AJ McLean

LOS ANGELES - SEP 13:  A.J. McLean at the Voices On Point at Cen

McLean in 2014, photo by kathclick/Bigstock.com

Birth Name: Alexander James McLean

Place of Birth: West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.

Date of Birth: January 9, 1978

Ethnicity: Puerto Rican (maternal grandfather), German, Scottish, one sixteenth Ashkenazi Jewish, as well as Irish, English, and French, possibly other

AJ McLean is an American singer, songwriter, actor, dancer, and model. He is a member of the band Backstreet Boys, along with Nick Carter, Howie D., Brian Littrell, and Kevin Richardson. He is nicknamed “Mean McLean, “Bone Daddy”, “Johnny No Name,” and “Mr. Cool.”

AJ is the son of Denise Irma (Fernández) and Robert Blue “Bob” McLean. AJ is married to model and stylist Rochelle Karidis, with whom he has two children.

His father is of Scottish, and some Irish, English, and French, descent. His mother is of half Puerto Rican and half German ancestry.

A MyHeritage DNA test taken by AJ stated that his genetic ancestry is:

*39.8% Iberian
*19.5% East European
*19.1% Central & South America
*8.3% Nigerian
*6.8% Ashkenazi Jewish
*3.1% North & West European
*2.4% North African
*1% Middle Eastern

AJ has said that he is of one sixteenth Jewish ancestry, which dovetails with his DNA result.

Given his DNA result, it is likely that AJ’s Puerto Rican ancestry includes Spanish, Indigenous [Taíno], and African.

AJ’s paternal grandfather was Luther Irving McLean (the son of Alexander McLean and Flora Jane McDonald/MacDonald). Luther was born in Massachusetts. Alexander and Flora were born in Canada, to Scottish parents. Alexander was the son of John McLean and Catherine. Flora was the daughter of Alexander McDonald/MacDonald and Catharine/Catherine.

AJ’s paternal grandmother was Irene Frances/Francis Thompson (the daughter of Edwin Francis Thompson and Irene May Grant). A. J.’s grandmother Irene was born in Massachusetts. Edwin was the son of Nova Scotia-born parents, George Thompson, whose father was English, and Mary Jane Murphy, who had French, Irish, and English ancestry. AJ’s great-grandmother Irene was the daughter of Frederick “Fred” Grant and Mary Greer.

AJ’s maternal grandfather was Adolph Henry Fernández (the son of Adolfo/Adolph Fernández y Baria and Benedicta Rodriguez). A. J.’s grandfather Adolph was Puerto Rican. A. J.’s great-grandfather Adolfo was the son of Adolfo/Adolph Vicente Francisco Alfredo Ramon Maria de la Paz Fernández Rojas, who was from Algeciras, Andalusia, Spain, and had Cantabrian roots; and of Maria del Rosario Barea y Rodriguez.

AJ’s maternal grandmother was Ursula Margerat/Margaret Maier (the daughter of Wilhelm/William Maier and Kate Bubendey). Ursula was born in Germany, and moved to the U.S. around 1925.

Sources: Genealogy page of AJ’s paternal grandfather, Luther Irving McLean – https://www.wikitree.com

AJ’s paternal grandfather, Luther Irving McLean, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

AJ’s paternal grandmother, Irene Frances/Francis Thompson, on the 1940 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

AJ’s paternal great-grandfather, Edwin Francis Thompson, on the 1900 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Genealogy of AJ’s paternal great-great-grandmother, Mary Jane Murphy – http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com

AJ’s maternal grandfather, Adolph Henry Fernández, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Obituary of AJ’s maternal grandfather, Adolph Henry Fernández – http://www.legacy.com

AJ’s maternal great-grandfather, Adolfo/Adolph Fernández y Baria, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Marriage record of AJ’s maternal great-great-grandparents, Adolfo/Adolph Vicente Francisco Alfredo Ramon Maria de la Paz Fernández Rojas and Maria del Rosario Barea y Rodriguez – https://www.familysearch.org

AJ’s maternal grandmother, Ursula Margerat/Margaret Maier, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org


Curious about ethnicity

56 Responses

  1. Ardor says:

    He looks darker than what his ethnic makeup suggests! He’s 60% European, but someone with that mixture would look at least like George Clooney or Ricky Martin. This man looks Jordanian or Iranian. Not that he is those, but it’s interesting that this combo gives him a pseudo Middle Eastern appearance. His Nigerian and native blood must be strong.

  2. danishcookie7 says:

    He’s mixed but idk if I would call him “exotic”. His only “ethnic” feature is his nose. I do think its odd how a black person like Vanessa L Williams isn’t considered “mixed race” even though she’s 44% european whereas someone like AJ who is almost 70% european is considered “mixed race” even though he is genetically more white than asian or black. I wonder if this is an American thing but I’ve see so many White Americans who are still ignorant on race and for some odd reason don’t consider Italians as “white” even though they clearly are. I guess in America you have to be Anglo Saxon to join the elite caucasian club. So silly.

    • Ardor says:

      But he really doesn’t look white. Looks like an Iranian. Just because he doesn’t look black (in which he doesn’t) that doesn’t mean he is not “exotic” and he is white now.

    • drzaius21 says:

      The results seemed very skewed, which is a normal thing that occurs when taking a DNA test by MyHeritage. If he took the test on more accurate sites like AncestryDNA or 23 and Me the results would differ substantially. A possibility is that his father is not his biological father.

      • bablah says:

        MyHeritage is bad, but not that bad. I don’t think Robert McLean is AJ’s father. Even people who are full Puerto Rican often get more Northern/Northwestern European than he does. His results are spot on for someone 3/4 Puerto Rican (or alternatively, Cuban, Dominican, Colombian…).

  3. andrew says:

    When I was in secondary school, BSB members’ rating among my female classmates was:

    1 Nick Carter. Hands down
    2 Brian Littrell
    3-4 Richardson/McLean
    5 Howie D.

    • madman says:

      So your Finnish mates preferred the blond ones over the dark?

      • andrew says:

        why should have they preferred White/Latino mixed guys??

        • madman says:

          It was just interesting that the list coincided with their colouring.

          I actually wrote that just to mention your Finnish background and see if you objected to me mentioning it. Follers doesn’t believe you’re Finnish but I’ve thought it was true.

          • follers says:

            At this point, I don’t know if you’re being ironic or not, but I made up “Andrew” being “Finnish” a long time ago as a joke, whose point of humour has become increasingly less clear to me over the years. As with many things, what begins as a joke ends up as something else many years later when everyone has forgotten where it came from (probably the source for a lot of Cherokee, and other, ancestry, on this site).

          • madman says:

            Hmmm, okay. There was one particular exchange between andrew and fuzzybear that made me believe he was actually Finnish, but just obsessed with Italian culture.

          • andrew says:

            Who cares if I am Finnish or not, it’s a site about celebrities, not about me or you. It’s obvious Italian culture is more interesting than Finland’s one by far, arguably even for Finnish people themselves.

            Well, it’s obvious an Italian female teenager finds a blond guy like Carter or Littrell more attractive than exotic dudes like AJ or Howie, because they feel like they are estethically closer to them (I mean real Italian people not those who play Italian roles and are not even Italian).

  4. italiano90 says:

    He is still a white man and is systematically treated as such. Anyone claiming him “black” or “indigenous” are delusional and follow the expired (and racist) One Drop Rule or have some serious deep rooted self hatred.

    • andrew says:

      He is clearly not white, he looks regular Cuban or Puerto Rican. There was also no need of a DNA test to guess that, just looking at him.

      • Yesterday says:

        Most Cubans and Puerto Ricans are white though.

        • passingtime85 says:

          DNA evidence shows that a large proportion of the current populations of the Greater Antilles have Taíno ancestry, with 61% of Puerto Ricans, up to 30% of Dominicans, and 33% of Cubans having mitochondrial DNA of Taíno origin.

          Not to mention the African influence.

          • Oaken05 says:

            Yeah, while Puerto Ricans are predominantly of European desecent, they are on average far too genetically mixed that they’d be called “white” as the term is most often used. Most of the genetic studies I’ve seen show an average European descent anywhere in the range of 50’s and 60’s, percentage-wise. We’re talking more than an entire grandparent’s-worth of non-European ancestry.

  5. follers says:

    In this case, the DNA result really is more consistent with McLean being well more than 25% Hispanic. There are also almost no indicators of what should be almost 50% British Isles ancestry. Is it possible that he really does have a different biological father, who was Hispanic? His parents married in 1972 and were married for a little over five years before he was born. And McLean has said that he didn’t really meet his father Bob McLean until he was an adult.

    • bablah says:

      Assuming that East Europe and Ashkenazi Jewish is from his German grandmother (because it does kinda match up, and German often comes up as E. European on many of these tests), and even if the Iberian is wrongly classified and isn’t all Iberian, that leaves 27.5% of African and Indigenous. Since maternal grandfather is listed as White everywhere and even has very recent ancestry from Spain, I doubt it’s all from that one grandparent. You’re right, it looks like he’s more Latin American than he thinks. Unfortunately, they didn’t put anything about their family matches (even though 2 of the band members are cousins, so that’s an odd thing to omit).

      • Vik27 says:

        Ashkenazim are middle eastern and Mediterranean.we Ashkenazim are genetically half Italian and half middle eastern. Before Germany we came from Italy and before that Judea . Ashkenazim are ITALIAN Jews who are genetically levantines and Graeco-Roman from southern italy central italy and Greece who migrated to Germany from Italy and then moved eastwards to Eastern Europe.

    • madman says:

      Yes, this whole thing looks very strange with the DNA test. On paper I think his family situation looks like a normal “father leaves family, mother raises the children by herself”-situation. His parents divorced when he was five, so his father certainly intended to raise him if everything had worked out between his parents. Perhaps there’s something we don’t know about his background (and may never know).

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