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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Barack Obama: Descendant of the First Documented American Slave

Barack Obama: Descendant of the First Documented American Slave
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The Final Dakar
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Jul 30, 2012, 10:42 AM
 
I'm posting this in the lounge because it's news that is non-political in nature. Do not post your Obama hate in here. I beg the mods to rule this thread with an iron fist.

http://corporate.ancestry.com/press/...ve-in-america/



PROVO, UTAH – July 30, 2012 – A research team from Ancestry.com (NASDAQ:ACOM), the world’s largest online family history resource, has concluded that President Barack Obama is the 11thgreat-grandson of John Punch, the first documented African enslaved for life in American history. Remarkably, the connection was made through President Obama’s Caucasian mother’s side of the family.


In tracing the family back from Obama’s mother, Ancestry.com used DNA analysis to learn that her ancestors, known as white landowners in Colonial Virginia, actually descended from an African man. Existing records suggest that this man, John Punch, had children with a white woman who then passed her free status on to their offspring. Punch’s descendants went on to be free, successful land owners in a Virginia entrenched in slavery.
Seems like poetic justice in a way, doesn't it?
     
OAW
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Jul 30, 2012, 11:33 AM
 
Not surprising at all. Nearly all African-Americans have some degree of European ancestry with the median admixture being 18%. On the flip side, approximately 30% of Caucasian-Americans have some degree of African ancestry with the median admixture being 2.3%. So while Barack Obama has no Trans-Atlantic slave lineage on his Kenyan father's side, he still has a 30% chance of it on his white mother's side. That being said, it's pretty fascinating for it to be traced to the first documented slave in America.

OAW
     
nonhuman
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Jul 30, 2012, 11:50 AM
 
Of course, so, probably, did a number of our previous presidents. Just no one thought to ask, since they were 'white'.
     
The Final Dakar  (op)
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Jul 30, 2012, 11:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Of course, so, probably, did a number of our previous presidents. Just no one thought to ask, since they were 'white'.
I was thinking that, too.

Still, what are the odds that it'd be the first documented slave?
     
mattyb
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Jul 30, 2012, 12:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Still, what are the odds that it'd be the first documented slave?
Too good to be true?

"Exisitng records SUGGEST..." is virtually a shot in the dark.
     
P
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Jul 30, 2012, 12:32 PM
 
If you click through the link, one of the later paragraphs states:


“In reviewing Ancestry.com’s conclusions, I weighed not only the actual findings but also Virginia’s laws and social attitudes when John Punch was living,” said Mills. “A careful consideration of the evidence convinces me that the Y-DNA evidence of African origin is indisputable, and the surviving paper trail points solely to John Punch as the logical candidate. Genealogical research on individuals who lived hundreds of years ago can never definitively prove that one man fathered another, but this research meets the highest standards and can be offered with confidence.”
So there is definite evidence of him being descendant of a black African slave, which is sorta news, and likely that it is from John Punch.

I wonder whose Y-DNA they used, though. Obama's mother was an only child and her father is dead. Closest possible male line is that father's brother - likely he had some male descendants. Did they just call them up and ask for swabs? That would be an interesting phone call to get...
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The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Laminar
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Aug 3, 2012, 01:57 PM
 
In eleven generations, the guy should have quite a few ancestors. I wonder how many living people today can trace their ancestry back that far?
     
olePigeon
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Aug 3, 2012, 03:07 PM
 
My stepmom used to be a genealogist. Her main criticism of Ancestry.com is that a lot of the information is what people want to be true, with little or no evidence to support it. However, it looks like they went out of their way to actually test DNA in addition to any paper trail.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
   
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