Birth Name: Rita Lee Jones
Place of Birth: São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Date of Birth: December 31, 1947
*English, Irish, Scottish (father)
Rita Lee is a Brazilian rock singer and composer. She is known for being a member of Brazilian rock band Os Mutantes.
Rita is the daughter of Romilda “Chesa” (Padula/Padulla) and Charles Fenley/Finley Jones. She was raised Catholic.
Rita’s father had recent American ancestry, and was descended from the Confederados (about 20,000 Confederate American refugees who fled to Brazil after the American Civil War). Rita’s mother was born in Rio Claro, São Paulo, Brazil, to Italian parents from Isernia.
Rita is married to guitarist Roberto de Carvalho, with whom she has three children.
Rita’s paternal grandfather was Cicero/Cisero Byrd Jones (the son of Byrd Jones and Caroline Martha Gibson). Cicero was born in either Alabama, U.S. or Brazil. Rita’s great-grandfather Byrd was born in Alabama, the son of William Hiram Jones and Delona. Caroline was born in Alabama, the daughter of Edwin Leonard Gibson and Martha Jones.
Rita wrote in her autobiography Rita Lee: uma autobiografia (2016) that her grandfather Cicero’s mother had Cherokee Native American roots. It is not clear if this Cherokee Native American ancestry has been verified/documented.
Rita’s paternal grandmother was Martha Whitaker Norris (the daughter of Robert Cicero Norris and Martha Temperance Steagall). Rita’s grandmother Martha was born in Santa Bárbara D’Oeste, São Paulo, Brazil, to American parents. Robert was born in Alabama, the son of William Hutchinson Norris and Mary Black. Rita’s great-grandmother Martha was born in Tennessee, the daughter of Henry Farrar Steagall and Delia Elizabeth Peck.
Rita’s maternal grandfather was Domenico “Domingos” Padula (the son of Antonio Padula and Maria Priuoli/Prioli). Domingos was born in Civitanova Del Sannio, province of Isernia, Molise region, Italy, and moved to Brazil in 1885.
Rita’s maternal grandmother was Clorinda Inforzato (the daughter of Paschoal Inforzato and Filomena di Salvo). Clorinda was born in Isernia.
Genealogy of Rita Lee (focusing on her father’s side) – http://www.geni.com
Genealogies of Rita’s paternal grandparents, Cicero/Cisero Byrd Jones and Martha Whitaker Norris – https://www.familysearch.org
Rita’s paternal grandfather, Cicero/Cisero Byrd Jones, on the 1880 U.S. Census – http://www.familysearch.org