17 March 2006

Waiting for the Phone to Ring

Madonna was fascinated to find that she is related to both Celine Dion and the former Camilla Parker-Bowles. She was so delighted that she gave the Duchess a call to let her in on the secret. Madonna's genealogist believes that Madonna, Celine, and Camilla are related because of their "unusual French-Canadian ancestry."

Madonna is, in fact, related to a bazillion people, including Robert Goulet, Jack Kerouac, all five of the Dionne Quintuplets, and -- me!

Let's look at the numbers. Zacharie Cloutier and Jean Guyon, through whom Madonna claims relationship to Camilla and Celine, are two of her 9th great-grandfathers. By 1800, Zacharie Cloutier had 10,850 married descendants; Jean Guyon had 9,674.

Play those numbers out over another 200 years and that means Madonna has a ton of relatives -- just from those two ancestors! Now add into the equation the fact that half of Madonna's lineage is French-Canadian. She would have had 512 French or French-Canadian 9th great-grandfathers! Even accounting for pedigree collapse, that would make her related to virtually everyone with early French-Canadian ancestry.

As another cousin, Dick Eastman, says, "I have never met a French-Canadian that I wasn't related to!"

Jean-Fran├žois Loiseau has great trees showing dozens of the French ancestors of Madonna, Celine, and Camilla.

(Thanks to genealogyblog for tip.)

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