A recent report from Ancestry.com concludes, with considerable evidence, that Barack Obama is descended from the first known African-American slave.
As seen at many on-line pedigrees, Barack Obama’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother was Anna Bunch (1814-1893) of Tennessee and Arkansas. (It may be interesting to note that, as uterine ancestress, she provides Obama’s mt-DNA, but it is irrelevant here, as it is Anna’s father’s father’s father’s father’s father’s father’s father who is of interest.)
There is much evidence that the early Bunch family was described as “mulattos”; Obama even alludes to this in his autobiography, though the “shame” recalled to him was about a “full-blooded Cherokee.”
DNA testing shows multiple branches of the Bunch family to have a Y-chromosome haplogroup common in West Africa and very rare among Europeans.
All this is pretty clear. The paper then goes farther, speculating (with considerable circumstantial evidence) that John Bunch (above) was son of another known John Bunch, and that he in turn was son of a John Punch, who achieved “fame” in 1640 when he escaped from indentured servitude with two other men, was recaptured and punished. A court ruled that the two white servants
(Disclaimer: Is it a symptom of autism that I find useless genealogic trivia to be interesting? In any event, this hobby is less expensive than some hobbies, and much more tolerable for Mrs. Septimus. )