Meet Michelle Obama's White 4th Cousin

First Lady and Debbie Shields share great, great-grandfather

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 9, 2009 1:42 PM CST

(Newser) – Some long-lost relatives of Michelle Obama have recently been identified, and they’re blond and blue-eyed. First a genealogist made headlines with the news that the first lady's great, great-grandmother was a slave from George named Melvinia. Inside Edition now reports on tonight's show that Melvinia was impregnated at 15 by owner Charles Marion Shields, who is also the great, great grandfather of Debbie Shields.

That makes them fourth cousins. Debbie Shields calls it "awesome" to be related to the first lady, though at first “I thought it was a joke.” Her 17-year-old son Brandon feels the same way: "I think it is incredible. The history of it. To go from slavery to the White House in a few generations.” They both hope to meet the Obamas in person.


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