Public figures are regular targets for genealogical researchers hunting for a great story.  There is a good one!  John Punch, who is regarded as the first African-American slave in British North America is possibly an ancestor of President Obama.  The Bunch Surname Project administrator, Mark Bunch,  was involved in this New York Times story and shared this email with his project members.  (Thanks to Mark for sharing!)  Hope you enjoy.  Terry


Good Morning,
This is going out to all the "usual suspects" (participants in the Bunch y-DNA Project) plus a few additional interested parties.
I was contacted about 3 weeks ago by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Washington (D.C.) correspondent with the New York Times about a possible story on President Obama's link to John Punch, regarded by many as the first African slave in British North America.  That story was published this morning (I'm usually up this early anyway -- honest!), so I thought I'd send a link to it out to those who might be most interested.  I'll be placing a link on the project's "Patriarchs" page as well (www.worldfamilies.net/surnames/bunch/pats).  The little girl in the photo is my daughter Eleanor and her twin brother Alistair is standing right behind her.  I'm holding the 1997 edition of the Bunch Family Record, published by inveterate Bunch researchers DeWitt and Frances Bunch.
Hats off to Brent Bunch as (I believe) the first person to mention a possible Bunch-Punch connection to me, and to Jim Farmer who is the first serious proponent of the theory that I've communicated with.  My take on the Punch connection is that it's definitely a possible origin for the old American Bunch line, but just one of the necessisarily many given the paucity of documents.  It's not likely to ever be proven true or false, but I definitely need to add it to the list of where Old John Bunch may have come from.
Now I need to go read the Ancestry.com paper referenced in the article.  Have a great day!