Ancestry Website: Obama’s Mother Descended from First US Slave

NBC News, July 30, 2012

A family history website claims it has linked President Barack Obama to the first documented African slave in the American colonies.

Research by Ancestry.com from early Virginia records and DNA analysis shows Obama is the 11th great-grandson of John Punch, an indentured servant in Colonial Virginia who became enslaved for life after trying to escape in 1640, according to the website.

{snip}

“Remarkably, the connection was made through President Obama’s Caucasian mother’s side of the family,” the site said in a statement.

Ancestry.com genealogists researched Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, and discovered her land-owner ancestors descended from Punch. According to the site, Punch had children with a white woman who passed her free status to her children, who went on to become successful land owners in Colonial Virginia.

“Two of the most historically significant African Americans in the history of our country are amazingly directly related,” said Ancestry.com genealogist Joseph Shumway in a statement. “John Punch was more than likely the genesis of legalized slavery in America. But after centuries of suffering, the Civil War, and decades of civil rights efforts, his 11th great-grandson became the leader of the free world and the ultimate realization of the American Dream.”

{snip}

Topics: , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.