Ethnicity: Laura Bush's most recent immigrant ancestor is her maternal great-grandfather Louis Le Maire, born in 1840 in France. Nine generations back, her paternal ancestor Christopher De Graffenried, born in Bern Switzerland in 1691 immigrated to North Carolina where he settled and founded the town of New Bern. Otherwise all of her ancestors were English in origin and their migration proceeds westward from the colonial era in Tidewater, Virginia through North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Texas.
Laura Lane Welch was born on November 4, 1946, in Midland, Texas, the only child of Harold Welch and Jenna Louise Hawkins Welch. She is of English ancestry. Her father was a home builder and later successful real estate developer while her mother worked as the bookkeeper for her father's business. Early on, her parents encouraged her to read, leading to what would become her love of reading.