Benedict Cumberbatch
Cast member Benedict Cumberbatch poses for a portrait while promoting the movie "Doctor Strange" in Beverly Hills, California, U.S. October 19, 2016. Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

Benedict Cumberbatch might be perfect for his starring role on “Sherlock,” but the reasons for this go beyond his acting abilities. The beloved English actor has been linked by familial relations to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the franchise creator.

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"Making family history connections is similar to piecing together a mysterious puzzle, one that the great Sherlock Holmes himself would be intrigued to solve," said Lisa Elzey, a family historian at Ancestry.Com (via various reports).

According to publication, Cumberbatch and Doyle are 16th cousins, twice removed. Tracing down their ancestry line, researchers found that both personalities are related to John of Gaunt, who was the duke of Lancaster and the fourth son of King Edward III of England. While Gaunt was Cumberbatch's 17th great grandfather, he was Doyle's 15th great grandfather.

Doyle, who died in 1930, created the character of Sherlock Holmes and is of Scottish descent. He built on the beloved detective by writing stories about Holmes -- a point in history that some argue was the starting point of crime fiction. His first piece of writing for the franchise, entitled “A Study In Scarlet,” was published on Nov. 20, 1886.

Jennifer Utley, an ancestry historian from the same publication, marveled at the coincidence as well. “How rare that an actor in a major series has the chance to play a character created by a relative, especially one as iconic as Sherlock Holmes,” she said. “Imagine our surprise to discover that the connecting link between these two is British royalty. Seems fitting.”

This is not the first time that Cumberbatch has been linked to his roles by coincidence. In 2015, he was also connected to King Richard III, who the actor portrayed in US network BBC’s “The Hollow Crown.”

Watch the trailer for “The Hollow Crown”

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“Sherlock” season 4 airs on BBC Australia.

Watch the trailer for “Sherlock” season 4