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Video:What Is Barack Obama's Family Tree?

with Tom Ankner

Want to learn about Barack Obama's family tree? Here, see helpful information about President Obama's ancestry.See Transcript

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Transcript:What Is Barack Obama's Family Tree?

Hi! My name is Tom Ankner, I am a professional genealogist from Newark, NJ and I am here today for About.com to talk about the family history of President Obama.

Basics About Barack Obama's Family Tree

Barack Hussein Obama II was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4th, 1961. He was the son of a black Kenyan father and a white American mother. His father, Barack Hussein Obama Sr. was born in Kenya in 1936 and died in 1982 in a car crash. His mother, Stanley Ann Dunham was born in Kansas in 1942 and died in 1995 in Honolulu of cancer. His parents met in the early 60's when they were both students at the University of Hawaii and married in 1961.

More Basics About Barack Obama's Family Tree

President Obama was born later that year and they divorced when he was two years old. After the divorce, President Obama's father moved back to Kenya where he married twice more and had several children. President Obama's mother married an Indonesian man and had another child, President Obama's half-sister Maya. The President lived in Indonesia for four years beginning in 1967 before returning to Hawaii in 1971 to live with his grandparents.

More About Barack Obama's Family Tree

His maternal grandparents were Stanley Armour Dunham, a salesman born in 1918 in Kansas, died in 1992 in Honolulu. His grandmother on his mother's side was Madelyn Lee Dunham who was born in 1922 in Kansas and died in 2008 in Honolulu just a few days before President Obama was elected.

Barack Obama's Family Tree

On his father's side his grandfather was named Hussein Onyango Obama, he was born in 1895 in Kenya and he died in 1979, also in Kenya. About his grandmother on his father's side: a woman named Okulu, little is known about her. She left the family when the children were quite young. His grandfather later married another woman named Sarah who President Obama has identified as his grandmother and who I believe is still alive in Kenya.

Other Facts About Barack Obama's Past

In "Dreams From My Father" Obama describes a trip to Kenya in the late 1980's to visit family. He met several of his siblings, his relatives, his aunts while he was there. He later learns of his Luo tribal ancestry. That was the tribe that the Obama family were members of. The Luo tribe settled near Kindu bay in Kenya. His great-grandfather was named simply Obama. He was the first member of the Obama family to use that name. He was orphaned as a very small child but he later became a very successful farmer and a tribal elder among the Luo along Kindu bay.

He had four wives and many children one of whom was President Obama's grandfather. On his mother's side genealogists have trace Obama's ancestry to links with several U.S. Presidents and former vice-president Dick Cheney. He is the 11th cousin of President George W. Bush and the 9th cousin once removed of Dick Cheney. He's also the 4th cousin of President Lyndon Johnson, he's related to Jimmy Carter and Franklin Roosevelt and Gerald Ford, distantly. But again these connections are so tenuous. That he's not any more connected to them than a person he would meet by chance in the street. So that's just a little bit about President Obama's ancestry.

My name is Tom Ankner, for more please visit About.com.

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