His Bourne Identity character may not know who he is, but Damon’s own identity is spelled out in his father’s name.
In New England, it’s not unusual to find that a child’s middle name, and sometimes his first, are remnants of family history. Matt’s dad, Kent Telfer trees Damon, is named for his paternal great-grandmothers Grace Telfer and Maybelle Kent. Such clues led me to Joseph Emerson, Matt’s eighth-great-grandfather. An Emerson genealogy revealed that Damon and 19th-century essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson are fourth cousins five times removed. (Maybe that’s where the handsome young star, who teamed up with pal Ben Affleck to write the Oscar-winning screenplay for Good Will Hunting, got his talent for prose.)
Using vital records, deeds and probates at the New England Historic Genealogical Society <www.newenglandancestors.org> research library in Boston, I learned that Damon also shares ancestors with five US presidents.
Too bad Jason Bourne isn’t so well-connected — that’d sure make his life a whole lot easier.
From the April 2005 Family Tree Magazine