The New England Historic Genealogical Society recently discovered that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are distantly related, the Boston Herald reported.
The acting and writing duo from Cambridge share a 10th grandfather on their fathers’ sides, William Knowlton of Ipswich, making them 10th cousins once removed.
“We suspected they might be related since both of them had ancestry going back to colonial New England” said geneologist Chris Child.
Rhonda McClure, another geneologist involved in the research, told the Herald she saw Affleck filming in Copley Square recently and just decided to look into it. McClure and Child also discovered that Affleck is related to Princess Diana and 16 U.S. presidents, including Obama. Similarly, Damon is related to “six or seven” presidents.
While interesting, this doesn’t really mean much. Anyone with colonial ancestry is likely to be distantly related to a lot people. Damon and Affleck’s friendship is certainly a lot stronger than their blood connection. Still, it’s rather nifty.