William Addams Reitwiesner

William Addams Reitwiesner (March 8, 1954 – November 12, 2010) was an American genealogist who traced the ancestry of United States political figures, European royalty and celebrities.[1]

William Addams Reitwiesner
Born(1954-03-08)March 8, 1954
DiedNovember 12, 2010(2010-11-12) (aged 56)
Parent(s)George Walter Reitwiesner
Homé Stephens McAllister


Reitwiesner was born on 8 March 1954 in Havre de Grace, Maryland,[1] the son of Homé Stephens (McAllister) and George Walter Reitwiesner. He grew up in Aberdeen, Maryland and Silver Spring.[1] His grandfather, Addams Stratton McAllister, was a board member of the National Genealogical Society, and from the age of five, Reitwiesner would explore his grandfather's library.

He was mostly of German and English descent, with some Scotch-Irish, Irish, French and Dutch descent and distant Frisian, Scottish, Swedish, Norwegian, Walloon and Italian ancestry.

He was a great-great-grandnephew of Frank Stephens, uncle of Henry Stephens Eddy, great-great-great-grandnephew of Robert McAllister, uncle of James Andrew Banks, cousin of James Addams Beaver and William Thompson Walters, great-great-great-great-grandnephew of John Huy Addams and William Addams, six times great-grandnephew of Thomas Sumpter and Elizabeth Kortright, second cousin of William Penn and distantly related to many other famous and notable people.

After graduating from Montgomery Blair High School in 1972, Reitwiesner joined the Library of Congress's Congressional Research Service (CRS) as a cart pusher. He spent the rest of his working life in menial jobs at the Library of Congress so that he could devote his time pursuing his interest in genealogy.[1] Although much of his work was self-published on the internet, he acquired a reputation for meticulousness and accuracy[1] and many genealogists cited him in their publications.

He died of cancer in Washington DC on November 12, 2010.[1]

Works and publications

Genealogies that he published include:[2]


  • The American Ancestors and Relatives of Lady Diana Frances Spencer. Silver Spring, MD: Author, 1981.
  • The Ancestry of Catherine Middleton: Who Will Marry Prince William of Wales 29 April 2011. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011.
  • The Lesbian Ancestors of Prince Rainier of Monaco, Dr. Otto von Habsburg, Brooke Shields, and the Marquis de Sade. Washington, DC: Author, 1995.


He prefaced his genealogy of Barack Obama with the text "The following material on the immediate ancestry of Barack Obama should not be considered either exhaustive or authoritative, but rather as a first draft." Most of his Internet publications carry similar disclaimers.

Publications where his assistance or publications have been acknowledged include:


  1. Timothy R Smith (11 December 2010). "A Local Life: William Addams Reitwiesner, 56; genealogist of presidents, kings and thousands of commoners". The Washington Post. Retrieved 3 February 2011.
  2. "WARGS (William Addams Reitwiesner Genealogical Services)". Archived from the original on June 30, 2017.
  3. David Williamson (1981). "The ancestry of Lady Diana Spencer". The Genealogists' Magazine. Society of Genealogists. 20 (6): 192–197.
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