• Politics and Genealogy

    June 20, 2012 by  
    Filed under Articles, Latest News

    For most people genealogy is an enjoyable pastime, a pursuit of our heritage that helps to answer questions about why we are the way we are and how we got here.

    However, when it comes to politics and the genealogies of politicians it seems the stakes of knowing your line of decent are a little higher.



    Political Family Trees and the Media

     The spin that is put on the importance of a politician’s family tree sometimes defies reason.  Certainly, it is understandable that the personal history of political candidates should have some bearing. After all the voting public has a right to know just who they are placing in a position of leadership.

    Yet it seems curious that the cultural history or ethnicity of a perspective leader’s ancestors should create such media buzz, much less hold sway with the voting public.

    Family History Headlines

    From the time 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy’s Irish decent came into the

    spotlight in 1963; genealogy has played a role in politics.





    A great example of this type of speculative Genealogy-gone-wild is the media frenzy      surrounding President Barak Obama’s family history. During his campaign and following his 2008 election, countless stories of the president’s ancestors made it onto the pages of distinguished publications, such as the New York Times.



    More recently, the news has been filled with a different type of genealogy story and controversy is at the heart of it with genealogists coming out of the woodwork to contest the family tree claims of political hopefuls.






    The latest political family tree to come under scrutiny is that of senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren whose claim to Native American ancestry is being challenged by the Cherokee Nation, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians along with Cherokee genealogist Twila Barnes.

    Barnes know for her genealogy blog “Polly’s Granddaughter” is a notorious “Wannabe Hunter” who strongly discourages any and all from making claims to Cherokee heritage without first producing the documentation to prove it.

    It seems that genealogy and politics has clearly developed a love hate relationship and while it is, being determined if “politics is in the blood”; votes may hang in the balance.



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