Mary Elizabeth Winstead

by ethnic on February 23, 2012

LOS ANGELES - OCT 10:  Mary Elizabeth Winstead arriving at the P

Place of Birth: Rocky Mount, Nash, North Carolina, U.S.

Date of Birth: November 28, 1984

Ethnicity: English

Mary Elizabeth Winstead is an American actress and singer. She is of English descent. Her family has lived in the United States, and in the American South in general, for many generations. Mary Elizabeth is married to filmmaker Riley Stearns.

Mary Elizabeth’s paternal grandfather was Ambler William “Jack” Winstead (the son of George William Alford Winstead and Rosa Berdie Wells). George was the son of George Washington Winstead and Rilda Annie/Anna Olive Gardner. Rosa was the daughter of John Bernet Wells and Martha Williamanne Roberson.

Mary Elizabeth’s paternal grandmother was Oveda Rochelle Proctor (the daughter of Walter Young Proctor and Eva Gertrude Bowden). Walter was the son of John F. Proctor and Lucy Jane Batchelor. Eva was the daughter of Benjamin Franklin Bowden and Sarah Elizabeth Batten.

Mary Elizabeth’s maternal grandfather was Johnnie Wilbur/Wilber Knight (the son of Wilbur/Wilber Lee Knight and Nancy/Lucy Bell Tucker). Johnnie was a Church of God minister. Wilbur was the son of John Robert Knight and Dorcus Elizabeth Sparks.

Mary Elizabeth’s maternal grandmother was Virgie Kathleen Strickland (the daughter of James Purdie Strickland and Mittie Elizabeth Horne). James was the son of Isaac Calvin Strickland and Idella Frances Warren. Mittie was the daughter of John Franklin/Frank Horne and Martha Elizabeth Jolly.

Mary Elizabeth is a second cousin, three times removed, of actress Ava Gardner. Mary Elizabeth’s paternal great-grandfather, George William Alford Winstead, was the son of George Washington Winstead and Rilda Annie/Anna Olive Gardner. Rilda was the daughter of William Spencer Gardner and Elizabeth Weaver Edwards. William was the son of William Gardner and Cynthia Eliza Batts. William and Cynthia, Mary Elizabeth’s great-great-great-great-grandparents, were also the paternal great-grandparents of Ava Gardner.

It is sometimes claimed on the internet that Mary Elizabeth has some degree of Native American ancestry. No Native American ancestry has been verified/documented in any publicly available family trees of Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

Mary Elizabeth’s surname, Winstead, is shared by the paternal grandmother of actress Evan Rachel Wood, who is also from North Carolina. However, Mary Elizabeth and Evan do not share common Winstead ancestry going back to at least the late 1700s.

Sources: Genealogy of Mary Elizabeth Winstead –

Genealogy of Mary Elizabeth Winstead (focusing on her father’s side) –

Genealogy of Mary Elizabeth’s maternal great-grandfather, James Purdie Strickland (focusing on his father’s side) –

2011 Eyegore Awards - Arrivals

photo by kathclick/

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