No matter how you feel about the results of our presidential election this past week, genies can't help but think about past presidents and how they might be related to them.
A quick question on our Extreme Genes Facebook page yielded several listeners with knowledge of their presidential ties. I thought I had ten, but (alas!) a count revealed only nine. They come from both parties. Some I like, some not so much.
And whether you like 'em or not, a huge chunk of our country can lay claim to distant kinship (at least) to the Presidents Bush, 41 and 43. In 1989 NEHGS' Gary Boyd Roberts wrote in Notable Kin,
"[George H. W. Bush is] the first president with a sizable amount of readily traceable New England, mid-Atlantic, and Southern ancestry, Bush can probably add several million distant mid-Atlantic or Southern-derived relatives to a kindred whose major component is a very large section of the “New England family” that may now include as many as 100 million Americans, often eighth to twelfth cousins. [He] is... very likely the first president who may be related to as many as half of the citizens whose government he heads." And in the case of Bush 43, when you add in the ancestry of his mother, Barbara Pierce, the cousin capture expands dramatically.
When I posted that President Obama was among our presidential cousins my daughter, Alli, texted immediately to learn what the relationship might be. Whether you care about such ties or not, it's a great way to interest other families members and to get them to ask questions. Relative Finder and FamilySearch.org are great places to look and see if some of your ancestors are on the family trees of our nation's Chief Executives.