I finished the Heinlein biography and at the end it has some genealogy. Several of the surnames looked familiar. Bob’s family stretches back to Connecticut and some early New England settlers, as do many of my ancestors. I checked my family tree on Ancestry.com and found matches. I am proud to say that I am Robert Heinlein’s cousin at least three ways on both my father and mother’s sides. Of course, this is 8th, 9th and 10th cousins, which means that for all practical purposes we are not really related.
It is interesting to know, though, that there is at least a tiny chunk of some DNA that Robert A. Heinlein and I share.
8th cousins are not that uncommon. Much of the US are probably 8th cousins to each other.
If you consider two kids per household, I have 512 8th level ancestors, and they each have 512 8th level grandchildren. That means that if every family only had 2 kids that Heinlein had over 25,000 8th cousins. If each family had 4 kids, which is much more common (and most families had lots of kids 100 years ago), that makes Bob and I two of 8 million 8th cousins. (It is almost quitting time on Friday and I am doing the math in my head – it can’t be right).
Anyway, it is nice to be related to Robert A. Heinlein, not matter how distantly.