Johnny Depp – Not so fast….

I was quite excited to see that Johnny Depp was “Possibly” an eighth cousin, according the “We’re Related App” and, through my Babcock family, again, but pretty cool. Like most people I’ve been entertained by his cocky characters and extreme persona. Love it. love him.

The only thing is that he’s probably not my eight cousin, because there is an error in his family tree, just below the link with the Babcock clan.

I didn’t do a whole lot of checking but I still spent a couple of hours trying to correct the error, or see if there is a “work around” the broken link. but alas, no luck so far.

The We’re Related App is great, but it’s not perfect, nor does it pretend to be. Take the referrals somewhat lightly, but definitely check them out yourself. The more you work at it, the better your genealogy skills will develop, and the more accurate your own family tree will become.

I still love Johnny Depp, even if he’s not my cousin.

Marilyn Monroe – my 9th cousin

Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn was an icon of the 1940’s through her death in 1962. The legend of her life was bigger than life itself. Although she didn’t live anywhere near long enough, her image still dominates when it comes to a certain type and style of actress, model and woman. She is “possibly” my 9th cousin, according to “We’re Related”

Marilyn Monroe Sings in George Cukor Retrospective Trailer for ‘Let’s Make Love’

Her image appears on so many diverse applications that it has become a generic symbol of the American Sex Kitten, extolled in movies and television, mimicked by many but never matched.

When I discovered that she may be my 9th cousin my first instinct was similar to my first reaction to seeing her image as a young boy. She is a spitting image of my mom as a young woman. I remember thinking that she had to “be” my mom when I was a kid, nearly getting into a fist fight with some local kids who made “suggestive” comments about her.

It felt like they were insulting my mom. Later on I realized that she didn’t actually look that much like mom, but they were both blond beauties, whose looks belied their actual intelligence and characters.

Now that I know that Marilyn Monroe really was related to my mom, through her mother’s family, the Babcocks, maybe I can see a little more of my mom in her than my mom would have been happy to see. My mom was never a “sex kitten”, not in a million years, nor was she an emotional creature buffeted on the waves of depression that Marilyn faced, and which led to her death by suicide in her thirties.

What did have in common with my mom was her intelligence, and her ability to maximize her assets to her best advantage. My mom was “smart” and “intellectual” which she parlayed into a lifetime career as an educator, which was a reliable source of income and professional respect. Coming from an impoverished background, Marilyn didn’t really have the advantage of a good university education. Instead she learned early on how to earn a living with her physical beauty, emotionally appealing character to men, and how to use her intelligence to master her craft as an actor, musician and personality.

She invented the idea of a personal “brand” which resonates in the world of media and arts today. Managing her career she kept herself in the media spotlight and completely controlled the use of her iconic style and images.

Contrary to many opinions about her, she was never a “dumb” anything. And she wasn’t actually a blond, at all. She discovered that being a blond was to her advantage, so she become one. A totally self made woman in an era when that was nearly impossible.