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Cokie Roberts finds out her ancestry

Cokie Roberts and Bill Griffeth at the New England Historic Genealogical Society dinner Thursday.

Roger Farrington

Cokie Roberts and Bill Griffeth at the New England Historic Genealogical Society dinner Thursday.

Cokie Roberts was honored by New England Historic Genealogical Society with its Lifetime Achievement Award in History and Biography at a benefit dinner Thursday at the Taj Boston. Serving as emcee was Bill Griffeth, co-anchor of CNBC’s “Closing Bell” and author of “The Stranger in My Genes: A Memoir.”

Brenton Simons, the society’s president and CEO, presented Roberts with an extensive genealogy of her family, and noted that her family tree included early Virginia pioneers, a Quaker exiled from Massachusetts, Mayflower passengers, and Lady Mary Boleyn, a sister of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII, who was believed to have been the king’s mistress. According to the society, her family tree has a group of cousins (we’re talking distant, distant cousins) that includes eleven US presidents (Barack Obama is one of them) and some royalty, including three kings and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, through his mother, the late Princess Diana.

The event also marked the launch of Griffeth’s memoir, which was released in September by the NEHGS and University Press of New England. The book tells the story of how Griffeth took a DNA test that revealed a “deep dark family secret.”

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