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Sarah Jessica Parker

Paternal 25th cousin, 3x removed.

Several years ago, while watching an episode of "Who Do You Think You Are?", I first learned that Sarah Jessica Parker and I had something in common - we both had ancestors who had been accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials. It was at that point that I began to wonder whether we may also have some common ancestors since families back in Colonial New England had a habit of intermixing, the population being somewhat limited. It was just a passing thought at the time, but the seed was planted.

 

Sarah and I are distantly related through her maternal family line, and our common ancestor is King John I (Plantagenet), my 24th paternal Great-Grandfather and Sarah's 27th maternal Great-Grandfather. Our lines then parted, with my paternal lineage on that branch of the family descending through King Henry III, and Sarah's through Joan Plantagenet (Lady of Wales and then Lady Snowden), the illegitimate daughter of King John I. This is not casting aspersions on my talented distant cousin - believe me, there are more than a few illegitimate births in my own direct family, and I didn't inherit any titles - it's just an historical fact.

 

Sarah Jessica Parker was born on March 25th, 1965, in Nelsonville, Ohio to Stephen Parker and Barbara Keck (my 25th cousin, 2x removed). Sarah's parents divorced when she was 3.5 years old. Sarah has 7 siblings from her mother's 2 marriages (Barbara's 2nd husband was Paul Forste). According to what I have read about Sarah's upbringing, it was what I would call an "ordinary" life - her family struggled as a lot of our families do, and while they sometimes had a hard time making ends meet, they appeared to have everything that they really needed. It's a relatable childhood, at least for this author.

Before Sarah Jessica Parker became one of the most recognizable faces on both the big and small screens, it appears that she was already displaying talent. Sarah trained in singing and ballet and she was cast in a Broadway play, The Innocents  in 1976 at the age of 11. The following year Sarah's family moved from Ohio to New York. In March of 1979, Sarah landed the lead role in the Broadway musical Annie, which she held for a year. 

I first remember seeing Sarah Jessica Parker on the TV show Square Pegs. It wasn't a show that I followed religiously, but I do remember watching it, and when I saw Sarah in subsequent roles later, I instantly recognized her. 

Sarah's really big break-out role came in her portrayal of Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and The City which, to this day, has achieved a cult-like following and is often referenced in other TV shows and movies. Admittedly I have watched a few episodes myself, and I've always found the stories to be entertaining, more for antics of the 4 female best friends than the actual storylines. As Carrie Bradshaw, Sarah has forever become the beacon to millions of young women trying to make their place in the world. The show tackled issues that no other program had, and it was - and still is - considered a groundbreaking series with Sarah's character leading the charge.

Although I'll admit that I have watched more than one Sex and The City episodes, I have no problem admitting that I have also enjoyed Sarah's performance in Hocus Pocus, a Halloween genre film that entertains more than scares. I'm probably not the target demographic for that movie, but the performance of Sarah alongside the always incredible Bette Midler and talented Kathy Najimy was entertaining and fun to watch with children. Then there's her performance in the Tim Burton film Mars Attacks - a movie that no one takes seriously, but everyone loves to watch for the camp value and the star studded cast. If you can get through Mars Attacks without a smile on your face, you had better check your pulse!

Sarah is not single faceted however, and she has been the spokesperson for several fashion brands, launched  successful fashion lines, launched her own line of perfumes and she runs her own production company Pretty Matches, which has produced content for HBO and other broadcasters since 2009. Pretty Matches was founded in 2005 by Sarah and her partner, Alison Benson and together they are working toward increasing female representation in media and production work through their company.

Sarah Jessica Parker has been married to another cultural icon, actor Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Glory [a favorite of this author], War Games and countess others) on May 19th, 1997. Sarah and Matthew have 3 children - James, born on October 28, 2002, and twin daughters Marion and Tabitha, born on June 22, 2009. In my research I discovered that Marion and Tabitha's middle names are Elwell and Hodge, named after Sarah's discovery of family names which just happen to be on my side of the family (smile). Sarah discovered these surnames during her stint on Who Do You Think You Are?  I wonder if Sarah also knows that Abigail Elwell's mother was named Tabitha?

As with all of my other famous distant cousins, I have never met Sarah Jessica Parker, I only know her through her character portrayals on film and on television, and from what I have learned from my research. Having said that, I was - and am - proud to be able to add such a talented lady as yet another shining star on my ever growing and amazing family tree.