genealogy

14 Stories

Historians Say They've Found Leonardo da Vinci's Relatives

It only took 43 years

(Newser) - After four decades of searching, two Italian historians revealed 35 people likely to be living descendants of Leonardo da Vinci, the BBC reports. "Obviously I’m surprised, but happy," the Guardian quotes one such possible relative, architect Elena Calosi, as saying. "Who has not studied Leonardo or... More »

Holocaust Survivor's Search for Lost Twin Goes Viral

Genealogist hoping Facebook can help locate 'Jolli'

(Newser) - Menachem Bodner doesn't remember the horrors he suffered as an experiment subject of Dr. Josef Mengele at Auschwitz. But he knows he had a twin brother, and deep down always believed he was alive somewhere. Now, thanks to help from a genealogist, the 72-year-old has proof his brother, Jolli,... More »

Obama Roots Traced to 1st African-American Slave

Ancestry.com genealogists spent 500 hours making the connection

(Newser) - Ancestry.com has traced President Obama's roots back to Germany and linked him to Rush Limbaugh . Now the site has named a new potential Obama relative: the first documented African-American slave. CNN reports on the result of some 500 hours of work by four genealogists, who were able to... More »

1940 Census Site Crashed By Curious

New data dump proves too popular for its own good with 22.5 million hits

(Newser) - The National Archives wasn't prepared for just how many people would be clamoring to check out its newly released trove of detailed data from the 1940 census . Hordes of curious browsers flooded the site within minutes of its launch yesterday, overwhelming the servers and leaving it essentially unusable, the... More »

DNA Ties 1991 Murder to 17th-Century Family

Police believe results will narrow search for Sarah Yarborough's killer

(Newser) - In December, stumped Washington state authorities sent a DNA sample from an unsolved 1991 murder to a forensic consultant in California—and though she didn't return with a match to the murderer himself, she did figure out who his 17th-century ancestors were. The DNA profile closely matched the family... More »

Scott Brown Is Obama's Cousin

Both their mothers descended from 17th-century Massachusetts man

(Newser) - A genealogy group has discovered that Barack Obama has an unlikely branch on the right wing of his family tree—Massachusetts senator-elect Scott Brown is his 10th cousin through a 17th-century Bay State ancestor from whom both men's mothers descended. The New England Historic Genealogical Society had previously found the... More »

Meet Michelle Obama's White 4th Cousin

First Lady and Debbie Shields share great, great-grandfather

(Newser) - Some long-lost relatives of Michelle Obama have recently been identified, and they’re blond and blue-eyed. First a genealogist made headlines with the news that the first lady's great, great-grandmother was a slave from George named Melvinia. Inside Edition now reports on tonight's show that Melvinia was impregnated at 15... More »

Genealogists Trace Obama's Roots to Germany

(Newser) - President Obama’s trip to Germany is a bit of a homecoming for him, according to a Utah-based genealogy group. Ancestry.com’s researchers traced his family tree back to his eighth great-grandfather on his mother’s side and found a German ancestor, after tracing , the Salt Lake Tribune reports.... More »

DNA Tests Solve Man's 26-Year Search for His Dad

Testing helped adopted man discover his birth father through his surname

(Newser) - A Michigan man's decades-long search for his biological father was fulfilled with an assist from DNA-based genealogy tests, the Wall Street Journal reports. Richard Hill—who didn't know he was adopted until his adoptive father revealed the truth from his deathbed—discovered his birth mother's identity fairly easily but hit... More »

Posh Related to Marx Comrade

Revolutionary who fled to England is Victoria Beckham's great-great-great-grandfather

(Newser) - Victoria Beckham’s girl-power roots go a lot further back than her Spice Girls days: The pop icon is the great-great-great-granddaughter of a 19th-century communist who worked with Karl Marx, Reuters reports. A German historian discovered the link between Posh and revolutionary Carl Heinrich Pfaender who was chummy with Marx... More »

Aussie PM Gains Cachet From Thieving Ancestors

Preteen convict adorns Rudd's family tree

(Newser) - Australia’s history as a penal colony is no laughing matter, but some Aussies have come to appreciate, and even relish, their hardscrabble beginnings. Case in point: PM Kevin Rudd, whose family tree includes ancestors convicted of stealing sugar (in 1801) and underwear (in 1788). The release of some details... More »

Candidates' Family Trees Have Far-Flung Limbs

Jolie-Pitt family could be split by ties to Clinton, Obama, genealogist finds

(Newser) - The Angelina Jolie-Brad Pitt household might have trouble choosing a Democratic candidate: It turns out Barack Obama is a distant cousin of Pitt’s and Hillary Clinton is a relative of Jolie’s. The author of a new genealogical survey cautions voters not to be too swayed—but it seems... More »

'McCain the Bruce' Claims are Baloney

Genealogists ridicule senator's alleged links to Scottish king

(Newser) - John McCain might be a sure thing to be crowned the GOP nominee, but experts say claims that his family is related to a Scottish king are pure fiction. McCain wrote in a 1999 memoir that his great-aunt was descended from Robert the Bruce, who reclaimed Scottish independence in 1314.... More »

Genealogy Site Wants to Swab Your Cheek

New service will allow members to submit DNA samples for comparison

(Newser) - Now even dead ancestors can join the social networking craze. Their descendants, today’s consumers, can submit cheek swabs to genetics company GeneTree, which compares the DNA to its database and creates an interactive digital family tree. Users can post videos, photos, and link up with other members of their... More »

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