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Kate 'George Washington's cousin'

Kate Middleton has family ties to America's most famous founding father and the author of its national anthem, according to a book.

The New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston has released a book on Ms Middleton's ancestry that shows Prince William's fiancee is an eighth cousin seven times removed of George Washington. She is also a cousin of Francis Scott Key, who wrote The Star-Spangled Banner.

Among other notable relations detailed in The Ancestry Of Catherine Middleton are explorer Meriwether Lewis, Second World War general George Patton and comedienne Ellen DeGeneres - all distant cousins. For example, Ms Middleton is DeGeneres' 14th cousin twice removed.

Ms Middleton also is a 14th cousin once removed of her fiance, Prince William.

The genealogical society's marketing director, Tom Champoux, said a lot of Ms Middleton's connections to famous Americans could be traced through seven families that immigrated to the Virginia area during the middle to late 1600s.

There were probably "tens of thousands of everyday Americans" who were distant cousins of Ms Middleton, he said.

He added that her connections to DeGeneres and Washington are traced back to the United Kingdom, to the family line of Sir Thomas Fairfax, who died in 1521, and his wife Agnes Gascoigne.

Famous names aside, the book shows Ms Middleton's ancestry is largely working class, unlike her fiance's. It shows her relatives include merchants, messengers, solicitors, cabinet makers, butchers, bakers, coal miners and a laundress.

That makes Ms Middleton easier to relate to, Mr Champoux said.

"I see people understanding that there's a similar background to their own family now, and that's very impressive to them, to think that the future queen potentially has a similar family story to their own family story," he said. "It's connecting in some way."

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