|Compliments of Aunty. http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,26517140-5005962,00.html
25% of us are right royal bastards...
AUSTRALIANS might be known for having a convict past but almost a quarter were descended from English aristocracy or a famous historical figure, a survey has found.
The new research, commissioned by family history website Ancestry.com.au, surveyed more than 1000 people who researched their family history.
It found that 23 per cent were descended from convicts; 17 per cent from soldiers or military men; 13 per cent from a famous historical figure; 12.5 per cent from someone rich and 11 per cent from English aristocracy.
Ancestry.com.au spokesman Brad Argent said just under half of all Australians (44 per cent) had conducted research into their family history, with many people motivated to do so after hearing tall tales and rumours told to them by family members.
He said the most common secret unearthed by 21 per cent of those surveyed was that their family members had been born out of wedlock.
Other revelations included secret adoptions, a criminal in the family or that their parents had never married.
Fortunately he said that 52 per cent were glad to learn about their discoveries but unfortunately 5 per cent found that uncovering the secrets had caused divisions within their family.
“Love stories, love children, old tales and new information - every family has a few skeletons in its closet, and now more than ever Australians are able to separate the facts from the fiction in their family history," Mr Argent said.