Barack Obama and Sarah Palin ‘are distant cousins’ – October 13, 2010 found that the two politicians, who could face each other in the 2012 race for the White House, are both related to Mr Smith, a Protestant pastor who was an early settler in Massachusetts.

The website, based in Provo, Utah, also discovered that Mr Obama was a 10th cousin once removed from Rush Limbaugh, the conservative talk radio host and one of the president’s most virulent critics. Their common ancestor is Richmond Terrell, a Virginia settler who arrived in America in the mid-17th century.

An Englishman called John Lathrop, exiled to the United States for becoming a minister of an illegal independent church, was cited as the common link between Mrs Palin, Senator Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, and Ann Coulter, a conservative author.

Mr Obama is apparently an 11th cousin of former president, George W. Bush, through common ancestor Samuel Hinckley.

“It is not unusual to find family members on different ends of the political spectrum,” said Anastasia Tyler, an genealogist. “This election season is an ideal time to look into the family trees of our candidates and their critics to learn more about the ties that make them all part of this great country.”

During the 2008 election campaign, it was revealed that Mr Obama was related to Dick Cheney, then the vice-president, through a distant Huguenot forbear. Their shared ancestry became a popular laugh line in Mr Obama’s stump speech and a spokesman joked that Mr Cheney was “the black sheep of the family”.

We have already reported that George Bush and British royalty are distantly related but this is a new take on keeping it in the ‘family’. In an earlier U.S. presidential election it was noted that George Bush and his main rival, John Kerry, were distant relatives.

Comment – October 14, 2010


A similar scenario seems to be developing for the next U.S. presidential election.

The fact that nearly all U.S. presidents have been related to European royalty should tell us something. So now, like so many of their predecessors, two of the main contenders being lined up for the next run to the White House are also both related.