Our local paper was recently bought by a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, which led me to briefly browsing Warren Buffett’s Wikipedia page, where it mentioned that he’s “of distant French Huguenot descent.” Not sure why this is considered noteworthy, but whatever. Anyway, I am also “of distant French Huguenot descent”, from my 10 x great grandfather (if I counted the generations right), good old Benoit Brasseur, or Old French Grandpa Benny as we call him in the family. So what Huguenot is Buffett’s Wikipedia page referring to? Could it be the same one?!
Nope. Wikipedia’s page is referring to a Mareen Duvall. But Duvall’s second wife, and the one Buffett is descended from, was Susannah Brasseur, daughter of Benoit! So that makes my 10 x great grandfather Warren Buffett’s 7 x great grandfather, making Warren Buffett my 8th cousin, 3 times removed! So the local paper is like a family business now.
But there’s a bonus relative, too. Also descended from Mareen Duvall and Susannah is a president of the USA! As in… the current one. Bleh! Old cousin Barry, 11th cousin, once removed.
(Other famous descendants of Mareen Duvall include Harry S. Truman, Dick Cheney, and actor Robert Duvall, but my brief Googling around seems to indicate that these famous guys are descended from Duvall’s first wife rather than his second.)
Of course, these connections are so distant that they’re completely and utterly unremarkable, but it is interesting to actually be able to trace a path.