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Are you related to Winston Churchill?

Winton Churchill
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What about that name?

Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill

When ever I first meet someone...

    ...or give a speech...

    ...or write an article...

I know from experience that there are usually 2 questions swirling around in the person's mind:

    Is that your real name?

    Are you related?

The short answers are both “Yes.”

Let me explain...


I have a common ancestor with Winston Churchill.  This was confirmed several years ago by Y-DNA testing as part of a genealogical research project being conducted into the Churchill line around the world.

YDNA Unlocks Many Clues
YDNA Unlocks Many Clues

Until this testing was done, there was speculation about the relation but the Y-DNA testing gives a more accurate picture.      

Not Really Close Personal Friends      
But my family was not even close to the Churchill family in England which makes this a more remarkable story (at least to me).

I'm a “Junior” meaning my father was given the name by his parents in 1924.

When my father was born, Winston was not yet famous to Americans-he was a public official but not well known in America. (Quick, do you know anybody's name in the UK government except the Prime Minister?)

Neither did my grandparents on a farm in Minnesota.


Car Nuts Unite

My grandfather was a “car nut” and named his son (my father) in honor of...a car!

Winton Automobile
Winton Automobile
“Winton” is the name of the first car that crossed the United States in 1904. At that time it was generally believed that cars would never be able to travel long distances on unimproved roads.

PBS actually did a documentary on the car (and its driver) you  can read more about here: http://www.pbs.org/horatio/

In fact, at the time, one venture capitalist remarked that the big drawback to the automobile was you'd have to pave the entire network of dirt and gravel roads that crisscrossed the country.

Winton Motor Car Company

The manufacturer of that car, Winton Motor Car Company of Cleveland, OH was sold to a company that would become a division of General Motors and remnants of the original company exist today as one of GM's specialized engine divisions.

Brush with Kin Folk...

However, shortly after the DNA test I had an opportunity to have a very memorable dinner with Winston Churchill's granddaughter, Celia Sandys (http://www.celiasandys.com/biography) when she was in Los Angeles.

Celia Sandys, Winston Churchill's Granddaughter
Celia Sandys, Winston Churchill's Granddaughter

And now you know...

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