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European Royalty

Week #12 of the pandemic has been much like the last 11 weeks for me, although the stress of worrying about COVID-19 is waining somewhat. During the past 3 months I have learned that working from home CAN be more productive than working in an office, that I don't really miss the annoying daily commute; that I do prefer doing my own grocery shopping in an actual store instead of buying everything online; and that I really don't mind staying at home more than going out.

I'm fortunate to also be busy with work and, when I am not working, I have ventured back into my ancestral research. In the past couple of weeks I have been trying to spend at least an hour a day piecing together my family history, and I have been greatly rewarded for my efforts.

I was contacted a couple of weeks ago by someone who turned out to be a paternal cousin who had stumbled across my website. He asked me a question about my relationship to a cousin who I never met, and who I had only known about through my research. It turned out that my distant cousin was the grandmother of my new-found cousin. We then started to communicate and in fairly short order, I had explained to him how I was related to his grandmother and to him. We continued to correspond and by combining our information, I was then able to confirm that his grandfather was first cousins with well-known British Field Marshall Haig (WWI). By doing this research, I was also able to combine two parts of my family history, and I also have gained a great deal of insight into the lives of my distant cousins.

I also spent a great deal of time working on another branch of my family that has multiple ties to European royalty. While I had previously known that I was related to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II through her maternal family, I was also to confirm another relationship to Queen Elizabeth II through her paternal lineage. This new connection brought me "closer" in relationship to the Queen, and precisely the same familial distance between her and I as I am to His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh (also a cousin).

Through my paternal relationship to Queen Elizabeth II, I also discovered that I am related to Queen Victoria through her mother. This lead me on yet another lengthy trip through family histories to see how I might be related to the Romanov family. I quickly found that I was related to Princess Alix, Tsarina of Russia and subsequently all of the ill-fated Romanov children. However, since I had earlier discovered that I was related to King George V, I wanted to see if I was also related to Tsar Nicholas and Kaiser Wilhelm II. Each of these men were leaders of their respective countries during World War I, and each of them were first cousins. It only made sense that if I could find a common relative that I was related to all 3 of these men.

The search took the better part of 2 weeks to complete, but in the end I was able to confirm that I was, indeed, related through my paternal lineage to King George V, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Tsar Nicholas II. Surprisingly though, my relationship to Tsar Nicholas II is closer than my relationship to either King George V or Kaiser Wilhelm II. One would think that with each of the men being first cousins that I would have the same relationship distance to all 3 men. It's funny how these things work out over the years.

I have mixed feelings about my family relationship to each of these 3 men, all of whom made their marks on history for different reasons. Over the coming weeks I intend to continue my research on these branches of my family tree to see what else I can turn up - that is if I don't get sidetracked chasing another family mystery!

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