Malcolm Gladwell

by fraciscovargas1545 on January 31, 2017

Birth Name: Malcolm Timothy Gladwell

Place of Birth: Gosport, Hampshire, England, U.K.

Date of Birth: 3 September, 1963

*English, small amount of Irish (father)
*African-Jamaican (mother)

Malcolm Gladwell, CM, is a British-born Canadian journalist, author, and speaker.

Malcolm was born in Gosport, Hampshire, England, the son of Joyce Eugenie (Nation), a writer and psychotherapist, and Graham Maurice Leslie Gladwell, a mathematician and professor of civil engineering. His father was English (and white), from Otford. His mother was Jamaican (and black), from Harewood. When he was six, his family moved to Canada, settling in Elmira, Ontario.

Malcolm’s patrilineal ancestry can be traced back to Joseph Gladwell, who was born, c. 1660, in Suffolk, England.

Malcolm’s paternal grandfather was Basil Morris Gladwell (the son of Arthur Basil Gladwell and Mary Amelia/Ann Wells). Arthur was the son of Morris Gladwell and Hrephzibah/Hephzibar Amelia Cracknell.

Malcolm’s paternal grandmother was Doris Alexandra New (the daughter of Frederick William New and Jane Mary Adams). Frederick was the son of Walter William New and Margaret Knowlton Prebble. Jane was born in Balleret, Australia, the daughter of Thomas Adams, who was English, and of Jane Wilson, who was Irish.

Malcolm’s maternal grandfather was Donald Balfour Hyslop Nation (the son of William Nation). Donald was born in Saint Catherine. One of Donald’s grandmothers was named Martha Levy. While Levy is often a Jewish surname, Malcolm’s Levy line is non-Jewish going back to at least his great-great-great-great-grandfather. Malcolm’s grandfather’s line includes slave owners who were black.

Malcolm’s maternal grandmother was Daisy Gertrude Ford (the daughter of Oscar Charles Ford and Ann Elizabeth Forrester). Oscar was the son of John Ford and Mary Nief/Neif Lawrence.

A DNA test taken by the show Faces of America (2010) stated that Malcolm’s genetic ancestry is:

*70%-77% European
*20%-30% African

In his 2010 book about the show, Faces of America: How 12 Extraordinary People Discovered their Pasts, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. wrote that Malcolm’s African roots likely come from the Deshava Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Igbo people of eastern Nigeria, and the Akan people of Ghana.


Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s article about Faces of America‘s research into Malcolm’s ancestry –

Genealogy of Malcolm Gladwell (focusing on his mother’s side) –

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

GLXY April 5, 2018 at 4:59 am

“CORRECTION’: It’s Ibo/Igbo people from eastern Nigeria and Akan people from Ghana

follers April 5, 2018 at 8:08 am

Yes, thank you. The way the book wrote it suggested the reverse: “most likely an Ibo or an Akan person, two ethnicities from today’s Ghana and eastern Nigeria, respectively.”

andrew April 6, 2018 at 6:19 pm

It says other stuff too:

“According to oral history in my family,” Malcolm said, “when we go back to the late eighteenth century, there is an Irishman named William Ford. I don’t know who he was, but the family says at one point he owned a coffee plantation or something like that. And he takes an African slave as a concubine. They have a son who is a preacher, a brown-skinned preacher who marries an Arawak Indian. That’s the claim. And that starts in motion this line of brown-skinned Fords, my mom’s people. Many of them have some kind of profession: they’re merchants or preachers, or they’re doing something more than simply being slaves or descendants of slaves. And because of the special privileges accorded to brown-skinned children of white people in Jamaica, the Fords have a leg up. So that’s the story. And it begins with this decision by William Ford to take as his consort this slave

He’s also described as having West Indian, English, Jewish, Irish and Scottish heritage

andrew April 8, 2018 at 7:48 am


Also his Jewish ancestry (on his “Levy” line) is likely of Sephardi stock, as it’s common in Jamaica and in the West Indies.

follers April 8, 2018 at 2:58 pm

William Ford was not an “Irishman”, he was a Jamaican who was black and/or mixed race.

And Gladwell’s Levy line is black up until at least his four times great-grandfather. His five times great-grandfather, Eliezer Levy, may have been white and/or Jewish, or he may have been black as well. If Eliezer was Jewish, that would make Gladwell of 1/128th Jewish descent, but Faces of America’s research couldn’t verify that Eliezer was Jewish.

They were only able to verify black/mixed-race ancestors on Gladwell’s mother’s side (other than the DNA test).

andrew April 8, 2018 at 4:10 pm

The one who was Irish or British might be his 4th great-grandfather John Ford I. His wife was Hannah Powell-Burton, whose father Benjamin Burton was evidently a mulatto (his sister Judith Burton is described as such here: This would make his 3rd great-grandfather a quadroon, if it’s all correct

A discussion about Ford family:

According to scholar Ainsley Henriques, Elezier Levy was “almost certainly Jewish”

neiltennant December 24, 2017 at 5:53 am

he looks funny

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