The background of the Bushes is much more elevated than
anyone would realize if they had not seen the Bush pedigree. Not only are they
descended from kings and queens, but their wives are also, and they are related
to other former U.S. presidents, who are also descended from royalty.
George Herbert Walker Bush has three lines that go back
to King Edward I of England. He also is descended from King Henry I and King
Henry II, both of England, and William I and Robert II, both of Scotland. Bush
has common ancestors with 15 American presidents: Washington, Fillmore, Pierce,
Lincoln, Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Cleveland, both Roosevelts, Taft, Coolidge,
Hoover, Nixon and Ford.
Other presidents who have connections to British royalty
are George Washington, the two Adamses, Millard Fillmore, Rutherford Hayes,
Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin
Coolidge, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.
Mrs. Ronald Wilson Reagan is descended from Henry I,
king of France, and Henry I, king of England. Mrs. George Herbert Walker Bush is
descended from Henry II, king of England, and other notables. There are other
royal descents of first ladies but these will serve as examples.
George Herbert Walker Bush has kinship with Presidents
Nixon, Taft, Hayes, Pierce, Coolidge, Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, Grant, Ford,
Cleveland, Garfield, Washington, Fillmore, Theodore Roosevelt, Lincoln, John
Quincy Adams, and John Adams Jr.
With such lineages as these one wonders how anyone else
has a chance at the presidency.
They do, of course. "This is America, where anything is
possible," as the saying goes.
Q. If I should find that I am related to royalty, would
that mean that I have a title?
A. Unfortunately, no. The titles are used only for the
first few generations. Then the younger ones get only courtesy titles such as
"Lady," as Princess Diana had before being married. Actually, her title was
Princess Charles, but modern feminism rebelled at that. It is still worthwhile
to look up your ancestors and record any titles that you do find. If they are a
part of your family history, then you should know about them.
Q. I have read that quite a number of Americans have
ancestors who have titles. Why did they come here? It looks like it would be
more prestigious to stay in their home country where the title was acquired or
A. The younger sons of noble families, while having
social status in their home countries, did not have any way to earn an income
and there was nothing for them to use such as farmland. So they came to the new
world and on the whole have done well for themselves. The sheer size of North
America makes it possible for entrepreneurs to establish enterprises that could
not be done in a small European country, they being more like our states in
size. Of course the early efforts were mostly extractive and could not last
indefinitely but since America got determined, thinking people from those
countries they figured out ways to establish manufacturing, sales, foreign
trade, farming and ranching, and much more.
Q. I think I may be related to one of the early Scottish
king-chiefs, whatever they were called. How does one go about tracing a lineage
like that. I see that a great many people with my name are in prominent
political positions and in business.
A. While it may not be possible to trace individual
lines in a Scottish clan, it easier to establish kinship there than among other
ethnic groups. Like the American Indians, the Scots thought more in terms of
clans than of individual families. Sometimes a clan would break up and the young
men would join another clan, and would usually marry within the clan. All of
these matches brought together a number of lineages, which joined and
interjoined in all different directions within the clan. So, as the clan grew,
it had members who were mostly kin to everyone else. The rule is that a person
is a clan member by birth, marriage, or adoption. It is possible, of course, to
be affiliated with several clans.
Q. I understand that Princess Diana was a descendent of
King Charles II. He and his wife did not have any children, so what was her
A. Charles did have descendants in lines other than
through his wife. Such was that of Diana and her brother Charles. It is a direct
line, completely known. Although the line is not royal, it is designated as
noble. It is said that Diana had a very large number of relatives in the United
To find out more about the royal ancestry of American
presidents and the kinships among them go to the Crawford County Genealogy
Library in Pittsburg and look at the book entitled, "Ancestry of American
Presidents," by Carl Boger III.
Send questions, queries, and comments or your own
interesting ancestry to Joan House, 308 S. Walnut, Pittsburg, KS 66762.
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