Monday, February 21, 2022

Happy Presidents Day! 20 Are My Cousins

Since it is President's Day today (and George Birthington's Washday on Tuesday), I thought I would list all of my known relationships to American Presidents.

JOHN ADAMS - 4th cousin, 8 times removed
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS - 5th cousin, 7 times removed
FRANKLIN PIERCE - 5th cousin, 7 times removed
MILLARD FILLMORE - 7th cousin, 5 times removed
ABRAHAM LINCOLN - 7th cousin, 4 times removed (assuming his father was Thomas Lincoln)

ULYSSES S. GRANT - 7th cousin, 5 times removed
RUTHERFORD B. HAYES - 7th cousin, 4 times removed
GROVER CLEVELAND - 7th cousin, 3 times removed
JAMES GARFIELD - 8th cousin, 3 times removed

CHESTER A. ARTHUR - 8th cousin, 4 times removed

WILLIAM H. TAFT - 7th cousin, 4 times removed
WARREN G. HARDING - 8th cousin, 2 times removed
CALVIN COOLIDGE - 7th cousin, 3 times removed
HERBERT HOOVER - 8th cousin, 3 times removed
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT - 7th cousin, 4 times removed

RICHARD M. NIXON - 10th cousin
GERALD R. FORD - 10th cousin, once removed
GEORGE H.W. BUSH - 8th cousin, once removed
GEORGE W. BUSH - 8th cousin

BARACK OBAMA - 8th cousin once removed

I figured these out by comparing my ancestral name list to the charts in the book Ancestors of American Presidents by Gary Boyd Roberts (with the exception of Barack Obama). Obviously, having this many Presidential cousins relates to my extensive New England ancestry. Like my relationships to GWB, I share many colonial ancestors with some of the guys above.

I have no doubt that I could find more cousinships to the ones not on my list if I had longer ancestral name lists for their ancestors back into the English royal lines.

I may try to figure out my relationships to the Vice-Presidents (I know I'm related to Dick Cheney) and Presidential spouses (I know about Barbara (Pierce) Bush) some day.

My New England cousins were impressed by the list. Reciting these to anyone but genealogists seems to make eyes glaze over.  My grandchildren have asked about specific presidents.

I often think about what my early colonial ancestors would have thought if they knew that their descendants would be famous and/or leaders of a nation. The colonial guys would not have understood - the King was the leader of the Empire, and they had no relationship to the King, as far as they knew. Of course, some of them were cousins to the King also!

How about you? Any Presidential cousins? Tell me about them.


Copyright (c) 2022, Randall J. Seaver

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dritchhart said...


Seem counterintuitive that you seem to have a relatively closer relationship with early Presidents than current Presidents. If each generation is about 25 years, there seems to only be about 25 years difference between Gerald Ford (11 generations) and John Adams (12 generations). I must be missing something? Must be in the position of the common ancestor, i.e. 7th cousin meaning your common ancestor is your 6th great-grandparents?

Randy Seaver said...

Hi Del,

Yes, it's all based on the common ancestors. The "removed" helps to understand a bit. But only a chart showing the relationship back to a common ancestor would explain it better.