After taking a hiatus from Ancestry.com for a few months, I have restarted my family history research. I think the break from spending countless hours digging through historic records and researching DNA matches was helpful and it allowed me to focus on rewriting and republishing my first novel.
Now that I am back into the researcher mode, I am already discovering more fascinating relatives with recent discoveries including Spencer Tracy (who was a friend of another famous cousin of mine!) and Marjorie Merriweather Post, famous socialite and heiress to the Postum Cereal Company fortune (founded by her father). Who knows what other famous relatives lay hidden among my DNA matches and ancient records?
I have already found far more famous historical relatives than I could ever have imagined. The amazing thing about family history research is that it is full of surprises, some shocking and sad, and others that are simply amazing. In my case, the amazing finds seem to be never-ending, and I am constantly surprised at how many truly wonderful people share my bloodline.
Even more incredible are the ties that so many famous people, living and dead, have to ancestors that I share with them. Through my Scottish lineage, on my paternal Great-grandmother's side of the family, through my paternal grandmother, I have a vast number of British nobles in the family, including members of the current Royal Family. I have even had the pleasure of corresponding with a distant cousin whose family has been intimately involved with the Royal Family for generations. One of the biggest surprises was when I found out that Sir Winston Churchill and I are related, although not through his English side of the family, but through his mother, who was an American.
On my paternal side of the family through my Grandfather (who, sadly, I never knew), I have discovered a huge number of famous figures from US history, predating the Mayflower. It is through this side of the family that I have found cousins that include: Humphrey Bogart, Elizabeth Taylor, President Grover Cleveland, First Lady Nancy Regan (nee Davis), Frank Winfield Woolworth, Genera Ethan Allen, Lillian and Dorothy Gish, Zac Efron, Elisabeth and Adrew Shue, Kevin Bacon and many more famous Americans.
When I started on this journey almost 20 years ago, I never thought it would lead me to such a treasure-trove of discoveries. Along the way I have managed to solve many family mysteries, yet the one that I have been seeking to solve for almost 2 decades remains unsolved. I have found family members that I never knew existed and have helped more than a few DNA matches discover their family history and, in turn, their new extended family. Helping people discover their birth parents has been a humbling experience.
I hope that some day I will have a full picture of my family, both direct and extended, and be able to formally document all of my findings in a book for future generations. In the meantime I will continue to try and fill in the missing pieces of my family's puzzle, and will no doubt continue to be amazed at all the wonderful people that I discover that make up my family.