(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

 

BY EVAN BUSH

 

New research might have found an interesting twist in President Obama’s family tree. According to ancestry.com -- a leading genealogy site, the president’s white mother is a direct descendant of the country’s first slave. CBS has details on what the website and a team of four genealogists say they’ve found.

“...president obama is the 11th great grandson of john punch who was the first documented african to be enslaved for life in the american colonies.”

The New York Times describes the methodology behind the research-- and how the team came to the conclusion Mr. Obama was a descendant of Punch.


“The Ancestry.com team used DNA analysis to make the connection, and it also combed through marriage and property records to trace Mr. Obama’s maternal ancestry to the time and place where Mr. Punch lived. The company said records suggested that Mr. Punch fathered children with a white woman, who passed her free status on to those children, giving rise to a family of a slightly different name, the Bunches, that ultimately spawned Mr. Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham.”

The New York Times reports Punch was an indentured servant who ran away, was caught, and sentenced to slavery -- likely the first or one of the first slaves on record.

Still, as NPR notes, the theory behind the president’s lineage isn’t perfect. Researchers said they’re extremely confident in their work, but there are assumptions involved. Plus, poor record-keeping from past generations might have thrown their work off.

“...you may have noticed the caveat ‘likely’...The problem is that the paper trail is not perfect going back to colonial Virginia. But DNA analysis found the Y-DNA in Obama's maternal lineage. That is considered indisputable evidence that Dunham had African ancestors. Genealogists then matched marriage and property records to the time and place where Punch lived. Ancestry.com is making that leap and declaring that Obama is related to Punch.”

Obama's Mother Reportedly a Descendant of First U.S. Slave

by Christina Hartman
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Sources:CBSNPR
Transcript
Jul 30, 2012

Obama's Mother Reportedly a Descendant of First U.S. Slave

(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

 

BY EVAN BUSH

 

New research might have found an interesting twist in President Obama’s family tree. According to ancestry.com -- a leading genealogy site, the president’s white mother is a direct descendant of the country’s first slave. CBS has details on what the website and a team of four genealogists say they’ve found.

“...president obama is the 11th great grandson of john punch who was the first documented african to be enslaved for life in the american colonies.”

The New York Times describes the methodology behind the research-- and how the team came to the conclusion Mr. Obama was a descendant of Punch.


“The Ancestry.com team used DNA analysis to make the connection, and it also combed through marriage and property records to trace Mr. Obama’s maternal ancestry to the time and place where Mr. Punch lived. The company said records suggested that Mr. Punch fathered children with a white woman, who passed her free status on to those children, giving rise to a family of a slightly different name, the Bunches, that ultimately spawned Mr. Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham.”

The New York Times reports Punch was an indentured servant who ran away, was caught, and sentenced to slavery -- likely the first or one of the first slaves on record.

Still, as NPR notes, the theory behind the president’s lineage isn’t perfect. Researchers said they’re extremely confident in their work, but there are assumptions involved. Plus, poor record-keeping from past generations might have thrown their work off.

“...you may have noticed the caveat ‘likely’...The problem is that the paper trail is not perfect going back to colonial Virginia. But DNA analysis found the Y-DNA in Obama's maternal lineage. That is considered indisputable evidence that Dunham had African ancestors. Genealogists then matched marriage and property records to the time and place where Punch lived. Ancestry.com is making that leap and declaring that Obama is related to Punch.”

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