Betty Ford

Birth Name: Elizabeth Anne Bloomer

Date of Birth: April 8, 1918

Place of Birth: Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States

Date of Death: July 8, 2011

Place of Death: Rancho Mirage, California, U.S.

Ethnicity: English, Irish, some Dutch

Betty Ford was the First Lady of the United States, as the wife of Gerald Ford, who was President of the United States, from August 9, 1974 to January 20, 1977. She was also Second Lady of the United States, while her husband was Vice President, from December 6, 1973 to August 9, 1974. She founded the Betty Ford Center for substance abuse and addiction in 1982, and was its Chairwoman, from October 4, 1982 to January 25, 2005.

Betty was the daughter of Hortense (Neahr) and William Stephenson Bloomer, a traveling salesman, for Royal Rubber Co. She lived in Colorado for a time, before her family settled in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

She had four children with Gerald, including actor Steven Ford and author and photojournalist Susan Ford.

“The American Woman” won Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 1975. Betty was one of twelve women chosen to represent that title on the magazine’s cover, along with Billie Jean King.

Betty’s patrilineal line can be traced to Robert Bloomer, who was born, c. 1634, in Birmingham, West Midlands, England.

Betty’s paternal grandfather was Orrin S. Bloomer (the son of The Rev. Isaac Bloomer, Jr. and Laura Ann Smith). Orrin was born in Ohio. The Rev. Isaac was born in Newburgh, New York, the son of Isaac Bloomer and Elizabeth Thorne/Thorn.

Betty’s paternal grandmother was named Anna Stephenson Graham. Anna was Irish.

Betty’s maternal grandfather was Henry Clay Neahr (the son of Jacob R. Neahr and Anna Maria Halladay). Henry was born in Michigan. Jacob was the son of Johannes Neahr and Catharine/Catherine Van Wie/VanWie. Anna was the daughter of Thompson Halladay and Rebecca.

Betty’s maternal grandmother was Anna Serepta/Sarepta Wells (the daughter of Richard Wells and Mary E. Butler). Anna was born in New York. Mary’s parents were English.

Sources: Genealogies of Betty Ford –

Betty’s mother on the 1900 U.S. Census –

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