Édith Piaf

by ethnic on December 27, 2009

Birth Name: Édith Giovanna Gassion

Date of Birth: 19 December, 1915

Place of Birth: Belleville, Paris, France

Date of Death: 10 October, 1963

Place of Death: Plascassier, Grasse, France

*75% French
*12.5% Moroccan [evidently Berber]
*12.5% Italian

Édith Piaf was a French cabaret singer, songwriter, and actress.

Édith’s father, Louis Alphonse Gassion, was an acrobat, contortionist, and circus performer. Édith’s mother, Annetta Giovanna Margherita (Maillard), was a café singer, with the stage name Line Marsa. Her father was from Falaise, Normandy, France, and was of French descent. Her mother, who was born in Livorno, Tuscany, Italy, was of one half French, one quarter Moroccan (usually described as Berber), and one quarter Italian, ancestry. Édith is sometimes described as having had Algerian Kabyle roots from her Moroccan line. It is not clear if this is accurate.

Édith had a daughter. Édith was married to Greek hairdresser, singer, and actor Théo Sarapo, until her death.

Édith’s paternal grandfather was Victor Alphonse Gassion (the son of Pierre François Gassion and Augustine Duval). Victor was a horseman in the circus.

Édith’s patenral grandmother was Louise Léontine Deschamps (the daughter of Louis François Descamps and Elisabeth Lucier). Édith’s great-grandfather Louis was the son of Auguste Hyppolite Descamps and Jeanne Campagne.

Édith’s maternal grandfather was Auguste Eugène Maillard (the son of Stanislas Maillard and Marie Victorine Crétois).

Édith’s maternal grandmother was Emma Saïd ben Mohamed (the daughter of Saïd ben Mohamed and Margarita Bracco). Édith’s great-grandfather Saïd ben Mohamed was born in Mogador, Essaouira, Marrakesh-Tensift-Al Haouz, Morocco, and was the son of Mohamed ben Mohamed and Ajah ben Ali. Édith’s great-grandmother Margarita was born in Murazzano, Province of Cuneo, Piedmont, Italy, and was the daughter of Giuseppe Bracco and Catherine/Caterina Chiappella/Chapelle.

Source: Genealogy of Édith Piaf – http://www.geni.com

Photo by Photoprofi30/Bigstock.com

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Manila March 17, 2018 at 10:16 pm

Her surname, Gassion, might have been Basque, however her patrilineal ancestry can only be traced back until 1600’s. What do you think?

neiltennant March 17, 2018 at 9:46 am

Moroccan ancestors Muslims or Jewish?

andrew March 18, 2018 at 6:56 am
neiltennant March 18, 2018 at 3:04 pm


thank you

are there any christian moroccans out there ?

andrew July 1, 2017 at 5:01 pm

Margherita Bracco was the daughter of Giuseppe Bracco e di Caterina Chiappella.

Edith’s father was from Falaise, Normandy, France. Edith’s mother full name was Annetta Giovanna Margherita Maillard (stage name Line Marsa), and was born in Livorno, Tuscany, Italy.

Edith is sometimes described as having Algerian Kabyle roots. Her North African ancestry was evidently from Morocco (and of Berber stock).

andrew July 1, 2017 at 6:57 pm

*and of Caterina Chiappella

perillo February 17, 2012 at 3:58 pm

There’s a mistake, Edith Piaf is of French descent by her father (of Norman descent, more exactly) and by her mother, she’s of French-Italian-Moroccan. Indeed, her maternal grandmother Emma Saïd Ben Mohamed was half Moroccan Berber (from Essaouira) and half Italian (from Murazzano).

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