In what is surely the only bit of good or pleasant news left in 2016, the star of the BBC television series Sherlock has been revealed to share a bloodline with the creator of the Sherlock Holmes character and novels. Despite the upcoming season 4 premiere of the show, we’ve been assured that this isn’t a paid or influenced bit of advertising; rather a pretty delightful bit of serendipity.
Ancestry.com announced that through their own research, they’ve determined that British actor and occasional pretend American Benedict Cumberbatch happens to be related to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who created Sherlock Holmes over a hundred years ago. Genealogy shows that the two men are 16th counsins, twice removed. While Doyle passed in 1930, their common ancestor was John of Gaunt, the 14th century duke of Lancaster and fourth son of Edward III. This man connection Doyle and Cumberbatch is their 15th great-grandfather and 17th great-grandfather, respectively.
“Making family history connections is similar to piecing together a mysterious puzzle, one that the great Sherlock Holmes himself would be intrigued to solve,” said Lisa Elzey, family historian at Ancestry.
The folks at Ancestry.com also let the world know that no one has bothered reaching out to Cumberbatch yet to fill him in on this development. Hey Benny, if you’re reading this here for the first time, please consider this an apology from us for airing your personal information in a public space but also ISN’T THIS COOL? We think it’s cool.
Our friends at i09 tipped us off to the story, and we think it’s a twist worthy of the show itself.
Have any of you found yourselves genealogically linked with cool historical figures? Sound off in the comments and let us know! (This author is directly down-line from Robert E. Lee which is… complicated. Let’s talk about that.)