Well, my curiosity finally got the better of me, so I went ahead and had one of those genealogy websites look up my family tree. The price was a little steep, but they turned up some interesting tidbits about my forebears.
For example, the earliest of my ancestors that could be found, dates to the 12th century and was connected to Royalty…sort of. Actually, his title was "Keeper of the Chamber Pot" for the Duke of Mumpshire. A position he held for fifteen years until he was discovered selling vials of the Duke’s urine to the local peasants.
Apparently, they considered them good luck. For this he was first hanged, then beheaded and finally thrown into the dungeon, a punishment considered harsh even by the brutal standards of the time.
The fortunes of my family only went downhill from there. Which can be seen by the fate of another of my hapless ancestors who was a mushroom picker and part time poacher in the forests of Strokingham, during an unusually wet period in the 15th century. As a result of which, he came down with a terminal case of "foot rot" and died at the ripe old age of twenty-four.
I’ll conclude with the case of one of my female ancestors, who as a young woman in the 17th century, followed various traveling troubadours around Europe and was possibly one of history's first groupies. Later in life she wound up running what was then known as a "house of ill repute" in London, with a clientele that consisted mostly of retired boot polishers.
I may be biased of course, but it all sounds like first rate History Channel material to me.