December 20, 2011 08:00 ET

ANCESTRY.COM Reveals Mitt Romney's Presidential Genes: 2012 GOP Hopeful Is Related to Six Presidents

Leading Family History Site Also Links GOP Candidates Huntsman and Perry to Former Presidents and American Legends

PROVO, UT--(Marketwire - Dec 20, 2011) - As Americans prepare to cast their votes in the 2012 Republican Presidential primaries and caucuses starting January 3 in Iowa, (NASDAQ: ACOM) today announced that several key Republican presidential contenders have historic political leaders in their genes -- suggesting that the upcoming primaries are really one grand ol' family party.

The world's largest online family history resource has discovered that Mitt Romney leads the pack in presidential lineage with six former Commanders-in-Chief in his family history. The former Massachusetts governor's family tree includes relations to Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Coolidge, Pierce, Hoover and both President George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

  • Romney is connected to Presidents George W. Bush (10th cousins, twice removed), George H. W. Bush (10th cousins, once removed) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (8th cousins, twice removed) through Ann Marbury Hutchinson, a key figure in the development of religious freedom in America and early settler of Rhode Island and New York.
  • Romney is related to Presidents Calvin Coolidge (10th cousins), Herbert Hoover (10th cousins) and Franklin Pierce (6th cousins, 4 times removed) through Thomas Richardson, an English landowner in the late 1500s from Hertfordshire.

Not far behind in presidential pedigree is former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, whose family tree boasts four former heads of state: Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Coolidge and both Presidents Bush.

  • Huntsman is related to Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt (8th cousins, 3 times removed), George H.W. Bush (11th cousins) and George W. Bush (11th cousins, once removed) through Ann Marbury Hutchinson.
  • Huntsman and President Calvin Coolidge are 7th cousins, 3 times removed, through William Goddard, who brought his family to Massachusetts colony in 1665, escaping London's plague and searching for better opportunities. Goddard appears to have had a slight political slant himself -- serving in the town government of Watertown, Mass.

The buck stops with Texas Governor Rick Perry, who can claim President Harry Truman and legendary Texas Governor Sam Houston in his tree.

  • Fifth cousins, 4 times removed, Perry and Truman are related through Thomas Shipp, who was born in Virginia in the early 1700s, the son and grandson of early Virginia settlers.
  • Governor Perry's home state pride is in his blood as discovered he is first cousins, six times removed, from Sam Houston, former President of the Republic of Texas, Texas Governor and State Senator. Perry and Houston are connected through John Paxton, a Revolutionary War patriot. Although Houston resigned as Governor rather than swear allegiance to the Confederacy, Governor Perry has many other ancestors who fought on the side of the Confederacy during the Civil War.

"We find in these politicians' family trees links to the foundations of the country -- early settlers seeking freedom and opportunities, Revolutionary War patriots, and even American legends," said Anastasia Harman, Lead Family Historian for "Time and again American politicians have family ties to our country's founders and past leaders. It seems the traits that forged past leaders have been handed down through generations to our current and hopeful leaders."

These political and historical connections extend into the current Commander-in-Chief's family tree as well:

  • In 2010, connected President Obama to former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin and conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh.
  • also found that Obama and billionaire financial investor Warren Buffett are related.
  • In 2008, discovered that then-Governor Palin is a distant cousin to both Franklin D. Roosevelt and the late Princess of Wales.
  • In 2007, first shed light on then-candidate Barack Obama's Irish roots, tracing his ancestry to a 3rd great-grandfather who escaped the Irish Potato Famine and settled in Ohio in 1850.

For anyone interested in discovering the American founders, legends or politicians in their own family tree, visit

About Inc. (NASDAQ: ACOM) is the world's largest online family history resource, with approximately 1.7 million paying subscribers. More than 7 billion records have been added to the site in the past 15 years. Ancestry users have created more than 29 million family trees containing over 3 billion profiles. In addition to its flagship site, offers localized Web sites designed for nine countries that empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history.

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