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Mitt Romney's English roots surprise long-lost cousins

Dylan Martinez / Reuters

Mid morning sun shines on Dalton-in-Furness, northwestern England on September 26, 2012. Relatives of U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney were born and bred here in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Dylan Martinez / Reuters

A sign for Romney Road is seen on a street in Dalton-in-Furness. Not many people would associate Romney with Britain but it was in these rain-soaked plains of northern England that his ancestors lived for generations, converted to Mormonism and left for the U.S. in 1841 in search of the promised land.

Reuters reports from Barrow-in-Furness, England — Mitt Romney's fight to become America's next president has the backing of one enthusiastic group of supporters, although they don't actually have a vote: his relatives in England.

Few associate the Republican candidate with Britain but it was in England's industrial northwest that his ancestors lived for generations and converted to Mormonism before leaving for the United States in 1841 in search of the promised land.

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It was a bold escape for a family of lowly carpenters. By sailing for the New World they took a step that eventually brought the Romney clan to the fore of American politics.

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Dylan Martinez / Reuters

Jennie Iveson, aged 69, poses with family photographs inside her terraced home in Barrow-in-Furness. Jennie is Mitt Romney's fourth cousin.

Records show that Jennie Iveson is Mitt Romney's fourth cousin - they share a great-great-great grandfather, George Romney, who died in 1859. And now she can't help but notice that her distant American relative does bear a striking family resemblance.

"I saw him on the telly twice the other day, last week I think. He looks a bit like my brother," said Iveson, a retired factory worker, most of whose children have no jobs.

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"(My brother) looks quite like him. He had dark hair like him. It's all grey now. He (Romney) looks like our Mike. Same sort of face and everything." Read the full story.

Dylan Martinez / Reuters

Jennie Iveson poses outside her terraced home in Barrow-in-Furness. Her distant cousin Mitt Romney is one of the wealthiest Americans ever to run for the White House. Today, Washington's backrooms of power and intrigue are as far removed from the daily grind of his distant kin in Lancashire as one can imagine.

Dylan Martinez / Reuters

Simon Nash, his wife Maria and their 12-year-old daughter Sarah pose inside their home in Preston. Maria is Mitt Romney's fourth cousin, twice removed. Asked if she would like to meet Romney in the White House, Maria said "I think it would be very surreal. I would like to go there for a brew (cup of tea) if he ever got in there."

Dylan Martinez / Reuters

An original baptism record shows details of some of Mitt Romney's clan who were born and bred in the parish of Preston.

Dylan Martinez / Reuters

Mormons attend a service at a church beside the Preston England Temple in Chorley, Europe's biggest Mormon temple, September 26, 2012.

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