George W. Romney

official photo of George W. Romney, c. 1969, Office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development

Birth Name: George Wilcken Romney

Date of Birth: July 8, 1907

Place of Birth: Colonia Dublán, Galeana, Chihuahua, Mexico

Date of Death: July 26, 1995

Place of Death: Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, U.S.

*37.5% English
*37.5% Scottish
*25% German

George W. Romney was an American businessperson and politician. He was Chairman and President of American Motors Corporation, from October 1954 to February 1962, the 43rd Governor of Michigan, from January 1, 1963 to January 22, 1969, and the 3rd United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, from January 22, 1969 to January 20, 1973.

He was a candidate for the Republican Party’s nomination for President of the United States in 1968. His name was placed in nomination for 1964‘s.

George was a member of the LDS (Mormon) faith.

George was born in Colonia Dublán, Galeana, Chihuahua, Mexico, to American parents, Anna Amelia (Pratt) and Gaskell Romney. His father was born in St. George, Utah, and moved to Mexico around 1885, where his own father helped found the LDS colony in Colonia Dublán. His mother was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. George’s parents’ families had left the U.S. for Mexico because of anti-polygamy laws. George’s father was of half English and half Scottish ancestry. George’s mother was of one half German, one quarter English, and one quarter Scottish, descent.

George moved to the U.S. in 1912 with his family, at first living in several states around the west coast.

With his wife, actress and politician Lenore (LaFount) Romney, he had four children. Among them is politician Mitt Romney, who serves as a U.S. Senator from Utah, and who was previously Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, and the Republican Party’s nominee for President of the United States in 2012. His granddaughter, political strategist Ronna McDaniel, was Chair of the Republican National Committee, from January 19, 2017 to March 8, 2024.

George was the first prominent person of the LDS faith to seek a major American political party’s nomination for President of the United States. Other persons of the LDS faith who have mounted plausible or semi-plausible campaigns for a major party’s Presidential nomination are:
*Mo Udall (who sought the 1976 Democratic nomination)
*Orrin Hatch (who sought the 2000 Republican nomination)
*Mitt Romney (who was the Republican Party’s nominee for President of the United States in 2012, and was also a candidate for the 2008 Republican nomination for President)
*Jon Huntsman, Jr. (who sought the 2012 Republican nomination)

George’s paternal grandfather was Miles Park Romney (the son of Miles Romney and Elizabeth Gaskell). George’s grandfather Miles was born in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois, to English parents, both of them from Dalton-in-Furness, co. Lancaster. George’s great-grandfather Miles was an early English convert to the LDS faith, and was the son of George Romney and Sarah King. Elizabeth was the daughter of Joseph G. Gaskell/Gaitskell and Elizabeth Slater.

George’s paternal grandmother was Hannah Hood Hill (the daughter of Archibald Newell Hill and Isabella Hood). Hannah was born in Tosorontio Township, Simcoe, Ontario. Archibald was Scottish, born in Johnston, Renfrewshire, the son of Alexander Hill and Elizabeth Currie/Curry. Isabella was Canadian, from Toronto, and her own parents, James Hood and Margaret Jane Bisland/Bislen, were Scottish, her father from Skipness and her mother from Glasgow.

George’s maternal grandfather was Helaman Pratt (the son of Parley Parker Pratt and Mary Woods/Wood). Helaman was born in Mount Pisgah, near Thayer, Union, Iowa, and presided over the LDS mission in Mexico City. Parley was born in Burlington, Otsego, New York, of Colonial American ancestry. He was a prominent LDS apostle, the son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. George’s great-grandmother Mary was from Glasgow, Scotland, the daughter of Samuel Wood and Margaret Orr.

George’s maternal grandmother was Anna Johanna Dorothy/Dorothea “Dora” Wilcken (the daughter of Carl/Charles Heinrich/Henry Wilcken and Eliza Christina Carolina Reiche). Anna was born in Dahme, Zarpin, Rheinfeld, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. Carl was a prominent artilleryman, and was the son of Carl Heinrich Wilcken and Anna Margaretha Catherine/Catherina Stoffer. Eliza was the daughter of Joachim Peter/Paeter Friedrich Reiche and Dorothea Magdalena Margareta Weber.

Sources: Genealogies of George Romney –

Genealogies of George Romney (through George’s son, Mitt Romney) –

Article about George’s family’s residence in Mexico –

Article about some of George’s English ancestry –

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