On my mother's mother's side, I can trace my family lineage back to 1825, to a dude named Joseph Dallen, who had a daughter named Margaret, who had a daughter named Leona, who had a daughter named Cordelia, who had a daughter named Evelyn, who is my grandmother.
Most of my ancestors on this side of the family are Swedish or French, although one is said to have been Irish, and Lord knows how he got into the mix.
This particular branch of the family tree is the only one I really have any information about, and as far as I know, no one in my family - on any side of the family - was famous or did anything particularly remarkable (although my mother once told me of a Mexican beauty-queen cousin who was killed in a fireworks accident).
There is one guy who is said to have been a musician who did arrangements for the Lawrence Welk show. He was Margaret's (remember her?) brother's son's son. So some kind of distant cousin of mine.
I love geneaology. I love researching it and logging names and dates and occupations.
So it stands to reason that I adore this new TV show (new in America, at least) in which celebrities discover their ancestry. It's called "Who do you think you are?" In its pilot episode over the weekend, Sarah Jessica Parker discovered that one of her ancestors was part of the California Gold Rush. He died before he could strike it rich. Incidentally, this man was listed as traveling with a man who carried my father's last name, so my curiosity was piqued.
Another of Sarah's relatives was accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials but was absolved of wrongdoing due to an amazing stroke of luck/timing.
It's renewed my interest in researching my own family's history. Anything is possible. There are three whole branches of the family I know almost nothing about (more if you count my husband's family).
So I've decided that if this whole fiction writing thing doesn't work out, I'm going to become a professional genealogist. I just googled "How do I become a professional genealogist," and after looking at the information, I think it's totally doable. ;-)
(By the way, when in doubt about anything, and I do mean anything, I always search Google for the answer.)