Sunday, November 13, 2016

Does Trump Know He is a Descendant of a Founder of Russian State?

Paul Goble

            Staunton, November 13 – After every presidential election in the United States, genealogists in the US and in other countries go to work to identify the family background of the new president. This year is no exception, but there is one difference: Russian genealogists insist that Donald Trump is a direct descendent of Rurik the Viking who established the Russian state.

            All American presidents except Martin Van Buren can trace their ancestry back to King John who signed the Magna Charta in 2015, Russian genealogist Aleksey Nilogov says. And ties to European royalty are no rare thing among them. Indeed, he says Barack Obama is also a descendent of Rurik (

            But Trump is in some ways closer to the founder of the Russian state than any other US president: He descends over the course of 35, 36 or 38 generations from the ninth century ruler, Rurik, via three distinct female lines. Nilogov provides details, adding that there is no direct male descent in his case.

            Such distant ties, of course, are meaningless; but it is at least interesting that a Russian writer is stressing them, something neither he nor others did at the outset of Obama’s presidency at the time.  And it is perhaps worth asking whether the president-elect is aware of them or would care if in fact he is.

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