Many of us have heard family stories claiming we’re linked to someone famous. Mostly, these are just tall tales that grow more ridiculous as they’re passed from generation to generation.
However, it’s quite interesting and rather humbling to discover how celebrities have unexpected biological roots—DNA matches that they never saw coming! Many are also surprised by their ethnic makeup, revealing they aren’t who they always thought they were.
Here are some celebrities’ DNA results that are pretty fascinating.
Oprah Winfrey’s Unexpected Discovery
Most people remember Oprah Winfrey on African American Lives when she took a DNA test. Part of the results of that test was extremely unexpected, even for the actress herself.
The results proved her ancestral connections to the Kpelle people, the area that is now the West African Highlands and part of Guinea and Liberia, but this was not the surprising bit. Oprah Winfrey was absolutely stunned to learn that she was 8% Native American and even 3% East Asian! She was excited about the discovery and said she felt empowered to learn about her family’s journey.
Hilary Duff Is Queen Elizabeth’s Cousin
Based on a genealogy study for Find My Past, it turns out that Hilary Duff is Queen Elizabeth’s 18th cousin. To be more specific, Hilary is related to a 17th-century British army officer, Alexander Spotswood, who was the great-grandson of Edward III.
So, if you trace the family tree through Spotswood and Edward III, you’d find that Hilary is indeed related to the queen!
Ellen DeGeneres Is Also Related to Royalty
DNA tests have revealed that Ellen DeGeneres, the famous American comedian and television host, is related to the royal family on not one but two fronts.
She’s Kate Middleton’s 15th cousin through Sir Thomas Fairfax (1400s), which is amazing in itself, but she’s also related to Queen Elizabeth II. They’re nineteenth cousins, twice removed, through King Edward III.
Eva Longoria Is Mostly European
The famous actress is known for her Latina origins and has always championed her Native American and Mexican roots and culture, but it turns out there’s more to her DNA than she realized.
According to a DNA test she took, it turns out that the actress’s family isn’t just Mexican American like she always thought, but in fact, the family’s roots go back to Spain. Eva is actually 70% European and also 27% Asian. She really has lucky DNA, though, considering that through her 27% Asian ancestry, she’s related to Yo-Yo Ma, the renowned cellist. Also, her family received 4000 acres of land in Texas from the King of Spain, which is why she’s always lived there.
Benedict Cumberbatch’s Connection to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
A DNA test revealed that Benedict Cumberbatch was always born to play Shakespeare. It turns out that the British actor is related to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the British writer who’s known for creating Sherlock’s character.
Doyle and Cumberbatch are 16th cousins, twice removed, and are directly descended from the first Duke of Lancaster, John of Gaunt. It’s fascinating that when Doyle created the character, he couldn’t possibly have thought that one day, one of his descendants might be portraying it on screen, and so skillfully at that!
Larry David Is Part Native American!
We all know Larry David as the co-creator of Seinfeld, and from The Three Stooges, and so on. What many might not know is that Larry always thought he had solely European Jewish ancestry.
Turns out, he also has Native American ancestors—in fact, a DNA test he took found that he’s 37% Native American! This is an interesting discovery for any individual who is interested in their family’s migration patterns and so on.
The Rock’s Newfound Siblings
This DNA discovery wasn’t made by Dwayne Johnson himself, but by his siblings. Now we know what you’re thinking—there’s no shortage of people claiming to be related to celebrities, but this is different.
This is the story of five strangers who took DNA tests to find out their father was Rocky Johnson, a professional wrestler who also happens to be The Rock’s father! The five strangers found each other online, and a documentary is being made about their family reunion journey.
Of course, a lot of the media attention their story has received is because they share their father with Dwayne Johnson.
Ashley Tisdale’s Discovers Her Celebrity Best Friend Is Actually Her Cousin
Ashley Tisdale has been friends with fellow actor Austin Butler for years and always claimed that they had a twin-like connection. As it turns out, she wasn’t that far off. The actress appeared on an episode of 2 Lies & A Leaf, Ancestry’s super-hyped YouTube series, and her family tree was revealed on the show, which showed that Austin Butler was her 10th cousin once removed.
Needless to say, Ashley Tisdale was pleasantly surprised and rather moved at this discovery.
Ready to unravel the mysteries of your own DNA and family tree? Consider our traditional genealogy services. We can help you with DNA analysis and finding ancestors online. Who knows, you may actually be related to a celebrity too! Learn more.