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  • The Ancestry of Catherine MiddletonKATE MIDDLETON’S FAMILY HISTORY

    Book Published by NEHGS Highlights Kate’s American Cousins,
    Which Include President, General, Comedienne

    Boston, MA – March 29, 2011 – The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) in Boston today announced the release of its newest book, “The Ancestry of Catherine Middleton,” which for the first time offers a comprehensive look at the British and American ancestors and cousins of the future wife of Prince William of Wales. Researched and written by William Addams Reitweisner, along with NEHGS staff genealogists Christopher C. Child and Scott C. Steward, the book details Kate’s Middleton’s genealogy as far back as Sir Thomas Fairfax (who died in 1521) and his wife Agnes Gascoigne.

    Unlike Prince William’s parents, Middleton has largely working-class ancestry from the English north. Her ancestors include merchants, messengers, solicitors, cabinet makers, butchers, bakers, a laundress, and coalminers.

    NEHGS President and CEO Brenton Simons said, “This book represents an important genealogical record for the future Queen of England and exemplifies the work of our expert genealogists.”

    In November, when Kate Middleton and Prince William announced their engagement, NEHGS released information showing that Kate is related to several iconic figures in American history. Like the Queen Mother and Princess Diana before her, Kate Middleton is a cousin of America’s first president, George Washington, via their descent from Sir Thomas Fairfax and Agnes Gascoigne. Among Middleton’s other American cousins are famed explorers Meriwether Lewis and Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, World War II general George S. Patton, Jr., novelist Upton Sinclair, and Francis Scott Key, author of “The Star Spangled Banner.”

    On the celebrity side, Kate is a 14th cousin twice removed of comedienne and television host Ellen DeGeneres, as DeGeneres has discussed on her popular talk show. Kate is also a 6th cousin once removed of British director Guy Ritchie, via David Martineau, a British surgeon who died in 1768. 

    The book also shows that William and Kate are themselves fourteenth cousins once removed through their shared descent from Sir Thomas Fairfax, who died during the reign of Henry VIII. A branch of the Fairfax family moved to Virginia in the mid-17th century.

    Purchase The Ancestry of Catherine Middleton

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    About NEHGS
    Founded in 1845, New England Historic Genealogical Society is the country's leading resource for family history research. We help family historians expand their knowledge, skill, and understanding of their family and its place in history. The NEHGS research center, located at 99 Newbury Street, Boston, houses millions of books, journals, manuscripts, photographs, microfilms, documents, records, and other artifacts that date back more than four centuries. NEHGS staff includes some of the leading expert genealogists in the country, specializing in early American, Irish, English, Italian, Scottish, Atlantic and French Canadian, African American, Native American, and Jewish genealogy. NEHGS’ award-winning Website,, offers access to a growing collection of regional and national content and resources, including more than 135 million searchable names.

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