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Melvina Shields

Fulmoth Kearney, President Obama's Irish Immigrant Ancestor, Gets a Tombstone

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 02.17.2015 | Politics
Megan Smolenyak

Back in 2007, I researched then-candidate Barack Obama's roots and identified one of his third great-grandparents, Fulmoth Kearney of Ireland, as the most recent immigrant on his mother's side of the family.

Melvina's Descendants, Michelle Obama's Cousins

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 12.20.2014 | Black Voices
Megan Smolenyak

Back in 2009, I traced the then-new First Lady's family tree back four or five generations on all branches, but of all the ancestors I uncovered, it was a great-great-great-grandmother named Melvina Shields McGruder who captured my attention.

Michelle Obama's Ancestors: Purnell Shields

Megan Smolenyak | Posted 04.25.2012 | Chicago
Megan Smolenyak

D.T. lived in hopeful expectation, but even today, it's stunning to think that the life of this one-time slave overlapped with that of his great-granddaughter, Marian, who now resides in the White House.