Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Obama in 2015, photo by Prphotos

Birth Name: Barack Hussein Obama II

Place of Birth: Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.

Date of Birth: August 4, 1961

*father – Luo Kenyan
*mother – English, small amounts of Scottish, Irish, German, Welsh, Swiss-German, French Huguenot, possibly remote African

Barack Obama is an American politician. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the 44th President of the United States, from January 20, 2009 to January 20, 2017. He was elected to the position in 2008 and 2012. He was previously a Member of the Illinois Senate, from January 8, 1997 to November 4, 2004, and a U.S. Senator from Illinois, from January 3, 2005 to November 16, 2008. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2009. Barack Obama is the first person of significant African descent to have served as President of the United States. He is also the only person born in the 1960s to have won a major party’s presidential caucus and/or primary, and the only U.S. President born after the 1940s (thus far).

He was Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2008 and 2012.

President Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S. His father was black and his mother was white. His father, Barack Hussein Obama, a governmental economist, was born in Kanyadhiang Village, Rachuonyo, Kenya, and was a Kenyan of the Luo tribe. His mother, Stanley Ann (Dunham), an anthropologist, was born in Wichita, Sedgwick, Kansas, and had English, and small amounts (to varying degrees) of Scottish, Irish, German, Welsh, Swiss-German, and French Huguenot, ancestry. His father was a Muslim and his mother was from a family of non-practicing Baptists and Methodists. President Obama practices Protestant Christianity.

President Obama is married to lawyer and writer Michelle Obama (born Michelle LaVaughn Robinson). Their children are Malia Obama and Sasha Obama. He lived in Indonesia from six to ten years old.

President Obama is the second person of significant non-white ancestry to have been nominated for, and elected as, President or Vice President of the United Sates by a major party. Charles Curtis, whose mother was of considerable Native American ancestry, was the first, and served as Vice President from 1929 to 1933. Kamala Harris, who is of Jamaican and Indian descent, and who began serving as Vice President of the United States in 2021, is the third.

Genealogist William Addams Reitwiesner wrote President Obama’s ancestral lineage out as such, with approximate fractions:

*50% Luo Kenyan
*35.06% English
*4.69% Scottish
*3.91% Irish
*3.71% German
*1.56% Welsh
*0.98% Swiss
*0.1% French

President Obama’s paternal grandfather was Onyango (whose name was changed to Hussein Onyango Obama; the son of Obama and Nyaoke). Onyango was born in Alego. President Obama’s great-grandfather Obama was the son of Opiyo and Marrgorat.

President Obama’s paternal grandmother was Habiba/Habibah Akumu/Akkumu Nyanjango/Nyanjoga (the daughter of Njango/Njoga and Bwogi Otore). Habiba was born in Karabonda. Njoga was the son of Okela.

President Obama’s maternal grandfather was Stanley Armour Dunham (the son of Ralph Waldo Emerson Dunham and Ruth Lucille Armour). Stanley was born in Wichita, Sedgwick, Kansas. Ralph was the son of Jacob William Dunham and Mary Anne/Ann Kearney, whose father was Irish. Ruth was the daughter of Harry Ellington Armour and Gabriella Lee “Gabie”/”Gabbie” Clark.

President Obama’s maternal grandmother was Madelyn Lee “Toot” Payne (the daughter of Rolla Charles “R. C.” Payne and Leona Belle McCurry). Madelyn was born in Peru, Chautauqua, Kansas. Rolla was the son of Charles Thomas Payne and Della L. Wolfley. Leona was the daughter of Thomas Creekmore McCurry and Margaret Belle Wright, who was born in Dry Fork, Carroll, Arkansas.

President Obama’s matrilineal line can be traced to Sarah Wade “Sally” Ray, who was born, c. 1793, in Virginia.

Aside from being the first person of African descent to serve as President of the United States, President Obama is the first person of African descent to be the presidential nominee of a major American party.

President Obama is the fourth black American to have won a caucus and/or primary for a major American political party’s presidential nomination, having won 29+ states in 2008, and 50+ states in 2012. The previous winners are:
*Walter E. Fauntroy (1972; Democratic; won Washington, D.C.)
*Shirley Chisholm (1972; Democratic; won 3 contests, including New Jersey)
*Jesse Jackson (Democratic; in 1984, he won 2+ states; in 1988, he won 9+ states)

President Obama has distant Irish ancestry, going back to his great-great-great-grandfather, Falmouth/Fulmoth Kearney, who arrived in the States in 1850, from Moneygall in Ireland. Research done by a team of genealogists has suggested that President Obama’s mother had remote African-American ancestry (in the 1600s), through possible descent from a slave named John Punch.

In page 13 of his autobiography, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, 1995, President Obama writes that a distant ancestor of his mother’s “had indeed been a full-blooded Cherokee” [Native American]. No Cherokee Native American ancestry has yet been documented/verified for President Obama.

President Obama has referred to his mother’s ancestors as “Scotch-Irish mostly,” though their ancestry was predominantly English, with a smaller amount of Scots-Irish.

One of President Obama’s maternal ancestors, his ninth great-grandfather, Richard Singletary, was born, c. 1599, in Surfleet, Lincolnshire, England, to Francis Singletary and Agnes Cook. Richard’s son, Jonathan Singletary (later Dunham), was born, c. 1639, in Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts Bay Colony. President Obama’s Dunham line traces back to Jonathan.

Sources: Genealogies of President Obama –

Genealogies of President Obama’s parents –

Article about President Obama’s Irish ancestry –

Article suggesting that President Obama’s mother had remote African-American ancestry –


Curious about ethnicity

348 Responses

  1. ethnogenesis says:

    Obama may have Melungeon heritage, alike Abraham Lincoln and the Coolidge sisters and sisters Crystal Gayle and Loretta Lynn, the white people of Kentucky said to be mixed with freedmen (emancipated African Americans) and the case of the Sizemore family, hid about a hundred-some Cherokee and of surrounding American Indian tribes from the Trail of Tears removal. Not only he has direct African heritage of the Luo people from Kenya, but from the Black American experience during the turn of the (20th) century.

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