U.S. Presidents Can Claim York County Ancestry too
Seems to be some Irish excitement about President Obama visiting the village of one of his Irish ancestors, but they have nothing on us.
As York County Heritage Trust Library Director Lila Fourhman-Shaull pointed out in an article she wrote for Trust Talk, YCHT’s member newsletter, shortly after the president took office, he and several former presidents can claim York County roots.
Presidents Obama and Lyndon Johnson both descend from York County natives Philip Ament and wife Maria Elisabeth Smith. Philip Ament served in the Revolutionary War, as did at least 13 other ancestors of Barack Obama. The family moved from here first to Albemarle Co., Va. and then to Bourbon Co., Ky.
Who were some of the other U.S. presidents with York County connections?
President William McKinley’s 3rd great-grandfather David McKinley settled in Chanceford Township in 1743, six years before York County was formed from Lancaster County. David’s grandson, also named David, moved westward, and President McKinley was born in Trumbull Co., Oh. in 1843.
Richard Nixon was also descended from very early York County settlers, including William Griffith, who was granted land in Warrington Township in 1735. Another of Nixon’s ancestors, Andrew Trimmer of Washington Township, served in the Revolutionary War under Captain Jacob Ament, very probably a relative of Obama and Johnson’s ancestor, Philip Ament.
Most U.S. presidents, with the exception of the very early ones from Virginia and New England, have some Pennsylvania Roots. Lincoln and Eisenhower immediately come to mind. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more that can be traced directly to York County–more on that later.