Birth Name: Chrystal Neria
Place of Birth: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Date of Birth: August 28, 1984
*Italian/Sicilian, Mexican, German, Indigenous (father)
*Jamaican [African, Spanish, German, Irish] (mother)
Kaya Jones is a Canadian-American pop singer, model, and actress. She performed with The Pussycat Dolls, a band whose members also included Carmit Bachar, Ashley Roberts, Nicole Scherzinger, Jessica Sutta, Melody Thornton, and Kimberly Wyatt.
Kaya was born in Toronto, the daughter of Barbara and Christopher Neria. She grew up partly in the Caribbean, and later moved to Las Vegas, Nevada.
Kaya’s father was born under Neria, the surname of his own mother. Kaya’s paternal grandmother’s ancestry is Italian/Sicilian, Mexican (including likely Indigenous Mexican), and German. It is not publicly known who Kaya’s biological paternal grandfather was.
Kaya’s mother’s family is Jamaican, and is of African, Spanish, German, and Irish descent. A picture of Kaya’s maternal grandparents can be seen here.
In 2017, Kaya joined the National Diversity Coalition for Trump, being listed as director, under the title Native American Ambassador for Trump. Kaya has said, “Be that Native woman – I Am Native,” adding, “My father is Native American,” and also “my father is full Native” and that he was “Raised full born half.” This Native American ancestry is often referred to specifically as Apache. Kaya’s Native American ancestry has been disputed by family history researchers, with no genealogical evidence of it having evidently been produced. Some discussion of the issue can be read here.
A DNA test whose results Kaya displayed on her Twitter feed stated that her genetic ancestry includes:
*31% Great Britain
*25% Europe West
*16% Native American
While it may come from Apache Native American ancestry, Kaya’s Native American DNA result may be reflective of Indigenous ancestry from Mexico, which she likely has through her father.
Kaya’s paternal grandmother is Donna Cecelia Neria (the daughter of San Alopinar/Apolinar Paul Neria and Mary Virginia Geller). Donna was born in Texas. Paul was born in Texas, the son of Felipe Neria, who was from Palermo, Sicily, and of Hilaria Bustamante, who was Mexican. Kaya’s great-great-grandfather Felipe died at Valle Hermoso, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Kaya’s great-grandmother Mary was born in Texas, and was of German descent. She was the daughter of William Conbay Giller and Lucian Mary Sandkuhl.
Kaya’s maternal grandfather was Dr. Tennyson Byron Sinclair (the son of Dr. Edmund Mortimer Sinclair and Kesiah Isabel). Tennyson was born in Limón, Costa Rica, and had African and Spanish ancestry. His parents were from Jamaica.
Kaya’s maternal grandmother was Cicily/Cecily Ianthe Bodden (the daughter of Alfred William Bodden and likely Charliana/Charlianna Reginella/Retinella Bowen). Cicily was a Jamaican, of German and Irish descent. Alfred was the son of William Francis Bodden. Charliana was the daughter of Frank Bowen.
Sources: Obituary of Kaya’s paternal great-grandmother, Mary Virginia (Geller) Neria – https://www.findagrave.com
Marriage record of Kaya’s maternal grandparents, Tennyson Byron Sinclair and Cicily/Cecily Ianthe Bodden – https://www.familysearch.org
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