What do Barack Obama, Thomas Jefferson, George W. Bush and the other past U.S. presidents have in common? Besides holding the coveted title of commander-in-chief, it appears that all of them but one are cousins.
King John of England
The remarkable discovery was made by 12-year-old BridgeAnne d’Avignon, of Salinas, California, who created a ground-breaking family tree that connected 42 of 43 U.S. presidents to one common, and rather unexpected, ancestor: King John of England.
‘They all have the trait of wanting power,’ d’Avignon told the station WFMY.
King John, also known as John ‘Lackland’, is renowned for signing the Magna Carta in 1215, which limited the monarch’s power and helped form the British Parliament.
John’s other claim to fame, or infamy, is that he was depicted as the villain in the Robin Hood tales.
D’Avignon, a seventh-grader at Monte Vista Christian School in Watsonville, started the project in hopes of tracing back her own bloodline in France, but somewhere along the way she decided to take her genealogical quest to the highest level.
In order to create the family tree, the 12-year-old spent months scouring through over 500,000 names in search of the ‘presidential Adam.’
Her 80-year-old grandfather, who has been tracing roots for nearly six decades, helped her make the presidential links.