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Gary Boyd Roberts

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Gary Boyd Roberts (born September 29, 1943, Houston, Texas) is an American genealogist known for his scholarship in Americans of royal descent, the ancestors of American presidents, and notable kin. Roberts is the retired Senior Research Scholar of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS).

Early life[edit]

Roberts is the son of Jack Carl and Mary Elizabeth Boyd Roberts.[1][2] A native of Houston, Texas,[1][3][4] Roberts attended Lamar High School,[1] followed by the University of Texas,[1] before transferring to Yale University,[1][3][4] where he was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa fraternity,[1] and received a B.A.[2] He graduated with an M.A. from the University of Chicago.[2][4] He was also a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley.[4] He married Margaret Melstrom on September 6, 1969 at Cherry Hill, New Jersey.[2] The couple divorced in 1975 with no issue.[citation needed]


Roberts joined the NEHGS staff in 1974 as a reference librarian,[4][5] and subsequently held a number of positions including research director,[6][7][3][5] special projects director,[8][9] publications director[10] and senior research scholar.[4]

Roberts has researched the American ancestry and living relations of Diana, Princess of Wales,[6][7][11][12] and the ancestry of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.[13] He has also researched the ancestry, descendants and interrelationships of American presidents and presidential candidates,[14] such as the kinship between George W. Bush and John Kerry.[4] In recent years, he has collaborated with genealogist Christopher Challender Child, of the Newbury Street Press.

Roberts's work appears in his column "Royal Descents, Notable Kin, and Printed Sources" for the NEHGS website.



As sole author[edit]

  • Ancestors of American Presidents. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1989, 1995, 2009. ISBN 0880822201 Search this book on Logo.png. [5]
  • The Royal Descents of 500 Immigrants to the American Colonies or the United States. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1993. ISBN 0806313951 Search this book on Logo.png. [15][16][17]
  • The Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants to the American Colonies or the United States. Genealogical Publishing Company, 2004. ISBN 0806317450 Search this book on Logo.png.
  • The Royal Descents of 900 Immigrants to the American Colonies or the United States. Genealogical Publishing Company, 2018. ISBN 0806320745 Search this book on Logo.png.
  • Notable Kin, Volume One and Notable Kin, Volume Two: An anthology of columns first published in the NEHGS nexus. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1998, 1999. ISBN 0936124172 Search this book on Logo.png. ISBN 0936124202 Search this book on Logo.png. [18]
  • The Best Genealogical Sources in Print: Essays by Gary Boyd Roberts, vol. 1. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004. ISBN 0880821558 Search this book on Logo.png.

As coauthor[edit]

As editor[edit]

As contributor[edit]

  • Introduction to New England Marriages Prior to 1700 by Clarence Almon Torrey, 1985; several times reprinted with the introduction revised; Genealogical Publishing Co., 2014. ISBN 0806311029 Search this book on Logo.png.
  • The Ancestry of Catherine Middleton by William Addams Reitwiesner. (Foreword) The New England Historic Genea., 2011. ISBN 088082252X Search this book on Logo.png.

Other works[edit]

  • “The Mowbray Connection: An Analysis of the Genealogical Evolution of British, American and Continental Nobilities, Gentries, and Upper Classes Since the End of the Middle Ages,” 23 vols., at NEHGS, New York Public Library, and the Society of Genealogists, London. OCLC 26794516

See also[edit]

  • Distant cousins of Barack Obama
  • Bush family connections to other prominent families


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Gary Roberts Named To Yale Phi Beta Kappa". Corsicana Daily Sun. Corsicana, Texas. 25 November 1964. p. 5. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "September Weddings Capture Area Interest". Courier-Post. Camden, New Jersey. 8 September 1969. p. 11. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Davis, Mary Margaret (7 November 1985). "Princess Diana's ties stretch across the Atlantic". El Paso Times. El Paso, Texas. p. 5D. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Allis, Sam (14 March 2004). "Genealogical gem". The Boston Globe. Boston, Massachusetts. p. 2. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Phillips, Donna (26 April 1990). "President in your family's past?". The Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. p. N13. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Schaer, Sidney C. (25 September 1984). "Now Americans can drop by the palace and say hi to cousin Di". Democrat and Chronicle. Rochester, New York. Newsday. p. 14. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Gormley, Myra Vanderpool (1 November 1984). "New Books for Armchair Genealogists". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. p. V 7. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  8. "N.E. genealogical grant is said largest in history". The Berkshire Eagle. Pittsfield, Massachusetts. UPI. p. 13. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Gormley, Myra Vanderpool (1 December 1985). "Pilgrims' progeny can trace their roots back to Plymouth". The Orlando Sentinel. Orlando, Florida. LA Times Syndicate. p. F-8. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  10. Kennedy, Dana (14 November 1988). "Bush, Quayle cousins?". The Odessa American. Odessa, Texas. AP. pp. 1–2. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  11. "Lady Diana's Genealogy Full Of Famous Yankee Relatives". The Daily Review. Morgan City, Louisiana. UPI. 17 July 1981. p. 3. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  12. Kalfs, Barbara B. (22 October 1981). "City told to exploit tie with Di". Chillicothe Gazette. Chillicothe, Ohio. p. 14. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  13. Roberts, G. B. "The Royal Ancestry of Meghan Markle". © 1996–2017 New England Historic Genealogical Society. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  14. Gormley, Myra Vanderpool (16 February 1986). "Is There a President in Your Family Tree?". The Palm Beach Post. West Palm Beach, Florida. p. E1. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  15. Head, Wanda (27 December 1993). "Author explores medieval links". The Times. Shreveport, Louisiana. p. 3D. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  16. Wise, Marie (16 January 1994). "The challenge of genealogy". Ville Platte Gazette. Ville Platte, Louisiana. p. 12A. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  17. Suber, Nancianne Parkes (13 September 2002). "Book details medieval kings' lines". Clarion-Ledger. Jackson, Mississippi. p. 6E. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  18. Jones, Martha (2 August 2009). "Do you know if you are related to someone famous?". Victoria Advocate. Victoria, Texas. p. E5. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  19. Wise, Marie (21 August 1985). "The Challenge of Genealogy. Mayflower Families". Caldwell Watchman. Columbia, Louisiana. p. 6. Retrieved 3 August 2019.

External links[edit]

  • Notable Kin
  • "The Man Who Knew Bush", 2004 movie in which Roberts appears as an authority on the Bush family genealogy.

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