Monday, February 18, 2013

Presidents' Day

Today is Presidents' Day. If you have the day off, I hope you had a good one. When you work at home as a genealogist and stay-at-home mom, today is not a day off.

So do you have presidential relatives? If you descend from people of early colonial days, it's pretty easy to find out.

Using my five unique Mayflower ancestors and the list of famous descendants on Caleb Johnson's Mayflower History page, I found some presidents that are my relatives.

1. President John Quincy Adams and his son President John Adams descend from John Alden.

2. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt descends from John Howland, and he also descends from Isaac Allerton and is therefore related to my husband.

3. President George Bush and President George H. W. Bush descend from John Howland.

4. Vice President Dan Quayle could be my closest presidential relative as he descends from Myles Standish and John Alden, and their children Alexander Standish and Sarah Alden who were married (as I also do). He descends from a son of theirs.

5. Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin descends from John Howland.

Another famous person who I am probably closer related to is Dick Van Dyke. We share common ancestors Myles Standish and John Alden, and their children Alexander Standish and Sarah Alden who were married. Then he descends from one sister (Sarah) and I a different sister (Lorah).

A couple years ago I found my step-mother-in-law's family is related to President Barak Obama. They didn't really take that as good news. As you can read in Megan Smolenyak's book, President Obama's mother has ancestors from early colonial America so he has many relatives. His mother was white, although we don't seem to hear much about her.

Happy Presidents' Day! Have a happy day of whatever genealogy or family history you can do!


  1. Not related to this particular blog post, but I just wanted to say how thrilled I was to come across your family tree on rootsweb. My grandmother, Berniece Burdick (Foster) was Mable Jorgensen (Foster)'s sister. I'd long known that she was very proud of her long Foster heritage, but neither my mother nor I was entirely clear on the details. Thanks for all the amazing work you've done on this!

    Eve Yarroll

    1. Hi Eve,
      Thanks for contacting me. We are second cousins! Mable (Foster) Jorgensen was my grandma. I have met great aunt Berniece when I was young. Please contact me. Maybe we can exchange info or photos. My email is bethj1973 "at"
      PS: See my blog post from last May with a timeline on my Grandma Mable.