Friday, March 02, 2007

A new twist to an intriguing family history
Census records, genealogical research show forebears of Obama's mother had slaves
WASHINGTON // Many people know that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's father was from Kenya and his mother from Kansas.

But an intriguing sliver of his family history has received almost no attention until now: It appears that forebears of his white mother owned slaves, according to genealogical research and census records.

The records - which had never been addressed publicly by the Illinois senator or his relatives - were first noted in an ancestry report compiled by William Addams Reitwiesner, who works at the Library of Congress and practices genealogy in his spare time. The report, on Reitwiesner's Web site, carries a disclaimer that it is a "first draft" - one likely to be examined more closely if Obama is nominated...

...Reitwiesner, the researcher, declined to be interviewed for this article. "I'll let my Web page [] speak for itself," he said in an e-mail. The Obama report contains a disclaimer that appears on all of Reitwiesner's work: "The following material ... should not be considered either exhaustive or authoritative, but rather as a first draft.",0,3453027.story

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