Ancestry.com Research Confirms Pocahontas and President Bush Are Related

Ancestry logo.bmpThe following press release went out this morning: 

Relationship Highlights New Understanding of Pocahontas on the Eve of Jamestown’s 400th Anniversary

Williamsburg, Va., May 9, 2007 — As America commemorates Jamestown’s 400th anniversary, genealogical detectives at Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online resource for family history, today unveiled key documentation which proves that Pocahontas and President George W. Bush are related.  The families are linked by the marriage of President Bush’s eighth great-grandfather, Robert Bolling, to Jane Rolfe, Bolling’s first wife and Pocahontas’ granddaughter.
President Bush is not a direct descendant of Pocahontas, but rather a descendant of Bolling and his second wife, Ann Meriwether Stith.  In addition, Bush’s eighth great-aunt, Mary Kennon, married John Rolfe, who is believed to be Pocahontas’ great-grandson. These connections make President Bush directly related to many – if not all – the descendants of Pocahontas. The Bush-Pocahontas family tree is accessible at www.ancestry.com/jamestown.

“On the eve of Jamestown’s 400th anniversary, the President’s link to Pocahontas is a perfect example of the unexpected and unbelievable stories that are waiting to be discovered in our family trees,” said Megan Smolenyak, Chief Family Historian for Ancestry.com. “We wanted to confirm the claim of a possible Pocahontas-Bush family connection, and the research concretely provides the link.”

The confirmation comes as the nation is learning about the real Pocahontas, who, contrary to legend, was more focused on diplomatic goals than romantic interests. New research by scholars such as Camilla Townsend of Rutgers University, author of Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma, illustrates how Pocahontas worked for peace between Virginia Indians and the English in order to ensure the survival of her people. “There is every reason to believe she was a strategist, not a giddy, love struck girl. Despite the stories, there is absolutely no evidence that she ever loved John Smith, John Rolfe or any of the English more than she loved her own people,” said Townsend.

The news also highlights the roles of Virginia’s eight state-recognized tribes in the commemoration. The tribes are using the 400th anniversary an opportunity to generate a more realistic understanding of their culture and their role in the nation’s history.

“Many Americans have family ties to Jamestown but do not realize it,” Smolenyak said.  “Jamestown was in many respects the nation’s first ‘Ellis Island,’ a point of entry not only for Europeans but also for Africans. The commemoration of America’s 400th Anniversary is prompting many people to discover their families’ role in the nation’s earliest days.”
Ancestry.com will have a presence at America’s Anniversary Weekend, May 11-13 at the Jamestown sites. On-site researchers will help visitors explore their family trees with free computer access to Ancestry.com as well as provide them with family history research tips and techniques. Ancestry.com allows visitors to the website to build an online family tree, upload photos and stories and invite family members to participate – all for free.

Single-day, date-specific tickets to Anniversary Weekend provide visitors with access to the entertainment and programming at Historic Jamestowne, Jamestown Settlement and Anniversary Park. Guests may purchase tickets at $30 for adult and $15 for children 6-12. Children younger than six-years-old receive free admission. Tickets are being limited to 30,000 per day to ensure guests enjoy a comfortable visit.

Anniversary Weekend tickets and accommodations are available through Colonial Williamsburg, the official hotels of the commemoration, and may be reserved by phone at (866) 400-1607 or through www.Americas400thAnniversary.com. The call center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Callers outside of regular operating hours will be prompted to leave a message, which will be returned the next day.

About Ancestry.com: With 24,000 searchable databases and titles, Ancestry.com is the No. 1 online source for family history information. Since its launch in 1997, Ancestry.com has been the premier resource for family history, simplifying genealogical research for millions of people by providing them with many easy-to-use tools and resources to build their own unique family trees. Ancestry.com is part of The Generations Network, Inc., a leading network of family-focused interactive properties, including MyFamily.com, Rootsweb.com, Genealogy.com and Family Tree Maker. In total, The Generations Network properties receive 10.4 million unique visitors worldwide and over 450 million page views a month ((C) comScore Media Metrix, March, 2007).

Jamestown 2007, a sub-agency of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, is coordinating efforts to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, Va., the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. The nation’s first representative government, free enterprise system and culturally diverse society began at Jamestown. State, national, and international commemorative events to salute these legacies began in May 2006 and continue into 2008. Major corporate sponsors of America’s 400th Anniversary include Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC), Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Other supporters include Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. (NYSE: BUD), AirTran Airways (NYSE: AAI), Consol Energy and CNX Gas Corporation, Dominion, James City County, Lockheed-Martin, McGuireWood LLP, Philip Morris USA, SunTrust, TowneBank and Wolseley PLC/Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. Contributors include the City of Poquoson and Rutherfoord Insurance. More information about the commemoration is available at www.Americas400thAnniversary.com.

Note to Editors: Information about contacting Camilla Townsend is available through Robin Crawford at Ruder Finn (202-974-5025 or crawfordr@ruderfinn.com).

Media Contacts
 
Kevin Crossett, Jamestown 2007
(757) 253-4534
kevin.crossett@jyf.virginia.gov

Julia Burgon, for Ancestry.com
(212) 221-1616, ext. 124
julia_burgon@coltrin.com

6 thoughts on “Ancestry.com Research Confirms Pocahontas and President Bush Are Related

  1. How very convenient, George Bush “could”"possibly” and is “believed to be” directly related to those who are descended from Pocahontas.

    How is it that after the statement “Mary Kennon married John Rolfe who is believed to be Pocahotas’ great grandson” it all suddenly becomes fact.

    In my understanding George Bush is not directly related to the Rolfe family mentioned because both links are through marriage. He is indirectly related to the family, as are most of the inhabitants of the USA and the UK.

    I live just up the road from Heacham in Norfolk, where Pocahontas’ English family came from and as a Norfolk man through and through, I am certain that I have some relationship through marriage to them and by your reconing, I must be directly related to George Bush too. What a small world!

    Teddy

  2. Regarding Comment No.1 above:

    PLEASE RE-READ the very first paragraph of this article. It clearly states that our President, “is not a direct descendant of Pocahontas, but rather a descendant of Bolling and his second wife, Ann Meriwether Stith.”

    Furthermore, in regards to ANY direct relationship please note the paragraph includes the statement regarding the previously mentioned “connections make President Bush directly related to many – if not all – the descendants of Pocahontas.”

    Regarding my personal experiencewith Ancestry.com:

    I treasure the information that Ancestry.com has provided me in my ongoing family research. It has given me many leads from which I have been able to piece together a validated tree.

    Yes, some leads are not close but not exact matches which I have since placed in a separates file. Why? I do this so as not to confuse future discoveries with the confirmed truth.

    Posit that some individual, “A”, appeared in both the Nebraska 1910 Census and the New Jersey 1910 Census. “A” was born in Nebraska and listed by his parents at their home while he was an undergraduate student at Princeton University in New Jersey in 1910. If “A” lived in an apartment off campus, he would have been visited by an enumerator.

    Thus a temporary residence may confuse the researcher. While only one of these is correct by rules of correct enumeration, there would not have been an official cross-check at the time of enumeration or since. Of course, if Social Security numbers are recorded on the Census, then cross-referencing will be much more readily verifiable.

    Thank you one and all at Ancestry.com!!!!

  3. This is interesting as I learned recently that my ancestors Jemima Lyon and Charles Theale are something like 8th great grandparents of Barbara Bush, the presidents mother. We have not found my families paternal Washington link to president Washington yet, but learned my maternal linage is related to this current president…I think our Washington linage answer lies in PA around McKeesport and Allentown where our YDNA matches to the McKees & McGees; possibly through the Queen of the Delawares, Queen Alliquippa…That’s another major untold story.

  4. I would be interested in seeing the family tree of the First Lady Barbara Bush, please.

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