Saturday, December 04, 2010

Did You Know? #33

It is one of the most influential political family of our times, producing, for only the second time in American history, a father and son each serving as the nation's chief executive.

On the first Friday of each year Freed-Hardeman University, in Henderson, TN (my alma mater) hosts its Advisory Board Benefit Dinner, the largest fund r
aising effort of the year. In previous years featured speakers included actor and comedian Tim Conway, former Governor of Arkansas and Fox News host Mike Huckabee, Regis Philbin, Walter Cronkite, and former President and First Lady George H. W. and Barbara Pierce Bush (in separate years). This year's guest speaker is their son, former President George W. Bush.

Bush served for two terms as the 43rd President of the United States. Before that he served as the 46th Governor of Texas, and the first to hold that position to consecutive 4-year terms. As president, according to the White House website, the "most significant event" of his presidency ...

came on September 11, 2001, when terrorists killed nearly 3,000 people on American soil. President Bush responded with a comprehensive strategy to protect the American people. He led the most dramatic reorganization of the federal government since the beginning of the Cold War, reforming the intelligence community and establishing new institutions like the Department of Homeland Security. He built global coalitions to remove violent regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq that threatened America; liberating more than 50 million people from tyranny. He recognized that freedom and hope are the best alternative to the extremist ideology of the terrorists, so he provided unprecedented American support for young democracies and dissidents in the Middle East and beyond. In the more than seven years after September 11, 2001, the United States was not attacked again."

His father, George H. W. Bush, was a hero of WW II (awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery in action) and served in various elected and appointed positions including "a Representative to Congress from Texas ... Ambassador to the United Nations, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Chief of the U. S. Liaison Office in the People's Republic of China, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency" prior to serving two terms as Ronald Reagan's Vice President, and one term as the 41st
President of the United States.

Other prominent members of the Bush family include former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (George W. Bush's younger brother) and Prescott Bush (George H. W. Bush's father), who served as United States Senator from Connecticut from 1952-1963.

what is the connection between our family and the Bush family? As the following chart illustrates, each family can trace their ancestry backwards to a single couple, Henry and Agnes Butler Sherman. This would make Sen. Prescott Sheldon Bush and our grandfather, Orval Bishop Bragg, 12th cousins; Pres. George Herbert Walker Bush and our father, Don C. Bragg, 13th cousins; and Pres. George Walker Bush and our generation of the Bragg family 14th cousins.

Henry Sherman & Agnes Butler
Henry Sherman b.1546
Edmund Sherman b.1548
Samuel Sherman b.1571Edmund Sherman b.1572
Philip Sherman b.1610Esther Sherman b.1606
John Sherman b.1644Esther Ward b.1623
Hannah ShermanDaniel Burr b.1660
William Bourn Jr.Elizabeth Burr b.1696
Hannah BournNathaniel Hull b.1726
Anne FitchEzekiel Hull b.1765
Levi Pierce b.1797
Platt Hull b.1787
Elizabeth Slade Pierce b.1822Ezekiel Hull b.1813
Mary Elizabeth Butler b.1850Rebecca L. Hull b.1841
Flora Sheldon b.1872Frank Martin Bragg b.1867
Sen. Prescott Sheldon Bush b.1895Orval Bishop Bragg b.1895
Pres. George Herbert Walker Bush b.1924Don Cicero Bragg b.1920
Pres. George Walker Bush b.1946

* Picture from The Jackson Sun (
Jackson, TN), 12-04-2010