Gerald McRaney

by stlucas on April 6, 2017

Birth Name: Gerald Lee McRaney

Place of Birth: Collins, Mississippi, U.S.

Date of Birth: August 19, 1947

Ethnicity: Scottish, English, possibly Choctaw Native American

Gerald McRaney is an American television and film actor. He is the son of Edna Lenora (Lewis) and Clyde Charles McRaney. He has a brother, Buddy, and a sister, Ann. Gerald is married to actress Delta Burke.

Gerald is of Scottish and English descent, with roots in Mississippi for several generations. He is also said to have some Choctaw Native American ancestry. It is not clear if this ancestry has been verified/documented.

Gerald’s paternal grandfather was Charles Lee McRaney/McRainey (the son of Malcolm “Mack” McRaney/McRannie and Fannie Bell Harvey).

Gerald’s paternal grandmother was Tabitha “Bitha” Elizabeth Corley/Carley (the daughter of Frank Carley and Miriam).

Gerald’s maternal grandparents were Charles W. Lewis and Lula A. Milling.

Sources: Gerald’s paternal grandfather, Charles Lee McRaney/McRainey, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Gerald’s paternal great-grandfather, Malcolm “Mack” McRaney/McRannie, on the 1900 U.S. Census –

Gerald’s paternal greate-grandfather, Frank Carley, on the 1900 U.S. Census –

Obituary of Gerald’s mother, Edna Lenora (Lewis) McRaney –

Photo by kathclick/


Joy Villa

by fraciscovargas1545 on February 14, 2017

Joy Villa – Style Fashion Week LA Fall/Winter 2017 – Day 1 – Pacific Design Center – West Hollywood, CA, USA – Photo Credit: Sheri Determan /

Birth Name: Joy Angela Villa

Place of Birth: Orange, California, United States

Date of Birth: April 25, 1986

*Italian, Argentinian (father)
*African-American, Choctaw Native American (mother)

Joy Villa, better known by her stage name Princess Joy Villa, is an American singer and songwriter. She is married to Danish writer and photographer Thorsten Overgaard.

Joy started performing at age five.

Her father, The Rev. Joseph Villa, is of Italian and Argentinian descent. Her mother, Mildred Angela Pierce Villa, has African-American and Choctaw Native American ancestry.

Joy’s maternal great-uncle was jazz vocalist Kenny Hagood.

Joy’s paternal grandfather is said to be Mario Villa, who was on the Italian national football team.

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Kay Starr

by madman on April 2, 2016

Birth Name: Katherine Laverne Starks

Date of Birth: July 21, 1922

Place of Birth: Dougherty, Oklahoma, United States

Date of Death: November 3, 2016

Place of Death: Beverly Hills, California

*Iroquois Native American (father)
*Irish, Choctaw Native American (mother)

Kay Starr was an American singer. She was a well known pop and jazz singer in the ’40s and ’50s.

Kay was the daughter of Annie Mae (Coll) and Harry/Henry (Asa, according to some sources) Starks.

Various claims have been made about Kay’s ancestry. Some sources state that her father was a “full-blooded Iroquois Indian” (sometimes born on a reservation). About her mother, it has been said that her ancestry was either fully Native American (often Choctaw, Cherokee, or both), Irish, or mixed Irish and Native American. Kay’s maternal grandfather was Irish. Other than that, it is not clear if any of these claims are true. Kay’s parents were both listed as “White” on the 1930 census.

In this clip, Kay appeared to confirm the interviewer’s breakdown of her ethnicity: “You are a Cherokee Indian, actually you’re not quite a Cherokee Indian because your father was Iroquois, (and) your mother was half Choctaw.”

Kay was most likely of at least part Native American descent, but to what degree is not clear.

Kay’s maternal grandparents were Edward D. Coll and Matilda Deel (who was likely the daughter of Robert C. Deal and Nancy T. Griffin). Edward was born in Ireland. Matilda was born in Texas.

Sources: Kay Starr on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Genealogy of Kay Starr (focusing on her mother’s side) –

Kay’s mother on the 1920 U.S. Census –


Paul Gray (American musician)

by Manila on September 7, 2015

Birth Name: Paul Dedrick Gray

Date of Birth: April 8, 1972

Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Death: May 24, 2010

Place of Death: Johnston, Iowa, United States

*unknown (father)
*English, 1/64th or less Choctaw Native American, some German, remote French, remote Irish, remote Scottish (mother)

Paul Gray was an American musician. He is known as the bassist and one of the founding members of the American metal band Slipknot. He was the son of Paul Anthony Gray and Nancy Diane (Cary) Miller. He is married to Brenna Marie Friedman.

Paul’s maternal grandfather was Paul Sterling Cary (the son of Sterling Paul Cary and Effa D. Tucker). Paul’s great-grandfather Sterling was the son of William H. Cary and Martha Elizabeth Keltner. Effa was the daughter of William Anderson Tucker and Emily W. Cox.

Paul’s maternal grandmother was Helen Elizabeth Bolling (the daughter of John Franklin Bolling and Nancy Isabel Denton). John was the son of George Franklin Bolling and Octavia Toole. Nancy was the daughter of John Denton and Johnie Chapin.

Paul’s great-great-grandmother Octavia Toole was the daughter of Alfred Toole and Belinda Yates. Paul’s great-great-great-grandmother Belinda was the daughter of a white father, Allen Yates, and of Millie Nail, described in one account as “a half-breed Choctaw woman”. The family were official members of the Choctaw Native American tribe.

Sources: Paul’s birth record –

Paul’s obituary –

Marriage record of Paul’s parents –

Birth record of Paul’s mother –

Paul’s maternal grandparents, Paul Sterling Cary and Helen Elizabeth Bolling, on the 1940 US Census –

Genealogy of Paul’s maternal grandmother, Helen Elizabeth Bolling –


Yara Shahidi

by Alyx on October 25, 2012

Birth Name: Yara Sayeh Shahidi

Place of Birth: Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota, United States

Date of Birth: February 10, 2000

*Iranian (father)
*African-American [including Ghanaian] (mother)

Yara Shahidi is an American actress and model.

Her brother is actor and model Sayeed Shahidi. Yara is the daughter of Afshin Alexander Shahidi, a photographer, and Keri Shahidi (born Keri Jamelda Salter), an actress. Her father is Iranian. Her mother is African-American. A picture of Yara’s parents can be seen here.

Yara has said:

We’re Choctaw Native American and African-American—our family originated in Ghana, and then there’s a portion of our family that’s the descendants of Vikings.

Yara’s mention of Vikings is referring to the fact that Jones family of her maternal grandmother, through DNA testing, was found to descend patrilineally from Scandinavian ancestors (possibly over 1000 years ago). It is not clear if Yara’s Native American ancestry has been verified/documented.

Yara is a first cousin, once removed, of musician and entrepreneur Nas. She has said, “My momma grew up with him. He got his genealogy done at Harvard and Henry Louis Gates Jr. did his entire family background. I was a flower girl at his wedding.”

Yara’s paternal grandmother is named Forough Emami.

Yara’s maternal grandfather is Kwame Samuel Salter (the son of Samuel Leon Salter and Reva Daniels). Samuel was the son of The Rev. Moses Washington Salter and Maria Moore. Reva was the daughter of William Daniels and Gracie Marie Cobb/Cobbs.

Yara’s maternal grandmother is named Connie Sue (the daughter of Charles Rufus Jones II and Ella Mae Jones). Two of Yara’s great-great-grandparents were Charlie Rufus Jones and Rose. Ella was the daughter of Charlie S. Jones and Latisha.

Sources: Genealogy of Yara Shahidi (focusing on her mother’s side) –

Obituary of Yara’s maternal great-grandmother, Reva (Daniels) Salter –

Death records of Yara’s maternal great-grandparents, Charles Rufus “Charlie” Jones and Ella Mae Jones –

Photo by PR Photos