Johnny Depp

by ethnic on March 26, 2014

Birth Name: John Christopher Depp II

Place of Birth: Owensboro, Daviess, Kentucky, United States

Date of Birth: June 9, 1963

Ethnicity: English, along with small amounts of Irish, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, Scottish, Welsh, French, French-Canadian, Dutch, Flemish Belgian, and German, as well as 3/2048 African

Johnny Depp is an American actor, musician, and producer. He is the star of the films Edward Scissorhands, the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Public Enemies, and The Lone Ranger, among many others. Johnny was selected People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” in 2003, and again in 2009.

Johnny is the son of Betty Sue (Wells) and John Christopher Depp. He has two children, including actress and model Lily-Rose Depp, with his former partner, French singer, model, and actress Vanessa Paradis.

Much or most of Johnny’s ancestry traces back to England. He also has small amounts (to varying degrees) of Irish, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, Scottish, Welsh, French, French-Canadian, Dutch, Flemish Belgian, and German, ancestry, as well as 3/2048 African ancestry (through Elizabeth Key Grinstead, who is his ancestor twice over). Johnny’s patrilineal line is generally traced back to Pierre Deppe, who was born, c. 1706, in France, and to Pierre’s wife, Angelica/Angeline LeVillian/le Villian.

Both of Johnny’s parents, as well as all of Johnny’s grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents, were born in Kentucky. Johnny has stated, on several occasions, that he has or likely has Native American ancestry (of varying tribes, most often Cherokee). For example:

I guess I have some Native American somewhere down the line… My great grandmother was quite a bit of Native American, she grew up Cherokee or maybe Creek Indian. Makes sense in terms of coming from Kentucky, which is rife with Cherokee and Creek.

It does not appear that this Native American ancestry has been documented. All of Johnny’s grandparents and great-grandparents are listed as “White” on United States Censuses. No verified Native American ancestry has been produced for Johnny Depp.

Johnny’s paternal grandfather was Oren Laramore/Larimore/Larry Depp (the son of Oren Robert/Richard Depp and Effie America Palmore). Johnny’s great-grandfather Oren was the son of John Burks/Burkes Depp and Mariba Elizabeth Reneau. Effie was the daughter of Andrew Houston Palmore and Mary Elizabeth “Mollie” McCreary.

Johnny’s paternal grandmother was Violet Mattie Grinstead (the daughter of Roy F. Grinstead and Mary Edna Bailey). Roy was the son of Christopher Tompkins Grinstead and Martha S. “Mattie” Sanders. Johnny’s great-grandmother Mary Edna was the daughter of Joseph Taylor Bailey and Martha Ann Mansfield.

Johnny’s maternal grandfather was Walter Everett/Everette Wells (the son of Richard Mac/Mack Wells and Anna/Annie Cooper). Richard was the son of Commodore Charlie/William Perry Wells and Rebecca Ann “Beckie” Litteral. Johnny’s great-grandmother Anna was the daughter of William “Bill” M. Cooper and Sarah “Sallie” Jane Craft.

Johnny’s maternal grandmother was Bessie Irene Whitaker (the daughter of Branch Whitaker and May/Mae Slone). Branch was the son of William C. Whitaker and Sarilda/Serilda/Sirilda Amanda Fletcher. May was the daughter of Wiley Slone and Amanda Bradley.

Johnny is descended from a woman, Martha, who born in 1612, and who was of African descent. Martha had a daughter, Elizabeth Key (also an ancestor of Johnny). Elizabeth’s father, William Grinstead, was caucasian, of English descent. Elizabeth was the first woman of African ancestry to successfully take legal action to free herself from slavery. This happened in 1656. Johnny is descended from Martha twice (on one family tree, she is both one of his eight times great-grandmothers, and one of his nine times great-grandmothers). That would mean that Johnny is of 3/2048 African ancestry.

Some family trees state that Johnny’s nine times great-grandmother was a woman named Nicketti Opechancanough, who is said to have been of Powhatan Native American ancestry. If true, that would make Johnny of 1/2048 Powhatan Native American descent. However, stories about her are believed to be a myth. Scholarly research and records dispute the existence of Nicketti Opechancanough.

Sources: Genealogies of Johnny Depp –

Genealogies of Johnny Depp (focusing on his father’s side) –

Genealogy of Johnny’s paternal grandparents, Oren Laramore/Larimore/Larry Depp and Violet Mattie Grinstead –

Johnny’s paternal grandfather, Oren Laramore/Larimore/Larry Depp (“Laramore Depp”), on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Johnny’s paternal grandmother, Violet Mattie Grinstead (“Violet M. Grinstead”), on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Johnny’s paternal great-great-grandparents, Christopher Tompkins Grinstead and Martha S. “Mattie” Sanders, on the 1880 U.S. Census –

Genealogy and obituary of Johnny’s mother –

Johnny’s maternal grandfather, Walter Everett/Everette Wells (“Everette Wells”), on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Johnny’s maternal great-grandmother, Anna/Annie (Cooper) Wells, on the 1900 U.S. Census –

Genealogy of Johnny’s maternal great-great-grandfather, Richard Mac/Mack Wells (focusing on his own mother’s side) –

Johnny’s maternal great-great-grandparents, William “Bill” M. Cooper and Sarah “Sallie” Jane Craft, on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Genealogy of Johnny’s maternal grandmother, Bessie Irene Whitaker (focusing on her mother’s side) –

Johnny’s maternal grandmother, Bessie Irene Whitaker (“Bessie Whitaker”), on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Article about Johnny’s ancestor, Elizabeth (Key) Grinstead –

Photo by PR Photos

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

ArnyDiaz October 7, 2017 at 1:57 am

Whenever a white person has darker features: ”OMG he has to have jewish or spanish or african”

When a black person has obvious lighter features: ”Just black”

It’s obvious that this website is full of dumbasses, who are obsesses with looks and features, probably because they are ugly themselves..

ashash December 21, 2017 at 11:50 am

I know people can’t believe Johnny doesn’t have Native American ancestry because they think he looks Native American, but he and Skeet Ulrich resemble each other. Skeet is probably Johnny’s closest look alike, and he’s also a WASP.

follers December 21, 2017 at 12:31 pm

Some people said that Emory Cohen looks like Depp, but I guess they meant a light-complexioned version.

Also Thomas McDonell, but I don’t think they look that much alike.

ashash December 21, 2017 at 12:50 pm

Emory and Thomas are both handsome, but Thomas doesn’t look that much like Depp. I think people just said that because of his look – long (for a guy) dark hair, dark eyes, and I guess Native American-looking or rather what people think Natives look like.

I would say Skeet is the celebrity that resembles him most.

andrew December 22, 2017 at 12:56 pm

Johnny looks like Tommy Flanagan, who is Scottish (and part Irish, I think)

andrew October 5, 2017 at 3:56 pm

genealogy of Johnny’s maternal great-grandfather, Richard Mack Wells (focusing on his mother’s side):

andrew October 5, 2017 at 3:50 pm


This a complete genealogy of him, not just of his father’s side

andrew September 12, 2017 at 6:34 pm

Johnny’s paternal 6th great-grandparents, John Reno and Mary Susannah Thorn, were also Taylor Swift’s paternal 7th great-grandparents

andrew August 28, 2017 at 12:28 pm

he has also distant Acadian/French Canadian ancestry trough Mary Molly Savoie who is an ancestor of Joseph Taylor Bailey

Ardor May 21, 2017 at 11:04 pm

There’s no way someone with their ancestry being 95% northwest European would look like Depp.

There is a prominent and recent ethnic group (or race) in his blood that’s missing.

Hill May 23, 2017 at 10:05 am

You’re stating random made up facts. You’re delusional.

follers March 19, 2017 at 6:43 pm

It appears some people found Johnny Depp’s Native American ancestor. Evidently his great-great-great-grandfather Harmon Solomon Cooper (father of William Cooper) was the son of a Native American woman, Nancy Black Fox. That would make Johnny of 1/64th Cherokee ancestry, through his maternal grandfather’s (and his grandfather’s mother’s) line. It would likely be the great-grandmother he refers to in the quote on the page (the one who was “quite a bit of Native American”).

I’m trying to verify if this is true or a recent addition to the internet cannon.

There seems to be no question that a William Cooper, born October 1848, was Depp’s great-great-grandfather. The questions are:
1. Whether it’s the same William Cooper whose father was Harmon Solomon Cooper (that Harmon’s son William’s middle initial was “H.”).

2. Whether Harmon’s mother has been verified as being a Cherokee Native American.

follers March 20, 2017 at 4:00 pm

Harmon Solomon Cooper, Jr.’s son, George Washington Cooper, is listed as having been born on May 27, 1848. Harmon’s son William Cooper was evidently his twin brother. If William was Harmon’s twin brother (or even if he wasn’t), then he couldn’t have been Depp’s great-great-grandfather, who was born in October 1848.

Depp’s great-great-grandfather is also listed as having the middle initial “M”, while Harmon’s son William had the middle initial “H”.

So I think they have made an error here in identifying Harmon Solomon Cooper, Jr. as Depp’s great-great-great-grandfather. But I could be wrong.

fuzzybear44 May 13, 2017 at 1:03 am


Like I said before, the Cherokee nation adopted a lot of people into their tribe in the late 1800’s. Those people lived and died Cherokee , but were not actually native. In the 1900’s, there were 37,000 Cherokee, of that number only 2000 were pure native, while 7000 were half. The rest were black and white people adopted into the tribe

Which is why this is what the Cherokee leadership looks like now:

andrew October 5, 2017 at 4:19 pm

@ follers

any thoughts about Patrick Dempsey and Chris Cooper’s Native American ancestry?

andrew August 28, 2017 at 10:08 am
follers August 28, 2017 at 10:57 am
andrew August 28, 2017 at 12:12 pm

it appears that she existed

bablah August 28, 2017 at 1:58 pm

”I certainly think that you should not remove Nicketti’s profile but simply clarify that it is based on a traditional account. ”

So it’s just speculation based on passed down stories. Not really deffinitive.

andrew November 14, 2016 at 1:57 pm

Genealogy of Johnny’s maternal great-great-grandmother, Amanda Bradley (focusing on her own father’s side) –

broken link

ashash November 13, 2016 at 4:33 pm

This is one celebrity I have been dying to see on “Finding Your Roots” or “Who Do You Think You Are?” I know about his distant African ancestry, and I know genealogists have never found any Native American ancestors for him, but he really believes that his great-grandmother was Cherokee or Creek. I’d like for him to take a DNA test and have his genealogy shown on T.V. It could even be his daughter.

fuzzybear44 May 13, 2017 at 1:08 am

I don’t think he will take one

andrew October 26, 2016 at 4:08 pm
andrew May 11, 2017 at 3:19 pm

This is mother’s obituary, with some genealogy. It should be added.

anen87 July 22, 2016 at 6:54 am

It’s funny the english made up this term “swarthy” as a derogatory to describe some south euros. Yet they themselves can be swarthy too. I came across a sad story of a british woman who felt unloved because of her dark features and how her father would say how she won’t amount to anything because she wasn’t “white” like the rest of her family. She took a DNA test and it came back 99% european & 1% south asian

Ardor May 18, 2017 at 7:09 pm

Quite to the contrary, English people boast about the fact that some of them can be swarthy. They get pissed when you call them pale and ghostly in appearance (because of sparse sunshine there). They actually envy people with bronze skin, and they’d also hope that darker folks would have sole English ancestry.

andrew July 9, 2016 at 5:33 pm

Pierre Deppe/Dieppe was likely a French Huguenot from Dieppe, Normandy, France.

Add this:

andrew May 26, 2016 at 6:12 pm
Fatmonkey May 14, 2016 at 6:33 pm

I happen to have an information that there were some five Sizemore siblings, two brothers and three sisters, born in the beginning of 19th century to Edward B. Sizemore and Louanna Bolling. Louanna Bolling was a descendant of John Rolfe and Pocahontas. Most of the Sizemore siblings lived and died in Kentucky. I saw that Johnny has some Sizemores in his family tree, but no Bollings?

follers May 14, 2016 at 8:12 pm
ashash November 13, 2016 at 4:34 pm

So Johnny is a relative of Tom Sizemore?

follers November 13, 2016 at 5:01 pm
anen87 February 29, 2016 at 4:12 am

So would u guys says he looks English as that is what most of his ancestry traces back to

ectag May 9, 2016 at 3:12 pm

He doesn’t look English at all. But what most people on this site don’t seem to ‘get’ however is that there are full-bloooded British people who look Mediterranean.

There have always been folk legends that offer romantic explanations such as the legacy of Roman occupation or the genetic contributions of swarthy Spanish sailors who swam ashore in the aftermath of the defeat of the Spanish Armada, but modern genealogy and genetic research has shown these folk legends to be worthless; some Brits just happen to look more Mediterranean than Angloid, just as some Meds just happen to look Angloid.

slowdive January 31, 2016 at 2:52 pm

85% Euro, 10% Native, 5% Negro.

phaedra April 11, 2016 at 3:09 am

More like 1% negro.

ashash November 13, 2016 at 4:31 pm

Who uses “negro” to describe black people these days? Have some respect.

bablah January 10, 2016 at 10:58 am

Okay, this profile claims Mary Alice Slone (nee Sizemore) was Native. Her uncle’s profile refers to him as a mulatto (sometimes natives were listed as mulattos, but most times mulatto was a mulatto).
She was 4 times great grandmother of Bessie Irene Whitaker.

follers January 10, 2016 at 11:06 am

I think Mary Alice may have been rumored to be Native American, but none of the ancestors listed for her on are confirmed to be Native. Mary Alice is listed as “White” on the 1850 U.S. Census.

As for Nicketti Opechancanough, this is addressed in the text. She appears to be some sort of legend.

bablah January 10, 2016 at 12:21 pm

I did some googling about this whitetop whatever band of cherokees and it is not a recognised tribe regardless of whether she was completely descended from them or partially.
some natives are adamnant that there never were any cherokee tribe in KY.

bablah January 10, 2016 at 10:43 am

lol, is this the native american he’s been trying to claim?
lol, early 17th century…

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