Presidential Election 2016

The will be held on Tuesday, November 8th, 2016  ♦  2016 Presidential Candidates

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  Republican Convention
    Chris Christie
    Rick Santorum
    Ann Romney
    Ted Cruz
    Mike Huckabee
    Condoleezza Rice
    Paul Ryan
    Clint Eastwood
    Jeb Bush
    Marco Rubio
    Mitt Romney
  Democratic Convention
    Debbie Wasserman Schultz
    Rahm Emmanuel
    Julian Castro
    Michelle Obama
    Sandra Fluke
    Elizabeth Warren
    Bill Clinton
    Caroline Kennedy
    John Kerry
    Jill Biden
    Joe Biden
    Barack Obama


The ancestry of our presidents reflects the varied and rich tapestry of our history as a nation of immigrants. While our early presidents are predominantly white Anglo-Saxon Protestants, the majority of our 20th century presidents are of Irish descent.

After President John F. Kennedy's ascension to the Oval Office in 1961, every president who has occupied the office since has an Irish ancestor somewhere in their genealogical history, with the exception of President Gerald Ford. In fact, according to Gary Boyd Roberts in his book, Ancestors of American Presidents, there have been no less than 20 American presidents with Irish ancestries.

The Pilgrims of the Mayflower also made a notable contribution to the roster, with eight of their descendants becoming president of the country (John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Zachary Taylor, Ulysses S. Grant, James Garfield, Franklin D. Roosevelt, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush).

Despite several claims to the contrary involving former President Warren Harding, our current president, Barack Obama, is the first African-American to hold the office of president.

We also have three presidents with German ancestry (Polk, Hoover and Eisenhower), three Dutch (Van Buren and both president Bush) and one Danish (Johnson).

What about our candidates? Let's take a look.



2012 Democratic Vice-Presidential Nominee
Incumbent Vice-President of the United States

Joe Biden

Presidential Candidate Joe Biden

Biden Ancestry

Biden’s lineage can be traced back to England, and more notably, Ireland.

His maternal great grandfather, James Finnegan, hails from County Louth in Ireland; his maternal great-great grandfather, Patrick Blewitt (1833-NA), was a native of County Mayo, Ireland.

Records indicate that Biden’s paternal great-great-great grandfather, William Biden (NA-1863), was born in Sussex, England. His maternal great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Allen Robinett (1630-1694), was a wealthy merchant from Chester, England. He sold his entire shareholding and left England for the rugged and still thinly populated Pennsylvania in 1682.

In an interview with the Irish Voice in 2008, Biden claimed that his ancestors hailed “from a Famine era family, the Finnegans, who fled Co. Mayo to avoid the Great Hunger.

Trivia: Biden’s maternal great grandfather, Edward Francis Blewitt (1859-NA), became the first Irish Senator in the Pennsylvania State Legislature. Blewitt, who was a civil engineer with Scranton city, served Philadelphia’s 22nd District between 1907 and 1910.
Biden's profile, official website and positions on the issues

2012 Libertarian Presidential Nominee
Former Governor of New Mexico

Gary Johnson

Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson

Johnson Ancestry

Johnson is of Danish, Norwegian and Russian ancestry.

His paternal grandfather was from Denmark and grandmother was Norwegian.
On his maternal side, his grandparents, William and Vera (Korneychuk) Bostow, were both from Russia.

(Information provided by Mr. Michael Hurdle)

Johnson's profile, official website and positions on the issues

2012 Democratic Presidential Nominee
Current President of the United States

Barack Obama

Presidential Candidate Barack Obama

Obama Ancestry

Obama is of mixed African and Caucasian parentage.

His father, Barack Obama Sr., is an ethnic Kenyan Luo from the Nyanza province. His mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, is a Caucasian American of English, Scottish, Irish, French, Swiss, German and Welsh descent. Dunham’s great-great-great-great-great grandfather from the maternal line, Christian Gutknecht (Goodnight), originally hailed from Bischwiller, France, and arrived here in 1749 with his Swiss-German wife, Maria Magdalena Grüholtz (1723- unknown).

Dunham’s eighth generation paternal grandfather, Jonathan Singletary Dunham (1639-1724), is of English/Scottish stock. His lineage can be traced back to Edward I of England (1239 – 1307) and William the Lion (1143–1214). Robert Perry (1785-1852), her great-great-great grandfather from her maternal line, is a Welshmen. Dunham’s paternal great-great grandfather, Falmouth Kearney (1830-1878), arrived in New York City in 1850 from Moneygall, Ireland.
President Obama and wife, Michelle, greeting Henry Healy, his distant
cousin, during a visit to Moneygall, Ireland, on May 23, 2011.

Obama, through his maternal great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Philip Ament (1755-1836), is related to Lyndon B. Johnson, the country’s 36th President, who is the great- great- great-grandson of Ament. He is also the eighth cousin, twice removed, of the 39th President, Jimmy Carter, through his seventh generation maternal grandfather, Moses Teague (1718-1799). Interestingly, Obama is the tenth cousin of former presidents Gerald Ford (once removed), George H.W Bush (once removed) and George W. Bush (twice removed) through his tenth generation paternal grandfather, Samuel Hinckley (1589-1662). Obama is, additionally, the distant relative of two more former United States Presidents, James Madison and Harry Truman, as well as former Vice President, Dick Cheney.
Obama's profile, official website and positions on the issues

2012 Republican Presidential Nominee
Former Governor of Massachusetts

Mitt Romney

Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney

Romney Ancestry

While Romney’s documented ancestry does not quite reach the heights of the family legend, which claimed that they are descendants of the fourth-century dragon slayer, St. George (the patron saint of England), it is still an impressive one, with some of the most celebrated thinkers (maternal great-grandfather, Parley Parker Pratt, was one of the chief literary defenders of Mormonism), famed fighters (Carl Heinrich Wilcken, a member of the Prussian army, and later, Utah’s militia) and natural leaders (Miles Romney, who founded and administered the Mormon sanctuary in Mexico in the 19th century) of post-Independence America.

The family can trace their lineage to modern England, Scotland and Germany. Miles Park Romney, Mitt’s great-great grandfather (paternal), hails from Lancashire, England, while on the maternal side, Archibald Newell Hill was a resident of Renfrew, Scotland. His great-great grandfather, the legendary Prussian soldier, Carl Heinrich Wilcken, was a native of Holstein, Germany.

Romney's family tree is rife with polygamists on the paternal side, though there is no indication of polygamy on the maternal side of his family. According to a research by The Salt Lake Tribune, Romney's ancestry harbors six polygamous men with forty-one wives. Romney, however, is a confirmed monogamist and polygamy has been absent in his family background for more than two generations.

Note: The full name of Mr. Carl Heinrich Wilcken was provided by Mr. Ulrich Oesterle from Hesse, Germany.
Romney's profile, official website and positions on the issues

2012 Republican Vice-Presidential Nominee
U.S. Representative from Wisconsin

Paul Ryan

Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan

Ryan Ancestry

Ryan is a fifth-generation Wisconsin native. He is of German and Irish ancestry.

His great-great-great grandfather from the maternal side, John Baptist Hutter (1812-1896), hails from Wiesbach, Germany, a town located along the French border in the west. Hutter, and wife Barbara Bindl (1813-1891), arrived in Wisconsin in 1874.

The grandfather (Dennis McCarthy, 1820-1910) of Ryan’s paternal grandmother, Edith Irene McCarthy (1897 - 1983), is a native of County Cork, Ireland.
Ryan's profile, official website and positions on the issues




Declared 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate

Kathyern Lane

Presidential Candidate Kathyern Lane

Lane Ancestry


More on Lane  

Declared 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate
U.S. Representative from the State of Texas

Ron Paul

Presidential Candidate Ron Paul

Paul Ancestry

• Ron Paul has strong German ancestry

• His grandfather immigrated from Germany at the age of 14 and 6 months later his father died, leaving him alone in a strange country.

• Paul’s grandfather became a truck farmer in Pennsylvania and eventually started a successful dairy farm. He had 4 sons and 1 daughter. His second son, Howard, was Ron Paul’s father.

More on Paul  

Declared 2012 Independent Presidential Candidate

Stephen Rollins

Presidential Candidate Stephen Rollins

Rollins Ancestry

Stephen’s grandmother was a McCoy, part of the McCoy clan from the famous Hatfield/McCoy feud.

More on Rollins  

Declared 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate

Vern Wuensche

Presidential Candidate Vern Wuensche

Wuensche Ancestry

• Vern Wuensche’s parents were both Wends - descendents of a sect of Germans who immigrated to Texas in 1845 and 1854 for religious freedom. Wends had their own language and customs, had been denied the right to own property in Germany and were told to worship in the state church which was not their beloved Lutheran Church.

More on Wuensche  

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