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:
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.
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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:
(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):
(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.
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