Birth Name: Wentworth Earl Miller III
Place of Birth: Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, England, U.K.
Date of Birth: June 2, 1972
*12.5% Curaçaoan [mix of Dutch, French, Swedish, Hispanic, and remote Polish]
Wentworth Miller is an American actor, model, screenwriter, and producer. He starred in the television series Prison Break, playing Michael Scofield.
Wentworth was born in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, England, to American parents, Roxann (Palm), a special education teacher, and Wentworth E. Miller II, a lawyer and teacher. His family moved to Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York, during his early years. He holds dual U.S. and U.K. citizenship.
Wentworth’s father is black (of half Afro-Jamaican and half African-American ancestry). Wentworth’s mother is caucasian. Wentworth’s maternal grandfather’s father was from the Caribbean island of Curaçao (and was of Dutch, French, Swedish, Hispanic, and remote Polish, descent), and Wentworth’s maternal grandfather’s mother was of Lebanese/Syrian ancestry. Wentworth’s maternal grandmother was the daughter of Rusyn parents.
Regarding his ancestry and his experience with racism, he has said:
My experience is that I find myself having to constantly define myself to others, day-in, day-out… My encounters with racism are sort of second-hand situations where I might be standing around with a group of white friends and someone makes a comment that they wouldn’t make, say, at my family reunion. It leaves a cut. Someone calls you “nigger” and it’s like a knife to the gut. To be in that sort of situation it’s just a little nick, but you suffer enough nicks and you bleed to death just the same. So when that happens, you’re confronted with the quandary: do I stop the party, do I grind things to a halt?
Wentworth has mentioned that one of his paternal great-grandmothers was Jewish (which was also written in The New Yorker in 2003). However, Wentworth’s paternal grandfather’s mother was a Black Jamaican, while Wentworth’s paternal grandmother’s mother was an African-American from the Southern United States. Therefore, it is not clear if Wentworth really has any documented Jewish ancestry. Similarly, Wentworth has also been described as having English, German, Cherokee, and Russian roots. It is not clear if any of these lineages have been documented/verified.
Wentworth’s paternal grandfather was Wentworth Earl Miller (the son of Claudius/Claude Cephas Miller and Rhena Jane Newman). Wentworth’s grandfather was born in 1925 in New York. His own parents were immigrants from Jamaica. The whole family is listed as “Negro” (Black) on both the 1930 U.S. Census and the 1940 U.S. census. Claudius was the son of George Miller and Rebecca May. Rhena was the daughter of Richard Newman.
Wentworth’s paternal grandmother was Pauline Pinkston (the daughter of Greene Fort Pinkston and Penella Bertha Horne). Pauline was born, c. 1925, in Tennessee. Pauline and her parents are all listed as “Negro” (Black) on both the 1930 U.S. Census and the 1940 U.S. Census. Greene was a prominent doctor, and was born in Mississippi, the grandson of freed slaves; he was the son of Ritten Pinkston and Fannie Gresham. Penella was born in Tennessee, the daughter of Jesse Horne and Alice Hill. Pauline Pinkston’s second husband was Chester Oden, Jr.
Wentworth’s maternal grandfather was Frederick William Palm (the son of Hendrik/Hendrick “Harry” Frederik Palm and Melekia/Malakia “Margaret” Sabah). Hendrik was born, in 1894, in Willemstad, the capital city of the Caribbean island of Curaçao, the son of Frederick/Frederik Wilhelm Palm, a merchant, and of Maria Josefa Helena “Elene” Conquet, who was born in Santo Domingo. Hendrik’s family had lived on Curaçao for many generations. His ancestry was Dutch (like many people on this island), along with French, Swedish, Hispanic, and remote Polish, with a forebear who was born in Brazil, and who was likely ethnically Dutch. The Palm line originated in Sweden. Wentworth’s great-grandmother Melekia’s parents, Namaan/Naman Sabah and Emiline/Emileen/Emily, were Lebanese/Syrian immigrants, making Wentworth Miller himself of 1/8th Lebanese/Syrian descent.
Wentworth’s maternal grandmother was Mildred Emiliya Hawaka (the daughter of Nicholas/Nicolas Hawaka and Florence Busczniewicz). Nicholas was born in Austria, likely of Rusyn descent. Florence was Rusyn.
Sources: Genealogy of Wentworth Miller – https://www.geni.com
Wedding announcement of Wentworth’s parents (with a picture of Wentworth’s mother) – http://news.google.com
Wentworth’s paternal grandfather, Wentworth Earl Miller, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Genealogy of Wentworth’s paternal grandmother, Pauline Pinkston – http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com
Wentworth’s paternal grandmother, Pauline Pinkston, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Obituary of Wentworth’s maternal grandfather, Frederick William Palm (with picture) – http://news.google.com
Genealogy of Wentworth’s maternal great-grandfather, Hendrik/Hendrick “Harry” Frederik Palm (in the island of Curaçao) – http://www.henkbeers.nl
Wentworth’s maternal grandmother, Mildred Emiliya Hawaka, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Obituary of Wentworth’s maternal grandmother, Mildred Emiliya (Hawaka) Palm (with picture) – http://www.legacy.com