My brother who has explored our German genealogy thinks that we may be descendants of Henry IV, the Holy Roman Emperor from 1084-1105. I wasn’t taught the political version in the history course taught to ten-year-olds, but the excommunication game was obviously political. Henry is the king who out-maneuvered Pope Gregory VII by engaging in public penance, forcing the pope to reverse his excommunication of Henry for having questioned Gregory’s divinely authorized authority.
Henry would be an ancestor of worthy stubbornness and political skill, though even if he is a relative, it’s a distinction that must be shared by tens of thousands of descendants by now, which does rather reduce the shine a bit. And besides it’s qualified with a number of “seems to have been married to…” or “may be the son of…” along the way. So the royal link is somewhat dubious.
Personally, I think it more likely that I’m related to Salem, the tree-climbing girl who lived in Ethiopia three million years ago. Somehow I recognize in myself those genes that climbed to the top of the tree and directed forest life below from her self-elevated position.
I’m not sure, though, unlike Henry IV, how many people really paid attention to her. She died at the age of three.