If you never had the inclination to fill in your family tree on Ancestry.com, you may be rethinking that today.
The genealogy-for-pay web site issued a press release [via Time] detailing an interesting and very fancy discovery: newly-minted Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton is related to iconic English novelist Jane Austen.
“Finding this connection between the Duchess of Cambridge and Jane Austen is very exciting since, in many ways, Catherine is the modern Jane Austen heroine: a middle class girl marrying the future King of England,” says Anastasia Harman, Lead Family Historian for the site. “Jane Austen may have written about happily-ever-after, but it seems Catherine has found a nonfiction hero to spend her life with — far past the epilogue.”
Huh. That might be phrasing it a bit dramatically, but she probably thinks this is really cool.
So how are the two ladies connected? They share a common ancestor in Henry Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland from the 15th century. Middleton is Percy’s 16th great-granddaughter, while Austen was Percy’s 10th great-granddaughter.
That makes them 11th cousins, six times removed. It’s not exactly the kind of relative you invite to a wedding, but maybe good enough to get a Christmas card.