Famous People Ancestry
Lionel Richie is one of the latest celebs to trace his roots. He had a little help from a certain TV show. The legendary musician has ties to an old civil rights organization dating back to 1897 through his great-grandfather. Learn interesting facts about other famous family trees.
Adolf Hitler had some interesting finds in his family tree, according to DNA research. The revelation underscores the surprises many people often uncover when researching their genealogy. See what you can dig up about your own family.
The award-winning actress and former beauty queen has roots in the Tennessee legislature, where her great-great-grandfather served.
This country star found out in his teens that his biological father was this professional baseball player. He's also got ties to this former president, since an ancestor was actually mentioned in one of the former president's journals.
Football great Emmitt Smith, who also happened to win this show, was able to trace his roots all the way to this West African country, whence his ancestors were brought to America as slaves.
His 1976 historical novel "Roots" and subsequent miniseries ignited genealogical interest, especially among African-Americans. Haley's research revealed that his ancestors were slaves from this country. They landed in this Maryland town, which has a statue in honor of Haley telling the story of his family tree.
The Rev. John Lothrop, who came from England in 1634 and founded a New England town, is an ancestor of both Palin and the former president who expanded social services. The ex-Alaska governor is also a distant cousin of this late English princess.
Born in Hawaii, the commander in chief is the son of Barack Obama Sr., a Kenyan, and Ann Dunham, a Kansan. On his maternal side, President Obama is related to his predecessor, a British prime minister and a handsome A-list actor.
Hank's family tree's maternal branch includes 1800s immigrants from a southwestern European country; the paternal branch includes a great American president. Via his stepmom, the California-born actor (clips) has Chinese-American siblings. Read Hanks' biography.
Sarah Jessica Parker originally thought her ancestors were German. But she got a surprise in the family tree. Parker's people are English, and her 10th great-grandmother was accused of wicked deeds.
"He's Mexican?" jokes the Tejana actress on learning that she and this Chinese-American cellist share an ancestor. Longoria made the discovery on Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s genealogy series.
London native Pattinson, star of a certain vampire movie franchise, is a distant relative of the real-life count who inspired an influential Bram Stoker novel. On a less-gothic note, the actor is also a distant cousin of two British princes.
On "African American Lives," Turner explores her multiracial heritage. Her great-great-grandfather was an African-American sharecropper and minister; she also has European DNA and blood from these tribes.
Although not born in Hawaii, the wrestler-turned-actor is of Pacific islander ancestry, specifically here, on his mother's side. Johnson's African-Canadian father, also a wrestling champ, is from a province with a rich black heritage.
The CNN reporter's full name, María de la Soledad Teresa O'Brien, offers clues to her heritage. She was born in New York to an African-American mom from this island. Her dad? He's of Irish descent and an emigrant from Toowoomba in this country.
The secretary of state has an exciting family tree.