Daily Mail: The revelation shows that the First Lady’s family is mixed race, despite being called African-America. She is pictured (lower left) in the 1960s with her father Fraser Robinson III, mother Marian Shields Robinson and her brother Craig
New York Times journalist Rachel L Swarns used DNA testing and historical documents to track down Mrs Obama’s living white family members for her new book, ‘American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama.’
Joan Tribble, 69, was found to be one of those distant cousins. Her ancestor, Henry Wells Shields, owned Mrs Obama’s great-great-great grandmother, Melvinia.
Charles Marion Shields, Henry’s son, fathered a child with Melvinia in 1860, Dolphus T Shields, according to DNA tests.
Dolphus, Mrs Obama’s great-great grandfather on her mother’s side, was long rumored to be half-white. He had light skin and Irish-looking features.
However, the family never talked about who his father was. It was previously unknown that he was the son of a slave owner and a slave.
The book also raises the possibility that Charles Shields, who was 20 at the time, raped Melvinia, who was just 15. The practice was not uncommon on southern plantations.