All the presidents of the United States, except Martin van Buren, are descended from King John of England — as shown by BridgeAnne d’Avignon, a seventh-grade student in Watsonville, California. You can buy a poster at we are all related. Via quora and metafilter.
This is less impressive than it seems as first glance. (But still impressive; it’s easy for me to sit here and criticize.) All but van Buren and Eisenhower are at least partially of British descent. That’s actually a larger number than I expected, and implies some combination of:
- people of British descent are more likely to be president, or
- a very large proportion of Americans are at least partially of British descent.
On the other hand, as I mentioned a couple weeks ago, if we go far enough back everyone has a common ancestor. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone starts digging back through van Buren’s family tree and digs this up.