George Clooney Is (Distantly) Related to Abraham Lincoln

11/01/2012 at 07:00 AM EDT

George Clooney Distantly Related to Abraham Lincoln
George Clooney (left) and Abraham Lincoln
Stephen Lovekin/Getty; Stock Montage/Getty
No wonder he's so into politics!

Sexy star George Clooney is distantly related to America's storied 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, according to Ancestry.com. The finding came recently as Ancestry.com researchers were tracing the president's lineage in celebration of the upcoming film, Lincoln.

"We noticed there were similarities between the names and places of Abraham Lincoln's tree and George Clooney's tree," the genealogy website's Michelle Ercanbrack tells PEOPLE. "They both have deep roots in Kentucky, so once we honed in on that we were able to find a connection between the two."

The men are connected through Lucy Hanks, who was Lincoln's maternal grandmother. Marriages and births make Clooney the president's half-first cousin five times removed. But the men share more than just family, Ercanbrack points out.



"Maybe they're not two men you'd originally put together, but we've found some interesting similarities," Ercanbrack says. "They're both human rights advocates. ... Both are excellent writers. ... And obviously both have the talent of being able to grow a really great beard."

Though Clooney isn't aware of the connection just yet, "I'd love to hear his reaction," Ercanbrack says. "I'd like to hear what being related to this iconic American President would mean to him."

To learn more about Lincoln's history, through hundreds of documents, writings and correspondences obtained by Ancestry.com, visit Ancestry.com.

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