Chuck Norris

by ethnic on March 12, 2009

12th Annual Movieguide Faith & Values Awards - Arrivals

Birth Name: Carlos Ray Norris

Place of Birth: Ryan, Oklahoma, U.S.

Date of Birth: March 10, 1940

Ethnicity: English, along with Scottish, Welsh, and German

Chuck Norris is an American martial artist, actor, film producer, and screenwriter.

Chuck is the son of Wilma (Scarberry) and Ray D. Norris. He is married to model Gena O’Kelley. He has five children, including actor Mike Norris and stock car racing driver and stuntman Eric Norris.

Chuck has stated that both of his parents were of half Irish and half Native American ancestry (“Genetically speaking, I am equal parts Irish and Native American”). Specifically, he has said that his paternal grandfather was an Irish immigrant, his paternal grandmother was of Native American descent (“a full-blooded Cherokee Indian”), his maternal grandfather was of Native American descent (“a Cherokee Indian from Kentucky”), and, finally, that his maternal grandmother was of Irish descent.

However, these statements do not appear to be accurate. Most of Chuck’s recent ancestors, including his paternal grandfather, were U.S.-born. His family tree contains mostly English surnames and English-born distant ancestors, along with a smaller amount of Scottish, Welsh, and German, roots. No Native American ancestry has been verified/documented in any publicly available family trees of Chuck Norris, and all of Chuck’s grandparents are described as “white” on U.S. censuses.

Chuck is the son of Wilma (Scarberry) and Ray D. Norris. Chuck’s patrilineal line traces back to a John Norris, born in the 1500s, in Norfolk Co., England.

Chuck’s paternal grandfather was James Henry Norris (the son of William/Simon Norris and Eliza Ann). James was born in Tennessee. William was the son of Samuel Norris and Melissa Curtis.

Chuck’s paternal grandmother was Ella May “Ellie” Tinker (the daughter of James Asbury Tinker and Clarisa Ann “Clara” Cofer). Ella was born in California. James Tinker was the son of Jesse Tinker and Margaret McArthur.

Chuck’s maternal grandfather was John Porter Scarberry (the son of an unnamed father and Martha Scarberry). John was born in Kentucky. Martha was the daughter of Richard E. Scarbrough and Eliza Jane Smith.

Chuck’s maternal grandmother was Ada Agnes Hargrove (the daughter of John “Jack” P. Hargrove and Alice or Jemimie). Ada was born in Texas.

Sources: Genealogies of Chuck Norris –

Information about, and genealogy of, Chuck’s father –

Chuck’s father on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Chuck’s paternal grandmother, Ella May “Ellie” Tinker, on the 1880 U.S. Census –

Chuck’s maternal grandparents, John Porter Scarberry and Ada Agnes Hargrove, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Genealogy of Chuck’s maternal grandfather, John Porter Scarberry (focusing on his own father’s side) –

Chuck’s maternal great-grandparents, John P. “Jack” Hargrove and Alice, on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Photo by Prphotos

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

andrew September 24, 2016 at 4:58 am
andrew July 10, 2016 at 5:33 am
visokozen September 25, 2015 at 1:57 am


cwm85 September 24, 2015 at 2:52 pm

LOL at his lies about being half native… why?

bearboy October 8, 2015 at 11:52 am

The same reason he lied about being half Irish.

bleachsoda December 25, 2015 at 4:36 pm

he actually looks part native

neiltennant July 22, 2015 at 6:18 am

he is digesting

voting republican and loving war criminals does not make him good

bearboy October 1, 2015 at 3:17 pm

You’re jealous of him

bearboy October 8, 2015 at 11:47 am
celebfan May 24, 2015 at 3:58 pm

Chuck Norris looks amazing for a man his age. He could pass for 20 years younger than he is.

andrew May 24, 2015 at 4:11 pm

it’s due to Cherokee genes!

follers May 24, 2015 at 7:03 pm

If he wasn’t half caucasian he would look 20.

follers November 25, 2014 at 1:01 pm

You want all the Native Americans on this site to be better pictured, eh?

Check7t November 25, 2014 at 6:39 pm

Well the picture is diminutive, like the Brandon Routh one, can’t see it good.

However yes, I always look out for my 1/256th Native brethren.

follers November 14, 2013 at 7:32 pm

I found a helpful family tree of Chuck Norris that someone has drawn up.

I think that settles his ancestry.

andrew September 25, 2013 at 5:23 pm

No Irish/Cherokee mix..I am shocked :))

follers September 25, 2013 at 5:39 pm

The character of Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) was described in the second Rambo movie as being half German and half Cherokee (“That’s quite a combination!”).

andrew September 25, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Wikipedia: “According to the first film First Blood, Rambo’s full name is John James Rambo. He was born on July 6, 1946 in Bowie, Arizona, to a Navajo father (whose name according to the last film was probably R. Rambo) and an Italian American mother Marie Drago. However, in Rambo: First Blood Part II, Marshall Murdock states that Rambo is of American Indian and German descent.” You’re right

Alice November 21, 2012 at 7:05 pm

I’ve always though Chuck was Irish and Native American. Why would people make up a completely different heritage? Anyway it’s good to know his real ancestry.

Alice November 21, 2012 at 7:20 pm

I have to say I’ve always been a bit surprised that so many Americans have Irish ancestry. I know there was a lot of immigration from Ireland but it does seem a bit overstated. This might be one of the reasons. They are actually Scot-Irish.

nnnnn November 22, 2012 at 11:47 pm

Not many americans are irish, but many hollywood
actors are irish. Surely, they help each other

Alice November 23, 2012 at 1:50 am

The Irish are the second most claimed ancestry in the US after Germans. About 40 million Americans claim Irish ancestry so that is a lot to come from a small island nation.

Labtec February 12, 2013 at 3:19 pm

What’s with the dislikes. :( I’m a mix of English/Irish myself, but people DO overstate Irish — the simple fact is that English, Scottish, Welsh and Scotch-Irish are the most under-reported ancestries in the US.

I’m sure that this will also be heavily disliked, as mentioning the English is like admitting to being the son of Satan..:)

I don’t care. I’m a proud American of English descent. It’s about time they were shown more appreciation.

Nathan O'Connell December 29, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Shown more appreciation?…the reason the English are not shown appreciation is because of their history. They oppressed the Irish for 800 years raping and oppressing us. They went over to america and killed off the majority of native americans, raped them and impregenated them, they then proceeded to enslave africans, rape and impregenate them and due to rape 1/3 of black men in america have a Y chromosome that can be traced to Britain, the English also went to india and forced them to grow food for britain and wouldnt let them have any, causing the deaths of a huge chunk of the country. Everywhere the english went they caused suffering and raped the people not just literally, but raped them of any freedom. Yet you wonder why people do not want to claim their link to england? lmao

andrew December 29, 2013 at 3:03 pm

you forgot what they did in Australia and NZ!

nnnnn November 20, 2012 at 7:13 am

Why all american celebrities tell, they are partly native?

AM April 5, 2012 at 11:46 pm

He is proud of his native american heritage! Sadly, his father died too early; but he found his way to success via the armed services.
There are others who found fame, who happened to be redheads, and who had native american ancestry. Two were prominent in boxing circles in the Los Angeles area back in the ’60s.
Another was the esteemed singer in jazz, Lee Wiley.

Smash December 6, 2010 at 8:22 am

I thinks is Scots-Irish and not Irish

Many american confuse both.

Ahem! December 6, 2010 at 8:27 am

Prove it

gel January 19, 2015 at 1:48 pm

What is Scots-Irish? Made up.

rafa September 22, 2010 at 1:22 pm

norris is an english name

he looks irish though

rafa September 19, 2010 at 8:38 pm

hi i resemble chuck norris with beard he looks irish and me too i got irish ancestry too

i'mee January 22, 2012 at 12:17 am

you have a fist behind your beard ? OK

kira February 3, 2010 at 9:22 am

he has red hair and blue eyes, wow genetics are crazy

Alice February 17, 2012 at 12:12 am

It’s not that crazy if you understand his heritage. His paternal grandfather and his maternal grandmother were of Irish ancestry while his maternal grandfather and paternal grandmother were Cherokee Native Americans. So both his mother and father were half Irish and half Native American. Red hair and blue eyes are both recessive so he received these characteristics from both his parents obviously from the Irish side. Two parents that are dark haired and brown eyed can have a child with red hair and blue eyes if they have these traits in both their backgrounds.

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