Discovering your genealogy can be incredibly fascinating. Once in a while, you learn a ton of surprising information about where your ancestors originated. Sometimes, you even realize you’ve been wrong about your ancestry your whole life!

Wouldn’t it be cool if you found out you were related to someone famous? Or maybe a historical figure who played a part in changing the course of history? There are plenty of strange connections between us—and this includes celebrities. (Hello, six degrees of Kevin Bacon!)

Here are 21 famous people—some Hollywood celebs and some historical figures—who are connected in rather unusual ways…

1. Princess Diana of Wales became a member of British royal family when she married Prince Charles of Wales. She was known for her incredible humanitarian work, but her life was tragically cut short due to a fatal car accident when she was only 36 years old. You might be surprised who this remarkable woman shared lineage with…

2. It’s American politician Sarah Palin! According to genealogists, Palin and Princess Diana are tenth cousins. During the 2008 election, Palin was the Republican Party’s nominee for Vice President of the United States.

3. Winston Churchill was a British writer, military leader, and statesman who was appointed the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom twice. During World War II, he helped the United States forge alliances with the Soviet Union to defeat the Nazis. He was also related to someone who very recently served in office…

4. That someone is none other than Barack Obama! Obama served as the 44th president of the United States, and he was the first black man ever to have achieved the title of Commander-in-Chief. Obama and Churchill are ninth cousins through marriage.

5. Hugh Hefner, as most know, built the Playboy empire and made himself a fortune. Although he was certainly liberal-minded, he was related to a very famous face who is anything but…

6. It’s George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States! These two men were ninth-cousins twice removed on Bush’s mother’s side. Both men also happened to be related to John Kerry, Bush’s former presidential rival.

7. Elizabeth Taylor was a stunning British-American actress who had a stellar career in cinema. During the 1950s, she became one of the most popular and sought-after stars in Hollywood. Through marriage, she was also connected to another very famous face…

8. That would be Art Garfunkel from the world-famous duo Simon and Garfunkel! Their connection was somewhat obscure, but it’s still there: Taylor was once married to actress Carrie Fisher’s father, Eddie Fisher, and Carrie was once married to Paul Simon, the other half of the musical duo.

9. Abraham Lincoln was one of the most beloved presidents of all time, and he played a huge role in winning the Civil War and putting an end to slavery in the southern states. You might find it hard to believe who this great man shares ancestry with…

10. That would be Hollywood heavy-hitter and all-around good guy Tom Hanks! You’ve probably seen Hanks in a number of movies, but who could have guessed this connection existed? Through Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, the Hollywood actor is the president’s third cousin, four times removed.

11. Tsar Nicholas II was the last emperor of Russia. During his reign from 1894 to 1917, he saw the fall of his Russian empire due to economic and military collapse. He was also related to another world leader not too far away…

12. He was first cousins with Kaiser Wilhelm II, who was the last German emperor and the King of Prussia from 1888 to 1918. He ruled over both Germany and Prussia at the time. It might be hard to believe, but these two first cousins were also related to another famous ruler, as well…

13. Tsar Nicholas II and Kaiser Wilhelm II were also first cousins with King George V of England. King George served as the king of the United Kingdom, as well as the emperor of India. Queen Victoria of England was the grandmother to all three of these famous world rulers, and they even grew up together.

14. Anyone who is familiar with famous literature knows the name Mark Twain. He wrote a number of world-renowned books, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. As it turns out, Twain is also closely associated with another prominent person in history…

15. That person is Helen Keller! Twain apparently met Keller at a luncheon while celebrating the opening of the Mark Twain Library, and the two became very close. Twain even helped her financially and educationally until the end of his life.

16. Benito Mussolini was a brutal Italian dictator who rose to power during World War I and, in 1919, created the Fascist Party. Although he may have been part of some violent events, he’s connected to someone who’s the complete opposite…

17. That certain someone is Academy Award-winning Italian actress and singer Sophia Loren. Loren and Mussolini are only connected through marriage, thankfully. Loren’s sister married Mussolini’s son, which made the two in-laws.

18. Jesse James was a famous western outlaw who made a name for himself robbing stagecoaches, banks, and trains in the Midwest during the American Civil War. Most people have no idea, however, what other famous face is related to this outlaw by blood…

19. According to a New Jersey test that examined James’s genetic code, he shares a bloodline with none other than the Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne! It seems fitting since Osbourne is essentially music’s no-holds-barred outlaw.

20. During World War I, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was a man named H.H. Asquith. He was the last prime minister to lead a majority Liberal party, and believe it or not, his great-granddaughter is probably someone you know well…

21. It’s Hollywood’s talented Helena Bonham Carter! This actress usually has a lead role in any Tim Burton film, and she’s known for playing quite eccentric characters. Her offbeat, often gothic style makes her stand out in a crowd, just as her great-grandfather did!

This list makes you want to explore your own family history to see if you’re related to someone famous. You’ll never know until you do it!

Share these fascinating family connections with your friends below!