Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama in 2013, official White House photo by Chuck Kennedy

Birth Name: Michelle LaVaughn Robinson

Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

Date of Birth: January 17, 1964

Ethnicity: African-American (mostly), including Gullah, as well as distant English, Scottish, and Irish

Michelle Obama is an American lawyer, writer, and university administrator. She was First Lady of the United States, from 2009 to 2017. She is the wife of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. Their children are Malia Obama and Sasha Obama. She is the first African-American First Lady of the United States.

Michelle is the daughter of Marian Robinson (born Marian Lois Shields), a secretary, and Fraser C. Robinson III, a city water plant employee. Her brother is college basketball coach and broadcaster Craig Robinson (not the actor of the same name).

Michelle’s parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents, were all black. She has Gullah roots. Michelle also has some European ancestry on her family tree, with distant English, Scottish, and Irish, roots. One of Michelle’s white ancestors was her great-great-great-grandfather, Charles Marion Shields. Charles was the son of Henry Wells Shields and Christian/Christianna Patterson.

Michelle’s paternal grandfather was Fraser C. Robinson II (the son of Fraser Robinson and Rosella/Rose Ella Cohen). Michelle’s grandfather Fraser was born in Georgetown, Georgetown Co., South Carolina. Michelle’s great-grandfather Fraser was the son of Jim Robinson and Louiser/Louisa. Rose Ella was the daughter of Caesar/Sesar Cohen and Tira/Tyra L.

Michelle’s paternal grandmother was LaVaughn Delores Johnson (the daughter of James Preston Johnson and Phoebe Moten). LaVaughn was born in Chicago, Cook, Illinois. James was born in Madison Parish, Louisiana, the son of Ruben “Ruby” Johnson and Carrie Don. Phoebe was the daughter of Nelson Moten, who was from Kentucky, and of Mary, who was born in Missouri.

Michelle’s maternal grandfather was Purnell Shields (the son of Robert Lee/Leacel Shields and Annie/Anna/Anne Lawson/Laws). Purnell was born in Birmingham, Jefferson, Alabama. Robert was the son of Dolphius/Adolphus Shields and Alice Easley. Anna was the daughter of Nathan Laws and Fanny/Fannie L. Humphrey.

Michelle’s maternal grandmother was Rebecca Jumper/Coleman (the daughter of James Jumper and Eliza Tinsley). Rebecca was born in North Carolina. James was the son of Peter Jumper, Jr. and Eliza Wade. Eliza was the daughter of Nelson Tinsley and Nancy Morehead, whose own mother’s name was Eliza.

Michelle’s first cousin, once removed, is Rabbi Capers Funnye. Capers is a Jew-by-choice. Michelle’s paternal great-grandparents, Fraser Robinson and Rose Ella Cohen, were also Rabbi Funnye’s maternal grandparents.

As stated, Michelle’s great-grandmother Rose Ella Cohen had the usually Jewish surname Cohen. Rose was an African-American woman, whose father, Caesar Cohen, was also African-American. It is not clear where the Cohen surname originates in this family, or if Caesar Cohen had Jewish ancestry of some kind.

Sources: Genealogies of Michelle Obama – http://www.geni.com

Genealogy of Michelle Obama (focusing on her father’s side) – http://www.wargs.com

Notes on Michelle’s ancestry, by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak – https://www.megansmolenyak.com

Pictures and some of Michelle’s family history – http://www.dailymail.co.uk

Michelle’s paternal great-grandmother, Rosella/Rose Ella Cohen, on the 1880 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

28 Responses

  1. Oaken05 says:


    You’ve made at least 9 consecutive posts on this page, and I’m sure most of them were for years’-old comments. You’ve done something similar on other pages.

    You’re being insufferable. You need to slow your roll and quit spamming these pages with your nonsense.

  2. Ava900 says:

    Can someone tell me why this site only confirms what records say? Just because an ancestors record says Black or White when that doesn’t mean they were? Why can’t @ethnic and whoever posts these profiles go by what they say? You can’t go by records to prove what an ancestor was.

    • madman says:

      Why don’t you create your own site that only mentions what they identify as? And stays away from records, and facts and all that?

      • jackson9 says:

        A little harsh but I think madman has a point. If we just go by what celebs say they are what is the point? we have this site to verify claims

        • madman says:

          To joke with him was in my mind about the least harsh thing I could write. I mean, he’s a troll anyway so why give a real response?

          • jackson9 says:

            My fault especially since it’s not my business. anyway madman can you confirm there is no mistakes in my Michelle Obama research? I Sincerely appreciate you and your work

          • madman says:

            It’s pretty hard to confirm or deconfirm it when you didn’t provide your sources. That family in the obituary was clearly Jewish. But how did you go beyond Michelle’s great-great-grandfather Caesar Cohen?

          • Ava900 says:

            @madman And no I’m not a troll. Records are not always correct and true. If someone says they are Native American you do not need to see a record for you to verify and believe they are.

      • Ava900 says:

        @madman Records are not facts . People lied all the time on records. So if someone says their great-great-great grandfather was White, and the record says he was Black then are you going to trust what the person says or what the record says?

  3. jackson9 says:

    Michelle Obama is of Jewish roots and so is her daughters and I can prove it. Michelle’s great-grandmother Rose Cohen (1893-1952) from South Carolina, was the daughter of Caesar Cohen (1839-1904) South Carolina, the spouse of Tyra L. Cohen. Caesar was the son of Caesar Cohen 1823 the spouse of Tina Cohen both parents from Georgetown South Carolina. Caesar’s father was Solomon Cohen 1757-1835 born in South Carolina died in Georgia. I found the obituary of Solomon Cohen which doesn’t necessarily prove Jewish BUT his older brother Abraham Cohen born in England and died in South Carolina (1739-1800) 100% does. According to the obituary they were Sephardic Jews most likely. Here is the obituary https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/136537464/abraham-cohen (Abraham Cohen) and here is the ancestor/younger brother Solomon Cohen https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/73866248

  4. andrew says:

    one of her ancestors, Mary Moten, was said to be part-Cherokee

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