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History may tie NYC official to British actor

Saturday - 1/25/2014, 11:30pm  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- They share a last name, and perhaps a historical tie to a tragic past.

Stacey Cumberbatch is New York City's new commissioner of administrative services. Benedict Cumberbatch is the British actor known for playing Sherlock Holmes in a popular BBC series, and for his turn as a plantation owner in the Oscar-nominated film, "12 Years a Slave."

Stacey Cumberbatch tells The New York Times (http://nyti.ms/1mWQCIN) that her ancestors were slaves in Barbados, and probably took their distinctive last name from their white owner.

That owner may have been Benedict Cumberbatch's fifth great-grandfather. The actor has talked in interviews about his paternal ancestor's ownership of a plantation in Barbados in the 18th Century.


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