Marilyn Monroe

by ethnic on April 23, 2009

Birth Name: Norma Jeane Mortenson

Date of Birth: June 1, 1926

Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Death: August 5, 1962

Place of Death: Brentwood, Los Angeles, California

*English, as well as Scottish, Irish, and Welsh (mother)
*unclear biological father

Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, model, and singer. Her half-sister is author Berniece Baker Miracle.

Marilyn’s mother, Gladys Pearl (Monroe), had English, as well as Scottish, Irish, and Welsh, ancestry. A DNA test of a relative of Marilyn’s maternal grandfather established Marilyn as a descendant of a soldier from the area around Tain, Scotland, who was exiled to America after the English Civil War, in the mid-17th century.

Norma’s mother listed her ex-husband, Martin Edward Mortensen, as Marilyn’s biological father on her birth certificate, though they had been separated for some time. It is not clear if Martin was Marilyn’s biological father. Marilyn’s mother later told her that her biological father was Charles Stanley Gifford. Marilyn talked about this in her autobiography em>My Story. Martin Mortensen was of Norwegian descent. Charles Stanley Gifford, who was from Newport, Rhode Island, had English, Scottish, French, and Irish ancestry. A genealogy of Charles can be seen here.

Monroe converted to Judaism before her marriage to playwright Arthur Miller, in 1956.

Marilyn’s maternal grandfather was Otis Elmer Monroe (the son of Jacob Monroe and Mary E. Appleton). Jacob was the son of William Monroe and Mary C. Marilyn’s great-grandmother Mary E. was the daughter of James Appleton and Elizabeth Jane Smith.

Marilyn’s maternal grandmother was Della/Delia Mae Hogan (the daughter of Tilford Marion Hogan and Charlotty Virginia “Jennie” Nance). Tilford was the son of George Washington/Willis Hogan and Sarah Ann Owen/Owens. Charlotty was the daughter of Levi Nance and Sarah Caroline Jones.

Sources: Book biography of Marilyn Monroe, Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed, 2007 –

Article about Marilyn’s Scottish ancestry –

Genealogies of Marilyn Monroe –

Genealogy of Marilyn’s mother –

Find A Grave page of Marilyn’s possible biological father, Charles Stanley Gifford –
Genealogy of Charles Stanley Gifford –

Photo by gors4730/

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

savanna August 10, 2017 at 11:40 am

Article on Monroe’s Scottish ancestry:

“DNA research by the Clan Munro USA has found that Monroe was descended from a soldier from the area who was exiled to America after the English Civil War… It found a link to John Munro, a soldier from the area around Tain, who traveled to America in the mid-17th century.”

fuzzybear44 October 29, 2016 at 2:11 am

much respect to her, she did a great thing for another great lady

neiltennant August 29, 2016 at 9:10 am

im sure her father was jewish

savanna September 13, 2016 at 4:52 pm

Why’s that? Numerous Marilyn biographies have looked into the case of her biological father. Marilyn’s mother told her it was Charles Gifford and Marilyn made several attempts to contact Gifford to no avail, he had moved on with his own life and family. Marilyn’s half-sister Berniece (she and Marilyn have different fathers) wrote in her book that she asked their mother who Marilyn’s father was and she was told Gifford. Charles Gifford was not Jewish.

andrew June 28, 2016 at 3:47 am
savanna May 7, 2016 at 8:19 pm

Please note in the article that Charles Stanley Gifford had French ancestry.

savanna May 7, 2016 at 8:22 pm

*French and Irish

savanna April 28, 2016 at 1:35 pm

Marilyn’s older half-sister Berniece Baker Miracle

savanna February 28, 2016 at 10:48 am

I just realized FamousKin has an Ahnentafel for Marilyn going back many generations (with French ancestry etc.):
– they have her father as Charles Gifford btw

follers February 28, 2016 at 11:02 am

There’s already a link to that site. The French must be on Charles Gifford’s side.

savanna February 28, 2016 at 11:18 am

Yep I know, I just realized their genealogy of Charles Gifford was more extensive than others I have seen. (those ones listing his more recent English & Scottish ancestors)

andrew February 19, 2016 at 5:19 pm

she needs a picture!

savanna January 14, 2016 at 9:20 am

It should be noted that Charles Stanley Gifford was of English and Scottish descent.

celebfan January 1, 2016 at 5:09 pm

Is it possible for Marilyn’s DNA to be tested? I’m sure her estate wouldn’t mind.

savanna December 3, 2015 at 10:40 am

Martin Edward Mortensen was not her father. Her mother Gladys listed him on Marilyn/Norma Jeane’s birth certificate as her father AFTER they were divorced for a few years. She would later go by her first husband’s last name, Baker, as did Norma Jeane as a child. Gladys told Norma Jeane her biological father was Charles Stanley Gifford. Marilyn talked about this in her autobiography “My Story”, the photo she had of Gifford reminded her of Clark Gable. It is not confirmed if he was actually her father, but it is the most likely.

savanna December 2, 2015 at 7:12 am
savanna November 29, 2015 at 6:32 pm
celebfan May 25, 2015 at 5:18 pm

It’s known where Marilyn Monroe and her possible fathers are. Why hasn’t anyone done a DNA test yet?

Holly12 November 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Ethni couldn’t you put a better picture of Marilyn Monroe up. That picture doesn’t show how truly beautiful she was at all! Thank-you! :)

ethnic November 24, 2012 at 8:49 am

how about this one?

Holly12 November 24, 2012 at 11:26 am

Thank-you for changing it Ethni, but how about a more HD photo of her, like this one >

Holly12 November 24, 2012 at 12:09 pm
ethnic November 24, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Those two are nice but Im not sure if they are protected by copyright

Petrarca May 11, 2012 at 6:06 pm

There was always doubt whether he Norwegian father was her real father. So her Norwegian heritage is questionable.

smiley August 18, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Agreed, she venomously denied it and claimed that her mother told her that her real father was this man she was dating around the same time. She looks very Scottish anyways. I love pictures of her with her natural hair color.

smiley August 18, 2012 at 5:48 pm
poppy March 29, 2012 at 10:15 am

Beautiful woman anyway.

nnnnn May 12, 2012 at 3:21 am

I don’t mean she was beautiful. He just had good connections

I love you, Roger Scientist March 8, 2012 at 10:21 pm

She suffered from manic depression and used drugs as a way to medicate her mental illness.

Dare I say that she was a slut who hooked up with one of our presidents . . .

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