In many respects this month has been one to remember presidents. We have observed the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. We also recall the many presidential proclamations establishing Thanksgiving as a national holiday.
There is a great deal about our presidents to interest genealogists. A few of us can actually claim a president among our direct ancestors. Those presidents who have living descendants include the following: John Adams, Jefferson, Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Van Buren, William H. Harrison, Tyler, Taylor, Andrew Johnson, Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, Theodore Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson, Harding (through an illegitimate daughter), Coolidge, Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H W Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama. Others never had children (like Washington, Polk, and Buchanan) or have had their lines die out, including most notably Lincoln and Arthur. One, Andrew Jackson, has descendants (though not of his blood) through an adopted son, while Reagan’s only grandchild is through an adopted son.
Even if you are not a direct presidential descendant, you may be related to a president through a common ancestor. Many presidents ...