Beyoncé in 2010, photo by kathclick/

Birth Name: Beyoncé Giselle Knowles

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

Date of Birth: September 4, 1981

*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 Beyoncé Knowles, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, B, Third Ward Trill, and Sasha Fierce, is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She was a member of the top-selling American R&B girl group Destiny’s Child, along with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, and also originally LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson.

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. The two are in a band together, The Carters. Beyoncé is a step-sister of actress Bianca Lawson. Her mother is married to Bianca’s father, actor Richard Lawson.

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.

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

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

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 Native American ancestors appear on publicly available family trees of Beyoncé’s mother. One book biography, Crazy in Love: The Beyoncé Knowles Biography, from 2000, 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 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 Albert Beyincé/Buyincé (the son of Alexandre/Alexon Beyincé/Buyincé and Marie/Mary Amelie Oliver/Olevia/Olivier Broussard). Lumis was born in Abbeville, Louisiana. Alexandre was the son of Jean Boyancé/Beyincé, who was born in France, and of Angéline Élizabeth Green. Marie Amelie was the daughter of Olivier Despanet Broussard and Alphonsine Boutte.

Beyoncé’s maternal grandmother was Agnès/Agnèz DeRouen/Deréon (the daughter of Eugène-Gustave DeRouen/Deréon/Derezen and Odelia Broussard). Agnès was born in Decambre, Louisiana. Eugène-Gustave likely was the son of Eloi Jacques DeRouen. Odelia was the daughter of Éloi/Éloy-René Broussard, who appears to have been white, and of Joséphine Lessee/Lesse/Lesser/Lacy, who was black. A picture of Beyoncé’s great-grandfather Eugène-Gustave can be seen here.

Mathew Knowles and Tina Knowles at the Giorgio Armani Prive Show

Beyoncé’s parents Mathew and Tina, 2007, photo by

Sources: Genealogies of Beyoncé –

Family history of Beyoncé –

Family history of Beyoncé, by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak –

Beyoncé’s paternal grandfather, Matthew/Mathew Knowles, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Beyoncé’s paternal grandmother, Lou Helen Hogue, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

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

Article about Beyoncé’s maternal great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, Joseph Broussard –


Curious about ethnicity

1,159 Responses

  1. stuckinfoopid says:

    It’s shocking how envied African Americans are. The most controversial tag with the most people trying to tie themselves into it is African American.

  2. History Guy says:

    Beyonce mother is very Caucasian genetically. I am a regular African-American, 80/20. Beyonce is between 60/65 Sub Saharan African, the rest European, and possibly a sprinkle of Native American. Tina is at most 30/35% Sub Saharan African. She is very Caucasian, and her family purposely stayed very multi-generational mixed! Tina descends From MGM mulattos and quaddroons. She is not a black woman, and looks mostly white, with some African DNA. Her hair is not straight, but a very loose curl pattern, like the 3a curl range, wavy/curly. She looks like Quincy Jones daughter, and Robin Dixon Real Housewives Of Potomac Maryland, who tested only 35 or 30% Sub-Saharan African. Quincy Jones was 65% African, so his daughter is like 25% range. She looks more white, because she is. Her ethnicity nis Creole African American. Tina is not average.

    • History Guy says:

      Matthew Knowles is from from Alabama, he’s around 85%/90 % Sub-Saharan African. Tina is around 30/35%, Beyonce is around 60/65% African.

    • passingtime85 says:

      I’m not a big on policing labels, but some others may find mulatto fairly offensive, as it literally has its roots in comparing admixed people with mules, as they are hybrids themselves, horse/donkey. I’d just call blended people, mixed or admixed, or something akin, and leave mulatto out of the conversation. Just food for thought.

  3. italiano90 says:

    Its obvious when people see Matthew Knowles, naturally their eyes register a black man. His features are unusual though particularly his nose and lips.

  4. sanchez234 says:

    Also, if you go back 6 generations in Beyoncé’s maternal great-great-grandfather Éloi-René Broussard’s lineage, Beyoncé is a direct descendant of Jean-Vincent d’Abbadie de Saint-Castin and his wife Marie Mathilde Pidianske— who was the daughter of Madockawando Abenaki, a chief of the Penobscot (Panawahpskek) people born circa 1630. So, although quite far back, she does have some indigenous ancestry, of this particular tribe.'Abbadie-11

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