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Cousins, Identical Cousins

By Margaret Lyons in News on Oct 17, 2007 3:55PM

2007_10_17.cheney.jpg2007_10_17.obama.jpgBarack Obama might not be Ronald Reagan (thank God for small blessings?), but he and Dick Cheney share something: A common ancestor. Yes, our junior senator and the good old face-shooter are distant cousins.

Freaking out! Oh wait, no we're not: The Sun Times reported this over a month ago.

Obama definitely has presidential timber in his family tree: He's distantly related to three U.S. presidents — Harry S Truman, George W. Bush and George Herbert Walker Bush — as well as to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Which, genealogists say, isn't all that unusual, particularly for people with ancestors from New England.

"I found I'm related to 18 presidents," said Christopher Challender Child, a genealogist with the New England Historic Genealogical Society who has researched Obama's ancestry. "With presidents with New England ancestry, you will find a lot of them are related to one another."

All that's left now is to figure out if they're eighth cousins or ninth cousins once removed.