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Many Republicans are so obsessed with trying to paint Barack Obama as the 'other,' an 'outsider,' and a Kenyan they sometimes forget (are you reading this Dinesh D'Sousa?) that Obama's mother's family trace their lineage in America back to colonial days, well before the Revolutionary War.  As is true with just about every family that can trace their roots back to the mid-1700s or earlier, the list of Obama's direct ancestors and collateral relatives is rather astonishing.  In 2008, from an official genealogy [source now forgotten], I wrote down the names of some of the famous people related either directly or collaterally to Obama.  BTW, Obama and George W. Bush are directly related to each other through Samuel Hinkley, 12 generations back.  In fact, since Obama's first ancestors arrived here in the 1630s and Bush's around the early-middle 18th century, their genealogies have a surprising number of common relatives.  Okay, here goes - just a few relatives of Barack H. Obama through his mother:

Lyndon Baines Johnson,  Park Overall (actress), Penelope Tree (model), Margaux and Murial Hemingway, Charles Addams, John Steinbeck, Christopher Reeve, Alfred Kinsey, Harold MacMillan (former PM of UK), The First Earl of Stockton, Howard Dean, Sarah Palin, Jimmy Carter, Katherine Hepburn, Ken Kesey, John Waters (Bush is related to Edie the Egg Lady from Waters' movies), Harry Truman, Dick Cheney (another common relative with Bush), Robert Duval, Robert Byrd, John Pierpoint Morgan, Dorothy Walker Bush (wife of Prescott Bush), George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Gordon Hinkley (recently deceased President of the Church of the Latter Day Saints - Mormons), Louden Wainright I, II, & III, Birch Bayh Jr. and III, JonBenet Ramsey, Gerald Ford, John Glenn, Lon Cheney Sr. and Jr., Winston Churchill, James Madison, Lighthorse Harry Lee, Robert E. Lee, Woodrow Wilson, Buster Crabbe, and King William I (the Lion King of Scotland in the early 13th Century).

While on the subject of Americanism vs "otherdom," the Daughters of the American Revolution keep a list, called the "Patriot List," of men who fought for the U.S. in the Revolutionary War.  Any female descendent of somebody on the list is eligible to join the DAR.  Any male descendent is eligible to join the DAR's male auxiliary, the National Society of Sons of the American Revolution.

Barack Obama has 14 direct ancestors on the Patriot List: William Ambert, David Bowles, James Browning, John Miles Duval, Samuel Goodnight, James Hickman, Elijah Holloway, Thomas Martin, John Overall, Moses Teague, David Toot, George Toot, James Wellborn, and John Conrad Walfley.  Not many modern Americans can lay claim to a more Red, White, and Blue heritage.

Interestingly, Obama is also descended from Roger Bigod, Second Earl of Norfolk and Sussex, who was one of the leaders of the 25 Bishops who pledged their surety to guarantee that King John would be loyal to the Magna Carta - both their oaths of fealty and the signing of the original Magna Carta happened on June 9, 1215 (though the document went through numerous modifications and wasn't officially named the Magna Carta until 2 years later).  Their surety guaranteed the council of the 25 Bishops the power to override King John and take his castle and lands should he disobey the document.

After many generations, a descendent named Edward FitzRandolph came over to Massachusetts from England in the early 1600s.  Edward was noted in American History as, among other accomplishments, a founder of Princeton (there is still a building there named after him).   His great-great-great granddaughter, Mary Smith, married Jonathan Dunham and their great-great-great-great-great granddaughter, Ann Dunham, gave birth to Barack H. Obama.

BTW, GWB's ancestry was equally fascinating, though he would probably be uncomfortable to know that, in addition to Barack Obama, Bush is related to Jane Fonda, Benedict Arnold, Sydney Biddle Barrows (the Mayflower Madam), Gary Trudeau, Richard Nixon, Hugh Hefner, Charles J. Guiteau (assassin of President Garfield), and John Hinkley, Jr., who tried to kill President Reagan, as well as presidents, well-known politicians, and other famous people.

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