Cindy Crawford Discovers Her Royal Roots on 'Who Do You Think You Are?'
Cindy Crawford in TLC's 'Who Do You Think You Are?'
She's a classic beauty who would be in the Top Five of a "Family Feud" poll about Beautiful American Models. But on TLC's "Who Do You Think You Are," Midwestern girl Cindy Crawford is a self-proclaimed "American mutt"... who happens to have big roots overseas.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. First, we see lots of pictures of young Cindy. She was always pretty, and her family was close-knit with strong genes. When she was born, she had four great-grandmothers and two great-grandfathers still alive. "We're like Midwestern, potato-eating people," she says.
The DeKalb, Illinois native-turned-Malibu mom wants to help her daughter with her middle school family-tree project. (Talk about a hands-on mom!) A quick online trek to Ancestory.com reveals that Cindy's great-great-great-grandfather Frank Hemingway was a New Hampshire native. "As far as I knew," she says, "everybody on my father's side was from Minnesota."
Watch a clip from Cindy Crawford's "Who Do You Think You Are?" episode right here:
So it's off to the New England Genealogy Society in Boston. At this point, you're probably wondering if that's "Hemingway," as in Ernest Hemingway. Cindy says it's always been a "family rumor" and that she fantasized about being related to him. And as it turns out...
Yes! "That's really cool!" she smiles upon learning that she is a very distant cousin of the renowned author of "The Old Man and the Sea" and "The Sun Also Rises." And she learns about a less famous but equally fascinating ancestor named Thomas Trowbridge, her ten times great-grandfather who was born in Taunton, England in 1600. And as luck would have it, there's a whole book about the renegade Puritan.
Trowbridge and his family moved to the U.S. during "the Great Migration," a period that followed the Mayflower journey in 1620. Trowbridge wanted a fresh start and an escape from religious persecution. And he eventually left the religious upheaval in Boston to found "a utopia for Puritans" in Connecticut.
Cindy finds it "incredible" that religious passion has "trickled down" to her own family. She is stunned to learn that Trowbridge was deep in debt and hadn't been paying his taxes for some time, to the extent that the government was about to intervene. In April 1644, his entire estate and his children were seized. He disappeared from his family. "Wow," she says. You can say that again.