Jeb Bush and G.W. Bush have more non-New England than New England ancestry

Prompted by a troll post at Sailer's, I did a quick tally of the regional ancestries of Jeb's and G.W.'s great, great, great-grandparents (while I started with 3g-grandparents, I looked farther back wherever possible to identify any likely New England ancestry). The numbers I come up with:

  • New England: 10.125 / 32 = 31.64%
  • Mid-Atlantic: 11.375 / 32 = 35.55%
  • South: 7 / 32 = 21.88%
  • Germany: 2 / 32 = 6.25%
  • Britain: 1.5 / 32 = 4.69%

Less than a third of Jeb's ancestry actually traces back to New England. You can see the table of Bush ancestors I used here, and see to which region I assigned each of the the 3g-grandparents below the fold (in most cases I chose to count Maryland as Southern; but where Maryland ancestry was mixed with Pennsylvania ancestry I counted it as mid-Atlantic).

While the Bushes represent the very epitome of hated Yankee/Puritan for many anti-New England types, they in fact have twice as much non-New England as New England ancestry.

New England:

32. Obadiah Newcomb Bush

33. Harriet Smith

34. Samuel Howard Fay

36. Thomas H. Sheldon

39. Elizabeth Slade Pierce

48. James Pierce

49. Chloe Holbrook

52     Samuel Ross Marvin

53     Julia Ann Place


35. Susan Shellman

41. Harriet Mercer

42. Joseph Ambrose Beaky

44. William Gault Wear

45. Sarah Amanda Yancey

46. John James Holliday

47. Lucretia Green Foree


56. John Wilson Robinson

57. Elizabeth Mitchell

58. Daniel Coe

59. Mary Gladden

60. Stephen Flickinger

61. Margaret Ann Figley

62. Jonathan Haines

Unknown, but likely mid-Atlantic:

27. Martha Ann Stokes [x2]
Unknown (presumably English)
6.25 %

63. Mary Jane Sprague

Mixed / other [1.125 New England; 1.375 mid-Atlantic; 1.5 born in Britain]:

37. Martha Uncles [half English / half mid-Atlantic; born in Ohio]

38. Courtland Philip Livingston Butler [5/8 New England, 3/8 mid-Atlanic]

40. George E. Walker [English father, Scottish mother; born in mid-Atlantic]

43. Mary Ann Bangs [half-New England, half-Mid Atlantic]


50. Anton Pritzl
German (Bavaria)
3.125 %

51. Marie Louise Pasquay
German (Palatinate)
3.125 %


Anonymous said...

In a post last year, you estimate 5-6% as the proportion of "New England Colonial Yankee" in the overall White American ancestral pool today.

If that is the case, it means the Bushes are much more Colonial Yankee than the average White American.

The typical person views the Bushes as Southern, I thought.

n/a said...


I'm talking about some fairly narrow but vocal groups of internet commenters.

And yes, the Bushes certainly have more New England ancestry than the average American. But many of the sorts of people I'm talking about imagine they're much closer to 100% New England stock than they are.

Even people like Kevin MacDonald have the false impression that northeastern "WASP" = New England Puritan ancestry.