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Obama comes from German roots, says Website

IT may be hard to imagine United States President Barack Obama in traditional German lederhosen, but researchers in the US say they have located documents that prove the president has German roots dating to the 1700s.

According to parish records uncovered by experts at the genealogy Website, Obama's sixth great-grandfather Johann Conrad Woelflin was born January 29, 1729, in Besigheim, a small town north of Stuttgart on the Enz river in Germany.

Woelflin sailed aboard a ship called "Patience" in 1750 to America, changing his last name to "Wolfley" upon arrival and eventually settling in Middletown, Pennsylvania, according to head genealogist Anastasia Tyler.

In Middletown, he married Anna Catherine Schockey in 1756 and had at least six children, including Ludwig Lewis Wolfley - Obama's fifth great grandfather - who was born in 1766, Tyler said.

The investigation was started by the Website, which determined in 2007 that Obama also had Irish ancestry. Researchers decided a few weeks ago it would be fun to try and prove or disprove rumored German ancestry ahead of the president's visit to Dresden today, Tyler said.

"We'd proved the Irish, so we just wanted to see if there was any truth to the rumors of German heritage," she told reporters.

"People supposed a few different lines that went to Germany, and the one that seemed the most plausible was this Wolfley line."

Tracing the ancestry of Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, the investigative team linked Obama back to Wolfley relatively quickly.

But it wasn't until last Friday when a researcher was poring over microfilmed documents at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, that they got the breakthrough documenting Wolfley's German ties.


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