TORONTO, May 14, 2013 /CNW/ - It turns out that superstar astronaut Chris Hadfield isn't the only one in his family with an interest in exploring the final frontier. Researchers at Ancestry.ca, Canada's leading family history resource, have discovered that Commander Hadfield is related to Star Trek Into Darkness villain Benedict Cumberbatch through shared British roots. The two are 6th cousins.
Hadfield, who returned from his mission as Commander of the International Space Station on Monday evening, has broken ground in making space exploration accessible to the masses, with his awe-inspiring photos of Earth from the ISS that have grabbed the attention of millions around the world through his social media channels. Hadfield famously exchanged Tweets with the original Captain Kirk, William Shatner, early in his mission, with a hilarious response that garnered him immediate international applause.
Cumberbatch stars in the newest Star Trek film as super-villain Khan to fictional commander Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and his colleagues on the Starship Enterprise. Cumberbatch is quickly becoming a North American household name through his starring role in the television series Sherlock and his upcoming role in the second film in The Hobbit franchise.
Hadfield and Cumberbatch are related through Thomas Little and Elizabeth Snell, of St. Keyne, Cornwall, UK, who lived together in 1780. Thomas Little was born in 1754, in St. Keyne and worked as a farmer. He married Elizabeth Snell in 1779 and they settled down in St. Keyne, UK to raise their family.
"I wonder if Thomas and Elizabeth could have ever imagined that their descendants would have such significant roles in the exploration of space when they looked up at the stars," said Lesley Anderson, a family historian and content specialist with Ancestry.ca. "Their family members connect one of the largest science fiction franchises of our time with one of the people working to make science fiction a reality. It's pretty amazing to think about and underscores that you really never know what you could discover in your family tree."
Ancestry.ca was launched in January 2006 and is part of Ancestry.com Inc. the world's largest online family history resource with approximately 2.7 million paying subscribers across all its websites. More than 11 billion records have been added to the Ancestry.com sites and users have created more than 47 million family trees containing more than 5 billion profiles.
In addition to its flagship site www.ancestry.com, the company operates several Ancestry international websites along with a suite of online family history brands including Archives.com, Fold3.com and Newspapers.com, all designed to empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history.
To discover the stellar roots of your own family tree, visit www.ancestry.ca for a 14-day free trial.
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