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AP: Obama Has Slave Blood, On Mom’s Side

From a joyous Associated Press:

Obama could be descended from African slave

By PAUL FOY | Monday July 30, 2012

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A team of genealogists has found evidence that President Barack Obama could be a descendent of an African slave — but not through the lineage of his black father, the most likely route researchers had followed and exhausted.

The link, genealogists with Ancestry.com said Monday, is, in fact, through an examination of his white mother’s family history. "We were surprised and excited to make that connection," said Joseph Shumway, a member of the Utah-based Ancestry.com team.

Obama’s father was from Kenya and his mother was from Kansas. It had been generally assumed that the president had no slave ancestors because researchers couldn’t find it through the lineage of his father. However, no one had yet performed any exhaustive research into the lineage of his white mother, who turns out to have a mixed-raced family history.

Ancestry.com now said the maternal line traces back to one of the first documented African slaves in the U.S.

Isn’t that handy for Obama? But just ask yourself, what are the odds?

The company said Obama could be the 11th great-grandson of John Punch, an African slave in colonial Virginia. He is believed to have had children with a white woman, starting a family line that led generations later to Obama’s mother…

The Ancestry.com team used DNA analysis and marriage and property records to trace Obama’s maternal ancestry. The company says it can’t establish a definitive link because of gaps in family history. Researchers are missing a record connecting Punch to a presumed son who by his early 20s owned 450 acres and grew tobacco in Virginia.

So they are missing a link between Punch and the son who is supposed to be the connection? This this whole story would seem to be a fairy tale.

The records pick up when a grandson of Punch petitioned a court to marry a white woman — and was turned down, presumably because the grandson appeared of mixed-raced heritage, said Elizabeth Shown Mills, a former president of the American Society of Genealogists…

Why let such details get in the way of a good story?

Ancestry.com said its team spent two years exploring Obama’s maternal line. The puzzle starts with Punch, who is presumed to have arrived in Virginia around 1640 from west Africa, initially as an indentured servant obligated to work for years to pay for his passage.

In fact, during the 17th century, the vast majority of the white laborers in Virginia came to America from England as indentured servants. And if the Dunhams can trace their roots back to colonials times, they probably are descendent from some indentured servants as well.

"He jumped the gun and took off," Mills said. Punch was recaptured and made a slave for life. His punishment was tougher than white servants received for absconding, leading historians to call him the first African to be enslaved years before Virginia legalized slavery.

Nothing is known about Punch’s presumed relationship with a white woman. But his landowner son is presumed to be John Bunch, either because the mixed-raced family changed its name or because records transcribed it incorrectly, Shumway said. Researchers were able to make a definitive connection between the successive Bunch family line and Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, who died in 1995.

Researchers concluded John Bunch had to be the son of John Punch, Shumway said.

"He’s in the right place at the right time, and he’s the right age," he said, adding that to this day, Bunch family members who appear white share the DNA profile of people in west Africa.

That is pretty tenuous connection. But, again, why let details get in the way of a good PR stunt?

Mills said she was not surprised by the slavery link that came through the lineage of Obama’s white mother.

"There are many Americans discovering they have African ancestry. It’s something that is whispered, not something families want the world to know," she said. "This is what is so fascinating about American history. You see how people felt in the past, and how we think about it today."

What nonsense. But all of this is laughable, anyway, since Obama’s father was from Kenya, and Kenya has been a center of the slave trade since the Middle Ages, and it continues to deal in slaves even to this day.

So there is no doubt that Obama is descended from slaves, as well as slave traders. (Though he might not want to stress that last part.)

In reality, slavery has been part of mankind’s lot for almost all of its history. And it is a near certainty that we are all descended from slaves and slave owners. But for most of us it’s not something we need to dwell on for our validation.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, July 31st, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “AP: Obama Has Slave Blood, On Mom’s Side”

  1. triguy

    And don’t we remember how the Kims had done marvelous and almost super-human things like several holes-in-one the first time they played a round of golf. Or, the ability to speak several langauges. I think our dear leader is just using their PR activities as a guide. Nothing like being authentic…even if you have to make it up.

    • JohnMG

      I wonder how many wood piles they had to turn over to come up with the evidence? And why did it take so long?

      On an unrelated note; Where are we going? And why am I in this handbasket?

  2. mr_bill

    I don’t really see the need for this little fairy tale, unless nerobama is worried he is losing support from black voters.

  3. Right of the People

    I’ve got a bridge for sale if any of you are interested.

  4. GetBackJack

    I have clear former life memories of being crucified by Roman soldiers for refusing to bow down and worship the Emperor (that swinish short-manhood pickle pusher of a runt).

    That was after they worked me as a slave for twenty years. So, should I sue Italy?

  5. canary

    I am a decendent from white peasant slaves who ran from Germany and spent 6 monthes to get to America just to find out the British were taking over and so they joined to fight against the British. Father and 3 sons. And then they adopted a son named “Christian”

  6. Petronius

    More hoax and chains.

    They must be having trouble getting out the black vote.

    Africans were not brought to Virginia in large numbers until the 1700s. During the century before 1700, most work on the Tobacco Coast was performed by English indentured servants.

    English children in London and other seaports were kidnapped by gangsters called “spirits,” who shipped them to Virginia where they were sold into service in the James River plantations. In addition to spirited children were those who came as redemptioners–English children who were sold off the ship at public auction in return for the cost of their passage. Usually the redemptioners were children who had lost a parent, and the surviving parent could not afford to keep them. One such example of a child redemptioner was dramatized by the excellent Reba McEntire episode on NBC’s series, “Who Do You Think You Are?,” produced in collaboration with Ancestry.com.

    The period of indenture in Virginia was seven years for adults but fourteen years for children, and during this period the English servant might be sold several times to different masters, and different planters might have acquired headrights on the same servant.

    I suspect that the auction of servants and slaves as practiced in colonial Virginia may have had its roots in the traditional English yearly statute fairs or hiring fairs. At these local agricultural fairs servants hired themselves out to farmers on annual contracts. In the pastoral areas of western England the hiring fairs were customarily held at May Day; in the arable shires of eastern and southern England they were customarily held at Michaelmas (29 Sep). Daniel Defoe described a fair in an Oxfordshire village where men and women presented themselves for hire, and advertised themselves by holding the tool of their trade, such as a brush, a carter’s whip, a shovel, a billhook, or a woolcomb. See “A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain” (1724-27). Also see Thomas Hardy’s description of a nineteenth century hiring fair in chapter six of his novel, “Far From the Madding Crowd.”


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