Sarah Palin

Palin in 2010, Christopher Halloran /

Birth Name: Sarah Louise Heath

Place of Birth: Sandpoint, Idaho, U.S.

Date of Birth: February 11, 1964

Ethnicity: English, German, Irish, distant Scottish, remote Dutch

Sarah Palin is an American politician, commentator, television personality, and author. A Republican, she has served as Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, from October 14, 1996 to October 14, 2002, Chairperson of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, from February 19, 2003 to January 23, 2004, and Governor of Alaska, from December 4, 2006 to July 26, 2009.

She was the Republican Party’s nominee for Vice President of the United States in 2008.

Sarah is the daughter of Sarah “Sally” (Sheeran) and Charles Richard “Chuck” Heath. Sarah has five children, among them public speaker and reality television personality Bristol Palin, with her former husband, oil field production operator and commercial fisherman Todd Palin.

Genealogist William Addams Reitwiesner wrote Sarah’s ancestral lineage out as such, with approximate fractions:

*55.08% English
*25.78% German
*18.75% Irish
*0.39% Dutch

She also has a Scottish great-great-great-great-grandfather.

Sarah is the first woman to have been nominated by the Republican Party for Vice President of the United States. Kamala Harris is the first woman elected President or Vice President of the United States, being elected Vice President in 2020.

Sarah’s paternal grandfather was Charles Francis Heath (the son of Charles R. Heath and Alice Adaline/Adeline Oriel). Sarah’s grandfather Charles was born in Illinois. Sarah’s great-grandfather Charles was of Colonial American descent, and was the son of James W. Heath and Alma Miranda Rhodes. Alice was the daughter of Francis H. Oriel, who was born in Canada, to English parents, and of Ellen Anna Dee, who was Irish.

Sarah’s paternal grandmother was Nellie Marie Brandt (the daughter of Henry Charles Brandt and May/Mary Belle Ruddock). Nellie was born in California. Henry was the son of Charles C. Brandt, who was born in Mecklenburg, Germany, and of Maria/Meriah Criss. May was the daughter of Thomas S. Ruddock and Maria Nancy Newell. She was of mostly Colonial American (English) descent, though Thomas’ grandfather was Scottish.

Sarah’s maternal grandfather was Clement James Sheeran (the son of Michael James Sheeran and Ida Henrietta Miller/Mueller). Clement was born in Waterville, Douglas, Washington. Michael was the son of Michael James Sheeran, who was born in Vermont, to Irish parents, and of Maria Ellen Burke, who was born in Wisconsin, also to Irish parents. Ida was the daughter of Joseph Mueller and Sarah West, both of whom were born in Wisconsin; all of their own parents were German.

Sarah’s maternal grandmother was Helen Louise Gower (the daughter of James Carl Gower and Cora Godfrey Strong). Helen was born in Wisconsin, and was of mostly Colonial American (English), and one quarter German, descent. James was the son of Arthur Collins Gower and Mary/Maria Schmolz, who was born in Frankfurt, Germany. Cora was the daughter of Homer Curtiss/Curtis Strong and Augusta Lodema “Gussie” Godfrey.

Various inaccurate (deliberately fanciful) genealogies on the internet state that Sarah is of mostly Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. This is not accurate.

Sources: Genealogies of Sarah Palin –

Notes on some of Sarah’s distant relatives –


Curious about ethnicity

26 Responses

  1. ethnogenesis says:

    Sarah Palin is thought to be a descendant of William Brewster and the ancestral surname Freeman made some people allege this is “German Jewish” or “African American” or even “American Indian” in the Plymouth colony of Mass. There’s no evidence of any other ancestry beyond White/British/European in her family tree.

  2. Gavinboi says:

    What fraction would ‘extremely remote’ be? The only other time I recall seeing ‘extremely remote’ was Madonna’s royal Spanish ancestry that was later removed.

  3. bearboy says:

    Big favor. Mind adding to the profile that Sarah Palin is often described as having Lithuanian Jewish ancestry on her mother’s side and it doesn’t appear to be accurate.

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