Sarah Palin’s family roots linked to Canada

October 9th, 2008 - 11:10 am ICT by IANS  

Sarah PalinToronto, Oct 9 (IANS) After US genealogy experts said US vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin might be a distant cousin of Princess Diana and the late president Franklin Roosevelt, their Canadian counterparts now claim that the Alaska governor also has Canadian says Palin’s family roots have been traced to St. Catharine’s and Kingston, not far from Toronto.

In a statement, genealogists said Palin’s Canadian roots began with her paternal great-great-grandfather Francis (Frank) H. Oriel who was born in Kingston in May 1832.

Frank’s father, Henry Francis Oriel who was born in Norfolk, England in 1799, had immigrated to Quebec in Canada and then he moved to Kingston in Ontario province.

At the age of 19, Frank migrated to the US in 1851 and married an American woman Helen. When she died, Frank came back to Canada to remarry a Canadian woman named Ellen Dee in a ceremony in St. Catharine’s.

After marriage, he again returned to the US to live in Chicago, where Governor Palin’s great grandmother Addie (Alice Oriel) was born, along with her sister Nellie Oriel.

Addie married Chicago’s Charles R. Heath to whom Sarah Louise Heath Palin is related, thus linking her bloodline directly to Canadian ancestors.

“This intriguing discovery, that the potential next vice president of the United States has Canadian heritage highlights the fact that most of us have family origins in many different places: information that can be lost or forgotten with each passing generation,” said Karen Peterson, marketing director for

“Fortunately there are a great many historical records now available online to help people to explore their roots. Who knows, perhaps Governor Palin has new family members living in Canada just waiting to be discovered,” he added.

Palin also has European ancestry, with two maternal great-grandparents born in Germany - Mary Schmolz, born in Frankfurt in 1860 to Carl Schmolz and Mary Schoettle, and Charles Mueller, who travelled to the US with his wife.

Similarly, her maternal ancestors can be traced to Norfolk in England in the early 18th century. said Palin’s desire to lead might also run in the family as her distant relative Edward Raynsford was a famous merchant of Massachusetts, who claimed descent from Henry III of England whose reign lasted 56 years during the 13th century.

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