Justin Bieber‘s fans have discovered the genetic source of his talent – and the talent of several other Canadian stars. Researchers on Ancestry.com, a genealogy website, have discovered that Bieber is distantly related to Ryan Gosling, Avril Lavigne, and Celine Dion.
Although Bieber’s DNA made headlines last year when a fan claimed he was the father of her child, this discovery has nothing to do with paternity testing. Instead, the researchers pieced together Bieber’s family history using records of early Canadian settlers. They also used a more contemporary, but equally painstaking source: they combed teen magazines for references to Bieber’s family background. Working in both directions – back from the present and forward from the past – the genealogists traced Bieber’s family tree back to the seventeenth century. The process took them over a year.
A couple who settled in Québec in the early 1600s connect Bieber, Gosling, and Lavigne. Mathurin Roy and Marguerite Biré were born in France. Records show that they married in 1637, then emigrated to Canada, where Roy worked as a stonemason. Their progeny would later spread out all over Canada.
Bieber, Gosling, and Lavigne were all born in Ontario: Lavigne in Belleville, and Bieber and Gosling in London. Gosling is an eleventh cousin once removed of both Bieber and Lavigne, while Bieber and Lavigne are twelfth cousins.
Bieber’s connection to Celine Dion is on another side of the family, and she’s not related to the other two stars. Their mutual ancestors are Jacques Vézina and Marie Boisdon, another French couple who settled in Québec in the 1600s. Bieber and Dion are tenth cousins three times removed.
Destined for Greatness?
The Ancestry.com researchers say that this kind of discovery is the best part of their jobs. One genealogist, Michelle Ercanback, called the connection a “very pleasant surprise” and added, “The great thing about family history is that you never know what you’re going to find.” Her colleague, Lesley Anderson, expressed a similar sentiment: “There’s something special about discovering a shared connection, and to be able to go so far back in history to do so is one of the most satisfying aspects of family history research.”
So is there a mutant gene that turns otherwise ordinary Canadians into teen heartthrobs with catchy pop hits? Probably not. Ercanback says she doubts that this common bloodline is “sufficient to point to the existence of a superstar gene.” Still, the genealogists agree that the stars’ common lineage is fascinating and thought-provoking. It is rare to trace so many famous names back to the same distant ancestor, and these forebears are particularly interesting because they show that Bieber’s Canadian heritage goes back to the earliest European settlers.
Maybe it is a good idea to get ready for the Canadian invasion, after all. It seems they’ve been planning this for centuries.
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Derek is an active celebrity rumor blogger. When he is not working or watching E! news, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend and traveling. The following article is for paternity testing.