It has been said that if you go back far enough – we are all related to one another. Whether or not you consider two people to be related to each other may depend on how far you want to go with the “distant cousin” concept. Whenever someone discovers that two famous people are related, it tends to make the news, especially if the two people seem mismatched.
Geni.com posted an article on their blog titled “Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Are Related – And This is How”. It definitely got some attention. Part of the reason why people got interested in this discovery is that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are running for President of the United States at the time the Geni.com blog was posted.
As you may know, Hillary Clinton is running for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. She is the former United States Secretary of State (and a former First Lady). Donald Trump is running for the Republican nomination for President of the United States. He is a real estate mogul who wrote “The Art of the Deal” business book. There is a chance that the two could face off against each other in November of 2016.
These two individuals do not appear to have much in common with each other (if anything). So, how are these two people related? Geni.com notes that they are actually 19th cousins. This has been verified. Interestingly, the two of them are each related to royalty.
According to the Geni.com blog, the family trees of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump connect at the people who were both of their 18th great grandparents. Those two people were John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, and Katherine Swynford, Duchess of Lancaster.
John of Gaunt was also called the earl of Richmond or the duc d’Aquitaine. He was an English prince. He was the son of Edward III and Philippa of Hainaut. John was their fourth child, but third surviving child.
In 1362, John married his first wife, Blanche. Through her, he acquired the duchy of Lancaster and the vast estates in England and Wales that were part of it. John was a commander in the Hundred Years’ War (1337 – 1453). Blanche died in 1369. In 1371, John married Constance of Castile. Constance died in 1394. Two years later, John married Katherine Swynford, who was his mistress.
In 1865, Katherine was serving Blanche, Duchess of Lancaster and wife of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. After Blanche died, and John married Constance of Castile, Katherine became the governess for Blanche and John’s children.
Between 1373 and 1379, Katherine gave birth to four children. Three were named Sir Thomas Swynford, Blanche, and Margaret. Katherine’s children were acknowledged as children of John of Gaunt. John and Katherine got married in January of 1396. The marriage officially legitimized their children.
Image by Gidzy on Flickr.
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