Mel Gibson

by ethnic on February 15, 2015

Birth Name: Mel Colmcille Gerard Gibson

Place of Birth: Peekskill, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: January 3, 1956

*87.5% Irish
*12.5% mix of English, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, Scottish, and Welsh

Mel Gibson is an American and Australian actor and filmmaker. He won the Academy Award for Best Director for Braveheart (1995).

Mel’s father was born in Peekskill, New York, to an American father and an Australian mother; he is of mostly Irish, with some English, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, Scottish, and Welsh, ancestry. Mel’s mother was Irish, and was born in County Longford. Mel and his family moved to Australia around the time he was twelve years old, settling in Sydney. Mel’s first and middle names, Mel and Colmcille, are the names of Irish saints.

He was previously married to Robyn Moore, with whom he has seven children. He also has a son with his partner, equestrian vaulter and writer Rosalind Ross, and a daughter with his former partner, singer, songwriter, and pianist Oksana Grigorieva. One of his siblings, Donald Gibson, is also an actor.

Mel was the first person named People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive“, in 1985.

Mel’s patrilineal line can be traced back to John Gibson, who was born, c. 1601, in England.

Mel’s paternal grandfather was John Hutton Gibson (the son of John Gerard Gibson and Susan Louisa Miller O’Farrell/Farrell). Mel’s grandfather John was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mel’s great-grandfather John was born in Savannah, Georgia, the son of John Thomas Gibson and Sarah Louise Gerard, and had English, Irish, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, Scottish, and Welsh, ancestry. Mel’s great-grandmother Susan was born in Brooklyn, New York City, the daughter of Matthew O’Farrell/Farrell and Annie, and was of Irish descent.

Mel’s paternal grandmother was Eva Mylott (Eva Teresa Mylott, the daughter of Patrick Mylott and Mary Heffernan). Eva, an Australian opera singer, was born in Tuross Head, New South Wales, to Irish parents. Patrick was the son of Patrick Mylott and Mary McDermott. Mel’s great-grandmother Mary Heffernan was the daughter of Edmund/Edmond Heffernan and Honora Ryan.

Sources: Genealogies of Mel Gibson (focusing on his father’s side) –

photo by Featureflash /


Lupita Nyong’o

by ethnic on February 28, 2014

45th Annual NAACP Image Awards - Arrivals

Birth Name: Lupita Amondi Nyong’o

Place of Birth: Mexico City, Mexico

Date of Birth: 1 March, 1983

Ethnicity: Luo Kenyan

Lupita Nyong’o is an actress and director. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for 12 Years a Slave (2013).

She was born in Mexico City, Mexico, to Kenyan parents, Dorothy Ogada Buyu Nyongo and Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o, a college professor and politician, who has served as a Member of the Kenyan Parliament, from 2003 to 2013, and a Minister of Medical Services in the Kenyan government, from 2008 to 2013. She is of Luo descent. Lupita is fluent in English, Spanish, Swahili, and Luo.

Her parents were living Mexico at the time of her birth because her father was a political enemy of Daniel arap Moi, who was President of Kenya from 1978 to 2002. Her father’s brother, Charles, died in a fall from a boat, possibly as a politically-motivated murder to intimidate Lupita’s family. Lupita’s father was a working as a visiting lecturer at a Mexican university when she was born.

It is a Luo tradition to name a child after the day’s events, and so, because of the family’s Mexican residence and her Mexican birth, she was named Lupita as a tribute to Guadalupe, Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Lupita’s parents moved back to Kenya in the mid 1980s, though Lupita spent some more time in Mexico during her teen years. Her father was imprisoned and tortured by the Kenyan government in 1987.

Lupita’s paternal grandmother was named Dorca Owino Amolo. Dorca was born in Agok, Uyoma, Kenya.

Lupita’s maternal grandfather was Laban Onyango Buyu (the son of Adere Buyu). Laban was born in Kisumu, Kisumu, Kenya.

Lupita’s maternal grandmother was named Roscmcll Jane Achieng.

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John Cena

by ethnic on February 27, 2010

Birth Name: John Felix Anthony Cena

Place of Birth: West Newbury, Massachusetts, U.S.

Date of Birth: April 23, 1977

*Italian (father)
*French-Canadian, English (mother)

John Cena is an American professional wrestler, actor, rapper, and reality television show host. John’s father is of Italian descent and John’s mother is of half French-Canadian and around half English ancestry.

“Cena” means “dinner” or “supper” in Italian.

John’s paternal grandfather was Felix J. Cena (the son of Agostino/August Cena and Madalena/Madaline Baleyns/Belegante). Agostino and Madalena were Italian immigrants. Agostino was born in Livorno/Leghorn, Province of Livorno, Tuscany, the son of Guiseppe Cena and Margaret. Madalena was the daughter of Felice Baleyns/Belegante and Angela Gralia.

John’s paternal grandmother was Catherine/Katherine A. DiVincenzo (the daughter of Antonio DiVincenzo and Felicia/Felecia Sardella). Antonio and Felicia were Italian, from Pontecorvo, Province of Frosinone, Lazio, Italy. Antonio was the son of Domenico Ludovico DiVincenzo.

John’s maternal grandfather was Ulysses “Tony” John Lupien (the son of Ulysses John Lupien and Eugenie Marie Gosselin). John’s grandfather Tony Lupien, the son of parents who were of French-Canadian descent, was a professional baseball player. John’s great-grandfather Ulysses was the son of Francois/Frank Xavier Lupien and Laura Mary Brusseau. Eugenie was the daughter of Narcisse Desiré Gosselin and Marie-Gracieuse Guay.

John’s maternal grandmother was Natalie Nichols (the daughter of Charles Nichols and Julie).

Some web sites claim that John has Arbereshe ancestry. The Arbereshe are an ethnic Albanian group that moved to Southern Italy and Sicily in the 1500s. These claims have not been verified.

Sources: Genealogy of John Cena –

John’s paternal grandfather, Felix J. Cena, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

John’s paternal grandmother, Catherine/Katherine A. DiVincenzo, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Genealogy of John’s maternal great-grandmother, Eugenie Marie Gosselin –

Genealogy of John’s maternal great-grandmother, Eugenie Marie Gosselin (focusing on her father’s side) –

Helga Esteb /


Carmelo Anthony

by ethnic on January 23, 2010

Birth Name: Carmelo Kyam Anthony

Place of Birth: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: May 29, 1984

*Puerto Rican [African, some Spanish and Indigenous/likely Taíno], distant Venezuelan (father)
*African-American (mother)

Carmelo Anthony is an American professional basketball player, in the INBA. His father, Carmelo Iriarte, was born in Manhattan, to Puerto Rican parents, of African, and some Spanish and Indigenous (likely Taíno) descent, along with distant Venezuelan. His mother, Mary Anthony, is African-American. His father died when he was an infant.

Carmelo is married to disc jockey, television personality, and actress La La Anthony, with whom he has a son. La La is also of Afro-Puerto Rican descent.

A DNA test whose results were displayed on the show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2017) stated that Carmelo’s genetic ancestry is:

*70% African
*24% European
*6% Native American [Indigenous]

Carmelo’s paternal grandfather was Andres Iriarte Rodriguez (the son of José Luciano Iriarte and Angelina/Angela Rodriguez). Andres was born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. José Luciano was the son of Benicia Iriarte. Benicia’s mother, Valentina Echeandria/Iriarte, was mixed race (part African), and was born into slavery in Güigüe, Venezuela.

Carmelo’s paternal grandmother was Carmen “Carmela”. Carmen was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico.


Rena Schild / (Carmelo and Lala)


Tessa Thompson

by ethnic on January 1, 2010

46th NAACP Image Awards Presented by TV One - Arrivals

Birth Name: Tessa Lynn Thompson

Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Birth: October 3, 1983

*Afro-Panamanian (father)
*Mexican, European (mother)

Tessa Thompson is an American actress. Her father, Marc Anthony Thompson, was a singer/songwriter for the band Chocolate Genius, Inc.

Tessa’s father is of Panamanian descent. Tessa’s mother is of half Mexican and half European ancestry.

Tessa has played the role of an African-American and bi-racial woman in her career. In the 2010 film For Colored Girls, Tessa was one of nine actresses depicting the lives and struggles of women of color. In the 2014 film Dear White People, Tessa played a biracial college student dealing with racial tensions within Ivy league schools.

Tessa’s maternal grandfather was named Bobby Ramos.

Source: Mention of Tessa’s ancestry –

Photo by Prphotos


Ana Navarro

April 8, 2009

Birth Name: Ana Violeta Navarro Flores Place of Birth: Chinandega, Nicaragua Date of Birth: December 28, 1971 Ethnicity: Nicaraguan (Spanish, some Indigenous, small amount of African), small amount of Costa Rican Ana Navarro is an American political strategist and commentator. She is a Republican. Ana was born in Chinandega, Nicaragua. Because of political upheaval in […]

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Taylor Lautner

April 27, 2008

Birth Name: Taylor Daniel Lautner Place of Birth: Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S. Date of Birth: February 11, 1992 Ethnicity: English, Swiss-German, German, Dutch, Scottish, distant Irish, French, and Welsh Taylor Lautner is an American actor, model, and martial artist. He starred in the 2008 film Twilight, and its four sequels. In the films, he played […]

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Tito Ortiz

December 29, 2007

Birth Name: Jacob Christopher Ortiz Place of Birth: Huntington Beach, Orange, California, United States Date of Birth: January 23, 1975 Ethnicity: *Mexican (father) *English, possibly other (mother) Tito Ortiz is an American mixed martial arts fighter. He is the son of Joyce and Samuel Ortiz. His father was born in Santa Ana, California, of Mexican […]

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Kenneth Branagh

October 23, 2006

Birth Name: Kenneth Charles Branagh Place of Birth: Belfast, Northern Ireland Date of Birth: 10 December, 1960 Ethnicity: Northern Irish Kenneth Branagh is a Northern Irish-born actor, writer, director, and producer. He was born to a Protestant family in Belfast, and was raised in England. Kenneth is married to film art director Lindsay Brunnock. Kenneth’s […]

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Mila Kunis

May 14, 2006

Birth Name: Milena Markovna Kunis Place of Birth: Chernivtsi, Ukraine, Soviet Union (now Ukraine) Date of Birth: August 14, 1983 Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish Mila Kunis is an American actress. She became known for starring in the television series That ’70s Show. Her parents, Elvira and Mark, are both Jewish. She moved to the U.S. when […]

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Nicholas Stoller

November 16, 2017

Birth Name: Nicholas Allen Stoller Place of Birth: Hammersmith, London, England, U.K. Date of Birth: 19 March, 1976 Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish Nicholas Stoller is a British-born American film director, film producer, and screenwriter. Nicholas is the son of Phyllis (Rosenstein) and Eric C. Stoller. Nicholas’s parents are Jewish. Nicholas was raised in Miami, Florida. He […]

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Gwilym Lee

November 16, 2017

Birth Name: Gwilym Alan Lee Place of Birth: Bristol, Gloucestershire, England, U.K. Date of Birth: c. January 1984 Ethnicity: Welsh Gwilym Lee is a British actor. He is the son of Ceinwen (Evans) and Tom Lee. His parents are Welsh.

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Oliver Cooper

November 16, 2017

Birth Name: Oliver J. Cooper Place of Birth: Sylvania Township, Ohio, U.S. Date of Birth: December 2, 1988 Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish Oliver Cooper is an American actor and comedian. Oliver is the son of Wendy and Michael “Mike” Cooper. He has a brother and a sister. His family is Jewish. Oliver has stated, “I’m Jewish, […]

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James L. Brooks

November 16, 2017

Birth Name: James Lawrence Brooks Place of Birth: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S. Date of Birth: May 9, 1940 Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish James L. Brooks is an American television and film director, producer, and screenwriter. James is known for co-developing television series The Simpsons, alongside Matt Groening and Sam Simon. James is the […]

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Michael A. Taylor

November 16, 2017

Birth Name: Michael Anthony Taylor Place of Birth: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S. Date of Birth: March 26, 1991 Ethnicity: African-American Michael A. Taylor is an American professional baseball player. He is a center fielder for the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball. Michael is the son of Lula and Anthony Taylor. Source:

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