The British fiancée of Prince William has family ties to some big names across the pond, genealogical researchers in Boston announced today.
Kate Middleton is an 8th cousin eight times removed from first U.S. president George Washington through common ancestor Sir William Gascoigne, who died in 1487, according to researchers at the New England Historic Genealogical Society.
She also counts Meriwether Lewis, an American explorer who together with William Clark mapped the west in a famous 19-century cross-country expedition, as a 9th cousin seven times removed, and General George Patton, the outspoken U.S. Army officer who commanded troops across Europe during World War II, as a 13th cousin three times removed.
“There are thousands of these connections,” said Gary Boyd Roberts, a senior research scholar for the society who assisted with the project. “It’s fairly common” for people to have family ties to someone of note throughout history.
William and Middleton announced their engagement today after dating on and off for eight years. The research into Middleton’s ancestry began a few years ago when “it became obvious that she was going to be his choice,” Roberts said.
The couple are actually 15th cousins themselves through Sir Thomas Fairfax, who died during the reign of Henry VIII.
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