PLUNK GENEALOGY -- see "Family" label on this blog and/or write Mike at

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Genealogy Surprise

I thought there might be a follow-up to the genealogy post a couple of items down, but I didn’t imagine that Mike would turn up a big surprise.

If you’ve read below, you’ll recall that some genealogist clamed that Prez candidate Fred Thompson is distantly related to Elvis. Mike went to the genealogist’s web site to see what his references were and noted that the fellow had a list of a number of celebrities and their lineages. Mike clicked around on a few, then clicked on Bill Clinton. (I like to refer to him as the First President Clinton.) Didn’t take long before Mike was walking into my office saying “Clinton has an Ayers ancestor in Tippah County (MS). So do I!” Well, ok, and, as a matter of fact, both our mothers were born in that county.

Didn’t take much longer, and Mike was back in my office. “Bill Clinton and I have a common ancestor.” Omigosh. They’re half second cousins.

Remember that the former President took the name Clinton when he was 16. It was his step-father’s name. He was born William Jefferson Blythe IV. Mike had long had the name Simpson (Dick) Green Ayers in his genealogy records. He is Mike’s great-great-great-grandfather. Since Mike traced his ancestry straight back to Simpson, he felt no need to look at Simpson’s second marriage. As frequently happened in that era, the wife died first after a bunch of babies, and the widower took a second and much younger wife.

That’s what old Simpson did, the rascal. In his second marriage, he produced a daughter, Lou Birchie Ayers. That feisty ol’ Simpson was 73 years old when she was born. In 1906, Lou married William Jefferson Blythe II. These were Bill Clinton’s grandparents. Mike and Bill Clinton are the same age. The generation difference is due to the age at which ol’ Simpson fathered Bill’s grandmother.

Mike scoped around some more and verified his discovery. It's true. Now, I think THIS should get us invited to the family reunion.

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