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Berkshire Family Historian
December 1999

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Berkshire Family Historian:
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Famous ancestors
John Gurnett

I was in my doctor's waiting room the other day and while waiting to be seen I saw a copy of Hello! Magazine dated August 1, 1992. To be honest a rather glamorous picture of Whitney Houston made me pick it up, but what 1 found totally fascinating was an article on descendants of famous and infamous Americans. A few of those featured include Susan Brown, who drives a school bus, and is a descendent of Abraham Lincoln; and George Armstrong Custer IV, a landscape designer, who is the great-great-great grandson of General Custer. Among the infamous there's a descendent of the notorious Dalton Brothers, who ironically earns a living as a private detective. The great-niece of AI Capone lives in France, but she's not at all proud of being a relative of the 1930s gangster. Prairie Rose Little Sky is quite determined to become a biology teacher and as she inherits the genes of her ancestor Chief Crazy Horse the Sioux warrior, no doubt she will.

Curiously enough in November the Telegraph Magazine had a similar feature. Laura, Emmeline Pankhurst's great-greatgrandaughter, is apparently obsessed by her Barbie dolls; Charles Dickens great-great-great grandson Harry Lloyd (an Eton schoolboy) says "I was always aware of him but I didn't realise how famous he was, I just thought he was this old geezer who wrote books". None of the present Duke of Wellington's children has a passion for military warfare, so another family tradition has come to a full stop.

If you've got a famous ancestor let me know and perhaps we'll be able to tell your story in a forthcoming magazine.

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Berkshire Family History Society 2001

updated 9th June 2001