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Monday, October 8, 2012

Mitt Romney Is Related to Six Former Presidents, Including FDR And The Bush Family






WASHINGTON -- When your dad is the former governor of Michigan, and your mom was a Senate candidate, you might expect that presidential lineage comes with the territory. In Mitt Romney's case, you'd be right.

Ancestry.com revealed Tuesday that Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, is related to six former presidents, including fellow Republicans Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, President George H.W. Bush and his son George W. Bush. Romney is also related to Democrats Franklin D. Roosevelt and Franklin Pierce.

But none of the past presidents are close relatives; Roosevelt, his closed relative, is his eighth cousin.

Romney's Bush and Roosevelt connections trace back to Anne Marbury Hutchinson, who settled in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Hutchinson was one of the most prominent women in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and her opposition to the rigid interpretation Puritanism eventually led to her banishment to modern-day Rhode Island in the 1640s.

The rest of Romney's presidential roots can be traced back to Englishman Thomas Richardson, a landowner who lived in Hertfordshire in the late 16th century. Romney is related to Presidents Calvin Coolidge (10th cousins), Herbert Hoover (10th cousins) and Franklin Pierce (sixth cousins, four times removed), through him.

At the time of the original analysis, which can take months, Newt Gingrich wasn't showing in the polls, but the team at Ancestry.com is hard at work on his profile, the site's lead family historian, Anastasia Harman, told HuffPost.

Coming in at number two in the presidential pedigree contest behind Romney is former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who is tangentially related to Romney, Franklin Roosevelt and the Bushes, also through Ann Marbury Hutchinson.

Huntsman also shares some lineage with Calvin Coolidge, though not through the same ancestor as Romney. In his case, Coolidge is his seventh cousin, 3 times removed, courtesy of William Goddard, who escaped the London plague of 1665 and settled in Massachusetts with his family. Texas Gov. Rick Perry is also related to a past president, Harry Truman; they are both descendants of an early settler in Virginia in the 1700s.

Michele Bachmann, however, wasn't so lucky -- her ancestry is completely Norwegian, said Harman, but it's not quite American royalty, presidentially speaking. Luckily for Bachmann, she's pretty close to GOP primary royalty: The Minnesota congresswoman was the only primary candidate born in Iowa, which she hopes will count for something during the state's first-in-the-nation Republican caucus on January 3.


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