Joan Crawford

by ethnic on October 17, 2009

Birth Name: Lucille Fay LeSeur

Date of Birth: March 23, 1905

Place of Birth: San Antonio, Texas, U.S.

Date of Death: May 10, 1977

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

Ethnicity: English, small amounts of French, Welsh, and Dutch

Joan Crawford was an American actress, dancer, and chorine. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for Mildred Pierce (1945).

Joan was the daughter of Anna Bell (Johnson) and Thomas E. LeSueur. She was married to businessperson Alfred Steele, until his death. Joan had five children, that she adopted, two of them with her former husband, actor Phillip Terry. Her brother was actor Hal LeSueur.

Joan had English, and small amounts of French, Welsh, and Dutch, ancestry.

Joan is sometimes said to have had some degree of Swedish ancestry on her mother’s side. To date, no Swedish ancestry has been documented/verified for Joan Crawford.

Joan’s paternal grandfather was James Howell LeSueur (the son of Samuel Wesley LeSueur and Mary Ann Jane LeSueur). Samuel was the son of James LeSueur and Mary Ann Ayres Wilkerson. Joan’s great-grandmother Mary Ann Jane LeSueur was the daughter of Charles LeSueur and Susannah “Susan” Hales/Hale Ayres. Her paternal great-grandparents were cousins.

Joan’s paternal grandmother was Parmelia “Amelia” James (the daughter of James J. James and Rhonda Ball). Joan’s great-grandfather James was the son of John M. James and Mary G. Poor.

Joan’s maternal grandfather was Jesse Sylvester L. Johnson (the son of Jesse S. Johnson and Louisa Tinley). Joan’s great-grandfather Jesse was the son of Jesse Johnson, from Georgia, and of Lucretia Griffin, from North Carolina.

Joan’s maternal grandmother was Mary Ellen Searles (the daughter of Joseph Allen Searles and Harriet L. Rhoads). Joseph was the son of William Searles and Sarah Ann Stevens. Harriet was possibly the daughter of Samuel Van Meter Rhodes and Frances Keele.

Joan was descended from Dr. Pierre Chastain, a French Huguenot immigrant who is the ancestor of likely millions of Americans, like football player Terry Bradshaw, actress Jessica Chastain, entertainer Chris Hardwick, among others.

Sources: Genealogies of Joan Crawford –

Joan’s maternal grandfather, Jesse Sylvester L. Johnson, on the 1860 U.S. Census –
Jesse Sylvester L. Johnson on the 1870 U.S. Census –

Joan’s maternal great-grandparents, Jesse S. Johnson and Louisa Tinley, on the 1880 U.S. Census –

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

andrew April 10, 2017 at 12:34 pm

His paternal great-grandparents (LeSuer) were cousins. Joan descends from Dr. Pierre Chastain, a French Huguenot immigrant who is the ancestor of thousands of Americans, like Terry Bradshaw, Jessica Chastain, Chris Hardwick and others.

andrew April 10, 2017 at 10:27 am
andrew August 29, 2016 at 4:03 am
allennox December 22, 2015 at 7:20 pm

Johnson can be anglicized from johansson

celebfan December 19, 2015 at 6:14 pm

Her paternal great grandfather Jesse S. Johnson had Swedish ancestry. Crawford herself referred to it a few times.

follers December 19, 2015 at 10:31 pm

Jesse Johnson’s parents were from Georgia and North Carolina. Jesse was the son of Jesse Johnson and Lucretia Griffin. I doubt he was of Swedish origin.

What’s the evidence that Joan herself referred to Jesse being Swedish?

celebfan December 22, 2015 at 6:11 pm

A number of Crawford biographies have her personally describing her mother Anna as Swedish. Unless Crawford herself was mistaken, Anna was probably of partial Swedish ancestry.

follers December 22, 2015 at 6:16 pm

Where did Joan herself say her mother was of Swedish descent?

And I doubt Jesse Johnson had any Swedish ancestry.

ae111 December 23, 2015 at 2:16 am
There is a reason why Johnson is the second most common surname in the U.S., maybe the tenth in England.

follers December 23, 2015 at 2:27 am

If Joan really told Roy Newquist that, then she was wrong.

cdonorab April 5, 2015 at 4:41 pm

Correction she also has Dutch ancestry as well. First people I found.born in the Netherlands were Catherine Crom and her husband Hendryz Molluner who were born in the 1645 and 1650.

angrygirl19 September 17, 2014 at 7:46 pm

Irish and Swedish as well

follers September 17, 2014 at 8:28 pm

From which ancestor?

LMFAO Too September 22, 2011 at 9:05 am

I thought that there was some Scandinavian ancestry there as well.

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