Lincoln, Washington, and Martin Luther King.
OH MY. This is TRUE American royalty. John Punch, it is interesting to note, lived right around the time of another legendary American ROYAL from Virginia: Pocahontas, princess of the Powhatan Tribe. Here's the story:
The first American slave begat the first black president.
A team of genealogists has discovered strong evidence that President Obama is the 11th great-grandson of America’s first documented African slave, Ancestry.com has announced. Even more surprising, the family connection comes through Obama’s white mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, rather than his Kenyan father.
Ancestry.com said its team’s discovery that Dunham’s Virginia ancestors had actually descended from an African man prompted them to dig deeper into Obama’s African-American roots.
That man turned out to be John Punch, an indentured servant in Colonial Virginia who was enslaved for life in 1640 as a punishment for trying to escape. His life sentence marked the first documented case of African slavery — rather than indentured servitude — in the American colonies.
Ancestry.com said records suggest that Punch had children with a white woman, who inherited her free status. Some of their descendants passed as white, married into white families, and went on to be successful land owners in Virginia.
Eventually, that family produced Obama’s maternal grandmother, Madelyn Lee Payne, and then his mother.
Elizabeth Shown Mills, an expert in Southern genealogy, endorsed Ancestry.com’s conclusion, which was reached using records and DNA analysis.