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.