Ms. Palin and Mr. Obama are tenth cousins, both descending from a Massachusetts settler named John Smith, who fought against the persecution of the Quakers in the mid-1600’s.
The distant connection between the country’s first African-American president and the former governor of Alaska was discovered by researchers at ancestry.com, a Web site that provides tools for creating family trees. The results were provided to The Caucus.
Anastasia Tyler, a genealogist at the Web site, said she was impressed by the similarity between Mr. Obama, Ms. Palin and their shared ancestor. Mr. Smith, she said, was a controversial figure in his day who started his own church in Massachusetts.
“We see them involved in the social issues of their time and standing up for what they believe to be right,” Ms. Tyler said of the two current politicians. “It’s interesting to see their ancestors doing the same things.”
But if there are similarities between Ms. Palin and Mr. Obama, the same surely can’t be said about Mr. Obama and his chief talk-radio nemesis, Rush Limbaugh, right?
But in fact, Mr. Obama and Mr. Limbaugh are also tenth cousins – albeit, once removed. They share a family tie with Richmond Terrell, a wealthy landowner who settled in America in the 1650’s.
And there’s more.
Ms. Palin is related to Senator Harry Reid, the Senate majority leaderfrom Nevada. And both are in turn related to Ann Coulter, the conservative author. The family trees of the unlikely trio merge 450 years ago, when an Englishman, John Lathrop, was exiled to the United States.
Mr. Lathrop was punished for being the minister of an illegal church and was banished to Boston, Ms. Tyler said. His descendants eventually went on to give the United States some of its most colorful politicians.
Ms. Palin’s extended family includes former President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the late Princess Diana of Wales. (Full story at NYT)