Sibelius in 2008
Skrivet av Alex Ross/Michael Kaulkin   
2007-06-03 16:35

Sibelius in 2008

Jitcrunch_1Is it possible we could have a President Sibelius? Probably not, but people are beginning to mention Kathleen Sebelius, Governor of Kansas, as a dark-horse candidate for 2008. A cursory search fails to reveal whether Sebelius's husband Gary, son of former Congressman Keith Sebelius, is of Finnish descent, or related in any way to the great symphonist. (Via Alex Star.)

Alex Ross

Comments by Michael Kaulkin:

Sebelius and Sibelius

So, Alex Ross wonders whether Kansas Governer Kathleen Sebelius is related to composer Jean Sibelius.

I haven’t had time this week for my planned “real” post, so ok, I’ll bite. Being a bit of a genealogy nerd, I have access to some resources, and here’s the answer:

I don’t know.

But, I do know these things:

  1. Jean Sibelius, although known as a Finnish composer, was ethnically Swedish (as many Finns are today; Finland is a bilingual Finnish/Swedish-speaking country).
  2. Governor Sebelius’ husband Gary is the great grandson of a Christian Sebelius, who identifies Sweden as his birthplace in the 1900 Census
  3. Gary Sebelius’ grandfather, Carl, was a dentist. No real value here, but isn’t it kind of creepy that I can find that out?

No luck figuring out where in Sweden Christian came from. But, he was a contemporary of Jean Sibelius (whose real name, interestingly, was Johan Julius Christian Sibelius). Jean Sibelius was born in Hameen- linna, which was part of Russia at the time, not Sweden.

Still, dollars to doughnuts, they are related, if distantly. That’s my educated hunch. Regardless, I agree with Mr. Ross that it would be lovely to have a president named Sebelius.

I do loves me some Sibelius.

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