Kaya Jones

"On Point Beauty" TV Movie Launch at Gavert Atelier in Beverly Hills

Birth Name: Chrystal Neria

Place of Birth: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Date of Birth: August 28, 1984

Ethnicity:
*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

Photo by Prphotos

22 Responses

  1. follers says:

    There’s a DNA test.

  2. madman says:

    I don’t think the Spanish part should be Jamaican. Given her quote about Hispanic ancestry and the connection to Costa Rica, I would write:
    African-Jamaican, Costa Rican, German, Irish (mother)

    This is the genealogy showing Paul Neria was of both Italian and Mexican descent:
    https://www.ancestry.ca/genealogy/records/san-apolinar-neria_83045146

    Are there any census records that can confirm it? Since there are records saying he was one or the other too.

    Anyway, I would put her father as “possibly Apache Native American” since we don’t know who her grandfather was.

    • bablah says:

      Both Edmund and Kesiah were from Jamaica. And population of Limon is mostly Jamaican in origin. If she has Spanish ancestry, I think it’s more likely that it’s from Jamaica.

  3. madman says:

    https://www.facebook.com/KayasMusic/photos/a.10151942776400979/10153240014750979/?type=1&theater

    “She was born to Dr. Tennyson Byron Sinclair a Black & Spanish Jamaican beside her and Cecily Sinclair a German & Irish Jamaican behind her.”

    https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVSP-B3NM

    Maternal grandfather was Tennyson Byron Sinclair (the son of Edmund Mortimer Sinclair and Kesiah Isabel). Tennyson was born in Limón, Costa.

    Maternal grandmother was Cicily/Cecily Ianthe Bodden (the daughter of Alfred William Bodden and likely Charliana/Charlianna Reginella/Retinella Bowen). Alfred was the son of William Francis Bodden. Charliana was the daughter of Frank Bowen.

  4. fuzzybear44 says:

    It says Jamaican? Is that black Jamaican or other kind. She’s right, I don’t see the Apache in her at all. However you can’t judge a book by its cover.

    • fuzzybear44 says:

      Actress Christina Cox , is said to be of Jamaican descent I wonder what kind ,does anybody know?

    • fuzzybear44 says:

      Actress Christina Cox , is said to be of Jamaican descent I wonder what kind ,does anybody know??

    • madman says:

      Don’t you think there’s a reason why I didn’t specify what kind of Jamaican she was when I submitted her?

      Kaya is said to be the daughter of a Native American father and a Jamaican mother. At the time I submitted her, I didn’t know anything else about her ancestry except for that quote I included, so I just listed every ethnicity she mentioned, even though her statement was very ambiguous. If she would’ve looked part black in an obvious way I might’ve listed her as Afro-Jamaican, but it was all just too unclear.

      Now when we know who her parents are, I can say that her mother is blond and doesn’t look black in the slightest. As you say, she might be anyways, we just don’t know yet. For what it’s worth, it looks like her maternal grandfather was from Costa Rica.

      • bablah says:

        Tennyson Sinclair was a man of very obvious African descent. I do not know who his parents are but Costarican birth index has both of his last names as Sinclair, so it’s possible both his parents have the same name.

      • fuzzybear44 says:

        Quote(don’t you think there’s a reason why I didn’t specify what kind of Jamaican she was when I submitted her)

        Well excuse me for asking a question, you can put the leash back on the dog now, I will stay out to yard.

        • madman says:

          Sorry, I really didn’t mean it that way. I was just saying that when the exact ancestry isn’t clear we often use vague umbrella terms. If we knew for certain she was part black, it would’ve said so in some way.

          Anyway, now we know she is roughly 1/8th black Jamaican, from her mother at least.

  5. bablah says:

    http://ancestorstealing.blogspot.com/2017/12/chrystal-neria-aka-kaya-jones.html

    Kaya’s paternal grandmother is Donna Cecelia Neria, daughter of San Alopinar/Apolinar Paul Neria and Mary Virginia Geller. Paul was born in Texas to Felipe Neria and Hilaria Bustamante, both from Mexico. Felipe was buried at Villahermosa, Mexico. Mary was born in Texas and was of German descent.

    https://www.facebook.com/KayasMusic/photos/a.10151942776400979/10153240014750979/?type=1&theater

    Kaya’s maternal grandparents were Dr Tennyson Byron Sinclair and Cecily. Tennyson was born in Limón, Costa Rica to Dr E. M. Sinclair.

    • madman says:

      Wow, they were really harsh towards her in that link. But a little bit understandably, though.

      How did you figure out that Donna is her ancestor? The link only discussed her great-grandparents. How could her father have ended up with the surname Neria if it comes from her grandmother? And her maternal grandparents; is there any census with them? Was her mother Jamaican or has Jamaican ancestry?

      This is in Mary Geller’s obituary:
      “In 1947 she met the love of her life Paul. He was a WWII Veteran of Sicilian parentage that stole her heart.”
      https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/173076335/mary-virginia-neria

      Is the genealogies wrong or is lying about one’s ancestry a Neria family trait?

      It should also be added that she is the daughter of Barbara A. (Sinclair) and Christopher Neria.

    • madman says:

      Could David L. Willis and Donna Cecelia Neria be her father’s adoptive parents? It says in that genealogy page that Christopher was put in a foster home early in his life. Maybe he was put in the home of his aunt, and kept his father’s surname?

    • bablah says:

      Found another tree that has Felipe as born in Palermo, Sicily, passed away on 1949 in Valle Hermoso, Tamaulipas, Mexico (not Villahermosa, which is in Tabasco).

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