digging, she discovered that she is a descendant of Thomas and Elizabeth Marshall Trowbridge (her 11th great-grandparents). Thomas’ mother, Agnes Prowse Trowbridge’s ancestors included Earl of Somerset William de Mohun of Dunster, counts of Britney, King Bernard of Lombardy, and, drum roll please, King Charlemagne or Charles the Great – who is Crawford’s 41st great-grandfather.

Hilary Duff

Actress Hilary Duff is one of Hollywood’s sweethearts. Her father Robert Duff is from a rich and prominent family. She did not know so much about her mother’s side of the family much so she did some digging. Her mom, Susan Colleen Cobb is from a poor family from the South. But lo and behold, after tracing her genealogy – thanks to TV show “Who do you think you are?”, she finds out that the King of Scots Robert the Bruce is her 21st great-grandfather!

For Celebrities it’s easy to trace back their roots. But even you can do this, through sites like Ancestry.com. If you are short on cash you even use AncestryDNA’s coupons via DealFly to get to know your famous ancestors.