11 April 2013

Rival leaders blood relatives

This rather insignificant story appears in today's National Post: Family feud? Genealogy site claims Trudeau, Mulcair are cousins after digging into lawmakers’ backgrounds.

Canada’s political spectrum could include a family feud, according to Ancestry.ca. The popular Canadian genealogy website says Liberal leadership frontrunner Justin Trudeau, and NDP leader Tom Mulcair are distant relatives – ninth cousins, to be exact. The two prominent politicians share a set of eighth-great-grandparents: Mathieu Amiot and Marie Miville, who were married in Quebec in 1650, the website says. Amiot and Miville were among the first Quebec settlers, and apparently had quite an impact on the political future of a country that, at the time, didn’t yet exist.

This is hardly news. Given that the two political leaders have roots in 17th-century Québec, and given the small number of French families living there at the time, it would be more surprising if they were not related to each other.

According to my own genealogical research, the Queen is my 13th cousin once removed, as is my own wife. Once you go back far enough, it turns out that virtually everyone is related to everyone else.

By the way, this month marks the tenth anniversary of this blog. Cause for celebration? Depends on your perspective, I suppose.

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