Sunday, 28 October 2012

Barack Obama's Ancestry

With the 2012 US Presidential election less than two weeks away I thought I'd write a post about the ancestry of President Barack Obama. My previous post on the ancestry of Republican hopeful Mitt Romney can be found here.

It is well established that President Obama's father was from Kenya and his mother from Kansas in the USA. Rather than focus on the specifics of these particular lines, I thought it would be more interesting to highlight some peculiar coincidences that were found when research into the president's genealogy was carried out a few years ago. 

The New England Historic Genealogical Society spent many painstaking hours discovering President Obama's ancestry, and what they found is fascinating. For example, who would have imagined that he was related, albeit distantly, to six former presidents, including George W. Bush? The common ancestor of both is a man called Samuel Hinkley of Cape Cod, who died in 1662. 

President Obama is also genealogically linked to Brad Pitt through Edwin Hickman of Virginia, who died in 1769. Another distant cousin is former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. 

It's a small world after all. The New England Historic Genealogical Society's research has uncovered many more links between well known people, including several in the political sphere. Their work is important and fascinating, and is to be commended.

It's amazing to think that one person over two hundred years ago could have such an influence on the modern world, but that's genealogy for you.

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