Ron Paul’s ancestry: German(-Lutheran) by blood, German and American in thought, word, and deed


Previously profiled: Mitt Romney’s ancestry, and Newt Gingrich’s ancestry; Richard Nixon’s ancestry
This post is partly a follow-up to “Ron Paul Remembers…

Of the presidential candidates in 2012, Ron Paul was both the oldest (b.1935) and the most German (87.5%). Is it unsurprising, then, that he is (seen to be) the strictest on fiscal policy?

This was Ron Paul as a young man:

Ron Paul as a young man

Ethnic ancestry

By percentages, Ron Paul is:

  • 87.5% German
    • 50% Hessian
    • 37.5% German of indeterminate region in Germany
  • 12.5% Irish by ancestry.

Time of ancestors’ arrival in the USA

Earlier, it was speculated that Ron Paul sympathizes with immigration-restrictionism. Effective July 1968, defacto and dejure racial- and national-based limitations on immigration into the USA were abolished. Ron Paul was already 32 years old, about to turn 33.

Ron Paul himself remembers the earlier USA better than any other candidate. (See “Ron Paul Remembers“). Santorum was only ten years old when immigration laws opened up in Summer ’68; Romney was 21.

Ron Paul himself lacks either deep American (colonial) ancestry or “Ellis Island ancestry”. His ancestors all seem to have arrived after the Civil War but before the Ellis Island wave (of ~1883-1913). It is unlikely, then, that he has any of that “Ellis Island Nostalgia,” common among so many in power and also found in the conservative Rick Santorum.

Religious identity, ancestry, affiliation

Ron Paul’s paternal great-grandparents were probably all Lutherans, the dominant form of Christianity in the Hessia (Hessen) of their day. Still today, Protestantism predominates in Hessia.

Ron Paul himself was raised a Lutheran, and two of his brothers became ordained Lutheran pastors. Ron Paul himself, though, is now a Baptist.

Less is known about his maternal side, but as Ron Paul’s mother married into a pious Lutheran family, it’s likely that Ron Paul’s three maternal German great-grandparents were also Protestants.

Deep ancestral-stock via physical anthropology

If Ron Paul were not famous and walked the streets of any Central-German town, he would not raise an eyebrow. He has a face common in much of Germany.

Anthropologically, the consensus is that Paul displays two tendencies:
(1) Bruenn. An important population element in most of Europe, “Bruenn” is a CroMagnid type, and is thus descended from the people who conquered Europe from the Neanderthals before the last Ice Age.

(2) North-Atlantid. Of partial “Nordish” and partial Mesolithic or Neolithic origin. In the West-European context, ‘Neolithic’ refers to people of Mediterranean appearance who migrated to Europe around the time agriculture was spreading, and who form a minor part of the racial stock of modern Western-Europeans. North-Atlantid is a minor racial element in most of Europe, with the exception of certain areas of the British Isles, where it is more common.

Others suggest a minor (3) Alpinid influence, but this may be due to his advanced age. In the young photo posted above, Ron Paul displays no discernible Alpine influence in head shape, though he may slightly in nose shape.

—  —  —  —

Ron Paul’s grandparents

The following is a synopsis of known information about Ron Paul’s grandparents, and their own ancestral stories. From father’s father and descending to mother’s mother. (source.)

(1) Caspar Paul. [100% German]. He was born August 1866 in Hohenzell, Hessia, Prussia, which became the German-Empire when Caspar was four.

Caspar and his family emigrated to the USA in 1880, when he was 14 years of age. The family settled in western Pennsylvania, a region which many of Richard Nixon’s ancestors helped settle in the early days — though the Nixons had since moved west to Ohio by the time the Pauls arrived. Caspar Paul became a dairy dealer, a job he held until retirement. In 1899, he married a Pennsylvania-born woman named Sophia. Sophia’s own ancestors were from Germany and from the same rural region of Hessia in Germany as was Caspar himself.

Ron Paul’s grandparents visit a hyperinflationary 1920s-Germany
In the early 1920s, Casper Paul and his wife Sophia visited relatives in Hessia. This was the wild, hyperinflationary Germany, culminating in the pathetic but poetic scenes of wheelbarrows-full-of-notes to buy a load of groceries. It is possible that the impression the elder Pauls got from seeing Germany’s economic chaos percolated down to a young Ron Paul, who was born in 1935, and thereby helped to shape his own views on economics. It was, after all, “state intervention” that crippled the German economy, in the form of the need to inflate to pay war-reparations. A tight, more-typically-German fiscal policy would never have allowed for hyperinflation.

Ron Paul regular references to 1920s-Germany’s hyperinflation in his speeches. Ron Paul himself related the story of his grandparents’ visit to 1920s-Germany to reporters in 2011. Both these things lend credence to the idea that the German experience on hyperinflation does animate his political thinking.

(2) Sophia Ziegler. [100% German]. Born in Pennsylvania in September 1874. Sophia’s parents — Johann Georg Ziegler and Gertrude Herche — had immigrated from Germany to Western Pennsylvania in 1866. They became naturalized American citizens in 1874. Sophia’s father was born in 1844 in Kressenbach, Hessia. Sophia’s mother and her parents were all born in Wallroth, Hessia. Both of these ancestral towns are rural hamlets a few miles southwest of the city of Fulda, not far from the birthplace of Caspar Paul (Sophia’s future husband, or (1) in this list.)

All of Ron Paul’s paternal ancestors several generations ago lived within a few miles of each other in Hessia. Sophia and Caspar met each other in the 1890s in Western Pennsylvania. This indicates the families must have known each other through mutual friends, that their social circle in the USA was not only “German” but still tied to their specific ancestral-region. Remember that Caspar Paul was already fourteen when he left Germany, which means he had already formed a personal-identity to large degree, and by the time he was in his twenties and was in the marriage market, a German, a Lutheran, and a Hessian were all important qualifications, and Sophia Ziegler seems to have qualified on all points in family terms.

This map may help clarify the German origins of Ron Paul’s paternal ancestors:

Ron Paul Hessen ancestors

(3) Joseph J. Dumont. [50% German, 50% Irish]. Born in Pennsylvania circa 1884.

Joseph J. DuMont was a book-keeper at a grocery store for at least some of his life. His mother was born in New York to Irish parents. I find no records on Joseph DuMont’s mother’s surname. His father is listed on several censuses as being of German birth.

“DuMont” is, of course, an unusual name for a German, suggesting the possibility of long-ago Huguenot ancestry.

DuMont surname distribution in Germany circa year 2000 (courtesy of Geogen):

Dumont surname distribution in Germany
.

(4) Lena ________. [100% German]. Born circa 1884 in Pennsylvania. Maiden-surname unknown to me at time of research. Both Lena’s parents are listed by several U.S. censuses as having been born in Germany. Future research will have to determine the region with more specificity.

Given that grandson Ron Paul himself was raised a Lutheran, the good betting odds are that his mother’s-mother’s line (grandmother Lena) was also a Lutheran, as women have strong influence on religious upbringing.

— — — —

(Slightly updated in June 2022, mainly to clean up dead links and replace images that had gone down.)
(Re-named from the original title that applied only to 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, “The ancestry of Ron Paul: ‘the German candidate’.”)
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23 Responses to Ron Paul’s ancestry: German(-Lutheran) by blood, German and American in thought, word, and deed

  1. Pingback: The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved (Jer. 8: 20) « noxforchristmas

  2. Dewey says:

    That is really cool. America certainly displays an interesting mix of German and English politics. Ron Paul’s fiscal conservatism would certainly never sound so strange in Germany as it does here.

  3. Bill says:

    On the immigration point, there is also the contrast between the very small Hispanic population of his native Pittsburgh and the rather larger such population in Texas.

    • Hail says:

      Excellent point, Bill.
      Looking at the metropolitan areas in which RP has lived:

      — His native Pittsburgh area is, today, the whitest large metropolitan area in the USA. (#1/51).

      — As an adult, RP made the move to a white area of the Houston region. Houston Metro as a whole is, as of 2010, ranked #46/51 in whiteness, or is the sixth-least-white metro area in the USA.

    • Joel Paull says:

      So what? Oh, HAIL comes up with a good racist and divisive comment below. Good jobb.

    • Joel Paull says:

      I shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds me (I appreciate this article)… but the “whiteness” rating is divisive and I am surprised that Hail would use such a term unless he is intending to be such.

  4. VA says:

    Thanks for doing this. I think I had asked earlier if you would do Ron Paul’s ancestry.

    It confirms what I understood about his ancestry. Interesting background.

    The town where he lives and practiced medicine is where my late uncle and his wife lived, and yes, it was a White area although there were many illegals there when I was last there a few years ago.

    • Hail says:

      Rick Santorum has attacked Ron Paul as “representing one of the most conservative districts in Texas” — I wonder if there is any truth to that.

  5. M.G. says:

    Joseph J. Dumont … His father is listed on several censuses as being of German birth. ‘DuMont’ is, of course, an unusual name for a German, suggesting the possibility of long-ago Huguenot ancestry.

    I was interested in the possible Huguenot angle (I live in an old Protestant hotspot in France), and went looking for Huguenot Dumonts who’d left France for Germany, but on the link you provide it seems to give this info. for Joseph J. Dumont’s father:

    Joseph G … Dumont, b. … , N. Y., … [ca. 1862], d. … [living 1910]
    m. … [ca. 1883]

    Does that imply he was born in N.Y., or just lived there at some point? (I’m perhaps misunderstanding the text.) Are there any online sources for the censuses which list German birth for him, or were they accessed via library?

    • Hail says:

      M.G.,
      That “N.Y.” on wargs appears to be a transcription error.

      The “several censuses” to which I refer are the 1910 and the 1920. Both list Joseph Sr. as being born in Germany.

      The 1910 Census lists the following (scroll to bottom at wargs):
      ________________________________________
      1910 Pennsylvania, Allegheny Co., Pittsburgh, ED 543, sheet 14 A
      [Dumont Joseph G.] H M W 48 M1 27 Ger Ger Ger 1881 Na Contractor Moulding
      ________________________________________
      The above can be deciphered thusly:
      H= Head of household
      M=Male
      W=White
      48=Age in 1910
      M1=Married
      27=Years Married
      Ger [1st]=Place of Person’s Birth
      Ger Ger [2nd and 3rd]=Place of Father’s, Mother’s Births
      1881=Year immigrated
      Na=Naturalized citizen
      Contractor=Job
      Moulding=Industry

      The censuses did contain errors, though. Can we be sure that Joseph G. DuMont, Ron Paul’s great-grandfather, was born in Germany?

      Looking at the 1920 Census entry on Joseph DuMont Jr. (the son of the above), which was independently collected, of course, and thus has nothing to do with the 1910 information:
      ________________________________________
      1920 Pennsylvania, Allegheny Co., Pittsburgh, ED 633, sheet 1A
      [Dumont Joseph J.] H M W 35 M PA Ger NY Bookkeeper Poultry Co
      ________________________________________

      From this, we see that Joseph J. DuMont Jr., was born in Pennsylvania circa 1885, to a German-born father and a NY-born mother, or so the census-taker recorded.

      The chance of a careless error misrecording place of birth in two separate censuses must be quite low. We can say with a high level of certainty that Joseph DuMont Sr. was born in Germany, came to the USA at age 19 or so, and married a local girl. 50 years later, his great-grandson Ron Paul was born.

      Those with access to ancestry.com can view the original microfilms online for these entries to confirm.

      • M.G. says:

        Ah, many thanks, Hail. Clear as crystal. That gives me what I need to go start poking around in some French-language sources.

      • Hail says:

        Now that would be interesting.

        I understand that Mitt Romney has some likely Huguenot ancestral branches, as well — both via the early American Colonies and via England. The Huguenots really got around.

        • Umm, Jean Calvin The Reformer, a Huguenot, “got around” as many did when the Roman Catholics chased him out of France with Madame Guillotine, and he left for Switzerland. This also helps explain why Calvinists are among the most active politically, because Calvin encouraged us after his experience.

  6. Scotsman says:

    I like your genealogy articles, Hail. But be careful with using the late Mr. Reitwiesner’s work too closely. Although he is careful, but makes a number of errors especially on Southern lineages (not a concern with the German Paul’s tree). He also has several disproved royal lines from Royal Descent of 600 Immigrants on his former site.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Ron Paul’s maternal grandmother was Lena Rothschild. Does it make sense that it is missing from all of his ancestry bios?

  8. He have connections with Herche family and you can see interbreeding with Paul family in tree with Conrad Herrche and Eulalia Paul 1711(and again grandmother Gertrude Herche, b. Wallroth, Hessen-Darmstadt, 4 May 1847, d. Cecil, Pa., 7 Sept. 1924)
    Wilhelm Herche (son of Conrad Herche and Eva Druschel) was born January 22, 1809 in Wallroth, Hesse-Darmstadt, and died July 25, 1878 in Wallroth, Hesse-Darmstadt. He married Gertrauda Jockel on May 17, 1833, daughter of Johann Nikolaus Jockel.Children of Wilhelm Herche and Gertrauda Jockel are: Conrad Herche, b. February 1842, Wallroth, Hesse-Darmstadt, d. Bef. 1910, Monroe, Henry, Ohio.

    Conrad Herche (son of Heinrich Herche and Anna Elizabetha Wirth)was born February 7, 1779 in Altengronau, Hessenand died April 29, 1869 in Wallroth. He married Eva Druschel on 1808, daughter of Andreas Druschel and Anna Elisabetha Hach.Children of Conrad Herche and Eva Druschel are:
    +Wilhelm Herche, b. January 22, 1809, Wallroth, Hesse-Darmstadt, d. July 25, 1878, Wallroth, Hesse-Darmstadt.

    Heinrich Herche (son of Hartmann Herche and Catharina Eilgert)was born June 3, 1742 in Mottgers, Hessen-Nassauand died January 12, 1819 in Altengronau, HessenHe married Anna Elizabetha Wirth on 1767 in Altengronau, Hessendaughter of Adam Wirth and Eva Elisabetha KohlheppChildren of Heinrich Herche and Anna Elizabetha Wirth are:
    +Conrad Herche, b. February 7, 1779, Altengronau, Hessen d. April 29, 1869, Wallroth

    Hartmann Herche (son of Conrad Herrche and Eulalia Paul)was born March 20, 1711 in Sterbfritz , Landgrafschaft Hessen Kassel, and died May 2, 1775 in Mottgers, HessenHe married Catharina Eilgert on February 16, 1741 in Mottgers, Hessendaughter of Kilian Eilgert and Margaretha Baus.Children of Hartmann Herche and Catharina Eilgert are:
    +Heinrich Herche, b. June 3, 1742, Mottgers, Hessen-Nassaud. January 12, 1819, Altengronau, Hessen

    Conrad Herrche (son of Melchior Herrche and Magaretha Weigand)was born August 23, 1657 in Sterbfritz , Landgrafschaft Hessen Kassel, and died December 27, 1732 in Sterbfritz , Landgrafschaft Hessen KasselHe married Eulalia Paul on June 6, 1695 in Sterbfritz Hessen nassau Prussiadaughter of Hartmann Pfaul and Eva Muth.Kinder
    15.08.1696 Sterbfritz Barbara
    01.02.1703 Margaretha
    1706 Elisabetha
    12.08.1708 Johannes
    20.03.1711 Hartmann
    08.11.1713 Eva Elisabetha
    13.07.1716 Anna
    07.02.1699 Anna Maria

    Melchior Herrche (son of Adam Herrche and Unknown)was born 1624 in Sterbfritz Hessen-Nassau Prussia, and died March 13, 1694 in Sterbfritz, HessenHe married Magaretha Weigand on June 3, 1654 in Sterbfritz, Hessen daughter of Friedrich Weigand.
    Kinder
    11.03.1655 Sterbfritz Eva
    23.08.1657 Sterbfritz Conrad (auch Curt)
    13.01.1660 Elisabetha
    22.11.1666 Hartmann +13.03.1694
    23.02.1672 Casper +10.04.1672
    1669 Margaretha +06.05.1714

    Adam Herrche:was born 1591 in Sterbfritz, Hessen, and died Bef. 1654 in Sterbfritz , Landgrafschaft Hessen Kassel. He married Unknown on 1623 in Sterbfritz, Hessen
    This information from Nina Harkey and she got it from Karl-Heinz Herchein Germany It is confirmed from church records in that area.
    Karl-Heinz Herche has an extensive database of ancestors of Johannes andHartmann. His records go back to about 1200. He places the family in theHessen area back to that date. Before that date he has found no onenamed HERCHE
    The famiy is a noble one, full of judges, heads of church etc. They wereKnights and Barons. There is a family chrest but not one like you orderonline but a real documented one in the Germanic Archives. . The lineagetraces back to Kaiser Karl der Grosse (Charlemagne) although Karl-Heinzsays he is working on the documents to make it official. According tothe crest he has it was this nobility that the Herche lineage isconnected to and the house that granted the crest. Another direct Germanrelative is Heinrich Lübke, president of Germany 1959-1969.

  9. Ron says:

    While “Dumont” may indeed be Huguenot, it could also simply be a translation of the very common German name Berg. August Schoenberg became August Belmont when he came over.

  10. Chris says:

    “Liberty Gold” I’d like to know how you think you have direct relation to Dr Karl Heinrich Lubke, 2nd President of West Germany. I see no Lubke connection whatsoever in your stated geneology. A “direct” connection would be a direct lineage of the Lubke’s, which according to what you’ve provided – isn’t there. I say this because Heinrich Lubcke was part of our Lubke (Luebcke in America) family tree. Many of Heinrichs family moved to Buffalo NY where a few Luebckes still live, including my mother Sandra Luebcke.

  11. Pingback: Ancestry of Liberty Caucus Members: Voices From (For) the USA’s “Ethnic Core” | Hail To You

  12. Guenter says:

    I’ve just discovered that I am related to Mr. Ron Paul through his maternal ancestral branch. And I am German. So maybe I can clear up some things.
    His great-grandfather Joseph Dumont was born in a small town named Schweich, on October 14, 1861. Schweich lies at the Moselle River and just a few miles away from the better known city of Trier. His parents Adam Dumont and Anna Maria Heinz (in American sources sometimes written “Eva Hynes”, probably because Adam and Eve makes a nice name for a couple) died as Joseph was 14. He was the only living son and had to feed his other siblings. He made an apprenticeship as carpenter and cabinet maker. As he had finished it he emigrated in 1880 into the United States. He first worked for half a year on a farm at the outskirts of Chicago, then for a short time as a journeyman in his learned trade as carpenter, before he settled in Pittsburgh on 51 Boggs avenue with a later well known construction company, which specialized in carpenter, glass and roof works.
    The maiden name of his wife Margaret was Davis. She was born in New York City on March 1865. Both parents Paul Davis and Mary Gannon were frome Ireland. The pair had eight children (four of them died in childhood). Both were catholics and members of the St. Mary’s Catholic church in Pittsburgh.
    Well, the hugenotte thing … Many Germans with some french sounding surname sort of dreaming of this ancestry. It rarely matches with reality. First: Trier is just a few miles away from the german border with Luxemburg and Lorraine/France. The people living there on both sides of the border were always connected. Until today they speak the same dialect (well, the people who are still able to talk dialect at least). And on severl occasions experted workers from Belgium, Luxemburg or France were hired on the German side. For example in the Eifel region (that’s the area around Trier) from 15th century until 1770 (before start of industrial revolution) there were many small iron mills in the area. The Germans there didn’t know anything about iron milling so they called experts who know. Guys with french names. Most of them returned after several years to their home countries, others married in the region and stayed on. The first Dumont in Schweich was born 1766 in Kesten, another village at the Moselle River. In Kesten this family name exists at least since 1714.
    And the name of Ron Paul’s maternal grandmother wasn’t Lena Rothschild, as someone has written, but Lena Wolfram, born Jun 1883 in Pennsylvania.

  13. Pingback: Ancestry of Hillary Clinton | Hail To You

  14. Karl Georg Müller says:

    Just found out that my mother and Ron Paul are 4th cousins. Their ggreat grandparents were siblings. Anna Paul, Elisabeth Löffert, Anna Deuker, Luise Ungerer and finally my mother Anna Margarethe Becker (my mtDNA-Heritage 🙂

  15. Hail says:

    An update some ten years after this original post:

    Ron Paul is still living and active, now in his later eighties. By about 2015, his son Rand Paul had taken over the political mantle as the leading “Paul.” In many ways is clearly his father’s son.

    A retrospective on the Ron Paul 2012 campaign in light of later events of the 2010s is in the comments at Peak Stupidity includes this:

    and:

    Peak Stupidity wrote: “[Y]our background on Ron Paul is great too. I’ve been reading your post on your site. Yes, I could see that his Grandad Caspar’s having seen the German hyperinflation would become the kind of impression he’d want to expound on to his son(s)…”

    E. H. Hail wrote: “Am surprised how much I mentioned Rick Santorum in 2012. There is a non-entity no one has heard from in years, who briefly attracted a following for some reason but was clearly deeply flawed. It seems what bothered me in 2012, and what Santorum’s name multiple times in the Ron Paul ancestry post, was that he had attacked Ron Paul on the campaign trail and in debates in 2012. Ron Paul was a dangerously extreme conservative, whereas Rick Santorum was a good loyal Catholic who just disliked gay marriage a lot, but otherwise was a rainbow guy all around (I guess).”

    The discussion went to why Ron Paul didn’t make immigration-restriction the “centerpiece” of his campaign. The simple answer is that the political climate would not not allow it, but there is more:

    There is even more to say about Ron Paul and his place in U.S. political history, probably necessitating a full post.

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