Category: Africa

I learn my husband may be descended from the first documented slave in America, John Punch…

African slave in America, John Punch.

Barack Obama is descended from the first documented African slave in America, John Punch.

A while ago I learned from news headlines that President Barack Obama is descended via marriage from John Punch, the first documented African slave in America. He was an indentured servant declared a slave for life in punishment for attempting an escape in 1640.

Ancestry.com has been researching Barack Obama’s ancestry for several years and has declared that Barack Obama is the eleventh great grandson of the first documented African slave in American history, John Punch and eighth cousin to my husband, Mark.

If this is true, then by virtue of the connection of my husband Mark and Barck Obama through Ulrich Stehle (1720-1773), who was sixth great grandfather to Mark and seventh great grandfather to Barack Obama, Mark and Barack are eighth cousins.

In the words of Joseph Shumway, genealogist with Ancestry.com, “Two of the most historically significant African Americans in the history of our country are amazingly directly related.” What is wholly surprising is that the connection exists through his Caucasian mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, and not his Kenyan father.

John Punch, an indentured servant in Colonial Virginia, was declared a slave for life in punishment for trying to escape in 1640.

Ancestry.com states further that they used DNA analysis to learn that Stanley Ann Dunham’s ancestors were white landowners in Colonial Virginia, who were actually descendants of one African man, John Punch.

President Obama is traditionally viewed as an African-American because of his father’s heritage in Kenya. However, while researching his Caucasian mother, Stanley Ann Dunham’s lineage, Ancestry.com genealogists found her to have African heritage as well, which piqued the researchers’ interest and inspired further digging into Obama’s African-American roots. With the support of existing documents and DNA, it is believed that John Punch had children with a Caucasian woman, and her free status was subsequently passed on to their children. Her descendants continued to be free land owners in Virginia.

The findings were further reviewed and verified by Elizabeth Shown Mills, past president of the Board of Certification of Genealogists and a Southern research expert. She 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. She further states, “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.

Source:

  1. Ancestry.com Press Release.

FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com Additions and Updates to July 15, 2014.

Following are the most recent FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com additions and updates to their databases.

 

Ancestry.com Additions and Updates

FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com Additions and Updates

FamilySearch.org Additions and Updates

Brazil

Canada

Colombia

Czechoslovakia

Germany

Italy

Netherlands

Puerto Rico

Peru

Slovakia

South Africa

Spain

United Kingdom

United States

 

Ancestry.com

New Zealand

Poland

United Kingdom

United States

Venezuela

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Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions – June 26, 2014

Following are the Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org updates and additions.
FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions

Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions

The list is extensive and will break into multiple pages as June 18th seems to have been a very busy, productive day at FamilySearch.org.

The countries with the most additions are Italy, Netherlands, Brazil, United States and Poland.

 

FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions

Argentina

Belgium

Bolivia

Brazil

Canada

Chile

China

Croatia

Czechoslovakia

Denmark

El Salvador

Germany

Honduras

Hungary

India

Indonesia

Italy

Mexico

Netherlands

Paraguay

Peru

Philippines

Poland

Portugal

Puerto Rico

Russia

South Africa

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

Ukraine

United Kingdom

  1. England, Kent, Manorial Documents, 1241-1976
  2. England, Norfolk, Parish Registers (County Record Office), 1510-1997
  3. England, Norfolk Register of Electors, 1844-1952
  4. Isle of Man Parish Registers, 1598-2009
  5. United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920

United States

Venezuela

Worldwide

 

Ancestry.com Updates and Additions

Canada

Poland

United Kingdom

United States

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FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com Updates and Additions – May 12, 2014

FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com Updates and AdditionsFollowing are the most recent FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com Updates and Additions.

 

FamilySearch.org

Belgium

Canada

England

India

Italy

South Africa

Spain

Sweden

Ukraine

United States

Worldwide

 

Ancestry.com

Canada

Germany

Ghana

Poland

Switzerland

United Kingdom

United States

Above are the most recent FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com Updates and Additions.

 

Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org Updates and Additions – April 26, 2014

The following are the updates and additions for Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org between April 17 and 26, 2014.

 

Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.orgFamilySearch.org

Belgium
Canada
England
France
Germany
Italy
Korea
Netherlands
Philippines
Portugal
Spain
United States

Ancestry.com

Armenia
Austria
Bahamas
Barbados
Brazil
Canada
Chile
Costa Rica
Estonia
Germany
Guatemala
Haiti
Nicaragua
Philippines
Slovakia
Slovenia
South Africa
Sri Lanka
Switzerland
United Kingdom
United States

 

FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com Updates and Additions – April 1, 2014

The following are the FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com Updates and Additions.

 

FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com Updates and AdditionsFamilySearch.org

Austria
Belgium
Brazil
Canada
Denmark
Dominican Republic
England
Italy
Ivory Coast
Korea
Luxembourg
Mexico
Netherlands
New Zealand
Nicaragua
Peru
Philippines
Portugal
Puerto Rico
Russia
Slovakia
South Africa
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Ukraine
United States

 

Ancestry.com

Australia
Italy
South Africa
United States
Wales

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