Every once in awhile I amuse myself by googling “Celebrity Family Trees” and looking at family trees of the rich and famous.
It’s especially interesting if you learn that a famous person is from the same neck of the woods that some of your ancestors are – or you find a surname in their tree that you also happen to have in your background.
Then you can see if you share a common link somewhere along the line.
That’s how I learned I have some links to famous people in my own ancestry.
Frankly, I was amazed. I went into this genealogy hobby never expecting to find anything but German farmers who had emigrated to America hoping for a better life (mom’s side) and a bunch of Appalachian coalminers (dad’s side).
Well – there were some German farmers and coalminers – but there were a lot of surprises and several “a-ha” moments.
Some of the “surprises” I uncovered:
- Maybelle Addington Carter (“Mother Maybelle”) of country music fame, and mother of June Carter Cash and mother-in-law of Johnny Cash, is my 3rd cousin three times removed. We have a common ancestor way back on the Addington-Kilgore side of my dad’s family.
- Francis Gary Powers, the U2 pilot who was shot down by the Russians in the 1960’s is my 4th cousin once removed.
- Darrell “Shifty” Powers, one of the WWII veteran portrayed in Tom Hank’s cable TV drama, “Band of Brothers,” and who passed away in 2009 is a cousin. Darrell is from the same county in Virginia where my dad was born. I watched (and loved) the Band of Brothers series, but didn’t realize the real Shifty was a cousin until I read his obituary.
- Loretta Lynn, “the queen of country music,” shares a common Butcher ancestor with me. Remember, she grew up in Butcher Holler, KY. And her sister is Crystal Gayle.
So when I found myself perusing Grace Kelly‘s family tree, I wasn’t too surprised to see a possible connection.
It seems that Grace’s mother’s side of the family hails from the same town in Germany that all of the Knapps, Andes, Mays and Guthiers came from: Heppenheim.
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Unfortunately, I haven’t gone far back enough in the Knapp line to establish exactly where the connection is between the Knapps and Princess Grace.
But you can check out Princess Grace’s family tree on your own at the link below.
Click this link to see Grace Kelly/Princess Grace of Monaco’s family tree. Notice that a Knapp and an Antes/Andes were married!
Click this link to peruse other celebrity’s family trees.
Or explore this option to learn where you might be related to famous people.
Click this link to view a video of scenes from the village in Germany where Grace Kelly’s ancestors are from: ANTES, GUTHIER, KNAPP, MAY.