I’ve mentioned before that though Barack H. Obama’s most salient ethnic identity is that of a black American, in many ways he far more resembles his “Yankee” maternal family (who raised him). By Yankee, I mean that I presumed that they were from the Yankee component of the Kansas population, with names like Emerson in the family lineage. Later the family settled in parts of Greater New England, the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii. Religiously they seem to have veered into conventional New England liberal denominations such as Unitarianism. And interestingly as an adult Barack H. Obama chose a black nationalist church which had an explicit connection with a liberal Protestant denomination with dominant roots in New England, the United Church of Christ. All this is not to say that there is a “Yankee conspiracy” on Obama’s maternal side. Rather, people have “folkways,” and are often unconsciously attracted to cultural forms and locales which have an air of familiarity.
But interestingly a regularly correspondent has uncovered that Obama’s maternal lineage, or more specifically his maternal grandfather’s paternal lineage, is more Yankee in cultural identity than genetics:
I don’t want the basis of Obama’s Yankee heritage misconstrued here. I found no one who had dug out all of his “Cavalier” ancestors and compiled them in one place, so within reasonable effort, I did so. Here is a map of all that.
Stanley Ann Dunham’s genome is in fact only one percent New England Puritan. That cohort is due to a dozen or so American-born colonial immigrant kids from Puritan England and Holland. This one clade (Samuel Dunham b. 1742) is Stanley Ann’s direct patriline. Four or five from this group migrated to New Jersey fairly early, and intermarried apparently based on their Yankee-ness there. That Stanley Ann’s grandfather is Ralph Waldo Emerson Dunham suggests that the Yankee regard is stronger than the genetic fraction. Choosing sides in the Civil War might be what bolstered that loyalty.
The Pennsylvania & Maryland immigrants are German, Swiss, French etc. Then the Virginia immigrants are from England and Wales, much as Fischer suggests. The north-south immigrants’ landfalls map well onto the patriline-matriline axis of the ancestral tree.
In terms of how to replicate:
The data are from here: http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi
Anyone who uses this huge wiki-like resource knows that it’s unwieldy and not totally reliable. But making a map abstracts things to where isolated data errors or ambiguities aren’t going to change the big picture.