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, 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 with his former partner, singer and actress Vanessa Paradis, including actress Lily-Rose Depp.

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, 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 LeVillian.

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/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 E. Bailey). Roy was the son of Christopher Tompkins Grinstead and Martha S. “Mattie” Sanders. Johnny’s great-grandmother Mary E. 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 Cooper and Sarah “Sallie”/”Tallie” Kelly.

Johnny’s maternal grandmother was Bessie Irene Whitaker (the daughter of Branch Whitaker and May 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 – http://www.geni.com
http://www.genealogy.com
https://famouskin.com

Genealogies of Johnny Depp (focusing on his father’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com
http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com
http://www.wikitree.com

Genealogy of Johnny’s paternal grandparents, Oren Laramore/Larry Depp and Violet Mattie Grinstead – http://www.findagrave.com

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

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

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

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

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

Genealogy of Johnny’s maternal grandmother, Bessie Irene Whitaker (focusing on her mother’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

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

Article about Johnny’s ancestor, Elizabeth (Key) Grinstead – http://www.womenhistoryblog.com

Photo by PR Photos

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

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) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

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.

andrew October 26, 2016 at 4:08 pm
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

andrew July 9, 2016 at 5:33 pm

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dieppe

Add this:
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=145485153

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 geni.com 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).
http://www.geni.com/people/Mary-Slone/6000000001013746848
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 geni.com are confirmed to be Native. Mary Alice is listed as “White” on the 1850 U.S. Census.
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M65S-H4Z

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?
http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=PED&db=dowfam3&id=I265483&style=TABLE
lol, early 17th century…

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