* Odd political lineage not uncommon
* Romney could be related to more presidents
By Lily Kuo
WASHINGTON, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Republican U.S.
presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is distantly related to
six past presidents, including George W. Bush, George
H.W. Bush and Franklin D. Roosevelt, genealogists said on
Online database Ancestry.com released a report showing the
former Massachusetts governor also has ties to Calvin Coolidge,
Franklin Pierce and Herbert Hoover through an English landowner
who lived in the 1500s.
Odd political lineage is not new. The website has found
far-away family connections linking Obama to conservative radio
host Rush Limbaugh, 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin
and George W. Bush, his 11th cousin.
"It's not exceptional to be related to a president, not at
all," said Gary Boyd Roberts, a researcher at the New England
Historic Genealogical Society. "Most of us are related to a
dozen, half dozen presidents."
Because of the long history of intermarriage among immigrant
groups in the United States, Americans with colonial links in
their family history could on average be related to six or seven
former presidents, he said.
Romney is well connected because of the number of presidents
who have come from New England where his earliest U.S. ancestors
migrated to in the 1600s.
"His family has very deep American roots," said Anastasia
Harman, lead family historian for Ancestry.com.
Roberts said Romney could actually be related to as many as
15 presidents, including Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter. He can
also claim a distant relation to the late Diana, Princess of
Wales, and Mormon settlers, Roberts said.
"It's a typical but wonderful story ... . It captures a lot
of strands of world history that we all represent," he said.
The report from Ancestry.com found that Republican hopeful
and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman is also related to the
Bush presidents, Roosevelt and Coolidge.
Texas Governor Rick Perry is only related to Harry Truman,
according to the research. The site had not studied former House
of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich, the main
rival of Romney in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential
(Editing by Xavier Briand)
(Reporting By Lily Kuo)
© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.