The Black Roots of Ex President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower had black ancestry via his maternal side, Ida Elizabeth Stover Eisenhower; it was used politically against him by his opponents.

Ida Link’s mother — Elizabeth Link (Eisenhower’s maternal grandmother) has no known family tree:

Why are her parents listed as “unknown”?

She’s a genealogical dead end. But no one is a genealogical dead end unless someone wants them to be.

She was born in Mount Sidney, Virginia,[1] the only daughter of Elizabeth Ida Juda Link and Simon P. Stover.

Here’s the problem: In Mount Sidney to this day there are both black families and white families with the surname “Link”.. Many years ago, a black researcher discovered that Ida’s mother was from the black Links a fact washed away in time by two things:

1. Her mother died when she was five years old.

2. She went to live with a white family after.

3. She moved to Kansas while in her teens.

4. She married a white man.

43 thoughts on “The Black Roots of Ex President Dwight D. Eisenhower”

  1. shukran,for,posting,this,my,brothers,eisenhower,himself,used,a,lot,of,skin,lighter,if,u,look,at,a,picture,of,him,in,1905,then,.in,1950,the,people,have,beeen,fooled,this,was,exposed,to,the,conscious,community,by,the,nuwaupian,reasearchers,with,dr,york,this,is,deception,at,its,finest,cause,he,is,military.this,was,exposed,then,ignored,cause,thenuwaupians,been,slanderd,byfalse,pedofile,charges,against,dr,york,so,the,info,wascorrect,though,they,slandered,an,defamed,the,character,killledd,the,messenger.now,all,will,know,internationlly,of,this,lie,thats,been,festering,here,so,many,years.cause,no,black,leader,saw,ft,o,mention,this,even,though,they,knew,an,played,along,,,,,,thats,why,weproclaimedin9ornge,county,obama,was,not,first,moor/muur,negro.colored,black,blakamoor,,,,,to,be,selected,he,was,first,african-american-cause-they-created,that,type,of,strawman,on,census,just,inlast,30,years,in,the13th,14th,amendment..yes.hees,where,u,are,tapping,into,masonic,secrets,aanthehidden,position,of/us,the/muurs,in,govt,an
    theirs,as,custodians.the
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  2. There is no dead end. Elizabeth Link was the daughter of William Link, who raised Ida after her parents’ deaths. He was the son of Peter Link who was the son of John Matias Link who was the son of John Jacob Link who was born in Grossbarch, Germany in the 1680s. Putting aside that we can’t account for extra-marital affairs, it appears that Eisenhower’s connection to Africa goes back to.before the 17th century. Given the dark features of many German émigrés from this area it probably within the last couple millennia, I.e more recent than our universal African heritage going back a couple hundred thousand years.

    1. According to Malcolm , William Link raised Elizabeth after taking custody due to her biological parents death. So William Link’s heritage has nothing to do with Elizabeth’s. If there were black and white families bearing the Link surname in a former slave state like Virginia, it’s would be a fair assumption to conclude the former slave owning family may have adopted the child of one of their former slaves. Doing that era, even if slavery didn’t play a part, white folks could do pretty much whatever they wanted to do negros back than. You obviously don’t have all the facts, but it’s historical fact that President Eisenhower was mocked by whites about his grandmother. So the white folks of his era certainly thought something was different about the image they saw. She clearly has negroid features in the pictures I’ve seen. My great grandparents came up in Virginia shortly after slavery ended, and the stories I’ve heard my grandmother tell, oh well just let me say they weren’t very nice. My great grandmother was of mixed ancestry, and she looked more white than Elizabeth Link! Disco Detroit

  3. But after her mothers death she lived with her mothers side of the family
    So how did she grow up with a white family after if you said links were black

    1. Because she could pass. There are thousands of blacks who were mixed race who passed to change their life circumstances. It is not unusual and it’s not strange.

      1. My stepson has passed most of his life. My husband was very, very light complexioned with wavy sandy hair. His first wife was white making the children look completely white. His daughter looks white but never attempted to pass as white. Nobody knows how many white people have parents that passed.

        1. My great uncle passed for white and was married to a white women. One of his nieces found him because his name came across her desk. She called West Virginia family members to confirm.

          I was a little girl and remember seeing him in Chicago. He was happy to reunite with his black family. I grew up knowing him with his black wife (white one divorce him soon after she found out he was black). He is deceased, but I only had great love for him.

          Just to add, I did not know my grandfather looked white until I was 12 years old. Walking with him, on the west side of Chicago, a person known to me shouted out “what are you doing with that white man.” I looked at my grandfather with different eyes.

          Just to let you know my grandfather and majority of his siblings will tell you they are black in a minute. I loved them all

          1. I had the same experience, I was in high school and my grandfather came to pick me up, the next day someone had told the teacher that I had gotten into a car with an old white man. I received new vision.

  4. There is no evidence that She was black or had any black blood in her. This is mere conjecture hyped that her photograph somehow depicts “negroid” features.

    Her features are consistent with the Swiss emigres that came to America. Judging someone’s geniology by their facial features has an error rate far greater than success.

    1. I hate to hear people comment and get offended because this women was black get over it. Take your racial behind somewhere and get a life.

      1. I agree. Most likely she passed. So what. Some black people did what they felt they had to do to survive. A few ofThomas Jefferson children by Sally Hemming’s did the same thing, they fled to Ohio and where light enough to pass.

      2. Lala, why are you throwing insults here? Pat wrote something that is a fact. She didn’t insult anybody. In fact, she reiterated what some of us knew very well.

    2. The “evidence” is on the looks and the skin color, which shows neatly even in a BW photograph.

      Black people who get mixed with Whites for a few generations come to look as Whites, which probably was the case with “Ike”.
      His grand mother was already of mixed breed. So her children, married with pure Whites might have produced Whites like “Ike”. So anthropologically speaking, “Ike” was White, but ideologically is another matter. After all, it is the skin color which makes one White, not the way he arrived at it. If he looks White, even with hidden “non-White” genes, he is still White.

    3. Her features show Negro heritage: look at the hair, the skin color and the facial features. All point to Negro ancestry! Sure, Swiss emigrés who made a detour through Africa would be consistent with her features, as should be expected. Similar mixing, similar appearance.

    4. Conjecture can be confirmed with dna these days. BTW, I came across a picture of one of Ike’s descendants who has very pretty and very curly hair. The kind of hair one finds in many part-black individuals.

    5. If that is her picture, she does have afro heritage in her blood. So tired of people not believing what they see because they don’t want to accept it. Regarding the Swiss, could it be possible they also have afro heritage? Let’s remember, our Country has denied the afro heritage of all. Everyone is NOT “lily white”. Go do the Ancestry DNA and you may surprise yourself.

    6. The word “negroid” does not refer to the Black or Negro race. Negroid is used towards any group of people not dependent on any race just conduct of negative living standards like white trailer trash.

  5. I don’t care what race she is but facts are facts. The claim is there is no genealogy but the truth is there is genealogy that is easily traced. His mother’s patents were William Link and Ester Charlotte Schindler. The claim is it came from the Link family name, William Links Parents were Peter Link and Judith Burckhardt. Peter Link’s parents were John Matthias Link and Anna Mary Christina Schmidt. It keeps going so where is the lack of genealogy?

      1. Absolutely correct. White fundamentalists tend to think their “race” is untouchable, meaning nobody other than Whites could possibly be of white complexion. They are wrong. EVEN Blacks of the opposite color to Whites, when interbred with the latter for some generations, will look like Whites. And anthropologically, being 99% of White genes makes you White. No need to get finicky about that. The curious thing about “Ike” is that he looks full white, while his grand mother (only one generation apart) still retains some visible features of her Negro heritage. Genetics are quite baffling, ideed.

        1. A few things to consider:
          1. Several people in this discussion have referred to the woman in the picture as Prsident Eisenhower’s grandmother. That is incorrect.
          This woman was his MOTHER.
          2. Check-out a photo of this same lady when she was elderly. She clearly looks like an old, light-skinned Black lady who would not be out-of-place at, say, an African American family reunion.
          3. Also, when you get chance, look-up a picture of President Eisenhower when he was in elementary school. In a couple of school and family photos, he clearly looks like a mixed-race child. However, the childhood photos of him that I’ve seen most often disseminated are the images in which he appears “more white” looking.
          4. As Black people, we know our own when we see each other. Wishful thinking cannot change Mrs. Eisenhower’s physical appearance.
          5. It’s interesting to me how some historians and others continue devalue Blackness. When people like Eisenhower, Alexander Hamilton, “Three Muskateers” author Alexandre Dumas, painter and sculptor Edgar Degas, and others do extraordinary things, their Africaness gets expunged. Why is that?

    1. If you don’t care what race she is, then drop the matter altogether.
      She had obvious negro ancestry, which shows from her features and skin color, even on a BW photograph!

  6. My grandmother hailed from Lebanon Tennessee where she
    taught public school. In those days one could teach in the black
    schools with only a high-school diploma! When she moved to
    Chicago in 1924 with my grandfather, my grandmother found that at least a two year associative arts degree was required to teach in the schools here and could secure one if she would successfully complete the ‘Normal School’ program at one of our Junior Colleges here in Chicago. She chose Crane Tech.

    One day an Italian classmate of my grandmother very plainly told her that a lot of Italians have African links in their families.
    This did not come as a great surprise to my grandma who was
    a pretty bright gal (straight E avg.) and had always been an avid student of untaught U.S. as well as world history!

    Erick Dean Tippett
    Retired Musician/Teacher
    Chicago, Illinois

  7. It is really none of our business but the story depicts the wisdom and the ignorance of priviledge and its lack. Would they submit to DNA evidence to verify this? Again it isn;t that important but what people of colour know visually, and a sense that something isn’t right, the white mas has to have an investigation to figure out that same reality.

  8. I am a relative of Dwight Eisenhower. My grandmother was his first cousin and my great-grandfather is the brother of Ida, the woman pictured. I have a copy of a photograph of Ida’s father in my bedroom. He appears totally white. There is no family history of black relatives.
    The author of this website says that Ike was accused of being black during his lifetime but offers no citations or evidence other than his assertion. Furthermore, even if he finds such citations of people saying that Ike has black ancestry, what proof did they cite supporting that assertion. You need more than just “she looks black in the picture to say that there is black ancestry.
    I have had genealogical testing and it showed 2% North African ancestry. However, one cannot infer from that that the 2% is shared with Ike’s ancestry or that there is Sub-Saharan African ancestry in me, although, of course, everyone has African roots and some DNA shared with all Sub-Saharan Africans.

    1. Paul- My great Grandmother is a distant cousin of Dwight Eisenhower, Its in fact my Great Grandmothers Maiden name. Do you have any info on the family?

    2. Saying, “I had a DNA test completed” means nothing.
      DNA passed from mother to daughter will not show the grandfathers DNA and DNA passed from father to son will not reveal the grandmothers genetic markers.
      Nice try, but your comment is meaningless.

  9. I googled “did Eisenhower have Black ancestry?”, after watching a DVD about him. When I saw his mom’s picture and his younger photos, it was clear to me. Even a blind man could see it.

  10. Well well so a man who might be or not be black led the troop to victory in ww2 but refused to honor or report the massacre of squad of black soldiers by the Germans in Belgium
    Obama is mixed but he black there is questions about others president
    HOORAY for a drop of black blood
    Hip Hip Hooray

  11. My great, great grandmother was a slave in Virginia. One of the secrets handed down through my mother’s side of the family was “when the master would rape us and we had a baby at the same time the white wife had a baby of the same gender, and we had the nurse the white baby as an infant just born, we would switch those babies so that the slave child could be free”. I am proud of my black skin, wavy hair and blue eyes. Our family have some that look exclusively white to beautiful dark brown; what a blessing it is for us and we are all thankful for our diversity.

  12. The curious case, although it may seem logical on the other hand, that many families descended from Germans had changed their surname during the Great War, that of being more papist than the Pope in hostile territory, or at least, to appear. The family of Eisenhower, general and commander-in-chief of the allied troops in Europe (and later president of EUU), was of those, because the original German surname is “Eisenhauer”.

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