Publicly available family tree data found on the website ancestry.com confirms Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s (D-NH) claim that she is a direct descendant of Pocahontas, which she made earlier this week in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash.
“Can you confirm for me that you are a direct descendant of Pocahontas?” Bash asked Shaheen in the interview.
“I can, and I actually have the family tree to show that,” Shaheen responded.
“Kind of ironic, because President Trump tries to belittle Shaheen’s colleague, Elizabeth Warren, by calling her Pocahontas, because Warren once claimed Native American heritage,” Bash said.
The report then switched to a video of President Trump at a campaign rally, where he says “And Massachusetts is represented by Pocahontas, right, Pocahontas.”
The camera then came back to Bash, who asked Shaheen “Have you thought about bringing this to the president?”
“No,” Shaheen responded quickly.
“Have you told Elizabeth Warren?” Bash asked.
“It’s kind of a sensitive topic, so, probably not,” Shaheen answered.
Warren’s claim that she has Native American ancestry, first made in the 1980s and 1990s in both her professional biographies and official reports filed by her employers at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Harvard Law School, were completely disproven when they first came to public attention during her 2012 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts.
William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection and Breitbart News have reported extensively that there is zero credible evidence–either documentary or genetic–that backs up her claim of Native American ancestry.
Warren has been criticized for using the claim that she is a Native American minority to advance her professional career.
As Jacobson reported earlier this week:
Even if Warren had Native American ancestry, Warren would not meet the definition of Native American used by the EEOC and employers such as Harvard, because she has no ancestry and never had any “cultural identification” such as membership in a Native American tribe (both ancestry and cultural identification are needed).
Warren’s inability to produce any credible supporting evidence or publicly acknowledge that her claims are false have led to unceasing public ridicule. This began during the 2012 Senate campaign, when Boston talk show radio king Howie Carr and others gave her several nicknames–ranging from “Fauxcahontas” to “Lieawatha.”
President Trump picked up on the theme in the 2016 general election, when Warren was a vocal critic of his candidacy, and repeatedly referred to her as “Pocahontas” in public rallies and tweets.
Sen. Warren has apparently stopped making the claim that she has Native American ancestry.
In her recent book, This Fight is Our Fight, Warren does not assert that she has Native American ancestry.
Instead, she says on page 64, “My Aunt Bee was born in 1901 in Indian Territory, in an area that later became Oklahoma.”
And on page 228 she says of President Trump, “When he called me Pocahontas, it was definitely not intended as a sign of respect to the Native Americans he had insulted and attacked for years and who actively opposed him during his campaign.”
Warren’s failure to assert her prior claims of Native American ancestry in that book could be construed as a tacit admission that her previous assertions to the contrary are incorrect. However, she has not yet withdrawn those claims, nor admitted publicly that they are incorrect.
As Legal Insurrection’s Jacobsen noted:
Had Warren, when her Native American problem was discovered in 2012, simply fessed up to what she did, this probably wouldn’t be an issue anymore. Instead, Warren stood by her story, relying on convoluted (and mostly disprovable) “family lore” as a defense.
Sen. Shaheen has never used her verifiable, though miniscule, Native American ancestry to advance her professional career. (As a 12th generation descendant of Pocahontas, she can claim about twenty-four one-thousandths (.024) of one percent Native American ancestry.)
In contrast, the controversy surrounding Sen. Warren’s disproven claim of Native American ancestry is that she used it to enhance her attractiveness to employers, particularly Harvard Law School, which hired her away from the University of Pennsylvania Law School on a full time basis in 1995 after she spent a year as a visiting professor there in 1993.
Based on the family tree data found at ancestry.com, Pocahontas was Sen. Shaheen’s 10th great-grandmother, which makes Shaheen a 12th generation descendant of the iconic Native American heroine. (Note: Back in 2002, Slate reported that Bill Shaheen, Sen. Shaheen’s husband, said of his wife, “Her 11th great-grandmother was Pocahontas.”)
The line of descendancy, based on a preliminary review of that data, is as follows:
John Rolfe (1585-1622) married Pocahontas (1596-1617) in Jamestown, Virginia in 1614
1st generation: Their son was Thomas Rolfe (1615-1680)
2nd generation: His daughter, Jane Rolfe (1650-1676), married Robert Bolling (1646-1709)
3rd generation: Their son was John Fairfax Bolling (1676-1729)
4th generation: His son was John Kennon Bolling (1700-1757)
5th generation: His son was Benjamin Bolling (1734-1832)
6th generation: His son was Jesse B. Bolling (1758-1841)
7th generation: His son was Elijah Bowling (1798-1883)
8th generation: His son was Jesse Boyd Bowling (1822-1878)
9th generation: His daughter, Isabel Bowling (1874-1955), married John Lafayette Stillings (1869-1940)
10th generation: Their son was Ernest Stillings (1898-1940)
11th generation: His daughter was Belle Ernestine Stillings (1922-2016), who married Ivan E. Bowers (1920-1982)
12th generation: Their daughter was Jeanne Bowers, born in 1947, who married Bill Shaheen, moved to New Hampshire, and became a United States Senator there in 2008.
Breitbart News asked Sen. Shaheen’s office on three separate occasions to provide her family tree, but the office declined.
Subsequently, after developing this family tree based on evidence found at ancestry.com, Breitbart News emailed Sen. Shaheen’s office to confirm this chart confirms with the senator’s information, but has not received a response.
Ironically, in her 2014 U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire, Sen. Shaheen–the true descendant of Pocahontas–defeated the same Republican, Scott Brown, who lost to Sen. Warren in the 2012 U.S. Senate race in neighboring Massachusetts.