Tori Amos

by ethnic on August 6, 2008

VH1 Big In 2002 Awards - Arrivals

Birth Name: Myra Ellen Amos

Place of Birth: Catawba, North Carolina, U.S.

Date of Birth: August 22, 1963

Ethnicity: English and Scottish/Irish/Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, remote French

Tori Amos is an American singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer. She is the daughter of Mary Ellen (Copeland) and The Rev. Dr. Edison McKinley Amos. She has English and Scottish/Irish/Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, and remote French, ancestry. Tori is married to English sound engineer Mark Hawley, with whom she has a daughter.

Tori has stated that both of her maternal grandparents had a “full-blooded Cherokee” Native American grandparent of their own (i.e. Tori has stated that two of her maternal great-great-grandparents were Cherokee). It is not clear if there is any genealogical evidence that Tori has Cherokee Native American ancestry.

The first of Tori’s great-great-grandparents cited as Cherokee was a woman named Margaret Loraine Little. Margaret is listed as “White” on United States Censuses. Margaret’s mother’s name is sometimes cited as Elizabeth J. McAllister.

The second of Tori’s great-great-grandparents cited as Cherokee was a man named John Akins. John’s son, Tori’s great-grandfather, John Calhoun Akins, is listed as “White” on United States Censuses.

Tori’s paternal grandfather was James Washington Amos (the son of James Pleasant/Pleasants Amos and Elizabeth Jones Slayden). Tori’s grandfather James was born in Virginia. Tori’s great-grandfather James was the son of William Franklin Amos and Frances/Fannie Jane Faudree. Elizabeth was the daughter of George Washington Slayden and Sarah Wood Clark.

Tori’s paternal grandmother was Addie Brown Allen (the daughter of Charles Peter Allen and Martha Ida Carter). Addie was born in Virginia. Charles was the son of James M. Allen and Nancy M. Gilley. Martha was the daughter of James Craig Carter and Rhoda Sophia Allison.

Tori’s maternal grandfather was Calvin Clinton Copeland (the son of James Monroe Copeland and Mary Lenida Rice). Calvin was born in Tennessee. James was the son of Anderson Jackson Copeland and Dorcas Isabella Hammontree. Mary was the daughter of Calvin Harper Rice and Margaret Loraine Little.

Tori’s maternal grandmother was Bertie Marie Akins (the daughter of John Calhoun Akins and Ellen Ida Johnson). Bertie was born in Tennessee. John was the son of John Akins and Sallie. Ellen was the daughter of Andrew McRobert Johnson and Sarah Boyd.

Sources: History of the Amos family –

Genealogies of Tori Amos –

Genealogy of Tori’s paternal great-grandfather, James Pleasant/Pleasants Amos (focusing on his own father’s side) –

Genealogy of Tori’s father (focusing on his mother’s side) –

Tori’s maternal great-great-grandparents, Calvin Harper Rice and Margaret Loraine Little, on the 1870 U.S. Census –
Calvin Harper Rice and Margaret Loraine Little on the 1880 U.S. Census –
Calvin Harper Rice and Margaret Loraine Little on the 1900 U.S. Census –

Tori’s maternal great-grandparents, John Calhoun Akins and Ellen Ida Johnson, on the 1900 U.S. Census –
John Calhoun Akins and Ellen Ida Johnson on the 1910 U.S. Census –
John Calhoun Akins and Ellen Ida Johnson on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Tori’s maternal great-grandfather, John Calhoun Akins (“John Aiken”), on the 1880 U.S. Census –

Photo by Prphotos

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

andrew April 22, 2018 at 5:15 pm

she has also remote French ancestry (1/512). Her paternal grandfather’s “Faudree” line starts with Jean Foudre, a Frenchman (probably a Huguenot) who ended in Delaware

andrew January 13, 2017 at 3:51 pm
ses101 January 12, 2017 at 6:36 pm

I’m sure she mentioned having a Scottish granny in an interview. Most of the surnames in her family tree are Scottish as well but all that is mentioned here is the annoyingly misleading “Scots-Irish” tag.

follers January 13, 2017 at 1:37 am

Yes, that was her paternal grandmother, Addie Brown Allen.

However, Allen was a many-generation American, born in Virginia. Most of Amos’ foreign-born ancestors listed on were born in England and Ireland, although there are some in Scotland.

andrew September 24, 2016 at 5:05 am
Gurrl September 3, 2016 at 12:12 am

Looks Slavic. Could pass in Eastern Europe.

madman April 23, 2016 at 12:07 am

She also has Irish and Scots-Irish ancestry. Her ancestor John Craig was Irish, and his wife Mary Cox had Irish and Scots-Irish ancestry.

follers April 23, 2016 at 12:36 am

Have you found Tori Amos’s Native American ancestry yet?

madman April 23, 2016 at 12:47 am

Unfortunately not

ses101 January 12, 2017 at 6:43 pm

Almost all the surnames in her family tree are Scottish. I know lots of people arrived in America from Ulster, thus the Scots-Irish tag, but these people were almost entirely of pure Scottish descent, so surely people with these roots should be referred to as having Scottish roots.

Sage March 7, 2016 at 9:58 am

Kinda reminds me of Iggy Azalea, atleast in that photo.

xoxo October 27, 2015 at 10:36 pm

She looks part Asian or Native American.

cwm85 October 28, 2015 at 9:44 am
neiltennant July 17, 2015 at 6:04 am

i was in the elementary school with a girl who looked the same like her
she was named KRISTINA ZINGER and now i found out that she was russian jewish even with that name KRISTINA

TORI AMOS looks totally russian jewish

Princess June 17, 2015 at 5:45 am

I think she resembles Iggy Azalea in that photo.

WTF June 3, 2014 at 4:15 pm

why does she look part asian if she’s only english? wtf?

andrew June 3, 2014 at 6:31 pm

they all look asian, mexican, arab, native american to you

follers June 3, 2014 at 4:07 pm

ashash, here is another Cherokee person for your collection.

ashash June 3, 2014 at 7:44 pm

Just English, huh? I am surprised.

follers June 3, 2014 at 10:23 pm

Well, she could be 1/32 Scottish for all I know.

But the identification of two of her great-great-grandparents as Cherokee doesn’t seem to be correct.

At least not “full-blooded” Cherokee, which is what Tori said.

kate October 15, 2010 at 5:46 pm

I was abt to say she looks like an eastern euro jew mixed with mongolian/Native american/

Sebastiane January 26, 2010 at 11:11 am

I can definitely see the Cherokee in her, that must be where she gets her beautiful cheekbones!

ethnic November 13, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Thanks for that Derek.

Derek November 13, 2009 at 2:03 pm

I don’t think there is much support that she is Jewish. Some surnames have been used by both Christians and Jews for years. Amos is one of them. Someone can have a surname like Edwards or Anderson and still be Jewish via descent. Some can also have names like Rosenberg but are simply German Christians. It is really hard to tell for sure just by a surname.

ethnic November 3, 2009 at 11:31 am

She is said to have dual nationality.

watkinsheat November 3, 2009 at 12:34 am

I got on this site to find out where she was from, very surprised to find out shes from the United States as in many of her songs, she sounds like she has an accent from somewhere in the UK

Carnes001 October 27, 2015 at 12:01 pm

That would be her Scottish heritage coming through by way of Appalachia. Her dads family comes from French & Scottish backgrounds and lived in the Smokey Mountains of Virginia. The further south you go in App, the deeper Scottish, Irish and Welsh the roots get. Our dialect has been studied by linguists for some time. Of course we’ve traded our accents but a great many quirks are still the same. She may be Ulster, as many are, but I find people make many mistakes by assuming all are by way of Ulster alone.

ethnic April 11, 2009 at 9:43 pm

btw Amos is also originally from England. Check out this link.

ethnic April 11, 2009 at 9:07 am

yeh its interesting but I still need a good source that says she’s Jewish.

mzpreciousz April 6, 2009 at 7:18 am

i got that idea because for the origin it said Hebrew and then for the first names alot of Jewish-Israeli people have that name and then for last names one person was jewish that had that surname.

ethnic April 5, 2009 at 4:30 am

I searched around the net but there doesnt seem to be any mention of that.

mzpreciousz April 5, 2009 at 3:49 am

She has a Jewish last name… possibly she might have some Jewish ancestry?

Previous post:

Next post: