How I found out I was related to pretty much every celebrity
My family tree includes Lena Dunham, Amy Schumer, Natalie Portman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Andy Samberg and Abbi and Ilana from 'Broad City.'
We're all related, of course. Somewhere, in Africa, my most ancient ancestor and your most ancient ancestor were the same person. But since genealogy research exploded online, it's become possible to trace all of our connections a bit more specifically.
Geni.com, for instance, put together a world family tree that Israel-based genealogy website MyHeritage uses so genealogy enthusiasts can see how they're connected to other genealogy enthusiasts.
I wanted to find out whether I was related to American actresses Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, the creators of one of my favorite television shows, "Broad City," to see if funny ran in my blood and to pay homage to the first famous American actress to share my name. So I asked the creators of MyHeritage for help.
I called up my parents and grandparents and asked them for details about relatives I haven't really thought about since I made a paper and pencil family tree in seventh grade. Then, the folks at MyHeritage did their magic. As it turns out, I am indeed related to both Abbi and Ilana.
Ilana Glazer is my great aunt's second cousin once removed's wife's niece's husband's niece's husband's first cousin twice removed's wife's nephew's wife's second cousin. (Try saying that three times fast.)
Abbi Jacobson is my great aunt's second cousin twice removed's husband's brother's wife's brother's wife's nephew's wife's sister's husband's second cousin's wife's uncle's wife's first cousin once removed's husband's first cousin once removed.
Oh, but wait. There's more.
"Girls" creator Lena Dunham is my great aunt's second cousin once removed's husband's second cousin four times removed's ex-husband's wife's third great granddaughter.
Comedian Amy Schumer is my second cousin four times removed's husband's niece's husband's second cousin twice removed's wife's uncle's wife's first cousin twice removed.
Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman is my great aunt's second cousin thrice removed's wife's third great aunt's husband's great nephew's wife's first cousin twice removed.
American singer Gwyneth Paltrow is my second great aunt's sister's husband's niece's husband's great aunt's husband's first cousin thrice removed's wife's second cousin.
American actor Andy Samberg is my great aunt's second cousin twice removed's husband's uncle's wife's first cousin once removed's wife's great nephew.
What does this all mean? As Charlie Chaplin once told Albert Einstein, who wondered why so many people clapped for the two of them: "It means nothing. Absolutely nothing."
Or hey, maybe it's nice to know we're all related, however distantly. Either way, Abbi and Ilana are totally invited to my next family reunion.
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