Tag Archives: Academy Awards

Highclere Castle to the Oscars

What do the 85th Academy Awards, PBS’ Downton Abbey, Knights Templar, and Super Bowl XLVII have in common?

They are all connected to each other (and consequently to millions of fans), through generation-by-generation family ties in the Family Forest®.

Sounds impossible?

That’s exactly what I would have thought, before I spent tens of thousands of hours questing through the nooks and crannies of recorded history, filtering and distilling the knowledge that was assembled by experts, and digitally-indexing the results into an amazingly interconnected network of ancestral pathways that can now be explored visually.

The attached chart is a small example of the answers the Family Forest® can generate. Here’s what you will find.

The first column is 21 people. The second column shows their connection to the Oscars, and the third column shows their role.

The next four columns show the computer-generated relationships of the 21 people in the first column to other people.

The fifth column is Seth MacFarlane, host of the 85th Academy Awards.

The next column is to the 8th Earl of Carnarvon, the present Lord of Highclere Castle, which is the setting for PBS’ enormously popular series Downton Abbey. Highclere Castle is also the setting for a current New York Times best-seller.

The 8th Earl of Carnarvon has extensive early Colonial American ancestry, which makes him a single-digit cousin to many millions of Downton Abbey fans. Almost half of the people in the column are his single-digit cousins.

The following column is to the founder of Briquebec Castle. This one is the most fascinating to me because, according to the recorded history mapped out in the Family Forest®, it is one of my own ancestral homes.

And not only does Briquebec Castle have Knights Templar history (remember the Da Vinci Code?), but it is possible to book a stay at the castle tonight, and it is the focal point of what may be the world’s largest eBook. In addition to Briquebec being an ancestral home to at least 20 of the 21 people in column one, it is also an ancestral home of the 8th Earl of Carnarvon, owner of Highclere Castle, and the Harbaugh brothers.

The last column is to the two brothers who will be making history by dueling in Super Bowl XLVII next Sunday, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, and San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh.

I hope you enjoy all of the great entertainment, and that you will think about the incredible system of links that allows us to bring you these connections.

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Filed under 85th Academy Awards, 8th Earl of Carnarvon, Ancestral History, Ancestry, Baraon Anslech Turstain of Briquebec, Downton Abbey, Family Forest National Treasure, Genealogy, Highclere Castle, PBS Masterpiece Theatre, Seth MacFarlane, Super Bowl

The 83rd Academy Awards

The Family Forest® Project is, among other objectives, Networking Family History with Hollywood™, and it can connect far more people personally, through their own family ties, to Hollywood content than any other digital resource.

For instance, take one of the five Oscar nominees for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Jeff Bridges. After running a Family Forest® kinship report I found some connections to the 83rd Academy Awards within Jeff’s almost 300,000 relatives.

They include two of his co-stars from “True Grit” Matt Damon (19C1R) and Josh Brolin (21C2R), King George VI (17C2R) from “The King’s Speech” who was portrayed by another one of the five Oscar nominees for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Colin Firth, and one of the five Oscar nominees for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Amy Adams (24C2R) for her role in “The Fighter.”

Jeff has many more family ties to previous Oscar winners. They include in order of distance Jane Fonda (6C1R), Bing Crosby (7C2R), Melvyn Douglas (7C2R), Jodie Foster (9C1R), Henry Fonda (9C2R), Katharine Hepburn (9C2R), Michael Douglas (10C), John Huston (10C), Robert Redford (10C), Humphrey Bogart (10C1R), Angelica Huston (10C1R), Jason Robards (10C1R), Joanne Woodward (10C1R), Tim Robbins (11C), Lee Marvin (12C3R), Olivia De Havilland (14C6R), Joan Fontaine (14C6R), Clint Eastwood (18C), Meryl Streep (18C1R), Bette Davis (19C1R), Robert Duvall (19C1R), Liza Minnelli (19C3R), Reese Witherspoon (20C1R), Tom Hanks (20C2R), Jack Nicholson (20C5R), Jane Wyman (21C1R), Audrey Hepburn (21C2R), Marlon Brando (26C4R), Elia Kazan (spouse of a 8C3R), Clark Gable (spouse of a 9C1R), Walter Huston (spouse of a 9C1R), Kim Basinger (spouse of a 10C), Catherine Zeta-Jones (spouse of a 10C), Paul Newman (spouse of a 10C1R), Susan Sarandon (spouse of an 11C), Cliff Robertson (spouse of a 13C5R), Carol Reed (spouse of a 13C4R), Anthony Quinn (spouse of a 15C3R), Nicholas Cage (spouse of a 16C1R), Elizabeth Taylor (spouse of a 16C3R), Grace Kelly (spouse of an 18C), David Niven (spouse of an 18C), Vincente Minnelli (spouse of an 18C4R), Angelina Jolie (spouse of a 19C2R), Spencer Tracy (spouse of a 19C3R), and Goldie Hawn (spouse of a 20C).

Just like Jeff Bridges, anyone who connects to the Royal Channel in the Family Forest® also has family ties to each of these Oscar winners, plus many other Hollywood stars.

Discover your family ties to Hollywood in the Family Forest® National Treasure Edition.

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Filed under 83rd Academy Awards, Ancestors, Colin Firth, Cousins, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, Hollywood, Jeff Bridges, Oscar nominee, The King's Speech, True Grit