|[an error occurred while processing this directive]||
President Bush, Winston Churchill and Princess Diana are distant relatives, genealogists say
By Ed Johnson, Associated Press, 09/18/02
LONDON -- President Bush, Princess Diana and Winston Churchill are distant relatives whose ancestry can be traced back to a 15th century English squire, genealogists say.
Researchers for the U.S.-based company MyFamily.com, which has a license to publish British census records from 1841 to 1901 on the Internet, found that the trio's roots can be traced to Henry Spencer of Badby, Northamptonshire, who lived between 1420-1478 and was married to Isabella Lincoln.
According to a family tree published on the company's Web site, one of their two sons, William, founded the line that would produce Winston Churchill and Diana, Princess of Wales, whose maiden name was Spencer. Churchill's middle names were Leonard Spencer.
The daughter of the other son, John, married Sir William Cope and the descendants of this line settled in the New World.
They included Anne Marbury, who moved from Lincolnshire, England to Massachusetts during the 1600s. A direct descendent, Harriet Fay, married James Bush, the great-great grandfather of the current president, the company said.
Bush is an admirer of Churchill and keeps in the Oval Office a bronze bust of the British leader -- a loan from Prime Minister Tony Blair.
When he received the bust in July 2001, Bush joked that he hoped to develop a personal relationship with the late wartime premier.
"I look forward to visiting with him," Bush said. "Sometimes he'll talk back and sometimes he won't, depending on the stresses of the moment."
A spokeswoman for MyFamily.com said the discovery was made only recently, and further research was ongoing to find out more about Henry Spencer.
Bush's apparent royal connections have been revealed before.
According to Gary Boyd Roberts, a genealogist at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, Bush is descended from British royalty going as far back as 12th century King Henry I, the son of William the Conqueror.