Person:John Punch (1)

John Punch
b.abt 1610 Africa
Facts and Events
Name John Punch
Gender Male
Birth? abt 1610 Africa

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

John Punch (fl. 1630s, living 1640) was an African indentured servant who lived in the Virginia Colony during the seventeenth century. In July 1640, the Virginia Governor's Council sentenced him to serve his master for the rest of his natural life as punishment for attempting to escape from his indenture. For this reason, historians consider Punch the first documented lifetime slave in the colony, and his case a key milestone in the development of slavery in the United States.

In July 2012, published a paper suggesting that Punch was an eleventh-generation maternal grandfather of Barack Obama, on the basis of historic and genealogical research and Y-DNA analysis. Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, is a descendant of the Bunch family, free people of color in colonial Virginia, who were probably descendants of Punch himself. Most of her ancestors were European.[1] Punch is also believed to be one of the ancestors of the 20th-century American diplomat Ralph Bunche, the first African American to win the Nobel Peace Prize.[2]

Evidence suggests that John Bunch, b. c. 1630-35, had an African father--African because of the mulatto status of his descendants, and father because John Bunch was free, the status of his mother. "Of the fewer than one hundred African men who resided in Virginia before 1640, John Punch is the only man who bears a surname similar to Bunch. John Punch was an adult male living in the period in which John Bunch I was born in Virginia, and resided in the same county."

As the progenitor of the Virginia Bunch family, Punch was an ancestor of President Barack Obama.[1]

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at John Punch (slave). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
  1. Descent of the Bunch Family in Virginia and the Carolinas: Obama Bunch Descendancy. (, July 15, 2012).