Thursday, 14 June 2012

Mitt Romney's Ancestry

I have just read a fascinating article on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's ancestry. Firstly, let me make it clear that this post does not advocate any particular religion or political view. I simply felt that it was an interesting story to talk about.

Mitt Romney is currently one of the most famous Mormons on the planet, and his family has a long history of involvement in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The church, founded in 1830 by Joseph Smith, is well known to all genealogists as a rich source of family history records.

Although the church was founded in the US, it is in England that Romney's earliest known ancestors were baptised into the faith. Miles Romney and his wife Elizabeth (nee Gaskell) were impressed with the sermons being given by the American Mormon missionaries in Preston, and converted as a result. A few years later, on the 7th of February 1841, they emigrated to Illinois in the US. This may have been for a combination of reasons, including the socio-economic conditions in the north of England, religious persecution, and the promise of a better life in America.

The rest of Mitt Romney's family tree shows that his great-grandfather Miles Park Romney was born in Illinois in 1843. At the time this was the home of the Mormon church, before it relocated to Utah. The Romneys relocated along with their church. Miles and Elizabeth dies there in 1877 and 1884 respectively. Mitt Romney's grandparents, Gaskell Romney and Anna Amelia Pratt, were born and dies there. 

At some point the Romneys spent some time living in Chihuahua, Mexico, as this was where Mitt Romney's father George Wilcken Romney was born in 1907. Finally, there was a relocation to Michigan in the US, where Mitt Romney was born in 1947.

The full article on Mitt Romney's ancestry, including a very interesting take on Mormon polygamy, can be found here.

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