It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood for Tom Hanks because he just found out some major news about his family tree.
The 63-year-old Oscar winner, who stars as Mister Rogers in the upcoming film It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, just learned that he’s distantly related to the iconic children’s show host. What are the chances?
According to Ancestry.com, Hanks is Rogers’s sixth cousin. They share the same great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Johannes Mefford, who had three sons. As Ancestry.com reports, all of Mefford’s sons served as American soldiers in the Revolutionary War.
Want to know more fun facts about Hanks and Rogers’s shared genealogy? Well, Rogers’s great-great-great-great-grandfather served in the Navy and was captured by the British in 1782 and held captive on a ship that traveled through Barbados and Antigua. He wasn’t released until ten months later. Hanks’s great-great-great-great-grandfather, on the other hand, fought in a small battle at Chesapeake Bay. Ancestry summed it up in a statement, saying, “So, Rogers and Hanks not only share the same ancestry, they also descend[ed] from two brothers who fought for America’s independence.”
If you’re wondering how Hanks reacted to the news, he kept as cool as a cucumber, telling Access Hollywood at the film’s New York premiere, “It all just comes together, you see. I’d like to see if Johnny Depp is related to Fred Rogers. Can you find out from Ancestry.com?”
“Won’t you be my neighbor?” More like, “Won’t you be my sixth cousin…”