12 Shocking Celebrity Family Ties You Won’t Believe

For most people, looking back into the past and researching their family’s genealogy is simply a curiosity. For others, it is an obsession.

At its root, genealogy satisfies basic human curiosity. It satisfies the deep, longing need to understand how we fit into the scheme of things. More than just a collection of individual family threads lapsing through history, looking into your genealogy is a voyage through centuries of lifetimes interwoven from the past, the present, and the future.

There are many basic reasons why people trace their family tree: evaluating the risk of getting certain medical conditions, determining if family stories about their ancestors are true, finding their birth parents or finding children they gave up for adoption. Some people just want to learn more about a parent, grandparent or sibling after their death, and many people are simply interested in finding out if they are related to someone famous.

Even celebrities have been known to research their own roots — and these are some of the most fascinating stories of them all. For example, Lady Gaga and Madonna’s uncanny likenesses are present for a reason–they are ninth cousins once removed. And then there is Oscar-winning actor Tim Robbins, who is related to the late Princess Diana, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Angelina Jolie; they are ninth cousins twice removed. And Jennifer Aniston shares her bloodline with John Quincy Adams and the Bush family.

It seems it’s a small (A-list) world after all.

Some family ties are even more incredible — connections between people you’d probably never imagine being in the same room together, let alone belonging to the same family tree. And those are are the pairings we’ve collected for our slide show featuring 12 shocking celebrity family ties.

Curious about your own family history? Ever wondered if the stories behind your family name were really true, if you were related to someone famous or infamous?  Find out now!