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Tracing Affleck’s family tree to his slave-holding ancestor

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — How did actor Ben Affleck, a California native raised in the Boston area, descend from a Southern slave holder who served as a Georgia sheriff during the Civil War?

Affleck identified the relative as Benjamin Cole on social media. Here’s how The Associated Press, using census records and other documents, connected Affleck and Cole — men born more than 150 years apart.

–1857: Benjamin L. Cole of Savannah, Georgia, marries Georgia A. Speissegger. They are Affleck’s great-great-great grandparents. Public records show Cole had been married at least once previously.

–Circa 1862: The Coles have a daughter, Maggie Cole. She is Affleck’s great-great grandmother.

–1894: Affleck’s great grandfather, Lawrence L. Roberts, is born in the District of Columbia to Margaret Roberts (formerly Cole) and Flournoy Roberts, both originally from Georgia.

— 1921: Affleck’s grandmother, Elizabeth N. Roberts, is born in New York to Lawrence Roberts and Margaret Roberts.

–1942: Affleck’s mother, Chris Ann Boldt, is born to Elizabeth N. Boldt (formerly Roberts) and O’Brien Boldt.

–1972: Ben Affleck is born to Timothy and Chris Ann Affleck (formerly Boldt) in Berkeley, California.

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