08 October 2010

i'm related to president george w bush

Quite how this discovery changes my life, I’m still trying to decide. The genealogical chart above opens quite blurred when you click on it due to the drastic reduction from its original size. Click the image again and it will expand but the size still just about shields identities. For the curious, I am in the lower left hand corner and my long lost presidential cousin is near the bottom right.

Some time ago I traced a distant line of ancestors by the name of Packard on my father’s side in the eastern English county of Suffolk but I lost track of them somewhere in the early 1800s. As is usual with genealogy, I got side-tracked on numerous other lines of enquiry and thought no more of the Packards until this week...

The beauty of the crumbling bones of long-dead ancestors is that they aren’t going anywhere in a hurry, so you can put them down and pick them back up much later and they’ll still be there. I returned to my Packards this month and discovered a fascinating pedigree online which included a prominent Packard in my own lineage. With me so far?

Out of sheer greed I copied the hundred or so names in this pedigree into my own records, pushing my Packard line back to a barely credible 1486AD! Out of curiosity I scanned the descending lines of this online treasure trove and the first one I followed led to a family of Packards who emigrated to The States in the 1700s where they threw down roots and thrust up branches up and down New England.

I continued to follow this line but when I reached the late Victorian period the male Packards had petered out. While I was idly fiddling with a dwindling female arm (so to speak) I spotted a Sheldon marrying in and fathering a daughter, Flora Sheldon. Bells of familiarity began to ring. I quickly realised Flora married Samuel Prescott Bush and they produced Prescott Sheldon Bush – the subject of many conspiracy theories ranging from the assassination of JFK to the Bilderberg Group to funding the Nazis.

This helpful online pedigree listed later descendants as "living" so dutifully withheld their names in the interests of privacy. Of course the next two generations are the George Bush's, senior and junior, as a cursory glance at Wikipedia will confirm!

My Family Historian software reliably informs me George W Bush and I are eleventh cousins once removed. Or in other words, we share a common ancestor fifteen generations ago. What all this means I am not sure. One thing is fairly certain, I am unlikely to be invited for cocktails at a leafy retreat in Rhode Island or Connecticut or wherever the bigwigs hang out these days. However, I might be spirited away to Quantico for interrogation.


C.J. Duffy said...


Perfect Virgo said...

CJ - not another word on the subject, I promise!

S said...

Oh my, what an unusual find.
I agree with CJ! :)

S said...

oops,I forget that my gmail is not connected to a blog.
Above comment is from "island dreaming" gel.

Perfect Virgo said...

S - and there's CJ using another of his favourite Yiddish expressions!