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Boston Globe: Chris Child, of NEHGS, Genealogical Guru

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Chris Child - Boston GlobeFrom the Boston Globe:
Just call him pop culture's sleuth
How Chris Child discovered his true calling

By Kathleen Pierce
Globe Correspondent / May 14, 2011

When Lady Gaga released her song “Born This Way’’ in February, the music world cried foul. The pop hit sounded too much like Madonna’s “Express Yourself,’’ critics protested. But the Material Girl stayed mum on the issue.

That’s what you do when you’re family. (see how Lady Gaga and Madonna are related.)

According to Boston celebrity genealogist Chris Child, who painstakingly pores over documents searching for connections between notable people at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the two singers share more than a penchant for reinvention: Lady Gaga and Madonna are related.

“They are ninth cousins once removed,’’ Child said with a sly grin.

He presented a handwritten piece of paper, which traced the relations of Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone and Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta back to a French immigrant farming couple who came to Quebec in the 1600s. Born this way, indeed.

“When I saw that Lady Gaga had French Canadian ancestry I thought there might be something there,’’ said Child, who started working at the Newbury Street institution as a 16-year-old intern in 1997... 

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