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July 31st, 2012
11:22 AM ET

Historic ancestor for President Obama –'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., 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. 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