There’s a lot of Obama family history to be found in newspapers this week. The following teaser is from a very good article in the January 18, 2009 Boston Herald (article initially written for the Cape Cod Times).

A young Barack Obama with maternal grandfather, Stanley Dunham

According to the family history, compiled by the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Obama is a 10th-generation grandson of Edward FitzRandolph, a 17th century farmer who arrived in Barnstable from Scituate in 1639, after having journeyed from England, according to “Genealogical Notes of Barnstable Families,” a book of historical Barnstable families, published in 1979.

“He is called in deeds a yeoman, or farmer, and does not appear to have been employed in any official station,” the book reads of FitzRandolph, who is believed to have fathered four children in Barnstable. “He had received a good education for those times and … he probably belonged to a good family.”

After 30 years in Barnstable, Edward FitzRandolph and his family moved on to Piscataway, N.J., where the family became involved in politics and helped found Princeton University. A gate bearing the FitzRandolph name still stands on the Princeton campus.

The FitzRandolph connection to the Obama bloodline launched centuries later when Edward FitzRandolph’s great-granddaughter Prudence married a man named Shubael Smith, whose daughter Mary married Jonathan Dunham, joining the FitzRandolphs with the Dunham clan. Five generations later, Jonathan Dunham’s great-great-great-great-great-granddaughter, Ann Dunham, gave birth to Obama.

Read the full article in the January 18, 2009 Boston Herald.