Since I have more Mayflower ancestors than most, I'm probably related to most of those 35 million Americans. We're talking about 10-12% of all Americans and a higher percentage of those with English backgrounds. No doubt I'm related to a large number of upper-crust Americans: politicians, military leaders, businessmen, socialites, et al.
These relations are almost meaningless, but they're still fun to look at. So let's examine a couple of my relatives:
Sarah Palin's Ancestry Is Solid New England
If my calculations are correct, Palin is an eleventh cousin once removed. Can you see the resemblance?
Famous Descendants of Mayflower Passengers
If my calculations are correct, Bush is a tenth cousin three times removed.
Incidentally, Palin is also descended from John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley through their daughter Desire, another of the Howlands' ten children. Through that connection, Palin is a tenth cousin once removed. So Bush and Palin are related too, and I'm genetically closer to Palin than to Bush.
I recently learned I'm related to William and Mary Brewster and their daughter Patience. So is Sarah Palin. Through that connect, Palin is a ninth cousin once removed. Wow, we're practically kissing cousins.
Palin Descent from Pilgrim Richard Warren
The Mayflower Passenger with 14 Million Descendants
William Brewster--Notable descendants
Julia Child, Bing Crosby, Ted Danson, Howard Dean, John Foster Dulles, Richard Gere, Kathryn Hepburn, John Lithgow, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Seth MacFarlane, Samuel Eliot Morison, Sarah Palin, Matthew Perry, Thomas Pynchon, Bill Richardson, Cokie Roberts, Nelson Rockefeller, David Souter, Zachary Taylor.
For more on the subject, see Tallying My Pilgrim Ancestors and My Mayflower Ancestors.
Below: Cousins George, Rob, and Sarah. Yes, I see a vague resemblance. I look more like these two than I do Mao Zedong, Mahatma Gandhi, or Sitting Bull.