File this under Fortunately Timed Publicity. Just one day ahead of the premiere of the new season of Sherlock comes news that the show’s star, Benedict Cumberbatch, is a descendant of his character’s creator, Arthur Conan Doyle. According to researchers at Ancestry.com, the actor and author are 16th cousins, twice removed. Their common ancestor was John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and a son of Edward III, according to the Associated Press.
Before you start writing your Sherlock fanfic about a time-traveling Cumberbatch having adventures with his cousin in foggy Victorian London, being a 16th cousin (twice removed, no less) isn’t such a big deal. It turns out we’re all cousins, really. Yes, when it comes down to it, we’re all one big family.* (SEE BELOW.) “Making family history connections is similar to piecing together a mysterious puzzle, one that the great Sherlock Holmes himself would be intrigued to solve,” said Ancestry.com’s Lisa Elzey in an attempt, no doubt, to get you to join the genealogy website and confirm that nagging fear that you’re related to Donald Trump.
*Don’t take that as invitation to come over to dinner.