Aisha Tyler

Aisha Tyler

photo by Prphotos

Birth Name: Aisha N. Tyler

Place of Birth: San Francisco, California, United States

Date of Birth: September 18, 1970

Ethnicity: African-American, distant Malagasy, English, Scottish, and Irish

Aisha Tyler is an American actress, comedian, director, and talk show host. She is known for her roles on the series Friends, Criminal Minds, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and in the films Death Sentence and Friendsgiving, among many other works.

Aisha is the daughter of Robin, a teacher, and James Tyler, a photographer. The family briefly lived in Ethiopia, and on an ashram in Oakland, California.

Aisha’s maternal grandfather was Eugene Chandler Gregory (the son of Thomas Montgomery Gregory and Hugh Ella “Huella” Hancock). Eugene was born in Washington, D.C. Thomas graduated from Harvard in 1910, as one of the few black students. He was a dramatist, educator, activist, and social philosopher, who founded The Howard Players, an African-American theatre troupe. Thomas was the son of James Monroe Gregory, a Professor of Latin and Dean at Howard University, and advocate of black education, whose grandparents were free blacks; and of Fannie Emma Hagan. Aisha’s great-grandmother Hugh was the daughter of Hugh Berry Hancock and Susie E. James.

Aisha’s great-great-grandmother Fannie Hagan’s mother, Margaret A. Mahammitt, was said to be the daughter of Jeremiah/Ali Mahomet, from Madagascar.

Aisha’s maternal grandmother was Elaine J. Graham (the daughter of Henry Douglas Graham and Janet Carrol McPhearson). Elaine was born in Baltimore, Maryland.

Aisha’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? (2016) uncovered that her great-great-grandfather Hugh Hancock, who was mixed race, was the son of John Hancock, a Democratic Party politician and judge, who was a member of the Texas House of Representatives (1860-1861), and a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas, from March 4, 1871 to March 3, 1877, and again, from March 4, 1883 to March 3, 1885. John was white, and had English, Scottish, and Irish ancestry. Hugh was incorrectly suggested in the press as being the son of U.S. General and 1880 Democratic presidential nominee Winfield Scott Hancock, during the election.

Sources: Genealogies of Aisha Tyler (focusing on her mother’s side) –

Genealogy of Aisha’s maternal great-grandparents, Thomas Montgomery Gregory and Hugh Ella “Huella” (Hancock) Gregory –

Information about Aisha’s maternal great-grandfather, Thomas Montgomery Gregory –

Information about Aisha’s Gregory family –

Information about Aisha’s Malagasy ancestry –


Curious about ethnicity

6 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    James Monroe Gregory’s grandparents, Claiborne Gladman and Anna Pollard, were Free Blacks. They’re listed in “Free Blacks of Lynchburg, Virginia, 1805-1865” (by Ted Delaney, Phillip Wayne Rhodes)

  2. cdonorab says:

    Correction she also has Irish ancestry as well through several branches of John Hancocks mother whose maiden name was Ryan.

  3. andrew says:

    genealogy of Aisha’s maternal great-grandparents, Thomas Montgomery Gregory and Hugh Ella “Huella” Hancock:

    Thomas was a noted dramatist, educator, social philosopher, and activist. His mother is described as being of Madagascan descent

    Thomas’ father, James Monroe Gregory, was a Professor, and a member of Republican Party

    Aisha is also related to astronaut Frederick D. Gregory

  4. cdonorab says:

    Correction. On Who do you think you are they traced her ancestry to her third great grandfather a white man named John Hancock who was a representative for the state of Texas. He had English and Scottish ancestry.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.