Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's family tree includes strong connections to Canada as well as to The Mayflower, genealogists say.
Researchers from the family and social history Web site Ancestry.ca of Toronto say that Palin, the governor of Alaska, has direct bloodlines to Canada on her father's side, stretching back to her great-great-grandfather, Francis "Frank" Oriel, who was born in Kingston, Ontario, in 1832.
Oriel married Ellen Dee in St. Catharine's, Ontario, and later moved to Chicago, where Palin's great grandmother, Alice "Addie" Oriel, was born. The Canadian researchers say Alice married Charles Heath of Chicago, thus linking Sarah Palin, whose maiden name was Heath, 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 Ancestry.ca marketing director Karen Peterson.
Earlier genealogical research showed Palin is also descended such Mayflower passengers as William Brewster and John Howland, as well as from Thomas Prence, an early governor of the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts.