The following announcement was written by the New England Historic Genealogical Society:
As Tributes Pour in Celebrating the Life of the 41st President, Genealogists at New England Historic Genealogical Society Provide a Look at Famous Relatives of George H. W. Bush
Boston, Massachusetts—December 5, 2018—As tributes pour in following the death of George Herbert Walker Bush, genealogists at New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), who have long studied the ancestry of all U S presidents, shed light on the extensive family background of the beloved 41st U S President. The world- renowned genealogist Gary Boyd Roberts, NEHGS Senior Research Scholar Emeritus, has documented the family history of the late President Bush extensively:
President Bush was several times related to his wife, the late Barbara (Pierce) Bush—via Richardsons and Kendalls of Woburn, Mass., Holbrooks of Weymouth, Mass., and probably other New England families. In addition to his son, 43rd U S President George Walker Bush, the 41st President was also related—albeit distantly—to Presidents George Washington (through the English Spencers, who are also ancestors of Sir Winston Churchill and the late Diana, Princess of Wales), John Quincy Adams, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield, Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Barack Obama—18 in all. The kinship to Lincoln is through the immigrant Samuel Lincoln of Hingham, Mass. One kinship to Richard Nixon is through the Lippincotts of New Jersey. The kinships to Barack Obama are through the Blossoms and Hinckleys, both of Plymouth, Mass.
Among First Ladies, the 41st President is related to Abigail Adams, Abigail Fillmore, Lucy Grant, Lucretia Garfield, Frances Cleveland, Edith Roosevelt, Helen Taft, both Ellen and Edith Wilson, Florence Harding, Grace Coolidge, Lou Hoover, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bess Truman, Mamie Eisenhower, and Nancy Reagan—16 in all.
George Herbert Walker Bush, with about one-third New England ancestry, one-third mid-Atlantic ancestry, and one-third Southern U S ancestry, was descended from some of the country’s earliest settlers—among them at least four of the Pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower—John Howland, his wife Elizabeth Tilley, and her parents John Tilley and Joan Hurst. But his ancestry goes back even further to various medieval kings, including Edward I of England, who died in 1307, and Robert III of Scotland, who died in 1406. The late President’s immigrant ancestors of royal descent include Robert Livingston, the elder, of New York; the famed religious heretic Anne (Marbury) Hutchinson; and Rev. Peter Bulkeley, founder of Concord, Mass.
Via his Livingston, Hutchinson, Bulkeley, Clements, and Palgrave ancestors, President Bush was a cousin of a host of notable Americans, including, among political figures:
1. John Hancock
2. Stephen A. Douglas
3. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
4-5. Henry Cabot Lodge I and II
6. William H. Rehnquist
7. Mitt Romney
8. Sir Winston Churchill
Among literary figures or historians:
1. Ralph Waldo Emerson
2. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
3. James Thurber
4. Robert Lowell
5. Samuel Eliot Morison
Among actors and singers:
1. Bette Davis
2. Katharine Hepburn
3-4. Henry and Jane Fonda
5. Michael Douglas
6. The Beach Boys (Wilsons and Mike Love)
1. Eli Whitney
2. Elizabeth (Cady) Stanton
3. The American and British Astors
4. Norman Rockwell
5. Alan Shepard
6. Julia Child
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 900 Immigrants to the American Colonies, Quebec, or the United States in two volumes; Notable Kin, volumes one and two; Ancestors of American Presidents, 2nd Edition; The Best Genealogical Sources in Print, volume one, and many magazine and journal articles and columns.
About American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society
The founding genealogical society in America, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) was established in 1845. Today it has a national collecting scope and serves more than 250,000 constituents through an award-winning website, AmericanAncestors.org. Since its organization, NEHGS has been the country’s leading comprehensive resource for genealogists and family historians of every skill level, today providing constituents with worldwide access to some of the most important and valuable research tools anywhere.
American Ancestors is the public brand and user experience of NEHGS representing the expertise and resources available for family historians when researching their origins across the country and around the world. NEHGS’s resources, expertise, and service are unmatched in the field and their leading staff of on-site and online genealogists includes experts in early American, Irish, English, Scottish, German, Italian, Atlantic and French Canadian, African American, Native American, Chinese American, and Jewish research. The NEHGS library and archive, located at 99—101 Newbury Street in downtown Boston, Massachusetts, is home to more than 28 million items, including artifacts, documents, records, journals, letters, books, manuscripts, and other items dating back hundreds of years.