Sharon Tate

by ethnic on July 24, 2012

Birth Name: Sharon Marie Tate

Date of Birth: January 24, 1943

Place of Birth: Dallas, Texas, U.S.

Date of Death: August 9, 1969

Place of Death: Benedict Canyon, Los Angeles, California

Ethnicity: English, Scottish, German, Swiss-German, possibly Irish

Sharon Tate was an American actress and model. She was the daughter of Doris Gwendolyn (Willett) and Paul James Tate. She was married to film director Roman Polanski. Sharon was brutally murdered by members of the Manson family at the young age of 26. She was pregnant with her and Roman’s son at the time.

Sharon lived in Italy for some time, and spoke Italian.

Sharon’s documented ancestry included English, Scottish, German, and Swiss-German. She was also said to have Irish roots. It is not clear if that is accurate.

Sharon’s paternal grandfather was George N. Tate (the son of Charles Coleman/L. Tate and Delia/Della Florence Latham). George was born in Alabama. Charles was the son of Christenberry Lee Tate and Amanda Jane Cudd. Della was the daughter of Cornelius Crawford Latham and Lucy Harris.

Sharon’s paternal grandmother was Grace Cleveland Odom (the daughter of Milam Monroe Odom and Ella Lee “Eliza” Britt). Grace was born in Texas. Milam was the son of Albert Monroe Odom and Louisa Cole. Ella was the daughter of James Boykin Britt and Penelope Demsy Thompson.

Sharon’s maternal grandfather was named Dorris W. Willett. Dorris was born in Texas.

Sharon’s maternal grandmother was Mary Fannie Leuch (the daughter of Daniel Leuch and Amanda Adeline Helm). Mary Fannie was born in Texas.

Sources: Genealogy of Sharon Tate –

Genealogies of Sharon Tate (focusing on her father’s side) –

Sharon’s mother on the 1930 U.S. Census –

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

savanna March 19, 2017 at 11:13 am

1963 article on Sharon and her family saying “While Sharon’s parents may have been of Irish descent, she [moved] to San Pedro via Italy”.

savanna April 3, 2016 at 4:59 pm

This photo of Sharon is available under a Creative Commons license:

Can you use it here?

savanna December 18, 2015 at 1:28 pm

Dorris W. Willett (the son of Robert T. Willett and Dometria Kennedy)

Dorris on the 1940 U.S. Census:
Dorris’ brother’s obituary:

follers December 19, 2015 at 1:20 am

That can’t be her grandfather. Her mother was born in 1924.

savanna December 19, 2015 at 12:16 pm

right.. sorry about that.

on Sharon’s father’s side, are all those surnames English or Scottish or possibly Irish, Scots-Irish? Harris, Scruggs? Latham is Scandinavian apparently.

savanna December 18, 2015 at 12:19 pm

More of Sharon’s ancestors (on her father’s side):

savanna November 29, 2015 at 6:34 pm
savanna August 21, 2015 at 10:33 am

She also has French ancestry according to her younger sister.

savanna November 13, 2014 at 9:38 pm

Sharon is English and Swiss-French, according to her sister Debra Tate:

HotDog August 21, 2012 at 7:11 pm

She was of Scottish descent not Irish. Tate is a Scottish name.

Alice September 6, 2012 at 6:22 am

There are many Scottish origin names in Ireland. That doesn’t mean Sharon didn’t have Irish descent. Lots of Scottish people have Irish descent and lots of Irish people have Scottish descent. The people of the British Isles have all been mixed with each other.

HotDog September 6, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Tate isn’t one of those names with duel Scottish and Irish origin, it is a Scottish name. The names with duel Irish and Scottish origin are Gaelic names. Tate is a Germanic name meaning it would not share that dual heritage.

The have provided no evidence that Tate has any Irish ancestry, they’ve just claiming it with no logical basis that I can see, and then expecting people to accept it.

Also the claim about the British Isles being all mixed is nonsense, look up the genetic research. The English are quite mixed, (though still mainly Anglo-Saxon) but Scottish and Welsh aren’t. Also mixing was even less likely in the past, which is important if we’re looking for ethnic origins.

Alice September 6, 2012 at 7:22 pm

I know that Tate isn’t a Gaelic name. I’m saying that names can be difficult to pinpoint as far as a person’s ancestry. Many Irish people have English/Scottish or Welsh names also Sharon’s Irish ancestry might be through her maternal line or her father’s maternal line. I don’t know if she has Irish ancestry but you can’t say because her surname is Tate that she doesn’t.

Alice September 13, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Just some information on the genetics of the Bristish Isles
This is an older study and genetic genealogy is going ahead in leaps and bounds but I’ve not read any new studies saying that the Irish are not closely related to the rest of the British Isles. There are regional differences with the east coast of Britain having more invader dna but even the east coast has majority dna of the native Britons. As I said the people of those island have been moving back and forth for centuries.

HotDog September 13, 2012 at 10:33 pm

It would be best to look up the newer genetic genealogy research that I mentioned. The point wasn’t that the Irish are very different from the British, it was that the tests showed they could differentiate between those separate groups within Britian and that it showed that they weren’t as mixed as people thought. In fact in most of Scotland and Wales there was very little mixing.

The Irish mixture that was there was from recently etc the last 180 years.

Alice September 13, 2012 at 11:39 pm

Thanks Hotdog. That sounds very interesting. You wouldn’t have a link?

Alice September 6, 2012 at 8:04 pm

The British Isles are mixed up with English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh moving all over different parts. Just some examples are the Scoti who went to the west coast of Scotland and the islands from Ireland bringing the Gaelic language and customs with them. This is why Scots have Mac/Mc surnames like the Irish and have the name Scotland. There weren’t just plantations of English/Scottish into Northern Ireland but also plantations of English in Southern Ireland. Irish have been settling in Wales and other parts of Britain since prehistory. Many common Irish surnames are Cambro-Norman and came to Ireland with the Normans after they had settled in Wales. Also if you look at genetic blogs (even with the Anglo-Saxon component of the English) all these people are basically the same. Maybe with advances in genetics some unique characteristics can be found but they do have shared genetics. The east coast of Britain has more Anglo Saxon/Frisian input but they still have the genetics of the people that were there first. With names though you can’t say that because someone has an Scottish name that they don’t have Irish ancestry. Look at Irish actor Richard Harris Harris is not an indigenous Irish name but Richard Harris is fully Irish. Who knows when the name came to Ireland?

HotDog September 6, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Again your wrong look up the recent discovery about the Scottish man with ancestry going back to the first women. It clearly showed they were able to differentiate between the genetics of people within the British isles. Showing you clearly don’t know what your talking about.

If your going to take the discussion to the inane level that you are. It makes this entire blog pointless. We can never trace everybody’s ancestry perfectly, but there are indicators that we can use such as surnames.

Throughout this blog there are dozens of people who are refererred to as of “such as such” origin due to there parents names. Evan Rachel Wood is referred to as being of Irish descent because her mum has an Irish name.

Also no one has provided any basic evidence that Sharon Tate has any Irish ancestry.

You’ve started an argument over nothing. The evidence we have suggests she is of Scottish and English descent. Having a Scottish name does not mean you have no Irish ancestry, but it implies that you have at least some Scottish. (Also Harris is a Scottish surname as well)

Alice September 7, 2012 at 1:33 am

One of my other comments is awaiting moderation. I stated in that I don’t know if Sharon Tate has Irish ancestry but you can’t look just at a name and state someone has or hasn’t. Regarding genetics here is a map based on autosomal genetics which is the only way you can tell how similar a population is.
I do agree that a lot of Irish ancestry is the US is over reported and there is a lot more English ancestry. I don’t think surnames are always a good way to indicate ancestry.

HotDog September 7, 2012 at 3:01 am

Her being of Scottish descent is highly likely though. Texas where her father was from, has the second highest proportion of people of Scottish descent in all of America. Her dad was a Military colonel. The Military is a profession where Americans of Scottish descent are disproportionately represented in comparison to there percentage of the population.

Alice September 7, 2012 at 3:51 am

I’m sure you’re right HogDog. I’m sorry if my post came across as argumentative it was not my intention. Sometimes the written word is a lot more blunt than what is intended. I’m not a geneticist but do read the blogs as I find the subject very interesting but I really only have a superficial knowledge.

levangelista36 July 28, 2012 at 9:28 pm

I read Helter Skelter. It is absolutely revolting what they did to you. May your beautiful soul rest in peace. :(

Alice September 14, 2012 at 9:47 am

Helter Skelter is the best true crime book to read. It really captures the times and the horror of this crime. It gives you some insight into the workings of the “Family”. Very scary.

levangelista36 July 28, 2012 at 9:23 pm

R.I.P. Sharon!

It sucks your husband turned out to be a rapist and pedophile.

nnnnn September 6, 2012 at 12:50 am

He has a blaim at her death, his satanistic movies
provocked that insane murder. And he’s perverted.
Poor woman

Alice September 6, 2012 at 5:27 am

Sounds like you are blaming the victim. Roman Polanski has faults but he did not cause the death of Sharon. The people to blame for that are Charles Manson and his crazy followers.

nnnnn September 6, 2012 at 11:29 pm

Google “victimology”, please. Used by all judges.
It means, you may annoy a dog, but don’t be surprised,
if a dog bit you

Alice September 7, 2012 at 1:45 am

Roman Polanski had nothing to do with the Manson family. The Manson family also slaughtered the Labiancas. They were picked because some of the Manson family went to a party in the neighbour’s house previously. Vincent Bogliosi, the prosecutor in the Manson case, thinks that Charles Watson was previously in the Tate residence at a party before Polanski and Sharon moved in. There was also a connection with that house with Manson having some connection with Terry Melcher who lived there previously. It was nothing to do with Roman Polanski.

Alice September 14, 2012 at 9:31 am

I don’t know if you have read Helter Skelter but if you are interested in the Manson murders this is the book to get. I’ve read a lot of true crime but this is the scariest book I’ve read. It is written by Vincent Bugliosi who was the prosecutor. It is a brilliant and disturbing book. Sharon’s mum Doris was an amazing woman.

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