Any relation to… ?

I once met a guy who said he was related to Doc Holliday. He couldn’t have been a direct descendent, because Doc Holliday only had a common law wife, a Hungarian prostitute named, fascinatingly enough, Big Nose Kate, and they had no children. But still, it’s an interesting story.

I also went to elementary school with a girl who said she was the cousin of Albert Einstein. She didn’t seem particularly smart to me. I mean, she wasn’t a dope, but she was an average student at best. Go figure.

I always feel kind of sorry for people with highly recognized last names such as Churchill or Presley or Roosevelt or Darwin, because they must get awfully sick of people asking if they’re any relation to so and so. And because of that, I tend to hesitate before asking. But I generally go ahead and push myself to ask, because, after all, what if they are? What if you have a brush with someone who had a brush with greatness and you didn’t ask? What kind of an historical opportunity would you be passing up? What kind of cool inside stories would you be missing out on? No. I can’t resist.

I’ll never have their problem, though. Only three people have my last name in the United States, and only ten have it in the world. And of all of those, only one is a male of childbearing age. So you’re looking at a dying breed, here. I never get “Any relation to…?” What I get is “How do you spell that?” And when you think about it, that means I am standing at a unique historical crossroad as well. One way or another, we are all pieces of a great historical puzzle.


We all actually share 40 percent of the dna of a banana, so if you think you don’t have interesting relatives, you’re wrong.

[Image credit:]


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