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July 31st, 2012
11:22 AM ET

Historic ancestor for President Obama – Ancestry.com's Joseph Shumway explains

From CNN's 1600 Report blog:

(CNN) – His family tree has been linked to Brad Pitt, Sarah Palin and both Presidents Bush but now President Barack Obama may be related to the first documented African slave in pre-revolutionary America.

Ancestry.com, which bills itself as the world's largest online family history resource, on Monday released research and documents which it says shows the first indentured African American servant is an ancestor of President Obama's mother.

Ancestry.com genealogist Joseph Shumway was part of a team of four genealogists who say they worked more than 500 hours to establish the connection between Obama's family and that of John Punch, an indentured servant who was sentenced to a life of slavery after an unsuccessful escape attempt in colonial Virginia.

This morning on "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien," Shumway explains the unusual connection and the process involved in making the connection.


Filed under: Ancestry • President Barack Obama
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Tia

    Seems to me,we are all linked in some way or another to each other,some distant,some direct,yet if one is to believe we are all decendence of Adam and Eve,if their data goes back that far,than in some way we are all related. Yet in this case its a tall order to fill and a large pill to swallow so to speak. How is it the President is related to the first documented slaved via his mother,something about that doesn't gell well. Perhaps he is a decendent of a king or prince! None the less regardless from whence his ancestry hails. He is commander and chief,so I suppose all's well that ends well. And on that note,perhaps the ancestry researchers might concider re-researching, his ancestry....

    August 1, 2012 at 4:06 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Okezie isaac.

    So is America no more the land of liberty? If his foremost father is a committed slave, will he follow suite? Sorry he is a COMMITED and DEDICATED LEADER. Within limit of human error, he(Obama) has done well.

    July 31, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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