The Genealogy of First Lady Barbara Bush

The following was written by the New England Historic Genealogical Society:

As America Mourns Barbara Bush, Genealogists at New England Historic Genealogical Society Announce She Was Related to Ten Presidents,  Including her Husband, and to Prince William

April 19, 2018—Boston, Massachusetts—As the nation mourned the passing of one of its most-beloved American First Ladies, the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) remembered Barbara Pierce Bush, a woman whose life will be noted as one of only two in the nation’s history to be both the wife and mother of an American President, and who was related to ten presidents (including her husband and son) and to European royalty. Her funeral is set for Saturday.

Genealogists at NEHGS have long studied the ancestry of Barbara Bush, who was related to millions of present-day Americans. Among researchers at NEHGS is world renowned genealogist Gary Boyd Roberts, Senior Research Scholar Emeritus, who has documented the family history of the late Mrs. Bush extensively.

“Barbara Bush was related to ten U.S. Presidents. She had an ancestor on the Mayflower, and was descended from three seventeenth-century immigrants with royal ancestry,” said Roberts. The ten presidents were Franklin Pierce (a second cousin five times removed), Hayes, Garfield, Taft, Coolidge, Hoover, Nixon, Ford, and, most surprisingly, she had a distant genealogical kinship with George H. W. Bush, her husband, and, of course, George W. Bush, her son. All were Republicans, except for President Pierce. It has frequently been reported erroneously in the press that Mrs. Bush was descended from Pierce, but the kinship was more remote.

“Mrs. Bush was descended from the Mayflower passenger Henry Samson whose ancestry has been traced to a noble Latimer/Latymer family and she is therefore distantly related to Prince William of Wales, the future King of England,” continued Roberts.

Mrs. Bush’s other cousins include a host of actors: Ben Affleck, Casey Affleck, Humphrey Bogart, Jamie Lee Curtis, Paul Giamatti, Janet Leigh, Kyra Sedgwick (wife of Kevin Bacon), and Christopher Reeve. Other notable cousins were astronaut Alan Shepard and Archibald Cox, the fired Watergate prosecutor.

Gary Boyd Roberts is Senior Research Scholar Emeritus at New England Historic Genealogical Society, with which he has been associated since 1974. He is the author of American Ancestors and Cousins of The Princess of Wales; The Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants to the American Colonies of the United States; Notable Kin, volumes one and two; The Best Genealogical Sources in Print, volume one, and many magazine and journal articles and columns.

NEHGS, with its national headquarters located in Boston’s Back Bay, is the oldest and largest genealogical society in America. NEHGS serves more than 250,000 members and millions of online users engaged in family history nationally and around the world. It is home to a world-class research library and archive, and an expert staff. NEHGS offers an award-winning genealogical research website at AmericanAncestors.org with 1.4 billion records and maintains a publishing division which produces original genealogical research, scholarship, and educational materials, including the Mayflower Descendant, a quarterly journal of Pilgrim genealogy and history.

8 Comments

What do I need to do to get the NEHGS (or another genealogical society) to research my family tree for free?

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    Humor is good some days. We met Gary Boyd Roberts quite a while ago in the NEHGS library and were not impressed with his knowledge or attitude.

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    It’s very simple. All you need to do to get a well-known genealogical society to research your family for free is:
    1) Become President of the United States;
    2) Marry Royalty;
    3) Win the Nobel Prize;
    4) Win a Pulitzer for writing a runaway best-selling biography of one of the Founding Fathers;
    5) Create a landmark documentary series on a watershed event in human history that keeps millions of TV viewers on the edge of their seats for 10 or 12 consecutive weeks;
    6) Be the first person to leave footprints on the moon; or…..
    Gee, now that I think about it, maybe it might be easier for most of us to just do our own research for ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

Prince William, is not the Prince of Wales, he is the Duke of Cambridge. (William Arthur Philip Louis; born 21 June 1982) is a member of the British royal family. He is the elder son of Charles, (who is the) Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales, and is second in the line of succession to the British throne, after his father. [https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_William,_Duke_of_Cambridge]

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    Notice that the article didn’t refer to Prince William as *the Prince* of Wales. “Prince William of Wales” and “Prince Henry of Wales” appear to be the proper personal names of the two sons of the current Prince of Wales. Both princes used “Wales” as their surname during their military service. (See: https://www.royal.uk and https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/british-royal-family-surname-last-name-a7519901.html )

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    Glad you corrected that.

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    Similarly Prince William’s first cousins are Princess Beatrice of York and Princess Eugenie of York. However Prince William’s proper style is Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, not Prince William of Wales. His brother’s style is also officially Prince Henry of Wales, although this will likely only be true until his wedding next month when he will likely be made a duke in the same way his brother was.
    Properly following convention his other first cousins through the male royal line would be Prince James of Wessex and Princess Louise of Wessex. However their parents have elected not to use royal styles and titles and so they are known as James, Viscount Severn and Lady Louise Windsor which are the styles the children of a earl use. Prince William’s children are Prince George of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge and Prince/Princess ? of Cambridge who will arrive in this world shortly.

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I come from the Morgan Welsh line from Glamorganshire Wales whose great grandfather was Thomas Morgan married to M. Williams. Were my ancestors Kings of Wales?Most U.S.presidents tie into this line. Some good,some bad .A woman from this line married to Queen Elizabeth ancestor. Check it out for me. Thanks I have bad eyesite.

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