The Ellen DeGeneres Full-Circle Celebrity Genealogy

The following was received from Tom Champoux, Marketing Director for the New England Historic Genealogical Society:

The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) in Boston announced on Wednesday that staff genealogists had uncovered a unique and fascinating aspect to the genealogy of talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. Ellen discussed the findings during the monologue of her March 31st show. A video of that monologue can be seen here: http://ellen.warnerbros.com/videos/?autoplay=true&mediaKey=1eb3fd85-016c-42f9-b5c4-d626195260d8 [This takes a bit to start, so be patient.]

DeGeneres is part of a large, eight-person chart that returns full circle back to Ellen, making celebrity family connections along the way to some of the top names in entertainment.

According to research conducted by staff genealogists Chris Child and Rhonda McClure, Ellen is a 10th cousin once removed to Academy-Award winning actress Halle Berry. Berry is an eleventh cousin to Boston-born Hollywood star Mark Wahlberg. Wahlberg is an eleventh cousin to singer Madonna, who is a ninth cousin, once removed to Prince Charles’ current wife Camilla Parker-Bowles. Parker-Bowles is a seventh cousin to Charles’ first wife, the late Princess Diana, who was a tenth cousin to actor Tim Robbins. Robbins is an eleventh cousin to actor Richard Gere. Closing fully the circle of celebrity family ties, Gere is an eleventh cousin to Ellen DeGeneres.

Child, who has worked at NEHGS since 2003, said, “We’ve done lots of research that connects various celebrities and public figures. This is the first time I’ve discovered a large circle of relationships like this. Genealogically speaking, this is pretty rare and amazing.”

Producers for the show originally contacted NEHGS back in 2008 to inquire about Ellen’s genealogy, where the connection to Halle Berry was made. The remaining connections took Child and McClure many months to uncover.

NEHGS was also recently featured in an episode of NBC’s new show, “Who Do You Think You Are?” In the episode, actress Sarah Jessica Parker visited the organization to learn more about her New England roots and her family’s connection to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. That episode can be viewed on the NBC.com Website.

Ellen's genealogy wheel

Author: Leland Meitzler

Leland K. Meitzler founded Heritage Quest in 1985, and has worked as Managing Editor of both Heritage Quest Magazine and The Genealogical Helper. He currently operates Family Roots Publishing Company (www.FamilyRootsPublishing.com), writes daily at GenealogyBlog.com, writes the weekly Genealogy Newsline, conducts the annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour to the Family History Library, and speaks nationally, having given over 2000 lectures since 1983.

4 thoughts on “The Ellen DeGeneres Full-Circle Celebrity Genealogy”

  1. I did some research on Madonna’s family tree. I can’t say for sure I got everything right but i tried. It was tough to find information on Jeanne Aucoin; Ellen’s ancestor so I stuck with Michele Aucoin and linked Madonna to her. Also, it has been speculated Jeanne and Michele were half sisters. This I am unsure of. Here’s Madonna’s side of ancestry from Martin Aucoin:

    Martin Aucoin m. ? =
    Michele Aucoin m. Michel Boudrot/Boudreau =
    Madeleine Marguerite Boudreau m. Francois Bourque/Bourg =
    Anne Bourque/Bourg m. Charles Melancon =
    Marie Melancon m. Charles Godin =
    Marie Anne Godin m. Jean Chalou =
    Marie Chalou m. Pierre Sirois =
    Marie Josephe Sirois m. Vincent Rioux =
    Felicite Philisa Rioux m. Augustin Narcisse Fortin II =
    Narcisse “Nelson” Fortin m. Rose Lajoie =
    Willard Fortin m. Elise Fortin =
    Madonna Louise Fortin m. Silvio “Tony” Anthony Ciccone =
    Madonna Veronica Louise Ciccone

  2. Ellen DeGeneres & Halle Berry’s common ancester Gerret Van Swearingen makes them 10th cousins once removed.

    Ellen’s side:
    Gerret Van Swearingen m. Mary Smith =
    Ann Van Swearingen m. Willsm Bladen =
    Ann Bladen m. Benjamin Tasker =
    Rebecca Tasker m. Daniel Dulany =
    Benjamin Dulany m. Elizabeth French =
    Benjamin Tasker Dulany Jr. m. Eliza Rozier =
    Nora Neale Dulany m. Henry Constantine DeGeneres =
    Joseph C. DeGeneres m. Mary Whittemore =
    Alfred G. DeGeneres m. Julia G. Bellieu =
    Elliot Evertt DeGeneres m. Ruth Elodie Martin =
    Elliot DeGeneres m. Betty Jane Pfeffer =
    Ellen DeGeneres

    Halle’s side:
    Gerret Van Swearingen m. Barbara de Barrette =
    Thomas Van Swearingen m. Mary Ray =
    Thomas Van Swearingen m. Beall =
    John Van Swearingen m. Eleanor Dawson =
    Nicholas Dawson Van Swearingen m. Verlinda Blackmore =
    Abrillah Van Swearingen m. William Lang =
    Nancy Maria Lang m. Thomas Johnson =
    Agnes L. Johnson m. Ellsworth W Spaulding =
    Bessie Clare Spaulding m. Eugene A Hawkins =
    Earl Ellsworth Hawkins m. Nellie Dicken =
    Judith Ann Hawkins m. Jerome Jesse Berry =
    Halle Maria Berry

  3. i am the 9 great grand daughter of Gerrett Van Swearingen and Barbara De Barrett. and i haven’t found anything about ellen and halle being my cousins. if someone could please send me some websites to prove this thery. thank u every much.

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