We’re Related – Barack Obama?

Famous Friday

Roberts/Blackwell/Harris Line
by Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Last April, through the application “We’re Related,” I was learned that my wife is related to her eighth cousin, twice removed, Michelle Obama. I determined that that relationship was “very probable.”  This year “We’re Related” suggests that I am related to Barack Obama. I am very sure that I’m related to President Taft, but Barack Obama? Could “We’re Related” be right?

Common Ancestor

“We’re Related” suggests that Temperance Overton (1679-1765) is our common ancestor. The lineage goes up my paternal (Roberts) line:

  • Hugh Eugene Roberts (1926-1997)
  • Bert Allen Roberts (1903-1949)
  • Hugh Ellis Roberts (1882-1908)
  • Asa Ellis Roberts (1835-1887)
  • Elizabeth Blackwell (1796-1867)
  • Sarah Harris (1765-1806)
  • Robert Harris (1741-1809) *
  • Robert Harris (1696-1765) *
  • Temperance Overton (1679-1710) *

Comment

I don’t see anything intrinsically wrong with the suggested pedigree from me up to Temperance. I know that a Sarah Harris married a David Blackwell, but I haven’t found adequate sources for birthdates, places or parents for either of them. I am a little uncomfortable that there are three generations for whom I haven’t confirmed the pedigree research.

Temperance Overton’s Descendants leading to Barack Obama as suggested by “We’re Related include:

  • Temperance Overton (1679-1710)
  • Elizabeth Haris Hudson *
  • Mary Hudson (1726-1792) *
  • Charles Bunch (1765-1792) *
  • Nathaniel Bunch (1793-1859) *
  • Anna Bunch (1814-1893) *
  • Frances Ann Alfred (1834-1918) *
  • Margaret Belle Wright (1869-1935) *
  • Private **
  • Private **
  • Private **
  • Barack Obama

Analysis

I did a brief look at the Ancestors of Barack Obama on Famous Kin.  Their website indicated Barack’s ancestors as follows:

  • Barack Obama
  • Mother – Stanley Ann Dunham (1942-1995)] **
  • Grandfather – Stanley Armour Dunham (1918-1992)] **
  • Great-grandmother – Ruth Lucille Armour (1900-1926)] **
  • Great-great-grandmother Gabriella Lee Clark (1876-1966) **

Margaret Belle Wright (1869-1935) and Gabriella Lee Clark (1876-1966) are clearly not the same person. So, it appears that I need to look at which pedigree is more likely — The one with three “private” entries or the pedigree that is documented. I’ll take the Famous Kin and Geni suggestions over Ancestry’s ‘private’ entries.

Findings

Although entertaining, “We’re Related” in this case, proved to be an unreliable application that suggested a famous cousin that is unlikely to be related to me.

Endnotes:

  1. * = Italic entries are “We’re Related suggestions that are unknown to my research.
  2. ** = Names and dates are from “Famous Kin.” See https://famouskin.com/family-tree.php?name=10012+barack+obama for details.
  3. Geni entry for Gabriella Lee Armour (Clark). See https://www.geni.com/people/Gabriella-Armour/6000000000240290231.

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