Blogs > Cliopatria > 16th Cousins, Thrice Removed

Feb 17, 2004 1:28 am

16th Cousins, Thrice Removed

OK, this blog has gotten serious, but that's going to stop now.

According to a local publisher of geneaological software, George W. Bush and John F. Kerry are cousins. Sixteenth cousins, three times removed, to be exact. Family Forest also generated a list of other famous relatives including former presidents. Naturally, since they're related to each other, there's a lot of overlap. Bush is related to more famous people than Kerry, including Presidents Millard Fillmore and Chester Arthur, Hugh Hefner,"Wild Bill" Hickok and Bing Crosby. Both are related to Pope Gregory X (r. 1271-1276), Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Humphrey Bogart and Aldous Huxley.

Neither one of them is related to me. But my wife is related to James Monroe, so my son and wife are related to both of them.

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Bruce Harrison - 2/19/2004

Thank you for your advice Anne, we are way overdue for some Mai Tais, and hope to do some catching up soon.

But we are actually having a blast growing the Family Forest, the world's most interconnected digital collection of ancestral history.

We do have an obsession for trying to give everyone personal connections to really fun and enriching ancestral history that can potentially change their lives for the better, but we are not preoccupied with knowing who Senator Kerry and President Bush are related to.

As Jonathan knows, getting to those kinds of reports only requires a few mouse-clicks (after spending tens of thousands of hours lineage-linking thousands of years of ancestral history).

Thank you for your encouragement Jonathan. We are setting the stage for others to expore their own curiosity in ways we probably have not imagined yet, and we are having a lot of fun doing it.


Bruce Harrison

P.S. Here is an additional link, not yet available at our site, that may be of interest to you:

Jonathan Dresner - 2/17/2004

Actually, it's a sign of the combination of interest in geneaology (which I think is an underappreciated area of public connection with history) with the immensely powerful data tools offered by computers. The collection of geneaological data takes time, but someone has apparently converted an awful lot of it into relational databases. The actual list probably didn't take them more than a few minutes to generate.

In ten to twenty years, the accumulation of geneaological data by literally millions of hobbyists, will be a powerful tool for historians. I'm not sure, to be honest, what the questions will be, but there will be answers.

Anne Zook - 2/17/2004

I'm all about not being serious, but is that kind of research a sign that those people need to get out more, maybe have a drink or do some shopping, or is it a sign that our society's obessive interest in nothing at all is getting way out of hand?

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