In time for the 2012 election countdown, I recently did some genealogy research to learn more about the background of both President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, and guess what—they’re related!
What’s more: they’re also related to several former U.S. presidents, English kings, outlaws and celebrities. This is really huge! So huge in fact that our team at GenealogyBank decided to create this Infographic to show many of these surprising genealogical findings.
Click the image for the even bigger full-size Infographic version.
Obama & Romney Are Related?
Yes. Obama and Romney are both direct descendants of King Edward I of England, who was the eldest son of King Henry III and himself a father to numerous children by his two wives, Queens Eleanor and Margaret. King Edward I was perhaps the most successful of the medieval English monarchs. Known as “Longshanks” due to his great height and stature, King Edward I stood head and shoulders above other men of his time, towering at a height of 6’2. Romney and Obama are chips off the old block, both over six feet tall. Romney measures in at 6’2 and Obama at 6’1.
Several U.S. Presidents as Cousins-in-Common
The 2012 presidential candidates not only share a royal ancestor, they also have many distant cousins-in-common. These distant relatives form the impressive lineup of United States presidents featured in the White House Family Reunion photo in the Infographic above.
Obama and Romney’s U.S. president distant cousins-in-common include:
- James Madison – 4th President of the United States
- William Harrison – 9th President of the United States
- Zachary Taylor – 12th President of the United States
- Ulysses S. Grant – 18th President of the United States
- Benjamin Harrison – 23rd President of the United States
- Grover Cleveland – 24th President of the United States
- Warren G. Harding – 29th President of the United States
- Calvin Coolidge – 30th President of the United States
- Richard Nixon – 37th President of the United States
- Gerald Ford – 38th President of the United States
- Jimmy Carter – 39th President of the United States
- George W. Bush – 43rd President of the United States
- George H.W. Bush – 41st President of the United States
Early American Presidential Roots
Obama and Romney also have deep early American roots in their respective family trees. Mayflower passengers Edward and Samuel Fuller are both direct ancestors of Mitt Romney. They were part of the group of Pilgrims who founded Plymouth Colony in 1620.
Romney is also a distant cousin to the early American President Thomas Jefferson, and Obama is a distant cousin to President George Washington.
Wild West Outlaw Kin
Another interesting ancestral find was that each of the presidential nominees is a distant relation to notorious American Wild West gunslingers. Wild Bill Hickok is a distant cousin to Obama, and William H. Bonney a.k.a. “Billy the Kid” is a distant cousin to Romney. Also noteworthy is that Romney is a relation to famous American actor Clint Eastwood, who has starred in many hit Western movies such as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
Star-Studded Family Trees
Both of the 2012 election candidates share their family trees with Hollywood megastars, as well as other celebrities ranging from renowned American artists to British royalty.
Obama is a distant cousin to the following celebrities:
- Brad Pitt – Hollywood Megastar
- Elvis Presley – King of Rock & Roll
- Georgia O’Keeffe – Famous American Artist & Painter
- Robert Duvall – Hollywood Actor
Romney’s family tree also has many movie stars and famous people. His distant cousins include:
- Clint Eastwood – Hollywood Megastar
- Alec Baldwin –Hollywood Actor
- Princess Diana – Former Princess of Wales
- Katherine Hepburn – Earlier Hollywood Megastar
- Julia Child – Famous Chef, TV Personality and Author
Both Have Foreign-Born Fathers
President Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to parents Stanley Ann Dunham and Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. The Infographic features an old photo of Barack Obama II as a child with his mother Ann.
President Obama’s father was born in 1936 in Kanyadhiang Village, Kenya. The Infographic features an old picture of President Obama’s dad Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., as an infant with the president’s paternal grandmother Habiba Akumu Obama.
Governor Romney was born in 1947 in Detroit, Michigan, to parents Lenore and George W. Romney. The old family photograph in the Infographic shows the governor as a baby with his mom and dad.
Mitt Romney’s father George W. Romney, the former governor of Michigan, was born in 1907 in Colonia Dublán, Mexico. The old picture in the Infographic shows Romney’s father as a child with Mitt’s grandma Anna Amelia Pratt Romney.
Who knew the presidential candidates shared so many family connections? We’re continuing our ancestral exploration into the 2012 U.S. presidential candidates’ family trees. Make sure to stay tuned by following us here on the blog and on Facebook, Twitter or G+ to get more Obama and Romney family history.
It’s a great day for genealogy!