Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Bush & Cheney: Of Course They're Cousins

Discovery has yet another article on a topic I see time and time again -- the remarkable discovery that some celebrities are related to each other. In In Politics, Some Ties Are by Blood, the writer is surprised to discover that George Bush and Dick Cheney are distant cousins. This is a popular angle for articles these days. In fact, it's become something of an election ritual to "reveal" that the candidates are related. Personally, I'm astonished at their astonishment.

Take any two families that have been in the U.S. for a few centuries, and odds are -- if you care enough and are willing to work at it -- you can find a connection. We're all cousins, and if you do the math (2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great-grandparents, etc.) and toss in the collaterals, we're cousins much sooner than most folks suspect. Add other ingredients, such as having affluent ancestors (as is still the case with most politicians), and the convergence will occur still sooner.

At any rate, I'm pleased to see genealogy get a little PR in the mass media for any reason, so if this does the job, I'm all for it!

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