Michelle LaVaughn Robinson (1964)

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Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama, First Lady, was born 17 January 1964 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, United States to Fraser C. Robinson III (1935-1991) and Marian Lois Shields (1937) . Ancestors are from the United States.


Offspring of Michelle LaVaughn Robinson and Barack Obama (1961)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Malia Obama (1999) 4 July 1998
Sasha Obama (2001) 10 June 2001

Name variations

See also in various languages the Multilingual interwikis

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson is the daughter of Fraser C. Robinson and Marian L. Shields. She supported her husband's successful 2008 Presidential campaign and became First Lady of the United States on his inauguration on 20 January 2009.

Michelle Robinson's family tree

Michelle Robinson's family is of African American heritage, descendants of Africans of the American Colonial Era. Michelle Obama's family history traces from slavery to Reconstruction to the Great Migration North. Some of Michelle's relatives still reside in South Carolina.

Michelle's oldest known relative is Jim Robinson, an American slave who was born in the 1800s and lived at least until the American Civil War.[1] At least three of Michelle Obama's great-uncles served honorably in the military of the United States. One aunt moved to Princeton, New Jersey, where she worked as a maid, and cooked Southern-style meals for Michelle and her brother, Craig, when they were students at Princeton University.

Barack Obama has called Michelle "the most quintessentially American woman I know."[1]

Jim Robinson

Michelle's earliest known relative is her great-great grandfather Jim Robinson, born in the 1850s, who was an American slave on the Friendfield plantation in South Carolina. The family believes that after the Civil War he remained a Friendfield plantation sharecropper for the rest of his life and that he was buried there in an unmarked grave.[1]

Jim had two sons:

  1. Gabriel
  2. Fraser, Michelle Obama's great-grandfather.

Gabriel Robinson

Jim Robinson's son

Carrie Nelson

Gabriel Robinson's daughter, born about 1928, is the oldest living Robinson and the keeper of family lore.[1]

Fraser Robinson I

Michelle Obama's great-grandfather was born on March 24, 1884. Fraser had an arm amputated as a result of a boyhood injury. He worked as a shoemaker, as a newspaper salesman and in a lumber mill and was married to Rosella Cohen.[1]

Fraser Robinson II

Fraser Robinson, Jr. (1912-1996), Michelle Obama's grandfather, was a standout student and was known as an orator. Moved from South Carolina to Chicago hoping to find better work than what he could find at home. However, all that was available to him was to be a postal worker. He was married to LaVaughn Johnson. When he retired, they moved back to South Carolina.[1]

Fraser Robinson III

Fraser C. Robinson III (1935-1991) Michelle Obama's father. Pump worker at the City of Chicago water plant[1] he died after a kidney operation.

Marian Robinson

Marian L. Shields (1937) Michelle Obama's mother. Secretary at Spiegel catalog.

Craig Robinson

(born 1962) Barack Obama, Jr.'s brother-in-law. Head coach of men's basketball at Oregon State University[2]

Capers C. Funnye Jr.

One of America's most prominent African American Jews. Michelle Obama and Rabbi Capers Funnye, spiritual leader of a mostly black synagogue on Chicago’s South Side, are first cousins once removed. Funnye’s mother, Verdelle Robinson Funnye (born Verdelle Robinson) and Michelle Obama’s paternal grandfather, Fraser Robinson Jr., were siblings.[3] He is well-known in Jewish circles for acting as a bridge between mainstream Jewry and African Americans.[3]

Robinson III

Flag of Illinois.svg Illinois[1]
United States Water
plant pump
in Illinois

(born 1937)
United States Secretary
at Spiegel
in Illinois

Flag of Illinois.svg Illinois
(born 1962)
United States Basketball
coach in

Flag of Illinois.svg Illinois
(born 1964)
United States (Wife of


  • 1. Michelle Robinson (1964)
Great Grandparents
2nd Great Grandparents
3rd Great Grandparents
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Murray, Shailagh (October 2, 2008). "A Family Tree Rooted In American Soil: Michelle Obama Learns About Her Slave Ancestors, Herself and Her Country". The Washington Post: p. C01. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  2. ^ "Oregon State University Beavers: Craig Robinson bio".{{subst:ucfirst:{{subst:lc:SPSID}}}}=106239&{{subst:ucfirst:{{subst:lc:SPID}}}}=1954&DB_OEM_ID=4700&{{subst:ucfirst:{{subst:lc:ATCLID}}}}=1436883&Q_{{subst:ucfirst:{{subst:lc:SEASON}}}}=2008. Retrieved 2008-08-21. 
  3. ^ a b Weiss, Anthony (September 2, 2008). "Michelle Obama Has a Rabbi in Her Family". The Forward. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  4. ^ 1900 Census - Bennettsville Township, Marlboro, South Carolina as General Cohen
  5. ^ 1910 Census - Bennettsville, Marlboro County, South Carolina
  6. ^ 1900 Census - Bennettsville Township, Marlboro, South Carolina as Geneval Cohen
  7. ^ 1910 Census - Bennettsville, Marlboro County, South Carolina as Sickle Cohen
  8. ^ Possibly the Sickle Cohen born 1871, died 2 Aug 1935 Marlboro County, South Carolina - South Carolina Death Records, 1821-1955
  9. ^ 1900 Census - Bennettsville Township, Marlboro, South Carolina as General Cohen
  10. ^ 1910 Census - Bennettsville, Marlboro County, South Carolina
  11. ^ 1900 Census - Bennettsville Township, Marlboro, South Carolina as General Cohen

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Sources and notes

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