By his own account (in "The Greek Interpreter"), Sherlock and his elder brother Mycroft Holmes were descended from a family of country squires. Their grandmother was a sister of a French artist named Vernet, mostly probably Horace Vernet. In Tarzan Alive and Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life, Philip José Farmer makes mention of the Holmes brothers' younger sister Sigrina, mother of Denis Nayland Smith. He (see below) identifies the parents of Sherlock Holmes as Siger Holmes and Violet Rutherford.
Farmer's biography Tarzan Alive and novel The Secret History of Captain Nemo partly spring from "the Game", the tradition of fan-lead scholarly speculation about Sherlock Holmes; this is known as "The Game", and is grandiloquently considered to be a case of applying the Higher Criticism to the works of Conan Doyle from the position of believing that Holmes was a real person, Watson his biographer, and Conan Doyle merely the latter's literary agent. There is an immense amount of such speculation by many many hands over more than a century, and therefore little consensus. What consensus there is often revolves around the work of William S. Baring-Gould, considering by some to be the doyen of Sherlockians. Baring-Gould's The Annotated Sherlock Holmes and his biography Sherlock Holmes of Baker Street, for example, can be shown to have influenced Farmer. However, Farmer certainly did not follow Baring-Gould in all particulars - such as in Holmes's immediate family and ancestry - and Wold Newton speculation therefore tends not to aline necessarily with mainstream Sherlockian research.
Amongst the considerable history of Sherlockian research and speculation is a popular theory that Sherlock Holmes had an affair with the American opera singer Irene Adler in the early 1890s, and that Nero Wolfe was the result of this liaison.
Based upon "The Family Tree of Sherlock Holmes" by Brad Mengel (see below), Sherlock Holmes had seven siblings--Shirley, Sherrinford (the squire), Mycroft (third of that name), a vampiric twin to Sherlock named Rutherford (mentioned in Fred Saberhagen's The Holmes Dracula File), Charlotte, Sigerson (dramatized--or perhaps comedized--in the film The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother) and Sigrina (see above).
The same document reveals/theorizes no less than eight (possibly ten) offspring of Sherlock Holmes himself:
- Raffles Holmes - son of Marjorie Raffles, daughter of A.J. Raffles. (see article on Raffles Holmes for more)
- Mycroft Adler Norton - by Irene Adler (based on The Canary Trainer by Nicholas Meyer and Irene Good Night by R.D.Benson)
- Twins Nero Wolfe and Maro Vuksic - also by Irene Adler (see articles on Wolfe and Adler for more)
- Shirley Holmes (second of that name) - by Miss Falkland (Basil Mitchell's Holmeses of Baker Street stage play and Terrance Dicks' Baker Street Irregulars series)
- Sherlock Holmes (second of the name) by Miss Falkland
- Minerva Holmes - by Vivian S. La Graine (see The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' Daughter by Ian McTavish)
- Alice “Boomer” La Graine - by Vivian S. La Graine (see The Secret of Sherlock Holmes by Gary F. Boothe)
- Abraham Moth (this speculation is based on Byron Priess' The Lady in Red: The Son of Sherlock Holmes and the television film The Strange Case of the End of Civilization As We Know It, the radio program Meet Miss Sherlock and the James Bond motion picture The World Is Not Enough)
One should keep in mind Mengel is including every possible claimant to being a relation of The Great Detective, which brings at least some of his theorized family members into question.
- Wikipedia article on Sherlock Holmes
- Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes Stories (complete texts)
- Timeline of Major Events (by Leslie Klinger)
- Sherlock Holmes Speculation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- "Watching the Detectives" by Brad Mengel (original version)
- Working Back to Sherlock from Tarzan by Carl William Thiel
- Sherlock Holmes in the French Wold Newton Universe
- The Austrian Doctor by Jess Nevins (an inquiry into "The Creeping Man")
- Sherlock Holmes: The Crossovers Casebook (blog entry by Win Scott Eckert)
- You are NOT Sherlock Holmes by Jess Nevins