Celebritrees: Celine Dion and Madonna

By Rhonda McClure Premium


Does divadom run in families? It does for two famous pop queens—and they’re blessed not just vocally, but genealogically as well.

First, I discovered that Celine Dion is related to Camilla Parker Bowles, wife of England’s Prince Charles. The ninth cousins once removed descend from Jean Guyon, one of Quebec’s earliest settlers.

Bowles’ tie-in surprised me, so I wondered what other celebrities Dion calls kin. I’d already learned that if you find one French Canadian connection, you’ll likely find many more, since French Canadians tended to marry their fellow French Canadians.

Knowing that Madonna’s maternal side is French Canadian, I hypothesized a link to Dion. Indeed, I discovered that the Material Girl, too, descends from Jean Guyon. The two singers are 10th cousins twice removed through him, and 10th cousins once removed through another ancestor, Zacharie Cloutier.

If the stars ever collaborate on their pedigree research, they’ll have it made. A major benefit of French Canadian ancestry is relatively easy access to parish registers. You can get microfilmed records for many Quebec towns through the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and its branch FamilySearch Centers. A number of online transcription collections, such as the one at and the Programme de Recherche en Démographie Historique‘s early church registers, are available. Who knows? Maybe a search will reveal your inner diva.

From the October 2004 Family Tree Magazine.