Election rivals Dalton McGuinty and Tim Hudak may have more in common than a dogged desire for Ontario's top job.

Premier McGuinty and PC leader Hudak are tenth cousins through their mothers, according to family history website Ancestry.ca.

The finding comes as the two competing candidates lob increasingly sharper barbs at one another ahead of Ontario's Oct. 6 election.

McGuinty and Hudak are connected by a man named Louis Jobidon, their ninth-great-grandfather from France. Jobidon married Marie Deligny at a Quebec City church in 1655 and the rest, as they say, is history.

When a reporter alerted him to the shared ancestor, McGuinty cracked a joke about his Tory rival.

"So you're telling me the last time we were on the same page was in the 1600s? Maybe that explains a few things," he told reporters on Monday.

Hudak also made light of his newfound distant cousin.

"He must be that high-taxing black sheep we've been looking for," he said.

All jokes aside, the party leaders have shared some tense words on the campaign trail. Earlier on Monday, Hudak referred to the province's smart power meters as dumb. Firing back, McGuinty charged that power prices would soar without them.

"You can't help but think ‘what would Grandpa Louis think of this rivalry?", said Roger Dunbar, managing director of Ancestry.ca, in a release issued Monday.

With files from The Canadian Press