Ancestry of warren buffett

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Ancestry of Warren Buffett The family tree of Warren Buffett the financier

An exploration of the family tree of Warren Buffett. Special thanks to John Brandon, who created the significant impetus for this Knol by his post to Gen-Medieval@rootsweb.com, which I mention below. Authors

   Will Johnson

Published

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

Version 161

Last edited: 18 Jun 2010

Exported: 25 Nov 2011

Original URL: http://knol.google.com/k/-/-/4hmquk6fx4gu/122

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Warren Buffett is a very wealthy financier and investment guru. A part of his ancestry is explored in this Knol.


This Knol is part of my series "Celebrity Family Trees"


If you are looking for an in-depth biography of Warren Buffett, click on this link for one you can buy at Amazon.


All of my references below to the book "Of Permanent Value", by Andrew Kilpatrick are to the 2001 edition ISBN 0071370803, hereafter cited as "OPV".





In the text below there are references to certain databases on Ancestry.com. That website requires a subscription payment in order to view the references below to census and other documents. If you choose, you can sign-up by clicking the below advertisement. Otherwise enjoy the write-up anyway, for free.



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1 Warren Buffett Warren Buffett's Wikipedia entry states that he was born 30 Aug 1930 in Omaha, Nebraska. They there do not give any source for this birthdate or location, but it's repeated in Andrew Kilpatrick's book also including the information that he was born at the "old Doctors Hospital in Omaha". ("OPV", p35) He was the only son of Howard Homan Buffett and his wife Leila Stahl.

The family lived in Omaha until Warren was 12, then they moved to Washington, D.C. where his father had just been elected to Congress. While in Omaha, Buffett attended Alice Deal Junior High School. ("OPV", p59) In Washington, D.C. he attended Woodrow Wilson High School ("OPV", p60), graduating at age 16. He then attended the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania for two years, before transferring to the "Lincoln College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska where he earned a B.S. degree in 1950". ("OPV", p63)

Warren then applied to the Harvard Business School but was rejected. His application to Columbia Business School however was accepted and he graduated from there June 1951 with a Master's Degree. ("OPV", p64) Then teaching at Columbia, was a financial guru Benjamin Graham, who had recently published his seminal book, "The Intelligent Investor", which Buffett had read in 1950. ("OPV", p64) Buffett credits a change in attitude, to his reading of this book and highly recommends especially Chapter 8 about investor attitude, and Chapter 20 about Margin of Safety. For Buffett reading the book was an epiphany, like Paul on the Road to Damascus. He recommends the book as required reading for any successful investor. ("OPV", p65)

Warren's sister Bertie was then attending Northwestern University. Her roommate at the time was Susan Thompson, also a native of Omaha, whose parents knew Buffett's parents. She introduced Susan to Warren and they married on 19 Apr 1952. Susan's father William H "Wild Bill" Thompson was a professor of psychology and Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Omaha. ("OPV", p70) Dean W H Thompson was instrumental in getting Peter Fonda enrolled in college there, as Peter's aunt Harriet Peacock was an acquaintance of Bill. There is a picture of Dean W H Thompson here. The Alumni Center at the University of Omaha is named after him.

After getting out of school, Warren's first job was with Buffett-Falk & Co, a five-person operation in Omaha, which his father had founded. ("OPV", p69) He started looking for companies to invest in, which either had earnings per share at or above their current price, or cash per share above their current price.

After having three children, Warren and Susan separated in 1977, Susan moving to San Francisco. The following year Ms. Astrid Menks moved in with Warren and they lived together for at least 15 years and possibly still do. Warren Buffett is currently living.


2 Howard Homan Buffett Howard Buffet's Wikipedia entry states that he was born 13 Aug 1903 and died 30 Apr 1964.

On 10 Mar 2009, a posting to Gen-Medieval@rootsweb.com by genealogist John Brandon, first mentions Warren's parents as : "Hon. Howard Buffett ... was born at Omaha, 13 August, 1903, son of Ernest Platt Buffett and Henrietta Duval, his wife ..." citing "Addresses delivered at meetings of the society", By National Society Magna Charta Dames; Published by The Society, 1931"

Howard's family lived in Omaha, so that's where he grew up. Howard Buffett married Leila Stahl in 1925/6, probably in Omaha, she however had grown up in Cumming County, Nebraska. Based on them getting married in their early 20's perhaps they had met at college. They had three children, Warren born 1930, being the middle child between his two sisters. Howard was a U.S. Representative, first being elected in 1942, upon which the family moved to Washington, D.C.

Sources for 2

   1910 Census of Ward 7, Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, Sheet 60B showing : "Ernest P Buffett, 33, married first time, 12 years ago, NE/NY/NY, Grocer; Hetta Duval Buffet, 32, married first time, 12 years ago, mother of 5, 5 living, WV/WV/WV; Clarence D, 11; George M, 8; Howard H, 6; Fred W, 4; Ruth A 2/12"
   1920 Census of Ward 9, Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, Sheet 224B showing : "Ernest P Buffet, 42, NE/NY/NY, Proprietor, Grocery Store; Henrietta 46 WV/WV/WV; Clarence D 28; George 18; Howard H 16; Fred 13; Alice 10"
   1930 Census of Ward 9, Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, Sheet 214B showing : "Howard H Buffett, 26, married at 22, NE/NE/WV, Salesman, Bonds; Leila Buffett, 25, married at 21, NE/PA/NE; Doris E Buffett, 2 2/12 NE"

According to his BGMI entry Howard also has biographical material in:

   Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1971. The Continental Congress (September 5, 1774 to October 21, 1788) and the Congress of the United States (from the first through the ninety- first Congress March 4, 1789, to January 3, 1971, inclusive). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1971. Biographies begin on page 487. (BiDrAC)
   Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-1989. The Continental Congress, September 5, 1774 to October 21, 1788 and the Congress of the United States from the first through the one hundredth Congresses, March 4, 1789, to January 3, 1989, inclusive. Bicentennial Edition. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1989. Biographies begin on page 507. (BiDrUSC)
   Who Was Who in America. A component volume of Who's Who in American History. Volume 4, 1961-1968. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who, 1968. (WhAm 4)


3 Leila Stahl Leila Stahl was born about 1904/5 in Nebraska, in Cuming County, the daughter of John Ammon Stahl (b.1867), a native of Pennsylvania by his wife Stella F Barber (b.1873) of Nebraska. Leila married in 1924/25, probably in Omaha, Nebraska to Howard Homan Buffett, a native of that place. They had three children, with Warren being their middle child between his two sisters, all born in Omaha. In 1942 the family moved to Washington, D.C. where Howard had just been elected to Congress. "Buffet...was 66 when his mother died" ("OPV", p55), so she died in 1996/7.

Sources for 3

   1900 Census of Bancroft, Cuming County, Nebraska showing : "John A Stahl, Stella F, Marion, John L Barber, brother-in-law, Ford B Barber, brother-in-law"
   1910 Census of West Point, Cuming County, Nebraska showing : "Ammon Stahl 43; Stella Stahl     36; Marion Stahl     10; Bernice Stahl     8; Leila Stahl     6; Edith Stahl     4"
   1920 Census of West Point, Cuming County, Nebraska showing : "J Ammon Stahl 53; Stella Stahl 46; Marion Stahl 20; Bernice Stahl 17; Leila Stahl 15; Edith Stahl 13"
   1930 Census of Ward 9, Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, Sheet 214B showing : "Howard H Buffett, 26, married at 22, NE/NE/WV, Salesman, Bonds; Leila Buffett, 25, married at 21, NE/PA/NE; Doris E Buffett, 2 2/12 NE"


4 Ernest Platt Buffett

On 10 Mar 2009, a posting to Gen-Medieval@rootsweb.com by genealogist John Brandon, first mentions Warren's parents as : "Hon. Howard Buffett ... was born at Omaha, 13 August, 1903, son of Ernest Platt Buffett and Henrietta Duval, his wife ..." citing "Addresses delivered at meetings of the society", By National Society Magna Charta Dames; Published by The Society, 1931"

Ernest Platt Buffett was born 3 Feb 1877 in Nebraska, possibly in Omaha, the son of Sidney H Buffett and his wife Evelyn, natives of New York. (The name "Sidney H" is from "Of Permanent Value", pg 35.) Ernest married in 1898, probably in Omaha to Henrietta Duval. They had several children in Omaha, including Howard Homan Buffett. Ernest ran a grocery store, he was yet living in the 1930 census, but his wife Henrietta had evidently already died.

Sources for 4

   1885 Nebraska Special State Census of Omaha showing : "S M Buffett, 36; Evelyn, 35; Frank, 18; George, 14; Isaac 12; Ernest Buffett, 8" (Kilpatrick reports his name as "Sidney H Buffett".)
   1900 Census of Ward 4, Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska showing : "Ernest Buffett, Feb 1877, married 2 years, NE/NY/NY; Henrietta D Buffett, Jul 1870, WV/WV/WV, mother of 1, 1 living; Clarence D 1; Arthur Baldwin, boarder"
   1910 Census of Ward 7, Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, Sheet 60B showing : "Ernest P Buffett, 33, married first time, 12 years ago, NE/NY/NY, Grocer; Hetta Duval Buffet, 32, married first time, 12 years ago, mother of 5, 5 living, WV/WV/WV; Clarence D, 11; George M, 8; Howard H, 6; Fred W, 4; Ruth A 2/12"
   WWI Draft Registration Card : "Ernest Platt Buffett, born 3 Feb 1877, Grocer, nearest relation: Mrs Henrietta Buffett"
   1920 Census of Ward 9, Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, Sheet 224B showing : "Ernest P Buffet, 42, NE/NY/NY, Proprietor, Grocery Store; Henrietta 46 WV/WV/WV; Clarence D 28; George 18; Howard H 16; Fred 13; Alice 10"
   1930 Census of Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska showing : "Ernest P Buffett, 54, NE; Alice 20; Cora V Bunce, housekeeper; Marjorie Bailey, stepdaughter"


5 Henrietta Duval On 10 Mar 2009, a posting to Gen-Medieval@rootsweb.com by genealogist John Brandon, first mentions Warren's parents as : "Hon. Howard Buffett ... was born at Omaha, 13 August, 1903, son of Ernest Platt Buffett and Henrietta Duval, his wife ..." citing "Addresses delivered at meetings of the society", By National Society Magna Charta Dames; Published by The Society, 1931"

Henrietta Duval was born in Jul 1870 in West Virginia. In 1898, probably in Omaha, she married Ernest P Buffett. They had several children, including Howard Homan Buffett. Henrietta evidently died sometime between the 1920 and 1930 census.

Sources for 5

   1900 Census of Ward 4, Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska showing : "Ernest Buffett, Feb 1877, married 2 years, NE/NY/NY; Henrietta D Buffett, Jul 1870, WV/WV/WV, mother of 1, 1 living; Clarence D 1; Arthur Baldwin, boarder"
   1910 Census of Ward 7, Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, Sheet 60B showing : "Ernest P Buffett, 33, married first time, 12 years ago, NE/NY/NY, Grocer;Hetta Duval Buffet, 32, married first time, 12 years ago, mother of 5, 5 living, WV/WV/WV; Clarence D, 11; George M, 8; Howard H, 6; Fred W, 4; Ruth A 2/12"
   1920 Census of Ward 9, Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska, Sheet 224B showing : "Ernest P Buffet, 42, NE/NY/NY, Proprietor, Grocery Store; Henrietta 46 WV/WV/WV; Clarence D 28; George 18; Howard H 16; Fred 13; Alice 10"
   1930 Census of Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska showing : "Ernest P Buffett, 54, NE; Alice 20; Cora V Bunce, housekeeper; Marjorie Bailey, stepdaughter"


6 John Ammon Stahl John Ammon Stahl was born Jan 1867 in Pennsylvania. In 1898/9, probably in Nebraska, he married Stella F Barber, a native of that state. They had several children, including Leila Stahl in Nebraska.

Sources for 6

   1900 Census of Bancroft, Cuming County, Nebraska showing : "John A Stahl, Stella F, Marion, John L Barber, brother-in-law, Ford B Barber, brother-in-law"
   1910 Census of West Point, Cuming County, Nebraska showing : "Ammon Stahl 43; Stella Stahl     36; Marion Stahl     10; Bernice Stahl     8; Leila Stahl     6; Edith Stahl     4"
   1920 Census of West Point, Cuming County, Nebraska showing : "J Ammon Stahl 53; Stella Stahl 46; Marion Stahl 20; Bernice Stahl 17; Leila Stahl 15; Edith Stahl 13" 


7 Stella F Barber Stella F Barber was born Dec 1873 in Nebraska, the daughter and evidently eldest child of Ford Bela Barber and his wife Susan Anne Watson. By 1880 the family is listed living in Logan, Cuming County, Nebraska and it's possible that Stella was born here. In 1890 the family is living in the town of Bancroft where Ford enters his name in the Special Veterans Census that year. He states that he served as a sergeant in Ohio. In 1898/9, probably in Nebraska, and possibly in Cuming County, Stella married John Ammon Stahl who had moved there from Pennsylvania. They had several children, including Leila Stahl in Nebraska. Her mother Susan is supposed to have died in 1899 possibly in Nebraska. Her father Ford moved to Los Angeles from where he files an invalid pension based on his Civil War service, and from where his next wife Addie, now his widow, files for a widows pension later. Meanwhile Stella's brothers John and Ford Barber (Jr) show up living with John Stahl and his wife Stella in the 1900 Census.

Sources for 7

   1900 Census of Bancroft, Cuming County, Nebraska showing : "John A Stahl, Stella F, Marion, John L Barber, brother-in-law, Ford B Barber, brother-in-law"
   1910 Census of West Point, Cuming County, Nebraska showing : "Ammon Stahl 43; Stella Stahl 36; Marion Stahl 10; Bernice Stahl 8; Leila Stahl 6; Edith Stahl 4"
   1920 Census of West Point, Cuming County, Nebraska showing : "J Ammon Stahl 53; Stella Stahl 46; Marion Stahl 20; Bernice Stahl 17; Leila Stahl 15; Edith Stahl 13" 


8 Sidney H Buffett Sidney H Buffett "from Dix Hills on Long Island, New York" ("OPV", pg 35) moved to Omaha and opened a grocery store in 1869.

Sources for 8

   1885 Nebraska Special State Census of Omaha showing : "S M Buffett, 36; Evelyn, 35; Frank, 18; George, 14; Isaac 12; Ernest Buffett, 8" (Kilpatrick reports his name as "Sidney H Buffett".)


9 Evelyn 14 Ford Bela Barber 15 Susan Anne Watson

Further Ascent 1 According to a WorldConnect posting here: http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=PED&db=geolarson2&id=I092667

Warren Buffet, through Leila Stahl, ascends to Edward I, King of England

I only vouch for those parts of the ascent for which I have given specific citation links below, otherwise I present the rest of the ascent as it's given in the WorldConnect link above. The specific details as given there are:

   Warren Buffet born 30 Aug 1930 in Omaha, Nebraska
   Leila Stahl born about 1904/5 in Cuming County, Nebraska
   Stella Frances Barber (1873-1960) married John Ammon Stahl (1867-1940)
   Ford Bela Barber (1842-1923) (citation)
   Lawrence Barber (1792-1880) (citation)
   Bela Barber (1762-1836) married 1783 Margaret Jones (citation)
   Stephen Barber (1714-1806) married 1748 Alice Cass (1730-1814) (citation)
   David Barber (1686-1729) married Hannah Post (citation) (citation)
   Ruth Drake (1657-1731) married 25 Jan 1677 as his second wife, Samuel Barber (citation) (citation)
   John Drake (1622-1688) married 1648 Hannah Moore (citation)
   John Drake (1590-17 Aug 1659) married Elizabeth Rogers (d.1699) (citation) However on  31 May 2009  J Higgins suggested on soc.genealogy.medieval (citation) that "...the archives appear to indicate that the immigrant John Drake of Windsor, Connecticut, was not of the Drake family of Devonshire, as shown in the source you cite." M. Hollick then agreed and suggested a look at TAG 65 (1990):87--8; TAG 63 (1988):193-206.  Douglas Richardson states that this John Drake of Windsor originated in Hampton-in-Arden, Warwickshire and that his wife and mother of his sons was Lettice Shakespeare daughter of Anthony.
   William Drake (1565-1640) of Wiscomb, co Devon (citation)
   Robert Drake (1528-1600) of Wiscomb, co Devon (citation)
   Anne or Amy Grenville (1510-1577) (thePeerage.com) married John Drake of Ashe, co Devon (citation)
   Roger Grenville (1477-1524) (thePeerage.com)
   Thomas Grenville (thePeerage.com) (removed prior dates as unsourced)
   Thomas Grenville (thePeerage.com) (removed prior dates as unsourced)
   William Grenville (thePeerage.com) (removed prior dates as unsourced)
   Margaret Courtenay  (thePeerage.com) (Leo van de Pas points out here that Margaret could not have been born in 1377 with this ascent, so I've removed her dates until they can be properly sourced.) J Higgins suggests: "See the group archives for April and May 2001 for a discussion by Louise Staley and others as to which Hugh Courtenay was the father of Margaret who married Theobald Grenville. As Leo indicates, chronology indicates that it cannot be the Hugh Courtenay mentioned in this supposed royal descent for Warren Buffet."
   Hugh Courtenay (d. Mar 1425/6) (thePeerage.com) (His exact birthyear is unknown.  His elder brother Edward, whom he survived, was born c. 1357)
   Edward Courtenay (1329-1372) (thePeerage.com)
   Margaret de Bohun (3 Apr 1311 - 16 Dec 1391) (thePeerage.com)
   Elizabeth Plantagenet (7 Aug 1282 - 5 May 1316) (thePeerage.com)
   Edward I "Longshanks", King of England (18 Jun 1239 - 7 Jul 1307) (thePeerage.com)


Further Ascent 2 Since the above line is hopelessly broken, Fred Chalfant has supplied a new line to test.

   Warren Buffet born 30 Aug 1930 in Omaha, Nebraska
   Leila Stahl born about 1904/5 in Cuming County, Nebraska
   Stella Frances Barber (1873-1960) married John Ammon Stahl (1867-1940)
   Susan Ann Watson (1845-1899) married Ford Bela Barber (1842-1923)
   Deborah Collomore Pennell (1822-1854) married John Watson
   Thomas Pennell (1791-) married Rhoda Mallet
   Mary Cotton (1759-1818) married Stephen Pennell
   Thomas Cotton (1725-1781) married Agnes Smith
   Leonard Cotton (abt 1690-) married Hannah
   Rev. Thomas Cotton (1653-1730) married Bridget Hoar (1673-)
   Bridget Lisle (abt 1645-1723) married Leonard Hoar (abt 1630 1675)
   John Lisle (abt 1610-1664) "the Regicide", married in 1630 Alice Beckenshaw (1617-85) (DNB, "Lisle, Alice (1614 ? - 1685)")
   Bridget Hungerford married William Lisle (living 1622) of Wootten (Genealogical Gleanings in England citing Berry's County Genealogies, Hants.)
   Mary Berkeley (d. 1629) married John Hungerford (1566-1635) of Down Ampney, Wiltshire (Genealogics)
   Richard Berkeley (~1531-1605) of Stoke Giffard married Elizabeth or Anne Reade (Genealogics)
   Isabella Dennis married Sir John Berkeley (~1510-1546) of Stoke Giffard (Vis Glouc 1623, "Dennis")
   Anne Berkeley married Sir William Dennis (1470-1534) of Durham (Vis Glouc 1623, "Dennis")
   Maurice (d.1506), 3rd Lord Berkeley married Isabel Meade (d.1514) (thePeerage.com)
   James, 6th Lord Berkeley married Isabel Mowbray (thePeerage.com)
   Sir James de Berkeley married Elizabeth Bluet (thePeerage.com)
   Elizabeth le Despencer married Maurice, 4th Lord Berkeley (thePeerage.com)
   Alianor de Clare married Hugh le Despencer , Earl of Winchester (thePeerage.com)
   Joan Plantagenet married Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester and Hertford (thePeerage.com)
   Edward I "Longshanks", King of England (18 Jun 1239 - 7 Jul 1307) (thePeerage.com)
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