SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Call it the Canadian dynasty of teenybopper pop and movie stardom.
Genealogists at Ancestry.com say they’ve discovered teen idol Justin Bieber is a distant cousin of movie star Ryan Gosling and singer Avril Lavigne. Their family link dates back to some of Quebec’s earliest settlers 400 years ago, the Utah-based company said Thursday.
As if Bieber didn’t have enough superstar genes, Ancestry.com also said he’s a distant relative of singer Celine Dion.
“The great thing about family history is that you never know what you’re going to find,” said Michelle Ercanback, a researcher with Ancentry.com. “It was a very pleasant surprise.”
Ercanback said researchers begun tracing Bieber’s family lineage about a year ago by paging through teen-idol magazines to find biographical tidbits from the pop star.
What they say they found was that Bieber and Gosling are 11th cousins once removed, and Bieber and Lavigne are 12th cousins. They share common relatives Mathurin Roy and Marguerite Bire, the researchers said. Both were born in France in the early 1600s, married in 1637, and moved to Quebec, where Roy worked as a master mason.
The genealogists also said Bieber and Dion are 10th cousins three times removed because they’re linked to French couple Jacques Vezina and Marie Boisdon, who were born in the early 1600s. They moved to Quebec, where they died in 1687.
Ercanback said she didn’t know if these celebrity links are “sufficient to point to the existence of a superstar gene.”
In July, Ancestry.com announced they had found that President Barack Obama could be the descendent of an African slave, after an examination of his white mother’s family history.
(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)