Posted by Ancestry Team on December 15, 2009 in News

President Barack Obama and Warren Buffett are 7th cousins, 3 times removed. Family history experts at discovered the relation and determined that the men are related through a 17th-century Frenchman named Mareen Duvall – Pres. Obama’s 9th great-grandfather and Buffett’s 6th great-grandfather.

Duvall was born in France and came to Maryland in the mid-1600s. Once in America, he served as an indentured servant, but by 1659 had purchased property in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, which he later named “Middle Plantation.” In a rags-to-riches story, Duvall became a planter, merchant, carpenter, and was considered to be a country gentleman. According to historical records, Duvall belonged to a religious sect called the Jacobites, and he was “conservative in his political life.” He died in the 1690s, the father of 12 children – six daughters and six sons.

French roots and the relation to Warren Buffett is the latest of several discoveries has revealed about the President’s family tree:

  • German Roots – Earlier this year, confirmed that President Obama has German roots through his 6th great-grandfather Johann Conrad Wolfley from Besigheim, Wuerttemberg, Germany. Wolfley arrived in the United States in the mid-1700s.
  • Pres. O’Bama? – In 2007, uncovered the President’s family history connection to Moneygall, Ireland. Pres. Obama’s 3rd great-grandfather Falmouth Kearney left his hometown of Moneygall for the New World, landing in New York harbor in 1850.
  • Celebrity Connection – In 2007, linked the President to Brad Pitt; the two are 9th cousins. Edwin Hickman, their 8th great-grandfather, owned land that later became part of Thomas Jefferson’s estate, “Monticello.”

Pres. Obama Related to Warren Buffett


  1. teesee

    Yes Jo, I agree. Who cares. America is living a nightmare now and these two jokers are just two of the players.

  2. This is most interesting, and I care. Whatever one’s political pursuasions are, ancestry is fixed and by definition, apolitical; so I think the negative comments by Jo and teesee are totally inappropriate. After all, we are all “connected” to each other in some way.

    I have already connected some of Pres. Obama’s family to my own family tree, and I’ll be interested in seeing if I can connect the newest information you have shared, Suzanne. Thanks!

    Barack Obama is definitely a hybrid from multi-races and multi-cultures.

  3. Wow! There are some bad moods, today. My own family tree is well documented, but I also follow interesting family lines, such as this one, just for the fun of it.

  4. Susan Young

    Every president for the last three or four decades has ahd their family tree traced and discussed in the news and on sites like this. Love him or hate him, it’s just something that happens.

  5. For those of us who have large family trees, it would be a great ideal for Ancestry to team up with the maker of e-readers.
    You can probably get your entire tree and records installed on the reader. It would even be better if the software would allow you to download addtional info and insert the pages on your family tree. How about it Ancestry. It would be a great gift.

  6. Bonnie Flynn

    I just think it’s interesting. Before I joined ancestry, I had many questions about connections that have been resolved and some that will probably never be resolved. Our history is rich with diversity.

  7. YaBa

    How can you, someone looking for your ancestors be so totally ignorant about the story of Obama and Buffett. The reason we’re on this site is to find out information. Somestimes your hate makes you look even dumber than you really may be. What if you found some wonderful news about your family, how would you feel if someone said “who cares”. You see I am African American and my heratage was taken for me, so if I here any news where someone, including you have found ancestors going back 5-7 generations, I am happy for you. Keep this site with positive remarks so that we can all learn, if not make your own negative blog, dog the president and have a ball….

  8. Kurt Metzmeier

    The Maureen Duvall line is certainly robust, as I recall it also links Obama to Dick Cheney. I have a research interest in the early courts of Kentucky and two prominent figures–Alvin Duvall and William Preston Duvall Bush–are Maureen Duvall descendents, and several major Kentucky families were connected with the Duvalls. Maureen was certainly a founding father.

  9. probably i can trace that warren buffet, president barrack obama are cousins too, along the line. yes we are cousins

    i am new at tho, and

    a very nice article indeed

  10. mildred gerardino rodriguez

    I would like to know if you help people find their roots and how much you charge for your services. Are your documents in black and white? how do you proved that everything is true? Are your sources legal or is a buff?

  11. David Crow

    My questions relate to the specific lineage on the Buffett side. I only have two Benjamin:

    First: son of Mareen Duvall (1630-1694)(no u that I am aware of) Benjamin Duvall, Sr. (1692-1774)

    Second: Benjamin Duvall, Jr. (1719-1801) who with wife Susanna Tyler (1718-1794) was the father of Justice Gabriel Duvall (1752-1844).

    By eliminating one Benjamin the connection remains but they are 6th Cousins 4 times removed.

    Would seem when going public with this type of announcement more detail should be provided to substantiate the accuracy of the work, allowing collegial corrections by those who have already studied these lines and have the more formal proof preferred in genealogy.

  12. Maureen Teachman

    It is always fascinating to realize that if you go back far enough you may be related to someone you never could have imagined being related to…it is always nice to hear these things but I think should provide their paying members with help for their most difficult searches…many of us cannot figure out where the first Teachman’s in the US came from or when they really arrived. Although the number of people with the name Teachman is not large compared to other surnames this information has eluded all of us who do genealogy. So as paying members we would love to have some help rather than be told to hire a genealogist.
    The same thing holds true for my elusive Martin OBrien and Mary Unknown maiden name.

    It would of course help if really provided us with a world membership. But they do not. We have to pay to use the Ancestry UK and other Ancestry foreign databases.

    For financial reasons, that means I have to stop my membership in the US group in order to join the other ones for a while with the hope of finding information not available to me about my ancestors who came from these foreign countries.

    Just want everyone to know how a member feels about the membership listed as “World”. It isn’t really a ‘world’ membership because when I go to those sites it tells me I need to join there too!

  13. Suzanne Campbell

    Some of you have asked about sources. When conducting family history research adheres to the Genealogical Proof Standard set by the Board for Certification of Genealogists. The research was conducted with numerous sources which were found both online at and offline in various libraries, and archives, such as the U.S. Federal Census records, Vital records, Military records, Land records, Probate records, and various Family and Local Histories.

  14. Suzanne Campbell

    @Maureen: The World Deluxe package offered on is the same global package you could access on our other international websites(like If you have a World Deluxe subscription, you have access to’s entire set of records – comprising more than 4 billion records in total.

  15. David Smith



    If that’s the case I would then suggest that whenever your team does these studies that you use the opportunity to teach new members the proper way to do research.

    Set up a page, linked to the announcement, with all of the research and documentation, including examples of where researchers could have gone astray if they weren’t careful i.e. running into two people with the same name and similar birth dates.

    Guide people through the entire process so they see how to use the services Ancestry offers properly.

    It shouldn’t be that difficult as your researchers should have it all documented already.

  16. Bill Parr


    As always – you’ve made genealogy even more interesting. We are all the same inside and obviously all related. Thanks for bringing us together.

  17. Shirley Schellhase

    I could care less about Obama’s pedigree, but I surely care about this great country of ours, The United States of America.

  18. Eugene Grabill

    Wow, know it all comes together. Is this the reason Buffett backed obama?
    Where does Biden and clinton fit into this. I too, greatly care about this country and have served and supported this country in the military, more then I can say about the last two democratic presidents.

  19. John O. Thompson, Jr.

    The connections are interesting. I had seen previous connections of Pres. John Tyler and Harry Truman to Mareen Duvall. The Mareen Duvall Society website has noted some noteworthy connections but also points out there are many prominent and accomplished people in the line. Many of us who have family lines from the colonial period are connected, often several times, during the 6-12 generations.

  20. SapphireSunday

    If you trace the family trees of any two individuals, each with at least one ancestor who was in the USA as early as the 1600s, you’ll be able to connect them somehow. Let’s see the proof/evidence.

    This is like the global warming “science”. Let’s see the data upon which these results are based.

    Until the research can be replicated, this is nothing but an interesting claim.

    Btw, without proof of who his parents were, nobody can trace his family tree. Where’s the birth certificate? That’s the first place one has to start. You need a birthplace (hospital. and none has come forward) and a witness, like a delivering physician (again, none has come forward). Upon WHAT evidence did base this research? There aren’t even census records later than 1930. Doesn’t genealogy rely upon documentation?

  21. Thank you Suzanne! Very intriguing 😉

    I absolutely love being able to access even if it’s with only periodic subscriptions when allowed by budgeting…

    Below is an interesting idea that maybe your bosses might consider for future works.. it would be of great benefit where all in the world could really join hands to help each other…

    If we the people could somehow join a linked up section in Wikipedia with and give birth to #16 David Smith’s suggestion.. “Set up a page, linked to the announcement, with all of the research and documentation, including examples of where researchers could have gone astray if they weren’t careful i.e. running into two people with the same name and similar birth dates.” [of course we would need to use Wiki’s documentation guidelines structure to help keep us sane and to help avoid junkology]

    I’m sure $ donations are always welcome/needed for funding any type of project, because that is what makes the world go round; and the only way to avoid being swallowed-up by corporate hunger of the ever-loving $ …. is… is… I have no clue, but there’s got to be a way as evidence by “Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales” dream of… “Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet has free access to the sum of all human knowledge.”

    Wish I knew how to give rise to something like David suggested! Kudos to you man 😉

    oh.. btw, I notice that Wikipedia does not let bigoted, rude people publish such ill-mannered comments on their pages …. as appears to happen regularly through-out many of Ancesty’s blog articles.

    These staffers genuinely want to help us. And we genuinely enjoy their work.

    Personally since I DO pay for my subscription, let THE positive rule oer’ the negative! I’d like to see more respect and better manners when you people comment.

    Next is not so much about people in this blog, but in reading lots of others…..if you need to ask /or complain about not being able to do this or that and can’t figure out the what and why’s … And you do have a negative experience – learn to talk/write nice. Come on people, lighten up with hatefulness and Don’t let frustration eat your brain.

  22. Peter Ferguson

    I too find it interesting when people are linked like this, even far back. I had a similar experience in my own family. We discovered my happenstance that my wife’s friend’s mother-in-law had the same maiden name as my own mother.

    Two days of researching online, and I found out that her husband and myself are 5th cousins. This was a friend my wife grew up with through highschool, now they’re both extremely happy to realise that our daughter and her three kids are now 6th cousins.

    I also found this interesting because Warren Buffett’s ancestry has ties to my own. His Buffett side originated in Newfoundland. In my own tree there are a few Buffett’s married into my family.

    It’s also not that surprising that Obama has German routes. Lots of German’s settled North America in the 1700’s.

  23. Dennis Cutter

    That’s OK the Cutter line is connected to both the Bush’s (I think I heard half the US is) and Sarah Palin :-). So they are both related also, Oh My!!!

    Also Charles Lindbergh, John Q. Adams and a bunch more that I can’t think of right now.

    Part of the fun digging through the past is to see where it goes.

  24. Suzanne Campbell has decided to remove some of the comments that were previous posted on this blog, due to disrespectful comments between a select group of blog readers. We are happy for people to share any thoughts they have about or their approach to family history, but this is a form for sharing ideas, and inappropriate comments, including personal attacks, are not accepted. We appreciate your understanding.

Comments are closed.