Johnny Depp

Depp in 2008

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. He is also a member of rock supergroup Hollywood Vampires, with Alice Cooper and Joe Perry.

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.

LOS ANGELES – MAY 18: Depp arrives for “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” US Premiere in Hollywood, CA, 2017, photo by DFree

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 –


Curious about ethnicity

705 Responses

  1. Obey says:

    Any white with black hair and brown eyes, taking a super tan with oil in the body, seems to be descending Afro or Indian. But they are not, because when they marry the children remain white too. Look at some picture of Johnny when he was younger: the guy is white no doubt. Blacks and Indians generally have physical features with very thick noses and very thick faces, unlike those of Johnny Depp.

    • abritanyxo says:

      Oh shut up Obey. That is the most ignorant comment I’ve read yet. Africans and Indians have thick noses and thick faces? Have you seen every single African person in Africa? You sound very dumb. Lol

  2. MoonshinerMike says:

    I’ve been doing Genealogy work for quite a while now. Sometimes the Census Bureau makes a lot of Mistakes on Spelling, and Other Important details in the recording of information on people. Especially prior to 1950. Another issue that arises is people who aren’t even related to the family Creating Death Index Cards and either not entering the Correct or Incomplete information. I consider these people as VULTURES, because they wait outside of the Local Newspaper Company and or Funeral Homes for the Obituaries for the week so they can Create Death Index Cards. This is just a Numbers Game to them, or a Race if you will to see Who can Reach the Highest Quota.
    When dealing with the documentation of Native American Ancestry, it’s best to go through the Bureau of Indian Affairs, or Tribal Community Records. In Canada, if you want to find out information on the history of your Native American Ancestry, you have to Access the Aboriginal Records through the Library of Archives Ottawa, for the Ontario Region and Library of Archives Toronto for the Eastern Region. Before I cast Doubt on the Ethnicity or decide what Ethnicity I think or Believe Someone else should be, I would Do my Due Diligence and Investigate. Maybe it’s because someone is Uncertain about their own Ethnicity, so why not Doubt anyone else’s ?

  3. andrew says:

    he’s also a member of rock band Hollywood Vampires whose other members include Alice Cooper and Joe Perry

  4. ArnyDiaz says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

        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 says:

          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.

    • midori29 says:

      @Arny Diaz yes because black people are extremely diverse in skin tone and features without admixture

    • pedro_henrique says:

      Very true haha

    • pedro_henrique says:

      They try to find the beautiful ethnicity – obviouly the white one – and convince themselves they are pretty for belonging to a proud race. The fact is they belong to no race at all, as white people isn’t a race, and they remain ugly to themselves and to others in the end.

  5. andrew says:

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

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