NEW YORK—A genealogy website has tracked down the heir to throne of the United States of America—that is, had the early Americans decided on a monarchy instead of democracy. The hypothetical heir is Mr. Paul Emery Washington, an 82-year-old retiree living in San Antonio, Texas, who is the descendent of first president George Washington.
President Washington was America’s beloved ruler after leading American forces in defying the odds and beating the vastly more numerous British forces in the Revolutionary War. Given a small twist of fate, Americans could be bowing down to the Washington bloodline today.
“There were those who suggested he become America’s first king. George, of course, refused. But what if he had been crowned king?” asked Ancestry.com, an online genealogy website who located the Washington descendent.
Mr. Paul Washington is a retired regional manager for a building supply company and father of three. Incidentally, Mr. Washington spent 40 years working for Certain’Teed Corp., a building materials manufacturer and distributor, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pa.—a town history remembers because General Washington and his army camped there during the brutal winter of 1778-79.
Researching the descendants through each of these possibilities meant approximately 8,000 people could factor into the succession equation, with less than 200 of them bearing the Washington surname.
"He's always been a modest, soft-spoken person," said Paul’s son Mr. Bill Washington, a 54-year-old bookseller, according to CNN.
President Washington had no children, so the crown would have passed to one of his brothers’ sons. Ancestry.com genealogists determined that since President Washington had an older half brother and a younger full brother, ultimately there were four possible succession paths. The site researched the descendants through each of these possibilities, which meant approximately 8,000 people could factor into the succession equation, with less than 200 of them bearing the Washington surname.
Ancestry.com, a website that charges for its genealogical services, has also researched the genealogy of the presidential and vice presidential candidates. Interesting finds include Sen. Barack Obama’s distant relation to actor Mr. Brad Pitt and Vice President Dick Cheney. Also, Gov. Sarah Palin has a distant relation to Princess Diana and President Franklin Roosevelt.