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Obama's mom may have descended from John Punch, one of first African slaves in American colonies

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-30-12 07:43 AM
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Obama's mom may have descended from John Punch, one of first African slaves in American colonies
Edited on Mon Jul-30-12 07:45 AM by No Elephants
Note:, which did the research is based in Provo Utah and lacks definitive proof

Obama Has Ties to Slavery Not by His Father but His Mother, Research Suggests


In 1640, Mr. Punch, then an indentured servant, escaped from Virginia and went to Maryland. He was captured there and, along with two white servants who had also escaped, was put on trial. His punishment servitude for life was harsher than what the white servants received, and it has led some historians to regard him as the first African to be legally sanctioned as a slave, years before Virginia adopted laws allowing slavery.


The team used DNA analysis to make the connection, and it also combed through marriage and property records to trace Mr. Obamas 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. Obamas mother, Stanley Ann Dunham.

The findings come as more and more Americans are discovering their own mixed-race heritage. Elizabeth Shown Mills, a former president of the American Society of Genealogists, said the Internet, coupled with the ease of DNA testing and heightened interest among both amateur and professional genealogists, was helping to reveal the extent of racial intermingling over the centuries.


There is no evidence that Ms. Dunham had any inkling that she might have had African-American ancestry, said Janny Scott, her biographer. By the mid-1800s, according to a 2007 article in The Chicago Sun-Times, one of Ms. Dunhams Bunch ancestors had a son who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War.


But the research left open a question: Was John Punch, the slave, a Bunch ancestor? Because records have been destroyed, there is no definitive proof.

Still, some factors led Ms. Harman and her group to a conclusion. The surnames were similar. There was DNA evidence showing that the Bunches had sub-Saharan African heritage. And a very small number of Africans were living in Virginia in the mid-1600s. All that convinced the team that the nations first black president was descended from Mr. Punch.


Very long and interesting article. I hope it is true. Having a descendant of one of the very first African slaves in the colonies become POTUS is a great story you could not make up.

As we know from earlier genealogies, Obama other early ancestors on his mother's side came to the from Germany (aka Anglo Saxons) in, IIRC, the 1700s.

Through his mother's side, the President is related to both Dummya Bush and Darth Cheney, but we are definitely not genetic determinists, leaving that to the likes of Romney's aide and other apparent Jensenists, and therefore will not hold a distant genetic connection with tose folks against the current President.

Someone else said he was also distantly related to Warren Buffet and Rush Limbaugh, but I have not seen that on the family trees I've seen so far.
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