After a visit with President Thomas S. Monson, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist found out that he has some royal blood in his veins.
President Monson, second counselor in the First Presidency, presented Justice Rehnquist with his maternal family history in a Feb. 21 visit to the Supreme Court in Washington D.C."Justice Rehnquist was extremely pleased to receive the extensive family history data that we provided him," President Monson said. "Inasmuch as some of his family lines included royalty of European nations, the ability to trace the records accurately and for a considerable distance was made possible."
Researchers from the Church's Family History Department unearthed family roots that extend to royal families in such areas as England, Germany, the Ukraine and Italy, said Ralph Mecham, director of the administrative office for the United States Courts and a member of the Church.
One of Justice Rehnquist's family lines was traced back to Charlemagne, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire from 800 to 814 A.D., and other rulers of Europe, President Monson said.
"He [Justice RehnquistT thanked the Church for supplying him this priceless data and was most cordial to Sister Monson and me on the occasion of our visit," President Monson added.
He remarked that the meeting with Justice Rehnquist was like a family meeting because both President and Sister Monson's family histories and Judge Rehnquist's paternal history go back to Sweden.
President and Sister Monson spent about 20 minutes visiting with Justice Rehnquist, who once lived in Arizona and was acquainted with many members of the Church there.
Mecham, who accompanied President and Sister Monson on their visit, said he received a call from Justice Rehnquist not long after he returned to his office. The chief justice expressed his pleasure at meeting President and Sister Monson and receiving his family history.
Justice Rehnquist was particularly interested in a map that traced the trails, canals and roads his ancestors followed to get to Wisconsin where they settled and where he was born, Mecham said.
Thomas E. Daniels, public relations manager for the Church Family History Department, said Justice Rehnquist's family history included a number of documents, including photos of census records, wills, marriage records and copies of portions of books published on his ancestors.
President Monson also met briefly with Justice Sandra Day O'Connor during his visit to the Supreme Court. They talked of her friendship with BYU Pres. Rex E. Lee, as well as a recent visit she had made to BYU for a moot court.
Two LDS Supreme Court interns in Judge O'Connor's office - Denise Lindberg and Ashby Boyle - took President and Sister Monson on a tour of the Supreme Court courtroom following their visit with the two justices.