Beyoncé

Beyoncé in 2010, photo by kathclick/bigstock.com

Birth Name: Beyoncé Giselle Knowles

Place of Birth: Houston, Harris, Texas, U.S.

Date of Birth: September 4, 1981

Ethnicity:
*father – African-American
*mother – Louisiana Creole, including African, French, Acadian/French-Canadian, as well as distant Irish and Breton, remote Penobscot First Nations

Beyoncé, also known as Harmonies by The Hive, Queen Bey or Queen B, Third Ward Trill, Sasha Fierce, and Beyoncé Knowles, is an American singer, songwriter, actress, director, and businessperson. She was a member of R&B girl group Destiny’s Child, along with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, and also, originally, LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson. As a solo artist, she has won the most Grammy Awards of any person, at 32, and has sold over 200 million records worldwide. Often exploring themes of feminism and womanism, her songs include “Crazy in Love,” “Baby Boy,” “Me, Myself and I,” “Check on It,” “Déjà Vu,” “Irreplaceable,” “Beautiful Liar,” “If I Were a Boy,” “Single Ladies,” “Halo,” “Run the World (Girls),” “Drunk in Love,” “Formation,” “Perfect Duet,” “Break My Soul,” “Cuff It,” “Texas Hold ‘Em,” and “II Most Wanted.” Beyoncé has starred in the films Carmen: A Hip Hopera, Austin Powers in Goldmember, The Fighting Temptations, The Pink Panther (2006), Dreamgirls, Cadillac Records, Obsessed (2009), Epic (2013), and Disney’s The Lion King (2019), the latter two in voice role. She co-directed her music films Life Is But a Dream, Lemonade, and Black Is King, which she also co-wrote; and directed and wrote her music films Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé and Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé.

Beyoncé is the daughter of Tina Knowles (born Célestine Ann Beyincé), a fashion designer, and Mathew C. Knowles, a businessperson and talent manager. Her sister is singer and actress Solange Knowles. They are the first sisters to have each had No. 1 albums. She is married to rapper and music producer Jay-Z, with whom she has three children, including Blue Ivy Carter. Beyoncé and Jay-Z are in a musical superduo together, The Carters. Beyoncé is a step-sister of actress Bianca Lawson. Her mother is married to Bianca’s father, actor Richard Lawson. Beyoncé founded management company Parkwood Entertainment.

Beyoncé’s father is African-American. Beyoncé’s maternal grandparents were French-speaking Louisiana Creoles, with roots in New Iberia; their ancestry was mostly African and French, including French ancestors who lived in Canada. Through her mother’s line, Beyoncé is a great-great-great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Acadian leader Joseph Broussard, and a descendant of Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie de Saint-Castin (born c. 1652), and of his wife, Marie Mathilde Pidianske/Penobscot (born c. 1658), who was the daughter of Madockawando Abenaki, a chief of the Penobscot (Panawahpskek) people. Through Marie Mathilde, Beyoncé is of 1/1024 Indigenous descent. Beyoncé is also of approximately 1/32 Irish ancestry, and has distant Breton roots on her mother’s side, as well. Her name, Beyoncé, is a tribute to her mother’s maiden name, Beyincé. Through her Broussard line, she is a third cousin of gospel singer and graphic artist Karen Showell.

Beyoncé has said that she has Nigerian ancestry. She may have discovered this through a DNA test.

Mathew Knowles and Tina Knowles at the Giorgio Armani Prive Show

Beyoncé’s parents Mathew and Tina, 2007, photo by bigstock.com

Beyoncé’s mother has also been described as having Cherokee and/or Choctaw Native American ancestry. It is not clear if this ancestry has been verified/documented. No Cherokee or Choctaw Native American ancestors appear on publicly available family trees of Beyoncé’s mother. One book biography, Crazy in Love: The Beyoncé Knowles Biography, also refers to Beyoncé’s mother having Spanish, Jewish, Chinese, and Indonesian ancestry. It is also not clear if this is accurate.

Beyoncé does not speak French or Spanish, but she has sung in Spanish before.

A picture of Beyoncé’s maternal grandparents can be seen here.

Beyoncé’s paternal grandfather was Matthew/Mathew Q. Knowles (the son of Taylor Knowles and Girlie/Gurlie/Gerlie Mae Miller). Matthew was born in Alabama. Taylor was the son of James Isaac Knowles and Sarah Elizabeth Dixon. Girlie was the daughter of Prophet Miller and Jane Hall.

Beyoncé’s paternal grandmother is Lou Helen Hogue (the daughter of Davis/Dave Hogue and Hester Moore). Lou was born in Alabama. Davis was the son of Jim Hogue and Rosetta Moore. Hester was the daughter of Pinkney Madison Moore and Arenia Goree.

Beyoncé’s maternal grandfather was Lumis/Lumas Albert Beyincé/Buyincé (the son of Alexandre/Alexon Beyincé/Buyincé and Mary Olevia). Lumis was born in Delcambre, Vermilion, Louisiana.

Beyoncé’s maternal grandmother was Agnès/Agnèz DeRouen/Deréon (the daughter of Eugène-Gustave DeRouen/Deréon/Derezen and Odelia/Odilia Broussard). Agnès was born in Decambre, Louisiana, and was a prominent seamstress. Eugène-Gustave likely was the son of Eloi Jacques DeRouen. Odelia was the daughter of Éloi/Éloy-René Rosemond Broussard, who was white, of French descent, and of Celestine Joséphine Lessee/Lesse/Lesser/Lacy/Lacey/Lessassier, who was black/mixed-race black, and the daughter of a slave mother. Éloi and Joséphine had many children together, and possibly married. A picture of Beyoncé’s great-grandfather Eugène-Gustave can be seen here.

LOS ANGELES – FEB 10: Beyoncé arrives to the Grammy Awards on February 10, 2013 in Hollywood, CA photo by DFree/Bigstock.com

Sources: Genealogies of Beyoncé – http://www.geni.com
https://famouskin.com

Family history of Beyoncé – https://www.hollywoodancestry.com
https://www.dailymail.co.uk

Family history of Beyoncé, by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak – http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Beyoncé’s paternal grandfather, Matthew/Mathew Q. Knowles, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Beyoncé’s paternal grandmother, Lou Helen Hogue, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Beyoncé’s maternal grandmother, Agnès/Agnèz DeRouen/Deréon, on 1910 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Article about Beyoncé’s maternal great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, Joseph Broussard – http://www.biographi.ca

ethnic

Curious about ethnicity

1,190 Responses

  1. indo says:

    She doesn’t look like either of her parents.

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