Congratulations to my cousin Sarah Heath Palin!

Genealogists will love the fact that the new Republican choice for Vice President – Sarah Heath Palin is a descendant of multiple Mayflower passengers: John Tilley, John Howland, Stephen Hopkins, Elder William Brewster, Richard Warren and other well known New England families.

I am also descended from those Mayflower passengers …. so we’re cousins.

She is also a descendant of the Rev. John Lathrop – famous to genealogists as the “gateway” ancestor of many US Presidents, inventors, actors and celebrities.

No doubt in the days ahead we will see stories of how she is related to our other cousins: George Bush, Queen Elizabeth, Barack Obama, John Kerry, Dick Cheney, George Washington, King George III, King Henry VIII, Abraham Lincoln and the list will go on and on.

It’s a great day for genealogy!

Patsy Leaves Family History TV Show over Gangland Grandpa

Uncovering our family history can reveal saints and sinners as we dig through old newspapers. Genealogists using GenealogyBank become used to finding a scoundrel here and there on the branches of the family tree.

But British actress - Patsy Kensit was not prepared for what she discovered while filming a TV show for the BBC.

She was the featured star of an upcoming episode of “Who Do You Think You Are?” a UK TV show that uses the family history of celebrities in a format reminiscent of Ralph Edward’s long running TV show This is Your Life.

Patsy Kensit became so upset when she found out that her Dad (who died when she was a teenager) and her grandfather were criminals – that she walked off the set while filming the show.

The show got her to come back and finish the filming after telling her that the segment would also highlight her praiseworthy ancestors – one who was an Anglican Priest, recognized by the Archbishop of Canterbury and another a respected local constable.

You can read the entire story in the UK newspaper the Daily Record (5 Aug 2008) - Patsy Kensit left in tears as BBC show reveals her family’s gangland links.
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