Genealogists have reportedly found evidence that President Biden’s paternal ancestors owned slaves.
The reported finding, detailed in an adapted excerpt from Politico correspondent Ben Schreckinger’s upcoming book “The Bidens: Inside the First Family’s Fifty-Year Rise to Power,” was recently discovered by Alexander Bannerman, a genealogist in West Virginia, and lineage expert Gary Boyd Roberts.
After the 2020 presidential election, Bannerman worked alongside Roberts to put together Biden’s genealogy for the winter 2021 issues of American Ancestors magazine. Bannerman told Schreckinger that during their research, the pair found that two of Biden’s ancestors on his father’s side enslaved people while living in Maryland.
Jesse Robinett, the president’s great-great-great-grandfather, enslaved two people in Allegany County, according to the 1800 Census, Bannerman said, while Thomas Randle, another third-great-grandfather of Biden, enslaved one 14-year-old boy in Baltimore County in 1850. The state of Maryland does not list any Bidens in its slavery database.
Research also found that Mr. Biden shares distant ties to Varina Anne Banks Howell, the wife of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
In an adaptation of Schreckinger’s book, published in Politico, the author claims that in 2004 Biden called genealogist James Petty based in Salt Lake City, the home of an esteemed genealogical research library – to look into his backstory, but the findings were never publicly revealed.