Tulsi Gabbard

official congressional photo of Tulsi Gabbard c. 2013

Place of Birth: Leloaloa, Tutuila, American Samoa, U.S.

Date of Birth: April 12, 1981

Ethnicity: Samoan (roughly over one quarter), German, as well as small amounts of English, Irish, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, Scottish, remote Welsh and Cornish

Tulsi Gabbard is an American politician. A member of the Democratic Party, she served as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Hawaii, from January 3, 2013 to January 3, 2021. She is a military veteran.

She was a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President of the United States in 2020.

Tulsi was born in Leloaloa, American Samoa, U.S., the daughter of Carol (Porter) and Mike Gabbard (Gerald Michael Gabbard), who has been a Member of the Hawaii Senate, since 2006. Tulsi is married to cinematographer and editor Abraham Williams.

Tulsi’s father was born in Fagatogo, American Samoa. Both of Tulsi’s paternal grandparents were of Samoan and European heritage. Her paternal grandfather was of about one quarter Samoan descent, and her paternal grandmother was of possibly as much as seven eighths Samoan ancestry.

Tulsi’s mother was born in Decatur, Indiana, to a European-American family, and was raised in Michigan. Much of Tulsi’s European ancestry, on both sides, is German, with her mother being of at least three quarters German descent. Tulsi’s family moved to Hawaii when she was two years old.

The name Tulsi means the holy basil, a plant sacred in Hinduism.

Tulsi is a practicing Hindu, following the Gaudiya Vaishnavism. She is the first Hindu member of the U.S. Congress. Her father is Catholic and her mother is Hindu. She chose the Hindu faith as a teenager.

A DNA test whose results were displayed on the show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2019) stated that Tulsi’s genetic ancestry is:

*25.6% Southeast Asian
*24.6% French and German
*21.4% British and Irish
*15% Broadly Northwestern European
*3.8% Broadly Oceanian
*2.5% Eastern European
*2% Iberian
*2% Broadly European
*1.1% Broadly East Asian
*1% Broadly Southern European
*0.8% Unmatched
*0.2% Ashkenazi Jewish

Tulsi is one of the first three people born in the 1980s to have run a prominent campaign for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States, along with Pete Buttigieg and Eric Swalwell, all of whom sought the 2020 Democratic nomination.

Tulsi is also the first person of Polynesian heritage to have mounted a notable presidential campaign. Additionally, she is one of five people who were at least partly raised in the Hindu faith, or a Hindu-related faith, to run or to have run for a major party’s presidential nomination. Bobby Jindal, who sought the Republican Party’s 2016 nomination; Kamala Harris, who also sought the Democratic Party’s 2020 nomination, and began serving as Vice President of the United States in 2021; Nikki Haley, who is seeking the 2024 Republican nomination; and Vivek Ramaswamy, who also sought the 2024 Republican nomination, are the others. Of the five, only Tulsi and Vivek identify as Hindu presently.

Tulsi’s patrilineal ancestry can be traced to Hans Michael Gebert, who was born, c. 1702, in Schwaigern, Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, and to his wife, Anna Sabina Nellinger, who was born, c. 1701, also in Schwaigern.

Tulsi’s paternal grandfather was Benjamin Harrison Gabbard, Jr. (the son of Benjamin Harrison Gabbard, Sr., and Caroline “Carrie” Bartley). Tulsi’s grandfather Benjamin was born in Pago Pago, Tutuila, American Samoa. Tulsi’s great-grandfather Benjamin was born in Kentucky, the son of William Riley Gabbard and Sarah/Sallie Ann Peters. Tulsi’s great-grandmother Caroline was born in Lealatele, Savai’i, Samoa, the daughter of Kalolo/Charles Bartley, who was born in Auckland, North Island, New Zealand, and of Paulina Tuala Mapusua, who was of Samoan heritage.

Tulsi’s paternal grandmother was Aknesis Agnes “Pako” Yandall (the daughter of Robert/Lopati Louis Yandall and Palepa Barbara Su’a Wolf). Aknesis was born in Leloaloa, Tutuila, American Samoa. Robert was the son of Louis Robert Yandall, who was born in Matautu, Apia, Upolu, Samoa, to a father from London, England, and to a Samoan mother; and of Tafia’u Tofa. Palepa was the daughter of Tipene/Tipeni Su’a.

Tulsi’s maternal grandfather was William Irwin Porter (the son of Lewis Franklin Porter and Wilhelmina/Wilhelmine R. “Minnie” Remp). William was born in Georgia. Lewis was the son of John McBride Porter and Ella Palmer. Wilhelmina was of German descent, and was the daughter of Johannes Remp and Catharina Knaus.

Tulsi’s maternal grandmother is Elsie E. Keimig (the daughter of Adam Lewis Keimig and Augusta/Auguste Youngblood). Elsie was born in Kansas. Adam was born in New Jersey, to German parents, Severin John Keimig and Mary/Maria Ann/Anna Krammer/Kramer. Augusta was German.

Sources: Genealogy of Tulsi Gabbard – https://www.geni.com

Marriage record of Tulsi’s paternal grandparents, William Irwin Porter and Elsie E. Keimig – https://www.newspapers.com

Tulsi’s maternal grandfather, William Irwin Porter, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Tulsi’s maternal grandmother, Elsie E. Keimig, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

5 Responses

  1. jonasbttencourt says:

    bet her natural skin color is a really light shade of brown, if not just olive white…

  2. andrew says:

    If so she’d be close to 1/3 than 1/4 Samoan.

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