There is always a resurgence of genealogical interest every election season in the United States. In the past, genealogists believed that the presidential candidate with the most number of royal connections, ergo the “most royal” of all the aspirants, almost always wins the election.
Part I: BARACK OBAMA
Barack Obama, one of the two Democratic contenders for the presidency, is perhaps, among the three candidates, the most genealogically diversed. His bloodline consists of Luo (Kenyan), English, German, Irish, Welsh, and smattering of French and Dutch ancestries. His pedigree shows different groups of people spanning several generations from different places. (Click here to see his pedigree chart).
Obama’s Kenyan ancestry is sketchy, and is traced only through the male line. (Click here for a diagram of his Kenyan ancestry.) Much of his known family tree is through his maternal side, and it is here that we find many interesting relations to the senator.
Obama could count at least two royal ancestors: William I “the Lion”, King of Scotland, and Henry II of England. He is related to at least six US Presidents: Jimmy Carter (half 7th cousins three times removed), Harry Truman (7th cousins three times removed), the 2 George Bushes (10th cousins once and twice removed, respectively), Woodrow Wilson (husband of Obama’s 6th cousin five times removed), and James Madison (3rd cousin nine times removed). He is also a ninth cousin once removed of Vice-President Dick Cheney. He has several relative lawmakers and Supreme Court Justices, as well.
But Obama’s ancestry is not limited to political personalities. He is a 7th cousin four times removed of renowned artist Georgia O’Keefe, and his eighth cousin once removed, Elizabeth H. Richardson, was married to novelist Ernest M. Hemingway. Another relative is Gordon B. Hinkley, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Theodore N. Vail, founder of AT&T, is a sixth cousin four times removed, while banker JP Morgan is a 7th cousin four times removed.
Other interesting relations of Senator Obama are actors: Margaux Hemingway, his 9th cousin; Superman Christopher Reeve, a 7th couin twice removed, and Katharine Hepburn, a 7th cousin thrice removed, and Brad Pitt is a 9th cousin. Even Justin Timberlake is Obama’s 11th cousin! A truly interesting approach to American politics.
Part II: HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON
Interestingly, Senator Clinton’s ancestry is also as colorful as Obama’s, though not as diverse as his. While Obama’s relatives include people from the arts, politics, banking and finance, business, the Mormon church, and even royalty, Clinton’s are more concentrated on two areas: politics and the arts. (Click here for Clinton’s pedigree chart)
Her political relatives include Prime Ministers Pierre Trudeau and Jean Chretien of Canada. Other than these two popular Canadian politicians, most of Hillary’s more popular relatives are from the entertainment industry. Shania Twain is her 9th cousin three times removed, Celine Dion is her 10th cousin once removed, Alanis Morissette is her tenth cousin, while Madonna and Clinton are 10th cousins. Three very interesting notes on Hilary’s genealogy: her royal antecedents are supposed to be the Kings of Navarre, but there are no exact evidences for that; she is also a 10th cousin of Camila Shand, the Duchess of Cornwall and wife of Prince Charles; and, finally, actor Jon Voight is the husband of Marcheline Bertrand [and father of Angelina Jolie], Hillary’s 9th cousin once removed.
Part III: JOHN McCAIN
McCain’s antecedents are not as glamorous and diverse as Obama’s and Clinton’s. In fact,John McCain’s genealogy (for the time being) has only been traced to reveal two interesting people: one, to King William I “the Lion”, King of Scotland, who is McCain’s direct ancestor, and Laura Bush, wife of President George W. Bush, who happens to be a sixth cousin of Senator John McCain. (Click here for McCain’s pedigree chart).
In a world where political victories and losses are not as easily predicted as surveys are paraded and believed to be, looking at a candidate’s ancestry sometimes tells us who among the candidates is the strongest.
It is interesting to note that Obama and McCain share a common descent from King William of Scotland, and that Obama and Clinton are relatives by affinity because Obama’s cousin, Brad Pitt, married Angelina Jolie, the daughter of Jon Voight, Hillary’s cousin.
The fight between Hillary and Obama will be long and hard, considering that both have strong royal bloodlines and, while Obama have many US Presidential relatives, Clinton’s two Canadian Prime Minister cousins Trudeau and Chretien are two of the modern times’ most influential. And, between them are [sic] a plethora of singers and actors and actresses, each of whom have made an impact to the world.
Whoever wins in the Democratic race will ultimately face McCain who, while not having as many famous relatives as Obama and Clinton, certainly has the right relationship to incumbent George W. Bush, as well as also a royal descent from William of Scotland. It would seem that this November would be a face-off between Obama and McCain, both of whom are related to the Bushes and both sharing a common descent from King William of Scotland.
This article is based on several online genealogies of the three candidates, the most comprehensive of which is http://www.wargs.com/political.