Ava Gardner

by ethnic on June 20, 2010

Birth Name: Ava Lavinia Gardner

Date of Birth: December 24, 1922

Place of Birth: Brogden, Johnston, North Carolina, U.S.

Date of Death: 25 January, 1990

Place of Death: Westminster, London, England, U.K.

Ethnicity: English

Ava Gardner was an American actress and singer. She was the daughter of Mary Elizabeth “Mollie” (Baker) and Jonas Bailey Gardner.

Ava had English ancestry.

Ava’s paternal grandfather was James Bailey Gardner (the son of William Gardner and Cynthia Eliza Batts). James was born in North Carolina. William was the son of William Gardner and Nancy Poteet. Cynthia was the daughter of Bailey Batts and Esther Jordan.

Ava’s paternal grandmother was Mary Elizabeth/Mollie Dildy/Dilda (the daughter of Benjamin/Benj Dildy/Dilda and Mathilda/Matilda/Mattie Cobb). Mary Elizabeth was born in North Carolina. Benjamin was the son of Jesse Dilday/Dilda and Ivy/Avy Matthews. Mathilda was the daughter of Jonas Gray Cobb and Elizabeth Cherry.

Ava’s maternal grandfather was King David Baker (the son of James Baker and Temperance Ellis). King was born in North Carolina. James was the son of James S. Baker and Nancy Stillwell. Temperance was the daughter of Archelaus Ellis and Frances/Fannie Lewis.

Ava’s maternal grandmother was Mary Elizabeth Forbes (the daughter of Hiram/Hyrum Forbes and Millicent Ann “Milly” Harrell). Mary Elizabeth was born in North Carolina. Hiram was the son of Arthur Forbes and Beatrice Beaty/Beady. Millicent was the daughter of John Webb and Mary Polly Harrell.

Ava has sometimes been described as having had Irish and Scots-Irish (Northern Irish) ancestry. It is not clear if these lineages have been verified/documented. The surname Forbes, which appears in Ava’s recent family tree, could indicate Scottish ancestry, although it is not clear if any of Ava’s family lines have explicitly been traced to Scotland. It has also sometimes been claimed that Ava had African-American, Native American, or Melungeon ancestry. It is also not clear if any of these lineages have been documented/verified. No African-American, Native American, or Melungeon ancestry appears in publicly available family trees of Ava Gardner.

Ava’s paternal great-grandparents, William Gardner and Cynthia Eliza Batts, were also the paternal great-great-great-great-grandparents of actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead. This makes Eva and Mary Elizabeth second cousins, three times removed.

Sources: Genealogies of Ava Gardner – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Genealogies of Ava Gardner (focusing on her father’s side) – http://www.geni.com

Ava’s paternal grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Dilda/Dildy, on the 1850 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

andrew October 18, 2016 at 4:51 pm
andrew February 19, 2017 at 4:58 pm
andrew June 10, 2016 at 5:34 pm
Greyface April 18, 2016 at 9:12 am

english master race confirmed

ashash November 12, 2015 at 5:23 pm

Ava’s mother was Mary Elizabeth Baker.

Her maternal grandmother was Mary Elizabeth Forbes.

Her paternal grandmother was Mary Elizabeth Dilda/Dildy.

Her second cousin, three times removed is Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

Mary Elizabeth is a name that runs on both sides of her family. Very strange.

follers November 13, 2015 at 12:04 am

It’s an old Cherokee name.

ashash November 13, 2015 at 6:14 pm

Ava and Mary Elizabeth (Winstead) look like they are of their ethnicity to me. Cheryl Cole is more “exotic” and she is of the same ethnicity.

celebfan June 24, 2015 at 10:26 pm

I’m surprised that her ancestry is entirely English, given her dark skin, hair, and eye color.

andrew June 25, 2015 at 5:45 am

there are actually English people with those features but she had green eyes and brown/auburn hair if you search her colored pics

ashash November 11, 2015 at 8:11 pm
ashash November 13, 2015 at 6:42 pm
andrew August 2, 2014 at 7:23 am

ethnic where did u find this pic?

ethnic August 2, 2014 at 9:47 am

Hi Andrew, its a public domain pic which is featured on Wiki

ShawntheGod July 27, 2014 at 4:16 am

Heard some rumors she’s part black, doubt it’s true.

Check7t July 31, 2014 at 8:37 am

i agree

ashash June 25, 2014 at 5:30 pm

I just noted that a lot of women in this family were named Mary Elizabeth. Is it some kind of tradition?

follers June 25, 2014 at 5:37 pm

It’s an old tradition among the Mi’kmaq tribe, yes.

babycakezz June 22, 2014 at 9:29 am

I’m a distant cousin of Ava. Nora forbes great great granddaughter. On my paternal grandfathers side, we are Spainiard a little far along the line, Native American, Irish, English, and German. I don’t recall of any “Black blood” in the family.
But yes, she doesn’t look full caucasian, I’m not sure of anything on her dads side, but her mother, yes.

follers June 22, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Who were Ava Gardner’s most recent Spanish, Native American, Irish, and German ancestors? What were their names?

follers November 27, 2013 at 10:56 am

So, I wonder, can anyone produce any documented ancestry for Ava Gardner that wasn’t English?

andrew November 27, 2013 at 6:00 pm

wiki quote: “Her ancestry was said to include Scots-Irish, English, Irish, French Huguenot, and American Indian (Tuscarora).”

follers November 27, 2013 at 11:01 pm

That is why I said “documented”.

ashash December 7, 2013 at 11:02 am

In Ava’s autobiography, she said she was just Scots-Irish, not French, American Indian, or whatever else.

follers December 7, 2013 at 2:31 pm

She was an Englishwoman, not a Scots-Irishwoman. :-)

andrew September 10, 2013 at 3:43 pm
george March 20, 2012 at 5:16 am

basically the AA part is based on speculation and rumor.Not very good sources.I guess anyone can say that about anyone? Guess what? Denzel Washinton is part Russian.I heard it from a person who knew his tailor.

SparkleTime January 9, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Ethnic, I read that source and it is nothing but a rumor. I thought this site was credible, but now I am starting to doubt it. You cannot place a certain ethnicity for an actress based off of a rumor. You have to have proof.

Serpent December 29, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Not a fan of hers, but cool. I think she was beautiful.

Tuana December 29, 2011 at 11:49 am

She is of Melungeon origin, Turkic.

HeyJude July 5, 2012 at 9:47 am

Melungeons were mixed with European and African.

worldgirl October 15, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I always screamed that alot of (old) actrices where lotta mixed even the white people.. didn’t matter what……. but I see swirrrl haa

Melissa September 16, 2011 at 9:52 am

The rich beauty of Ava Gardner does not look entirely Caucasion. The distinct lips and something about the eyes look like she certainly may have had black ancestry. I think it’s cool. Melissa

karrin September 9, 2011 at 1:55 am

is mary elizabeth winstead related to ava? i read that somewhere. so that means she has the same ethnicity as ava gardner?

Not surprised August 11, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Remember the role she played in Show Boat? She always seemed believable in it to me. When I first heard of the “Brass Ankles” of North Carolina, I wondered whether she was one. Bottom line: so?

Lois August 7, 2011 at 2:15 pm

We were never meant to intermingle, intermarry with the races….

worldgirl October 15, 2011 at 12:06 pm

what’s that supposed to mean!?

noneofyourbusiness November 26, 2014 at 5:08 pm

It means they’re racist obviously.

Ohplease!!! April 27, 2011 at 6:58 am
woofmom August 22, 2010 at 6:38 am

We are all related. Decades separate some of us. Centuries separate the rest.

tn August 14, 2010 at 7:00 pm

ava looks black look at her complexion her lips oh and she gave frank sinatra hell like a sistuhhhh lol

Fuzzybear February 26, 2010 at 10:51 pm

To Lauren

You act as if (we) made the rule.If they have black blood,they have black blood;so what’s the problem?All I’m saying is that the same people they hate,their probably related to

worldgirl October 15, 2011 at 12:15 pm

ain’t that the truth haha , annnnd …….if people hate me, they hate themselves,..and if I hate them ,. i hate myself…get the riddle,… i’m mixed with 6 different “things” …….. “every” race category in the world, .. everytime standing next to different kind of people / “race” in family pictures haha I hear 3 languages beinh spoken …adding on #4 it rockssss!!!!!!!!!!!

Lauren February 25, 2010 at 11:42 pm

yea right black people alwayd trying to one drop

Fuzzybear February 25, 2010 at 9:15 pm

like I said 1/3 the white population

Melissa September 16, 2011 at 9:54 am

The rich beauty of Ava Garner does not look entirely Caucasion. The distinct lips and something about the eyes look like she may have had black ancestry. I think it’s cool.

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