Birth Name: Aaliyah Dana Haughton
Date of Birth: January 16, 1979
Place of Birth: Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
Date of Death: August 25, 2001
Place of Death: Marsh Harbour, Abaco Islands, The Bahamas
Ethnicity: African-Jamaican, African-American, possibly some Native American
Aaliyah was an American R&B singer, actress, dancer, and model. She starred in the films Romeo Must Die and Queen of the Damned. She was also known as Baby Girl.
Her parents, Diane (Hankerson) and Michael Haughton, are both black. The name Aaliyah is from the word Aliyah, which is of Hebrew origin, meaning “highest, most exalted one, the best.” Her uncle is record producer and music manager Barry Hankerson, who founded Blackground Records, and was previously married to singer Gladys Knight. Aaliyah’s brother is writer, director, and screenwriter Rashad Haughton. Aaliyah was killed in a private plane crash.
Aaliyah had stated:
When I wake up in the morning I am African-American, and when I go to sleep at night I am African-American, and I can assure you I love who I am…
Her father is of African-Jamaican descent and her mother is of African-American ancestry.
Aaliyah has sometimes been cited as having a Native American grandmother, or as having a grandmother with some Native American ancestry. It is not clear if this ancestry has been verified/documented. A photo of her maternal grandmother Mintis can be seen here.
Aaliyah’s paternal grandfather was Franklin Gresley Reid Haughton (the son of Solomon Ehud Haughton and Lilia Margaret Bell). Franklin was a Jamaican emigrant, from Darliston, Westmoreland. Solomon was the son of Robert Samuel Haughton and Judith Richardson. Lilia was the daughter of Joseph Zebulon Bell and Ester Jemima Walker.
Aaliyah’s paternal grandmother was Gladys Lucille Burton (the daughter of Joseph Francis Cato Burton and Adella Adelaide Allen). Gladys was a Jamaican emigrant, from Bagnold Spring, Saint Mary. Joseph was the son of Francis Cato Burton. Adella was the daughter of Henry Staines Allen and Esther Adelaide Anderson. A picture of Gladys can be seen here.
Aaliyah’s maternal grandfather was Ernest W. Hankerson (the son of Waddy/Woddie Myers and Susie Hankerson). Ernest was born in Bullock, Georgia. Waddy was the son of Henry Myers and Andenia/Hannah/Anna Hankerson. Susie was the daughter of Henry Hankerson and Rachel Peeples.
Aaliyah’s maternal grandmother was Mintis L. Hicks (who possibly was the daughter of Daniel Hicks and Anna Scott). Mintis was born in Barnwell, South Carolina. Anna was the daughter of Sam Scott and Millie.