Do you think you might be related to a famous person? Or, are you simply curious about possible connections? The odds are great that you are related to a movie star, an athlete, a U.S. President, or some other person of note. Remember that everyone has two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, and so on. Altogether, you have about 8,000 ancestors from the past 300 years. So does everyone else, including movie stars, Presidents, and others. The generations go back in a mathematical progression, doubling with every generation. The odds are good that some famous person shares a common ancestor with you.
Genealogy.com has a “Celebrity Trees” section on their Web site that will give you information about the ancestry of famous people. You can download GEDCOM files from the site and import them into your favorite genealogy program. Note that you should always import into a new, empty database. Never import these files into your primary genealogy database! Once you have the data, you can do searches for names you recognize. In fact, a number of genealogy programs have automated merges that will search for likely duplicate entries in your data with data that you obtained from another source. A merge process will quickly identify possible candidates. My guess is that, if you download a couple dozen of these Famous Folks GEDCOM Files, you will find some matches with your database.
When looking at the various screens available, you will see the statement, "Download to Family Tree Maker for Windows or other genealogy software." Click on the words, "or other genealogy software," in order to download the GEDCOM file to your hard drive. You can later import that file into your favorite genealogy program.
Genealogy.com’s “Famous Folks” section has GEDCOM files for Tom Hanks, Oprah Winfrey, Daniel Boone, Wyatt Earp, Jesse James, Marlon Brando, Walt Disney, Buddy Holly, Betsy Ross, George Washington, Prince Charles, and my all-time favorite, Lizzie Borden. That is only a partial list; you will find many more at: http://www.genealogy.com/famousfolks/
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