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One big American family
October 3, 2005 9:40 PM   Subscribe

The family trees of American politicians - There are those with very long blue blood pedigrees, and there are those with very short and unknown pedigrees. There are also some surprises, like a certain Democratic senator and possible '08 Veep pick being somewhat closely related to the current Veep, or that certain ex-mayors have family trees that were apparently a bit inbred back in the old country. Other fun tidbits: Newt Gingrich's father was illegitimate, John Kerry is related to the rabbi who created the Golem of Prague, Pat Buchanan is related to both FDR and Marilyn Manson, Wesley Clark's father was a Kohan, Martin Luther King was born Michael Louis King, and Gary Hart was born Gary Hartpence, which was in turn derived from an ancestor named James Eberhart Pence. (more non-politicians here)
posted by Asparagirl (18 comments total)

 
Tom Vilsack apeared from the ether fully formed, to lead Iowa into the golden age of half-assed attempts to keep our collage graduates from bailing.
posted by delmoi at 9:56 PM on October 3, 2005


A long dynastic line of lizard-men...
posted by nightchrome at 10:02 PM on October 3, 2005


And you guys don't have a class system...
posted by wilful at 10:27 PM on October 3, 2005


Pat Buchanan is related to both FDR and Marilyn Manson

This explains a lot.
posted by scheptech at 11:06 PM on October 3, 2005


John McCain's parents were married in a bar in Tiajuana, Mexico.

And then we said goodbye to that old donkey...
posted by jsavimbi at 11:54 PM on October 3, 2005


The math is pretty clear -- if you can go back 10 generations to colonial America, the chances you're related to someone famous today, including presidents, increase to near certainty. The average person's total list of living tenth-or-less cousins is ~80 million.

It is possible, for example, that every single westerner descends from Charlemagne; and DeBrett's believes there are more than 300,000 provable descendants of Edward III. And very likely millions of Westerners are descended from the Prophet Muhammad, all because of a critical marriage in Andalusian Spain.
posted by dhartung at 1:17 AM on October 4, 2005


You said well what i was about to point out, dhartung.
posted by reflecked at 4:19 AM on October 4, 2005


Except for an occasional reference to a Social Security Death Index, this person doesn't cite any sources. It might as well be made up.
posted by marxchivist at 4:36 AM on October 4, 2005


And you guys don't have a class system...

Oh, we do. We're just in total denial about it. Because if we were to lose faith in our leaders, the whole thing would just fall apart.

Wouldn't it?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:28 AM on October 4, 2005


"like a certain Democratic senator and possible '08 Veep pick being somewhat closely related to the current Veep"

Um, not that it matters, but check again. Obama seems to have a Richard Cheney in his tree (from 1684), but that particular Cheney isn't in VP Cheney's line at all.
posted by grabbingsand at 6:08 AM on October 4, 2005


And you guys don't have a class system...

Who ever said we didn't have a class system? We were founded by a bunch of slaveowners.

What we've said is that we don't have titles of nobility. Sure we may have a system of privileged elitism, but at least we don't call them Lord George, Earl of Houston and Lady Laura of Midland.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:28 AM on October 4, 2005


grabbingsand: No, Cheney's there, as is the Bush line and Harry Truman.
posted by aaronetc at 6:35 AM on October 4, 2005


See also the excellent Political Graveyard.
posted by rzklkng at 7:04 AM on October 4, 2005


John Kerry is related to the rabbi who created the Golem of Prague

Now, that's cool. And how handy would it be to have some Golem connections in the White House?
posted by COBRA! at 7:12 AM on October 4, 2005


I'm going to get really famous then through the use of a sperm donor program allow for all my fans to have my baby! Within enough generations everyone will be related to brilliant me! Perhaps society will crumble and from the ashes a new class will emerge in which people conflict and fight over who is my direct descendent. Presidents and Kings will fall and rise depending entirely on if they are related to me. They'll fight and bicker, wage wars all because of me, and inevitably, some mormon will convert one of my descendents and throw me into mormon heaven. Er, on second thought, nevermind.

On an irrelevent note, fun post!
posted by TwelveTwo at 8:33 AM on October 4, 2005


but at least we don't call them Lord George, Earl of Houston and Lady Laura of Midland.

Maybe we should, it'll add a little flair to the moment when we drag'em out on the National Mall and start the chopping.
posted by TheSpook at 9:46 AM on October 4, 2005


anyone for a tea party?
posted by stenseng at 11:54 AM on October 4, 2005


"It is possible, for example, that every single westerner descends from Charlemagne"

Wow, what a lot of work! And what stamina! Guess when there's no central heating or TV, there's a whole lotta shakin' goin' on.
MR. CHEEKY:
Oh, yeah. My brother usually rescues me, if he can keep off the tail for more than twenty minutes. Huh.
BRIAN:
Ahhh?
MR. CHEEKY:
Randy little bugger. Up and down like the Assyrian Empire. Heh heh heh heh.
(Python)
posted by Zack_Replica at 1:16 PM on October 4, 2005


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