My Ancestral Connection to President George H.W. Bush

President George H.W. Bush

On June 12, 1924, eighty-nine years ago today, George Herbert Walker Bush (1924-), 41st President of the United States, was born in Milton, Norfolk Co., Massachusetts the second son of Prescott Sheldon Bush (1895-1972) and Dorothy Walker (1901-1992). George H.W. Bush served as the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993, following the presidency of Ronald Reagan. Prior to serving as President, George H.W. Bush served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States from 1981 to 1989, Director of Central Intelligence from 1976 to 1977, United States Ambassador to the United Nations from 1971 to 1973, and Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas’s 7th District from 1967-1971. During World War II, George H.W. Bush served in the U.S. Navy, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals, and the Presidential Unit Citation. In 1945, George H.W. Bush married Barbara Pierce (1925-), with whom he had six children, one of which, George W. Bush (1946-), went on to become the 43rd President of the United States.

While researching my family history, I discovered that I have an ancestral connection to this former President of the United States. When I began researching the ancestry of my paternal grandmother, Margaret Anne Lapham (1936-2004), I researched a family that married into my Lapham branch, the Arnold family. As I dug deeper into this branch, I found my ancestral connection to George H.W. Bush, which was by my 11th great grandparents, Nicholas Arnold (1550-1622) m. Alice Gully (1553-1596). According to research on President Bush’s genealogy, Nicholas and Alice Arnold were the 9th great grandparents of his paternal grandmother, Flora (Sheldon) Bush (1872-1920). While researching my grandmother’s ancestry, I found that my grandmother’s 5th great grandfather, Nicholas Lapham (1689-1758), was married to Mercy Arnold (1701-1756), who was the great-great granddaughter of Nicholas and Alice Arnold.

The following is a chart that shows the decent of both George H.W. Bush (1924-) and my paternal grandmother, Margaret Ann (Lapham) Kernan (1936-2004), from Nicholas Arnold (1550-1622) and Alice Gully (1553-1596):

George H.W. Bush’s Line: My Grandmother’s Line:
1 Nicholas Arnold (1550-1622) m. Alice Gully (1553-1596) 1 Nicholas Arnold (1550-1622) m. Alice Gully (1553-1596)
2 William Arnold (1587-1676) m. Christian Peake (1583-1659) 2 Thomas Arnold (1599-1674) m. Phoebe Parkhurst (1612-1688)
3 Joanna Arnold (1616-1692) m. Zachariah Rhodes (1603-1668) 3 Richard Arnold (1642-1710) m. Mary Angell (1648-1690)
4 Mary Rhodes (1654-?) m. John Low (1651-1692) 4 John Arnold (1670-1756) m. Mary Mowry (1675-1742)
5 Mary Low (1671-1769) m. Ephraim Pierce Jr (1674-1772) 5 Mercy Arnold (1701-1756) m. Nicholas Lapham (1689-1758)
6 Mial Pierce (1692-1786) m. Judith Round (1687-1744) 6 Solomon Lapham (1730-1800) m. Sylvia Lapham (1737-1805)
7 Nathan Pierce (1716-1793) m. Lydia Martin (1718-1798) 7 Duty Lapham (1775-1846) m. Mary Colwell (1772-?)
8 Isaac Pierce (1763-1849) m. Anna Fitch (1763-1809) 8 Benjamin Lapham (1807-1860) m. Cemantha Broadway (ca. 1813-1846)
9 Levi Pierce (1797-1838) m. Betsey Slade Wheeler (1800-1881) 9 William B. Lapham (1838-1925) m. Emoline Pauline Reynolds (1844-1886)
10 Elizabeth Slade Pierce (1822-1901) m. Courtland Philip Livingston Butler (1813-1891) 10 Horace Irving Lapham (1869-1927) m. Annie Margaret Leishman
11 Mary Elizabeth Butler (1850-1897) m. Robert Emmet Sheldon (1845-1917) 11 Theodore A. Lapham (1910-1955) m. Alice Lucretia Wellin (1916-1985)
12 Flora Sheldon (1872-1920) m. Samuel Prescott Bush (1863-1948) 12 Margaret Ann Lapham (1936-2004) m. William Kernan (LIVING)
13 Prescott Sheldon Bush (1895-1972) m. Dorothy Walker (1901-1992)
14 George H.W. Bush (1924-) m. Barbara Pierce (1925-)

Based on the generations of descent from Nicholas Arnold (1550-1622) and his wife Alice Gully (1553-1596) listed above, my paternal grandmother, Margaret Ann (Lapham) Kernan (1936-2004), and George H.W. Bush (1924-) are 9th cousins, 2x removed. This makes George H.W. Bush (1924-) my 11th cousin.