What do you think of this, Obama's white mother was 'descended from John Punch, America's first black slave', finds dramatic new study

Chaya2010 2012/07/31 02:41:02
Interesting and fascinating stuff.
Genetics, science & the technology behind genealogy.
Most Black-Americans have mixed ancestry & heritage.
So what?
Race card
Here's what I think........
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  • Ancestry.com carried out two-year project into mother's heritage
  • Property and marriage records suggested his mother was descended from John Punch, who was condemned to life of slavery in 1640
  • He had children with white woman who passed on her free status to them and changed their name to 'Bunch'
  • DNA taken from today's white Bunch family suggests Cameroonian roots
  • Makes Obama 11th great-grandchild of Punch

  • President Obama is descended from America's first black slave on his white mother's side, genealogists have claimed.

    DNA analysis and marriage and property records have suggested that Obama is the 11th great-grandchild of John Punch, the first black slave living in colonial Virginia nearly four centuries ago.

    While it was known that Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, had European ancestors, researchers discovered she also had at least this one African American forebear.

    The discovery sheds further light on the American biography of Obama, who last year released his birth certificate to prove he was born in the country and not Kenya, from where his black father hails.

    released birth certificate prove born country kenya black father hails

    released birth certificate prove born country kenya black father hails

    The team from Ancestry.com said they lacked definitive proof, but that evidence 'strongly suggests' the tie, which two independent genealogists told the New York Times was 'sound'.

    John Punch's story stretches back to the mid-1600s; he was working as a servant when he escaped Virginia for Maryland in 1640, the Times reported.

    Once there, he was captured and put on trial with two white servants who had also escaped, but he received the severest punishment and was condemned to servitude for life.

    The sentence, which came years before Virginia set laws condoning slavery, has led historians to regard him as America's first legally sanctioned slave.

    laws condoning slavery nbsphas historians regard americas legally sanctioned slave

    University of Maryland professor Ira Berlin said that historians are unable to pinpoint an exact date the slave trade began, but servants were bought and sold in the region from 1617.

    Without the specific date, historians deem Punch to be one of the first certain slaves, he added.

    Over two years, Ancestry.com used marriage and property records to trace Obama's mother's ancestors back to the time and place where Punch lived.

    Records also showed he fathered children with a white woman, who passed on her free status to them and gave them a slightly different name - Bunch. This name is in Dunham's family tree.

    As the Bunches married, they became prominent landowners in Virginia and were known as white, according to Ancestry.com.

    The team traced two Bunch family branches - one that stayed in Virginia and one that moved to the Carolinas. In Virginia, they were known as white, in North Carolina they were recorded as 'mulatto'.

    stayed virginia moved carolinas virginia white north carolina recorded mulatto

    stayed virginia moved carolinas virginia white north carolina recorded mulatto

    stayed virginia moved carolinas virginia white north carolina recorded mulatto

    Descendants of this mulatto family - another term for mixed race - are the president's cousins, records show.

    But Obama descends directly from the Virginia family, which moved to Tennessee. His great-great-great-great-grandmother was born there, and her daughter moved to Kansas, where his mother was born in 1942.

    'We sort of stumbled across it,' lead researcher Anastasia Harman told the New York Times. 'We were just doing general research into the president’s family tree, and as we started digging back in time, we realised that the Bunch family were African-American.'

    Despite the discovery, investigators can't be 100 per cent sure of the connection as many records have been destroyed.

    But the similarities of the surnames, DNA evidence showing today's Bunches have sub-Saharan African heritage and the fact that only a few Africans lived in Virginia in the 1600s confirmed the connection.

    bunches sub-saharan african heritage africans lived virginia 1600s confirmed connection

    bunches sub-saharan african heritage africans lived virginia 1600s confirmed connection

    bunches sub-saharan african heritage africans lived virginia 1600s confirmed connection

    'The odds, based on what does actually survive, strongly suggest that President Barack Obama is a descendant (he would be the 11th great-grandson) of the first enslaved African in America,' Harman and her team wrote in their research paper.

    Two independent genealogists agreed that the research was 'sound' and 'safe', adding that the difference of the 'P' and 'B' of Punch and Bunch were 'meaningless'.

    Bunch descendants also provided a DNA swab to help with the project, and researchers found the DNA profile was common in Cameroon.

    'I consider myself Caucasian, but I find that my mixed-race roots go way back,' Mark Bunch, who lives in Othello, Washington, told the Times.

    While the mixed-race heritage of a woman deemed Caucasian may seem odd, the Times added that more and more Americans are discovering they too have ancestors from a different race.

    mixed-race heritage woman caucasian odd times americans discovering ancestors race

    'It is becoming increasingly common now because people are discovering it,' said Elizabeth Shown Mills, a former president of the American Society of Genealogists, adding the internet has helped.

    'In the past, very few records were available. Very few people made the effort to do the research.'

    President Obama, 50, was born in Hawaii in 1961 soon after his father, from Kenya, and mother split.

    Last year, he released his long form birth certificate to silence the 'birther' row and prove he was born in Hawaii and not Kenya, making him eligible to be the U.S. president.

    His father, Barack Obama Sr., went to Harvard University after his birth then returned to Kenya where he remarried before he passed away in 1982. The president's mother, Ann Dunham, died in 1995.

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    • thefatguy 2012/07/31 19:39:29
      Race card
      Let's focus on what really matters; how many degrees of separation are there between Obie and Kevin Bacon?
      kevin bacon
    • KittyUnChained 2012/07/31 19:26:52
      Race card
      I don't give a damn to which "race" Obama "belongs". Peoples' minds, hearts, ideals, beliefs, principles as well as their conduct and personal honour matter to me, NOT the colour of their skin. However, from reading Obama's autobiography, race means A LOT to him and I don't find it coincidental that this supposed discovery comes up three months before the election; especially as blind polls find his support slipping a bit among so-called minorities.
    • Chaya2010 KittyUn... 2012/07/31 21:59:24
      That is a coincidence come to think of it. I have his book and haven't bothered to read it yet. The was a Jpost article saying his support has waned a little amongst Jewish-Americans. Thanks for answering.
      coincidence book bothered read jpost article support waned jewish-americans answering
    • MsTLynne 2012/07/31 17:44:59
    • Chaya2010 MsTLynne 2012/07/31 17:59:40 (edited)
      That's why I posed the question(s) and its spelt "should."
    • MsTLynne Chaya2010 2012/07/31 18:33:20
    • Chaya2010 MsTLynne 2012/07/31 18:38:07
      Perhaps people find genealogy its methodology fascinating and have an opinion pertaining to it.
    • flaca BN-0 2012/07/31 03:32:37
      Here's what I think........
      flaca BN-0
      We're all African aren't we? I think it's interesting, but no more than that.
    • ««Gingey, the Master Debate... 2012/07/31 02:47:34
      Interesting and fascinating stuff.
      ««Gingey, the Master Debater of Þ|-|Дэ†»»
      My family did some genealogical studying and found out that I am descended from an illegitimate child of a slave and slave owner.

      Also we found that on my father's side I am part Afghani, specifically Nuristani.

      studying descended illegitimate child slave slave owner fathers afghani nuristani
      studying descended illegitimate child slave slave owner fathers afghani nuristani
    • Chaya2010 ««Ginge... 2012/07/31 02:49:27
      Now that is cool. I'm presuming that your fathers people are Iranian and Afghanistan being near Iran its makes sense:))
      cool presuming fathers people iranian afghanistan iran

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