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).
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.