Sometimes, genealogy can be used not only to prove family relationships, but also to disprove it. Case in point: if you follow California wing nuts you have no doubt heard that our governor Gavin Newsom is Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s nephew. Uh, no. He’s not. The latest meme comes from spelling-challenged “patriots” who also contend that Adam Schiff’s sister is married to George Soros’ son (spoiler alert: Adam Schiff’s doesn’t have a sister), that John Kerry’s daughter is married to an Iranian mullah’s son in Iran (he’s actually an American-born neurosurgeon of Iranian descent and his father a physician in California), and that Chelsea Clinton is married to George Soros’ nephew (she, of course, is married to Marc Medvinsky, son of a former American congressman).
As for Newsom and Pelosi, here’s the scoop:
Gavin Christopher Newsom was born in 1967 to William Alfred Newsom III and Tessa Thomas Menzies Newsom. Bill Newsom had a sister, Belinda, who in 1960 married one Ronald Pelosi. Ronald’s younger brother Paul married Nancy D’Alesandro in 1963. Paul and Nancy Pelosi are still married to this day but Ronald and Belinda divorced in 1977 and Belinda Barbara Newsom died in 2008.
Thus, until Gavin was roughly ten years old, his Aunt Belinda was married to Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law. So, while there was, indeed, a connection between the Newsoms and the Pelosis, that did not make Nancy Gavin’s aunt, and even if it one time did, that relationship ended some forty-plus years ago.
A few takeaways here from a family history perspective:
- Misspelled names happen all the time in family historical research. That is to be expected but they are always a bit of a red flag for researchers and a hint that maybe there are two people being lumped together. That was the case with Schiff’s alleged sister, The sister in question was actually someone else who was not related to Adam Schiff.
- The need for thorough research cannot be underestimated.
- Always examine the possible motivations and prejudices held by the source of the data.
Time to move on, folks …