We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the coolest fact about their family history, and wow, the historical figures they're related to — plus some their relatives interacted with — are seriously impressive:
1. "My great-great-great grandfather (or something like that) was the doctor who helped John Wilkes Booth after he broke his ankle escaping after shooting Lincoln. He was later arrested."
2. "I am descended from one Alice Lake, who was hanged as a witch in Dorchester, Massachusetts around 1651."
3. "My mom’s maiden name is Pemberton. Her ancestor, a great-great uncle, is John Pemberton, who invented Coca-Cola. He sold the formula before it started making real money. One of my uncles looks a lot like him."
4. "Bonnie, of Bonnie and Clyde fame, babysat my cousin."
5. "One of my ancestors sculpted the Manneken Pis....the statue/fountain of the little peeing boy in Brussels, Belgium."
6. "My great-grandfather invented the Cuisinart food processor!"
7. "My dad was at the University of Maine with Stephen King. He said King was really odd (no surprise)."
8. "My paternal grandfather invented the yellow tennis ball."
9. "My great-grandfather attended George Washington University at the same time as L. Ron Hubbard, and they were in the same fraternity."
10. "My great (x3) grandfather Alexander Ogston was one of Queen Victoria's physicians and was knighted by her. He also discovered staphylococcus."
11. "My mother worked as a court reporter for the New York state grand jury during the late '70s and was at the arraignment of David Berkowitz, better known as the Son of Sam."
12. "My great-great-great-great grandfather was one of the most famous Native American military leaders, Midwestern native and chief of the Miami tribe, Little Turtle."
13. "My grandfather’s cousin invented the cheeseburger in Louisville, Kentucky in 1934. The restaurant is still there, and it's still named after our family name, Kaelin!"
14. "My mom and dad knew Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan when they were in school. My dad even played bass guitar in their school band, The Warlords."
15. "The Younger brothers (of The James-Younger Gang, with Jesse James and his brother Frank) are my distant cousins."
16. "My great (x6) grandfather was Abraham Lincoln’s servant. We still have a rose Abe pinned to his chest!"
17. "One of my great (times about a hundred) granddads was a marine on the First Fleet to Australia. He was Scottish, and his name was Shadrack. There was even a bridge named after him in Victoria until they found out that he was cruel to the convicts."
18. "A many-times-great relative was racing to claim the Isle of Skye off of Scotland. Whoever placed his hand on the island first would be the owner forever, so my ancestor cut off his hand and threw it on shore. My family crest even includes a disembodied hand holding a dirk."
19. "My great-grandmother on my mom’s side went on a date with the notorious mob boss Al Capone. He took her to dinner and left a big tip. She said he was a gentleman but seemed off."
20. "I'm a direct descendant of the Steinway piano's creator, but my great-uncle wanted to be a circus clown instead of continuing the family business. He got kicked out of the family, and that's the branch that formed my biological tree."
21. "My grandpa was friends with Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart. After they went public, my grandpa ended up with a fairly large number of shares in the company (I don’t recall if he bought them or was gifted them)."
22. "My great-grandfather was a powerful dukun (witch doctor) who was also a guerrilla resistance leader against the Dutch occupation of what is now Indonesia. When he became too notorious for his resistance, he fled to Singapore."
23. "My great (x7) uncle was George Washington! My aunt traced back our ancestry and we have the letters proving it in our family bible."
24. "My great-great-grandmother (I think that’s the right number of greats) grew up alongside the von Trapp family that The Sound of Music is based on."
25. "My great-great uncle invented Esperanto, the largest 'artificial' language in the world. It’s still spoken by a few million people worldwide. I’m working on learning it myself."
26. "My great-great-grandpa invented a mechanism that allowed toilets to flush on submarines."
27. "My grandma dated Jimmy Buffett. Yes, the 'Cheeseburger In Paradise' guy."
28. "My great-great-great-uncle, Morris Michtom, invented the teddy bear. He also started the Ideal Toy Company, which was responsible for the Rubik’s Cube!"
29. "My grandma's great-aunt was Lucille Mullhall. She went on a wolf hunt with Teddy Roosevelt, competed and won roping and riding competitions against men, and was part of a wild west show that featured Geronimo."
Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.