The History

President Barack Obama has very little known but deep roots in Indiana. The Dunham family has played the most significant and important role in his life. His mother, Ann Dunham and his grandparents, Stanley and Madelyn Dunham who raised him, were from Kansas. However, if you go back just a few years, you will find that many generations of President Obama’s forefathers are from Indiana.

Jacob Dunham came to Tipton County, Indiana in the 1840’s. He is President Obama’s fourth great grandfather. Jacob Dunham died on July 20, 1865 and is laid to rest in Indiana soil at The Kempton Cemetery in Kempton, Indiana. His son, Jacob Mackey Dunham, is President Obama’s third great grandfather. He married Lousie Eliza Stroup in Tipton County, Indiana on July 21, 1853. To them a son was born, Jacob William Dunham, President Obama’s second great grandfather who was born February 7, 1863 in Kempton, Indiana. He later left Indiana for Kansas with his wife, Mary Ann Kearney, and past away on August 13, 1930. Thus President Obama’s family continued in Kansas to his mother.

Other families who married into the Dunham family are by the name Goodnight, Kearney, and Stroup. Many of their descendents are still living here in Tipton County, Indiana.


Falmouth Kearney, an Irish immigrant, who left Ireland during the great famine and his wife Charlotte Hollaway lived here and they are President Obama’s third great grandparents. Along with John Stroup who is President Obama’s fourth great grandfather, William Stroup and his wife Ann Thomas, President Obama’s fifth great grandparents are laid to rest here. William Stroup is the oldest known direct ancestor from Indiana and was born in 1785, he is resting a few miles from the Dunham House at Normanda Cemetery.


Today, there still remains the property his forefathers owned. It was passed on to a family member by the name of William Riley Dunham. Ironically or by fate, Mr. Dunham served the Democratic Party for several years and represented Hamilton and Tipton County in the Indiana General House of Assembly. The home, which he built, still stands on the original Dunham land.


Below you will find a brief history guide about the house. Please click the picture to view or print guide: