Researchers at the New England Historic Genealogical Society found some remarkable family connections for the three presidential candidates — Democratic rivals Obama and Clinton, and Republican John McCain.
Clinton, who is of French-Canadian descent on her mother’s side, is also a distant cousin of singers Madonna, Celine Dion and Alanis Morissette. Obama, the son of a white woman from Kansas and a black man from Kenya, can call six U.S. presidents, including George W. Bush, his cousins. McCain is a sixth cousin of first lady Laura Bush.
And how about that connection to Robert E. Lee, eh? LOL!
Most surprisingly, Obama — the man who could become America’s first African-American president — is linked by ancestry to Robert E. Lee, who commanded the armies of the Southern slave-holding states during the American civil war.
So — now that we’ve finally established Obama’s bona fides, will that make him only half as scary to some elements of the American electorate?
Meanwhile, Polimom can climb the family tree 9 generations, and near as I can see, I don’t connect with any of these families — or anybody else famous, for that matter. I’m still holding out hope for Greta, though.
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An aside — genealogy is typically a quiet, scholarly pursuit, and as a rule there are no data access problems. But when a press release is picked up by the AP and CNN, there tends to be rather a LOT of online attention… and the result is as you’d expect: the NEHGS servers are failing under the onslaught. (There’s just no chance a genealogist would have thought to upgrade the service…)
If you’re interested in looking at a couple of the .pdf’s, here are direct links to a couple of them. They were the only two files I’d opened before the site was overwhelmed.
Obama – Bush
Obama – Johnson
Update: The NEHGS has restructured their home page, put up a note acknowledging the “increased traffic”, and removed the links to the genealogy reports.