PROVO, Utah, June 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Royalty and vampires may sound like characters from the Twilight Saga – but they're actually what you find once you bite into Robert Pattinson's past. Ancestry.com, the world's largest online family history resource, says Pattinson – America's favorite vampire who stars as Edward Cullen in the hit Twilight Saga movie series – is related to Vlad III Dracula, the basis for the famous literary villain. The company says Pattinson and Vlad are likely related through the British royal family.
Born in Transylvania, Vlad, also known as Vlad the Impaler, was a three-time ruler of Wallachia (now a region of Romania) who ruled primarily from 1456 to 1462. Vlad's nickname "the Impaler" stems from his cruel and inhumane punishments of enemies. He is commonly thought to be the inspiration for Count Dracula in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula.
"Tracing Pattinson's family back to Vlad was difficult research, but the pieces that unraveled created the perfect accompaniment to the Twilight Saga," said Anastasia Tyler, a genealogist at Ancestry.com. "Without any myth or magic, we find royalty and vampires lurking in Pattinson's life – making his story just as supernatural as the one he's playing on screen."
Family history experts at Ancestry.com discovered that Pattinson's and Dracula's family trees connect through none other than the British royal line: Pattinson is distant cousins with Prince William and Prince Harry on their father's side, likely through the Pickering family who lived in Yorkshire, England, in the early 1500s. Vlad the Impaler is a distant uncle of Prince William and Prince Harry.
But Pattinson isn't the only Twilight personality with real-life vampire connections. Ancestry.com found that Twilight Saga author Stephenie Meyer is also a distant cousin to the British princes – linking Meyer to famed Dracula as well. Ancestry.com previously revealed other "blood curdling" connections to Dracula through the royals including former president George W. Bush and U.S. Senator John Kerry.
Other Famous Finds
The uncanny family connection that links Pattinson, the royal family, and Dracula is one of many interesting skeletons that Ancestry.com has dug up:
- Earlier this year, Ancestry.com discovered that America's Queen of Pop, Madonna, is related to leading talk show host and American Idol judge Ellen DeGeneres. The two are 11th cousins.
- In November 2009, Ancestry.com found that financier Warren Buffett and President Obama are 7th cousins three times removed.
- Last summer, Ancestry.com revealed that Emma Watson, who plays Hermione in the Harry Potter movie series, is related to a 16th-century woman accused of witchcraft.
"One draw of family history is exploring family mysteries," said Tyler. "Whether family lore says you're related to celebrities, the president – even vampires – all it takes is a little digging to find out."
Ancestry.com is a partner with NBC on the new, hit television series "Who Do You Think You Are?" and provided important family history research for the show, including tracing the roots of the seven celebrities featured. The celebrities in Season 1 of "Who Do You Think You Are?" included Sarah Jessica Parker, Lisa Kudrow, Brooke Shields, Susan Sarandon, Emmitt Smith, Matthew Broderick and Spike Lee.
For anyone interested in discovering royals, vampires and other famous figures in their family tree, visit www.ancestry.com.
Ancestry.com Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOM) is the world's largest online family history resource, with more than one million paying subscribers. More than 5 billion records have been added to the site in the past 13 years. Ancestry users have created more than 17 million family trees containing over 1.7 billion profiles. Ancestry.com has local Web sites directed at nine countries, including its flagship Web site at http://www.ancestry.com.