Official: Major is related to Thatcher . . . and so am I

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The Independent Online
JOHN Major and Margaret Thatcher are fifth cousins once removed, writes Catherine Milner. Their common ancestors are John Crust and his wife Elizabeth, who farmed in Leake, near Boston, Lincolnshire, in the mid-18th century. The name Crust means 'hard and stubborn'.

Another descendant of the couple - Geoffrey Crust, a 49-year-old merchant seaman and Country and Western songwriter - still lives in Boston. He is fourth cousin once removed to Baroness Thatcher and a sixth cousin to Mr Major; but he has never met either.

The discovery was made last week by Paul Penn-Simkins, a genealogist. He tracked down Mr Crust, who had traced his family tree with the help of a researcher at Lincoln public records office.

Mr Crust, who has been married three times and has nine children, is a Tory voter. But he does not think Mr Major is much of a Crust. 'He's too dry,' he said, 'too quiet. I don't think he's got much of our blood - he hasn't got enough drive or toughness. Margaret Thatcher's more a Crust than him.'

As recently as the mid-19th century, Mr Major's ancestors and Lady Thatcher's lived just yards from each other in Boston. Both were called Samuel Crust: one was an iron fettler, the other a corn porter.

Full story, pages 22,23

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