A genealogy website, Ancestry.com, reports that Republican vice presidential hopeful, Sarah Palin, is distantly related to Princess Diana and former U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt. Experts say that such genealogical connections often gain attention in the U.S. presidential campaign.
Last year, Lynne Cheney said that tracing her family roots, she found her husband, Vice President Dick Cheney, was a distant cousin of Democratic presidential nominee, Barack Obama. In fact, other researchers discovered that Obama is distant cousin of actor Brad Pitt.
The chief family historian of Ancestry.com, Megan Smolenyak, said: “When you’ve got candidates who have deep roots in America, there’s a good chance that they’re going to have some famous cousins.”
As for Palin’s relationship to Roosevelt, the website has it that Palin is the former president’s ninth cousin. Both share the same ancestor, John Lothrop, who was born in England in 1584. According to family and local histories, Lothrop was a Puritan Presbyterian minister who arrived in the Massachusetts colony in 1634, and died here in 1653.
Regarding the Sarah Palin-Princess Diana relation, the website says that the two are tenth cousins, descending from John Strong and his wife, Abigail Ford. John was also born in England in 1605, migrated to the United States, and died in 1699 also in Massachusetts.
Ancestry.com claims that it has access to 7 billion records online. Smolenyak said: “We’ve all got literally millions of cousins. The trick is finding that one little connection that results in something like Sarah Palin being related to FDR or Diana.”