15 Stories

A Search for Ancestors Reveals She Had Been Swapped at Birth

Women discover they were switched at birth

(Newser) - A fun foray into finding out more about her ancestry through a popular genealogy website led to a shocking revelation for 72-year-old Denice Juneski: She wasn't related to any of her own relatives—at least not the ones she'd grown up knowing. KARE reports that as Minnesota's... More »

Korean-American Explores the Meaning of Her 'Blue Butt'

'Mongolian spot' refers to distinctive blue birthmark

(Newser) - If you want to get technical, it's called congenital dermal melanocytosis in Western medicine, and it often results in a distinctive blue birthmark on the bottoms of babies from East Asia. If you want to get nearly poetic, you'll want to read Jennifer Hope Choi's piece at... More »

America's Most Irish Cities Are ...

... Boston, of course, plus a few surprises

(Newser) - Quick St. Patrick's Day quiz: How many Americans are of Irish descent? Some 22 million say Irish is their "primary ancestry," and 13.5 million more have at least some Irish blood, reports the Huffington Post . That adds up to 35.5 million or 11.6% of... More »

Obama Roots Traced to 1st African-American Slave genealogists spent 500 hours making the connection

(Newser) - has traced President Obama's roots back to Germany and linked him to Rush Limbaugh . Now the site has named a new potential Obama relative: the first documented African-American slave. CNN reports on the result of some 500 hours of work by four genealogists, who were able to... More »

Great Depression Data Goldmine to Finally Go Public

1940 census to be released after 72 year of privacy protection

(Newser) - After 72 years of privacy protection lapses, intimate details of 132 million people who lived through the 1930s will be disclosed as the US government releases the 1940 census on April 2 to the public for the first time. Access to the records will be free and open to anyone... More »

Barack Obama Is Related to Sarah Palin also links the president to Rush Limbaugh

(Newser) - has dug up an ironic distant relationship between President Obama and one of his foes. Two of them, actually. It turns out both Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh are both 10th cousins of the president (in Limbaugh's case, once removed). traced both Obama's mother and Palin's... More »

Girl, 12, Finds All Presidents Related Except...

...Martin Van Buren

(Newser) - So where did Martin Van Buren come from? He's the only US president that doesn't share a common ancestor, according to a 12-year-old California girl who spent months combing through scores of names and family histories. BridgeAnne d'Avignon has put together a family tree for the commanders-in-chief,... More »

First Lady's Roots Linked to Slave Girl

Genealogist fills in gaps of her lineage

(Newser) - Michelle Obama can trace her lineage to a female slave sold as a young girl from a South Carolina plantation and sent to Georgia. As a teenager, Melvinia Shields became impregnated by a white man, possibly her master, and those two are the great-great-great grandparents of Michelle. A genealogist working... More »

Gates, Crowley Share Irish Ancestor

Better make that White House beer a Guinness

(Newser) - The beer James Crowley and Henry Louis Gates have with the president should be a Guinness if genetics are anything to go by, Irish Central reports. The Harvard professor and the Cambridge cop—along with about 3 million other people—are distant cousins with shared Irish heritage, both descended from... More »

Obama: 'Blood of Africa' in Me

(Newser) - President Obama today warned Africans that corruption and strong-arm tactics must be overcome if the continent is to see prosperity, and he promised US support to nations on the right path, Politico reports. “America will be with you,” Obama said in Ghana. “As a partner. As a... More »

Genealogists Trace Obama's Roots to Germany

(Newser) - President Obama’s trip to Germany is a bit of a homecoming for him, according to a Utah-based genealogy group.’s researchers traced his family tree back to his eighth great-grandfather on his mother’s side and found a German ancestor, after tracing , the Salt Lake Tribune reports.... More »

Irish Home of Prez's Ancestor Has O'Bama Fever

(Newser) - Moneygall, Ireland, has two pubs, 298 people, and happens to be the birthplace of Barack Obama’s great-great-great-grandfather, the Los Angeles Times reports. The fact is not lost on the quaint hamlet, where one pub flies an American flag and the plumbing supply company uses the president’s face in... More »

Americans Use DNA Tests to Trace African Roots

Obama's rise could accelerate trend

(Newser) - As a kid, Isaiah Washington only knew Africans as the “natives running around with bones in their noses” on TV, “trying to put Tarzan in a pot.” Now, the former Grey’s Anatomy actor is chieftain of a village in Sierra Leone, thanks to a DNA test... More »

Who's Your Daddy? DNA Tests May Shock You

DNA tests can lead to unpleasant discoveries

(Newser) - A simple DNA test is enough to rend a family apart, the Los Angeles Times reports. As more people take genetic tests to uncover medical data or trace family roots, more are discovering that their biological father is someone else. It's an old issue in medicine—blood types, after all,... More »

Aussie PM Gains Cachet From Thieving Ancestors

Preteen convict adorns Rudd's family tree

(Newser) - Australia’s history as a penal colony is no laughing matter, but some Aussies have come to appreciate, and even relish, their hardscrabble beginnings. Case in point: PM Kevin Rudd, whose family tree includes ancestors convicted of stealing sugar (in 1801) and underwear (in 1788). The release of some details... More »

15 Stories