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Obama’s ancestors include Swiss immigrant

25 September 2008

STRASBOURG — Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s ancestors include a Swiss man who left eastern France for the United States in 1749, a local archivist said Wednesday.

The forefather, Christian Gutknecht, was born in 1722 and, although living in the eastern French town of Bischwiller, "was clearly an immigrant who came from the Bern region," Christian Gunther told AFP.

Gutknecht anglicised his name to Goodnight in the United States, he added.

In Bischwiller, Gutknecht apparently lived on a street where immigrants from Bern and Zurich lived, the archivist said, adding that the house where he stayed no longer stands.

US press reports have said Obama is distantly related to US President George W Bush as well as Vice President Dick Cheney.

[AFP / Expatica]