According to a team of genealogists working for Ancestry.com, President Obama’s ancestral roots can be traced back to one of the first documented slaves in America. And this connection is on his mother’s side of the family, not his father’s.
From the New York Times story
In 1640, Mr. Punch, then an indentured servant, escaped from Virginia and went to Maryland. He was captured there and, along with two white servants who had also escaped, was put on trial. His punishment — servitude for life — was harsher than what the white servants received, and it has led some historians to regard him as the first African to be legally sanctioned as a slave, years before Virginia adopted laws allowing slavery. [...]
The Ancestry.com team used DNA analysis to make the connection, and it also combed through marriage and property records to trace Mr. Obama’s maternal ancestry to the time and place where Mr. Punch lived. The company said records suggested that Mr. Punch fathered children with a white woman, who passed her free status on to those children, giving rise to a family of a slightly different name, the Bunches, that ultimately spawned Mr. Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham.
Electing the nation’s first African-American president was significant on its own. Little did we know he was also descended from one of the first slaves.
And state’s rights fetishists wept.