Carly Simon

by ethnic on July 27, 2012

LOS ANGELES - OCT 30:  Carly Simon at the Oceana's Partners Awar

Birth Name: Carly Elisabeth Simon

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

Date of Birth: June 25, 1945

*50% Ashkenazi Jewish
*25% German
*25% Cuban [African, Spanish, likely small amount of Indigenous]

Carly Simon is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and author.

Carly is the daughter of Andrea Louise Heinemann Simon, a community leader, and Richard L. Simon (Richard Leo Simon), a book publisher, who co-founded Simon & Schuster. Carly has two children with her former husband, singer, songwriter, and guitarist James Taylor.

Her father was Jewish, of German Jewish descent. Her maternal grandfather was of German ancestry.

Throughout much of her life, Carly was unsure of her maternal grandmother, “Chibie”‘s, background, believing her to have been from Spain, and of Spanish and Moorish descent. Research performed by the show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2017) indicated that Carly’s maternal grandmother’s family was actually from Cuba, and was of part Afro-Cuban descent.

A DNA test whose results were displayed on Finding Your Roots stated that Carly’s genetic ancestry includes:

*10% Africa[n]
*2% Native America[n]

Thus, Carly’s maternal grandmother was likely of around 40% African ancestry.

Carly’s paternal grandfather was Leo Leopold Simon (the son of Leopold B. Simon and Sophie Friedenburg/Fiendenburg). Carly’s grandfather Leo was born in Connecticut, to Jewish parents from Saxony, Germany.

Carly’s paternal grandmother was Anna Meier/Mayer (the daughter of Wilhelm/William Meier/Mayer and Rosine/Rosina Mendel). Anna was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, to a German Jewish family.

Carly’s maternal grandfather was Frederick Adolph “Fred” Heinemann (the son of Adolph Heinemann/Heineman and Mary Amelia Haas). Frederick was born in Pennsylvania. Adolph was Prussian, the son of August Heinemann/Heineman, who was born in Brunswick, and of Dora K. Mary Amelia was born in Pennsylvania, of German descent.

Carly’s maternal grandmother was Ofilia/Ofelia “Elma/Alma Marie”/Maria “Chibie” Oliete/Ollright. Ofilia was most likely born in Cuba. On her marriage record, she is listed as the daughter of Jose/Joseph Agustin Oliete/Ollright and Maria/Marie Patrociana de Jesús Baez. However, DNA and other research performed by Finding Your Roots indicates that Ofilia’s biological mother may have been Lauriana Oliete, who was Maria/Marie Patrociana’s daughter. Thus, Maria/Marie Patrociana may have been Carly’s great-great-grandmother rather than great-grandmother. Whether Jose Oliete was Carly’s great-great-grandfather was not addressed.

In her autobiography, Boys in the Trees: A Memoir (2015), Carly wrote:

It was Chibie, above all, who fascinated me. Who was Chibie? Where had she come from?… One story went that she was the illegitimate daughter of King Alphonso XIII of Spain and a Moorish slave he had gotten pregnant… I was able to confirm that until her mid-teens, Chibie lived in England, and that when she left the convent [where she spent time], she could read in eight languages. She was brainy, brilliant, and an utter original. She had dark olive skin and spent the rest of her life bleaching it in order to “pass” in a Caucasian world.

Sources: Genealogy of Carly Simon –

Genealogies and obituaries of Carly’s parents –

Genealogy of Carly’s father –

Marriage record of Carly’s paternal grandparents, Leo Leopold Simon and Anna Meier/Mayer –

Genealogy of Carly Simon (focusing on her mother’s side) –

Carly’s mother on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Marriage record of Carly’s maternal grandparents, Frederick Adolph “Fred” Heinemann and Ofilia/Ofelia “Elma/Alma Marie”/Maria “Chibie” Oliete/Ollright –

Carly’s maternal grandfather, Frederick Adolph “Fred” Heinemann, on the 1880 U.S. Census –

Carly’s maternal great-grandparents, Adolph Heinemann/Heineman and Mary Amelia Haas, on the 1870 U.S. Census –

Carly’s maternal great-great-grandparents, August Heinemann/Heineman and Dora K., on the 1870 U.S. Census –

photo by kathclick/

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

andrew December 20, 2017 at 5:02 pm

genealogy of Carly Simon (focusing on her mother’ side) –

anen87 October 17, 2017 at 9:42 pm

Just saw the Your RoAnother case of Cuban wannabe spanish

anen87 October 17, 2017 at 10:39 pm

Finding Your Roots show states her grandmother’s ancestors according to records were “pardos libres” pardo meaning tri-racial, libre meaning freed. So she’s a descendant of black slaves… A far cry from what she was telling her grandchildren! She was obviously ashamed of being black, sad.

madman October 7, 2017 at 3:25 am

Her mother’s middle name is Louise.

“the son of August Heinemann and Dora”
This is wrong. His parents were Adolph Heinemann and Mary Amelia Haas:

The record above also has Carly’s grandmother as Elma Ollright, the daughter of Joseph Ollright and Marie P. Baez.
Assuming this is her grandfather, August and Dora were Frederick’s grandparents. But it says that Adolph was August’s son in law and that Mary/Amelia was his daughter, which doesn’t seem to fit… And Adolph’s surname is Kroll…
1910 census says that her grandmother was born in Cuba, to Spanish parents.
“A figure of romantic mystery to her own children and grandchildren, Elma (also given as Alma in some records) was rumored to have been the illegitimate child of Spanish royalty and a servant girl. But records, at least on their surface, indicate she was born Ofelia Oliete, daughter of Spaniard Jose Agustin Oliete and Cuban Maria P. Baez. She appears to be the youngest of seventeen children born mostly or all in Cuba, with 9 alive as of the 1900 census, and these eight known by name: Jose A., born in 1863; Claudine c1865; Asuncion (“Suncia,” “Susy,” c1871; Lauriana c1875; Consuela c1878; Auyrero/Amparo c1880; Alfredo c1883; and Ofelia (suspected to be Elma Maria) in 1888.”

I think Carly’s exact words could be included:
“It was Chibie, aboce all, who fascinated me. Who was Chibie? Where had she come from? No one knew for sure, and Chibie’s origins were complicated. One story went that she was the illegitimate daughter of King Alphonso XIII of Spain and a Moorish slave he had gotten pregnant. When Chibie’s mother visited the king, infant in hand, he promptly dismissed them. Eventually, Chibie was handed off to another slave girl planning passage from Valencia to Cuba, who concealed the infant under her clothes. Arriving in Havana, Chibie was handed over to the Del Rio family, Asuncione and Raymond, who, after rechristening her Alma, dispatched her to a convent in England where she was raised by nuns until the age of sixteen.
While her dramatic origins were never fully verified, I was able to confirm that until her mid-teens, Chibie lived in England, and that when she left the convent, she could read in eight languages. She was brainy, brilliant, and an utter original. She had dark olive skin and spent the rest of her life bleaching it in order to “pass” in a Caucasian world. Chibie entered into an arranged marriage with a German-speaking Swiss man named Frederick Heinemann.”

madman October 7, 2017 at 3:25 am

*above all

follers October 7, 2017 at 11:18 am

Melia and Adolph Kroll were probably not Frederick A. “Fred” Heinemann’s parents. For one thing, they’re too young, Melia especially, even by late 19th century U.S. standards. Perhaps Frederick was orphaned.

This is likely Simon’s great-grandfather Adolph Heinemann/Heineman’s death record.

As for the quote, Simon’s maternal grandmother’s ancestry will be discussed on Finding Your Roots on Tuesday, so whatever the real story is is what I’ll report if I see it, along with maybe a relevant fraction of the quote.

blue October 7, 2017 at 10:31 pm

Simon´s maternal grandmother history is very stupid and unreal, the reality is that her grandmother was a half black woman from cuba and lie about her roots because she was ashamed of it , Henry Louis gates explain it :

I dont see the black roots, for me looks very jewish.

blue October 7, 2017 at 10:34 pm

She claimed to be the offspring of the king of Spain and a Moroccan slave.

Researchers traveled to Cuba to search out Catholic church records unavailable online and found ‘an amazing family tree,’ Gates said, one different than expected.

Simon’s grandmother was found to be 40 per cent black, making the singer-songwriter 10 per cent black.

Her grandmother ‘invented this crazy story, this fabrication, because she knew she was from a mixed-race heritage, and that was very unpopular in the 1950s and ’60s,’ Gates said.

Read more:
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savanna November 25, 2015 at 5:28 am

She talks about her maternal grandmother, “Chibie”, in her 2015 memoir and mentions her origins are not fully verified. It is believed she was the illegitimate daughter of King Alphonse XIII of Spain and a Moorish slave he had gotten pregnant. She was eventually handed off to nuns in England and raised in a covenant until 16. She had dark olive skin that she bleached to “pass in a ‘Caucasian’ world”. She has Carly’s mother with a “German-speaking Swiss man”, Frederick Heinemann.

andrew November 25, 2015 at 5:33 am

“Moorish slave” in XIX century?

follers November 26, 2015 at 2:26 am

King Alphonse XIII of Spain? really?

savanna November 26, 2015 at 9:22 am

LOL she said it, not me!

ipete January 7, 2017 at 7:21 am

Is doesn’t state her grandmother was born in Cuba at all…someone read that totally wrong.. It states in the Memoir that she was from “Valencia”, Spain…then via Cuba back to England till mid teens.. The part that carly states that is verified is that she lived in England which makes sense being also in Europe..and states she had an English accent.

bearboy January 12, 2015 at 7:42 pm

Oh my bad didn’t see the quotes there.

Check7t October 4, 2014 at 3:07 pm


ethnic August 22, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Hmm I might need to see that autobiography.

anen87 August 22, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Soo she’s like 1/4 black btw I can definetly see the jewish in this photo

anen87 August 22, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Oh Reallly! Why didn’t she state that then? It states “African-American” which means Black English

ethnic August 22, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Hi follers
Don’t worry, I’m getting to them!

anen87 August 22, 2012 at 5:49 pm

@follers Are you Jewish? I seem to have offended thee? The reason I said I see the jewish in this photo was solely cause she reminded me of Joan Rivers (who is Jewish) in her younger years before the surgeries. google image “joan rivers young”. As for me guessing her black ancestry that’s a mistake anyone could have made since this website didn’t state exact sources. I simply interpreted it as her mom being half black thus making her 1/4. Anyway I did my own research and found an interview from The Bill Miller Show, Carly states:

“My grandmother was half black, and my uncle was very influenced by black jazz in Chicago and New Orleans. And when he was up in New York, he really turned a lot of the white jazz singers on to black jazz”

So In ACTUALITY Carly is 1/8 Black! Also don’t be so racist you act as if Black is a bad thing next time answer more coherently instead of going off on a Unicorn rant.

follers August 22, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Uh, I am Jewish, but I don’t think that has anything to do with this.

Look at this page from a biography of a few singers. It talks about Carly’s mother, Andrea Louise Heinemann. Her dad was a German man. Her mother was born in Spain. The book says she (the Spanish-born grandmother) “called herself “Moorish” and said she has African blood” and mentions that the Moors left Spain in 1492… so is it possible that this grandmother had African ancestry from the 1400s? Of course, but how would she even know?

Also, ethnic, if you see this, can you please correct this? Carly doesn’t seem to have Cuban or French ancestry. Her dad’s parents were both Jewish immigrants from Germany (Leo Simon and Anna Meier), look at page 79 of that book. Her maternal grandpa was a non-Jewish German immigrant. And her maternal grandmother was a Spanish (Catholic) immigrant.

fuzzybear44 August 23, 2012 at 3:38 am

To follers

Yes many of the moors were kicked out in 1492.However black people didn’t stay out of spain.There were the moors who converted.Then Spain brought a whole mess of black people into Spain.Black people have continually gone to Spain,they are there now.There was no cut off point,they have always been in Spain.So like Carly has said often,she most likely has the bloodline.I mean what’s the point of her lying about it(when everyone else in her era,who looked white did)

andrew December 26, 2013 at 4:43 pm
fuzzybear44 April 12, 2014 at 4:09 am


Sorry,didn’t see this so I’ll keep it short

Well let’s see,I gave you a Spanish historian:Luisa Isabel Álvarez de Toledo, 21st Duchess of Medina Sidonia(who you can see,was also a member of the royal family),a documentary,an books on the subject.However I guess you say forget all that,you got a blogger on your side.

Anyway,Lets see why you liked him so much.Oh it’s because he says(to be blunt,the muslims for the most part,were not Arabs,Berbers,nor Black).However he then contradicts himself,by saying(Yes,the initial group was Arabs and Berbers).However it was not Arabs and Berbers,but Arabs and Sundanese warriors,which was the standard for a Arab army at that time.Berbers didn’t join until a bit later. He admits to Different Ethnicites being recognized among the moors like(Arabs,Berbers, blacks and Slavs).However from what I can see,except for Slavs,black people are a part of each one of those other groups.Here and example of an Arabs:
Al-Jahiz Famous Arab poet
Antarah ibn Shaddad was pre-islamic arab
The rap group Desert Heat:!/image/2525816816.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_475/2525816816.jpg

Then he goes on to say,about 200 something yrs later,they were white converts ruling.

Ok,if you had actually looked at the documentary I had provided(before),you would have seen they talked about that.The moors never tried to replace the population,but they did try to convert as many people as they could.Much like white europeans did in South Africa,they simply added to the population but never replace it.Plus many of those white moors were the original moors descendants.After all,the moors believed in doing the horizontal mambo with the white women.So it’s no surprise that after all that time,many of the moors would be white or converts.However when Islam was in trouble,they called for help.Who came(The Almoravid),and even your own blogger stated they were black.they ruled for another 107yrs(in spain and north africa).Now after them,came the(Almohads),however I do have to admit,not all of them were black.The sultan(Abu Al-Hasan ‘Ali ibn ‘Othman) father,was said to have a white complexion(while Abu was as black as you can get).Now as i stated before,I gave you books on the subject.Here are two more,( The Song of Roland
By W.S. Merwin):pages CXL111 and CXL1V

Franks and Saracens: Reality and Fantasy in the Crusades by Avner FAlk pg.bottom of 29 to 30

Then,I have to bring this up again,(The Moor sundry act).The law that was put in place to protect the sultan of morocco people.I quote, (It recognized Moors as white people with Jury duty as a privilege. Moors were not to be subjected to laws governing (free)blacks and slaves.They would be tried as citizens instead of under the Negro Act of 1740).I said free blacks,because although those blacks were free, they could not do Jury duty or testify against whites.Also as far as him seeing only a few pieces of art showing the moors as black,and only in the 18th and 19th century.Shows me, that he like yourself loves wiki , and didn’t bother to look anywhere else. Found all these in just a few minutes:
this one is my favorite:
etc,etc,etc,There are plenty of sites and pictures like these on the net,your friend just didn’t look.Also the reason you see so many pictures in the 18th and 19th century, of moors as a black people:
Is because that’s what they looked like.

andrew April 12, 2014 at 7:30 am

luckily short, just wanted to show a pov, not necessarily my own one

bearboy January 12, 2015 at 7:34 pm

Wait follers you said on Larry David’s page your were half Irish half Slavic?

bearboy January 12, 2015 at 7:35 pm

Asking out of curiosity about being Jewish

fuzzybear44 August 23, 2012 at 3:23 am

To anen87

I’m with you on this anen87. I known about carly since I was a little kid,she has always stated she was part black(even when it wasn’t popular to say you were).Unlike others who could pass for white,she never hid that heritage.

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