Roots

The worlds of politics and genealogy recently converged when Ancestry.com completed the family tree of Barack Obama, which traces the President’s ancestors back to a man called John Punch, who shows up in the 1640s in the Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia, and is claimed to be the “first African documented to be enslaved for life in what would eventually become the United States.”

This is Ancestry.com’s version of a summer blockbuster.  Some genealogists may suspend disbelief at the coincidence that the first black president is traced back to the first black slave. But it is a much juicier story than TomKat.
Ancestry.com is operated by Mormons, and has made available over 10 billion genealogical records to the public.
1704 Quit Rent for John Bunch II.

Mormons search family history so that members of the church can conduct “ordinances,” like sacraments, for deceased lineage, which adds names to the roster of members of the church.  The ordinance will be performed by proxy, where the living descendant stands in during the baptism or “sealing-marriage” for great-great-grandma Millie Lou McGarrity.

Mormon church member Mitt Romney faces Obama in the nearing election.  Will they next trace Romney’s roots to the first documented black Mormon?
For all the dirty tricks of disinformation between the two candidates, one might cite genealogical research as a provocateur of peace…     

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