Question of the Week: Have any family members been elected to an office or position?

+13 votes

Do you have family members who were elected to an office or position? Note: this doesn't just have to mean a political role.

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in The Tree House by Eowyn Langholf G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)
edited by Eowyn Langholf

I haven't done nearly enough research on this topic, so its really only hearsay, My Grandfather's Grandad was reportedly a big noise,

Someone spotted a photo of a 'Pye' with all the chains in an old book and asked if I was a relative, my answer was 'interesting but I don't think so' I mentioned it My Grandfather presuming I would get the usual don't be silly but I just got a rye smile and 'oh that would be my Grandfather' Reportedly he was an Alderman and churchwarden - never found the photograph though sad

I have my fourth great grand Uncle James Crooks (1778-1860) - a representative to the Parlement of Upper Canda and was subsiquently elected to  Executive council. His  brother William Crooks  - also a forth great Granduncle - was a Conservative member of the House of Assembly for the 2nd riding of Lincoln from 1830 to 1834 and a Justice of the Peace for the Gore District from April 2nd 1833. . All a bit distant I know - but still in the same family.

Another realative - Willian Notman (1805-1865) and this time a third great Granduncle was also a member of the Canadian Parliment  He represented Middlesex County in the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada from 1848 to 1851 and the North riding of Wentworth County from 1858 to 1865. He was James and William Crooks nephew so perhapsthey gave him a helping hand into politics.
My g grandfather, Bernard Joseph Pettigrew, was appointed senator for Republican party about 1932 by the President. He ran in 1934, but lost. Returned to law practice.
I found a 9th great grandfather, Thomas Greene, who was one of the first governors of Maryland
My Rev. ancestor was the sitting senator for Onslow Co, NC. He was running for reelection against Robert Whitehurst Snead on 12 Aug. 1791. Snead was declared the winner. For some reason that I have not been able to learn Snead hit Mitchell over the head then shot and killed him. He was tried for murder, found guilty and was to be sentenced at the next term of court. But, when he came into court he had a full pardon from the Governor. I have a copy of the pardon, I have copies of Mitchell's undated will, that makes me  think and  leaves the impression that he knew he would be killed. I have Mitchell's obit that tells what happened, then after the trial an anonymous letter is received by the newspaper (and is printed) that claims that is not the way it happened at all. That it was all Mitchell's fault. I have several newspaper items that says Snead was tried and found guilt but nothing after the anonymous letter. I would really love to know just what did happen.
my 3rd grandfather was first Govenor to NZ. He had a illigitamate son, also named William Hopihana ll (Hopihana is Hobson in Maori. Recently a descendent of his half sister Eliza Hobson who married Alexander Rendal has colaborated our family tree, and proud my 2xgrandfather has received acknowledged.

62 Answers

+10 votes
After he retired, my dad, Joe Parks, served four terms in the New Hampshire state legislature.  I served five terms on the School Board in my city.  Being an elected official is certainly an eye-opening experience. Both my dad and I were happy to have the opportunity to serve.
by Kathie Forbes G2G6 Pilot (115k points)
Seems like it proverbially runs in the family. Experience begetting experience. I like that. In my wife’s family, it was educators, three generations.
+8 votes

My 2nd-great-grandmother's brother Charles Halvorson (born Kittil Halvorsen Otterholt) was a Minnesota state senator.

Kittil Halvorsen (Otterholt) Halvorson (1850 - 1913)

by E. Gatlin G2G6 Mach 1 (10.1k points)
Well done profile, EG. Great bio and citations.

Thank you! smiley

+10 votes
My 2great-grandfather's brother, Joseph S. Wade, was elected to the Oklahoma Territorial Legislature. Thanks to that, and a book on the legislature, I have gotten to see a picture of him! I probably never would have seen his picture otherwise.
by Amber Brosius G2G6 Mach 1 (12.4k points)
Amber, you have done a great job on Joseph’s profile.
Thank you. I found him to be very interesting.
+7 votes
The brother of my grandmum was mayor in his hometown about 1930. I found him mentioned in a book about the town where the family of my granddad is from. The towns were only some kilometers apart, so it's not really astonishing my grandparents met :)
by Jelena Eckstädt G2G6 Pilot (231k points)
Would love to know that story! How your grandparents met.
+9 votes
I have a few that have been elected to office.

1.  Heman Buckingham is my 3x great grandfather and was elected to represent Benton County Oregon, in the 7th Territorial Legislative Assembly.

2.  John Knox is my 5x great grandfather and was elected to the New York State Senate in 1816.  He was also elected as the first judge of Seneca County, New York.

3.  William Alfred Buckingham is my 4th cousin and he was elected as the Governor of Connecticut in 1858.
by Caryl Ruckert G2G6 Pilot (137k points)
Caryl, a cool family heritage, esp the Oregon Territory legislature.
Thanks Pip.  I appreciate your kindness, positivity and support!  You are a ray of sunshine in our community. :)
+7 votes
A  cousin of my Mother was mayor of Transcona, which is now part of Winnipeg, Manitoba. John Samuel Johnston was mayor from 1954-1957, while Transcona was still a separate city from Winnipeg.
by Linda Hockley G2G6 (9.6k points)
+9 votes

Karl Leopold Balthasar Klaudy, my third cousin three times removed, Imperial Council of Austria 1861 - 1865, mayor of Prague 1867 - 1869.

by Helmut Jungschaffer G2G6 Pilot (469k points)
Nicely done profile, Helmut.
+8 votes
Peter Hoffman, the nephew of my maternal great-great grandfather, John Nimsgern, was a Cook County Coroner in Illinois, a County Sheriff and Republican leader ;
by Sandie Schwarz G2G6 Mach 1 (13.9k points)
Wonderful photo on the profile, Sandie.
+7 votes
My husband's grandfather George H. Kerrigan [[Kerrigan-366]] was a city councilman in the city of San Diego from 1949 to 1961.  While city councilman he was instrumental in the development of Mission Bay Park, but was best known for helping to bring water to the city from Northern California.  He provided leadership in the building oft the California Aqueduct and the second San Diego Aqueduct.  He was also instrumental in the academic and research facilities on Torrey Pines Mesa and the Metropolitan Sewer System.
by Robin Shaules G2G6 Pilot (371k points)
Nice to see positive impact a politician can make.
+5 votes

I have many  historical cousins, mostly Governors, from Rhode Island and Maryland such as Gov. Arthur Fenner, Gov. Charles Carnan Ridgely, and my second cousin,   James Knox Polk, 11th President of the United States.

by James Stratman G2G6 Mach 7 (72.7k points)
edited by James Stratman
I have connections with Polk, but only through several marriages in Mecklenburg County where he was born.
+7 votes
My 14th great grandfatherwas John Battiscombe (abt. 1400 - 1475)

He was elected  Member of Parliament for Lyme Regis in 1425.and for Bridport (both in Dorset) in 1429, 1434, and 1437.
by Janet Gunn G2G6 Mach 6 (63.9k points)
+5 votes
My great-grandfather's brother,  who immigrated from Germany as a child served 4 years in the Idaho Legislature.
by Bart Triesch G2G6 Pilot (241k points)
Bart, that a true success story. Glad you shared it!
+9 votes

Cousin Elizabeth Dole, senator from North Carolina.

Also, cousin Craig Lawing, served in he North Carolina statehouse.

by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (1.5m points)
+4 votes
My gg grandfather was Daniel F Brownfield and he was one of the pioneers of Washington state and was a member of the first territorial legislature, he was also the chairman of the committee on counties. He was also a lawyer, but didn't do a lot of practicing. He spent time introducing bills into legislature for sheriffs, coroners and for the establishment of probate courts. Daniel also introduced the bill providing for the capital of Washington to be put at Olympia
by Lynda Young G2G Crew (730 points)
Lynda, my ancestors were also pioneers in Washington, some arriving as early as 1867. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us.
+3 votes

My 3x ggf Francis A Nelson was elected sheriff of Shelby County, Alabama.

My gggf Michael John Barrett, Irish immigrant, saloon-keeper, and all-around colorful character, was quite a politico in New Orleans but I think his offices were appointed rather than elected.

by Herbert Tardy G2G6 Pilot (517k points)
+4 votes
Yes, I do, John Chalafant New, my 1st cousin 4 times removed, he was a banker, publisher and lawyer. He was elected to the Indiana State Senate in 1863 and held many other positions, U.S. treasurer (1875-1876); first assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of the Treasury (1882-1883), U.S. Consul General, London, England (1889-1893) & Republican State Chairman (1880, 1882).

Harry Stewart New, a 2nd cousin 3 times removed, served in the Indiana State Senate from1896-1900, He was elected to U.S. Senate in 1916, Served as the Chairman of the Committee On Territories and the  Committee on Territories and Insular Possessions, Served as Postmaster General in the Cabinet of Warren G. Harding in 1923 and reappointed by Calvin Coolidge in 1925.
+4 votes
Yes, I have Harry Stewart New, 2nd cousins 3 times removed he served in the Indiana Senate from 1896 to 1900, and served in the Spanish American War as Captain and assistant adjutant general of the 7th Army Corps. He was a member of Republican National Committee from 1900 to 1912 serving as chairman from 1907-1908, He was elected to U.S. Senate in 1916, He was appointed Postmaster General in the cabinet of President Warren G. Harding in 1923 and reappointed by Calvin Coolidge in 1925,

John Chalafant New 1st cousins 4 times removed he was elected to the Indiana State senate in 1863, He was U.S. Treasure 1875-1876, the first assistant Secretary , U.S. Department of the Treasury, 1882-1883; U.S. Consul General, London , England 1889-1993, and the Republican State Chairman, 1880 & 1882,

Robert A. New I am his 3rd great grand nephew, he was the first Secretary of State of Indiana, in 1816
by Dale Dart G2G1 (1.3k points)
+6 votes

My closest identified cousins who held positions in elective office were Canadian Prime Minister Louis St-Laurent (3rd cousin four times removed) and Québec Premier Jean Lesage (4th cousin, twice removed).

by Greg Lavoie G2G6 Pilot (182k points)
+4 votes
Being a direct descendent of the Lascelles Family, yes......most of them going back a few generations were serving MPs in England and much more besides.

Another cousin of mine, Lt Col Leslie Orme WILSON, GCSI GCMG, was Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury, Governor of Bombay and Governor of Queensland from 1932-1936.

And a fourth cousin x2 removed, Maggie Teyte, was made a Dame Commander, Order of the British Empire. Not sure if that’s a position, more of a title maybe. She was an operatic Soprano.

Nothing of recent that I’ve found or know of.
by Donna Aston G2G4 (4.9k points)
+4 votes

Liston Wildes, my paternal grandfather, was elected Sheriff of Bacon County, Georgia for three terms 1952-1961, and served as Chief of Police in Waycross and Alma, Georgia as well. 

His son Chester Wildes was a career Georgia Highway Patrolman and his son Ward Wildes worked as a revenue agent.  My father Bryant Wildes was a deputy sheriff in the 1960's and I retired from the Jacksonville FL Sheriff's Office after a 31 year career there in 2016.  I have a large number of cousins and their children who also have jobs in law enforcement.  It's either genetic or we all really like telling people what to do.  

by Tara Wildes G2G6 (7.3k points)

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