Billie Jean King
Birth Name: Billie Jean Moffitt
Place of Birth: Long Beach, Los Angeles, California, United States
Date of Birth: November 22, 1943
Ethnicity: English, Scottish, Irish
Billie Jean King is an American professional tennis player, formerly World No. 1 in her field. She is the daughter of Mildred Rose “Betty” (Jerman) and Willis Jefferson “Bill” Moffitt, who was born in Laurel, Yellowstone, Montana. Her brother is Major League Baseball pitcher Randy Moffitt. Her surname is from her former husband, tennis player Larry King.
“The American Woman” won Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 1975. Billie Jean was one of twelve women chosen to represent that title on the magazine’s cover, along with Betty Ford.
Billie Jean’s paternal grandfather was Willis Durkee Moffitt, Jr. (the son of Willis D. Moffitt and Georgia/Georgie/Georgianna Etta Mason). Billie Jean’s grandfather Willis was born in St. Paul, Ramsey, Minnesota. Billie Jean’s great-grandfather Willis was the son of Silas Moffitt and Hannah M. Johnson. Georgie was the daughter of George W. Mason and Florence M. Wadleigh.
Billie Jean’s paternal grandmother was Blanche Gertrude “Gammie” Leighton (born Hazel Campbell, the biological daughter of Elizabeth S. “Lizzie” Campbell). Blanche was born in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, and was adopted by Jefferson J. Leighton and Georgia E. Wright. Elizabeth was born in Lewiston, Androscoggin, Maine, the daughter of Scottish parents, Duncan Campbell, Jr., who was born in Kilbride, and Ellen McCann.
Billie Jean’s maternal grandfather was Roscoe William “Rocky” Jerman (the son of William David Jerman and Elizabeth May “Lizzie” Luse). Roscoe was born in Mount Jewett, McKean, Pennsylvania. William was the son of Thomas Jerman, who was born in Ireland, and of Catherine/Kathryn McTigue, who was born in England, and likely had Irish ancestry. Elizabeth was the daughter of Shubael Luse and Ida A. Johnston.
Billie Jean’s maternal grandmother was Doris Mae/May Holliday (the daughter of Charles Holliday and Vina/Viena Crawford). Doris was born in Florida.
A DNA test whose results were displayed on the show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2014) stated that Billie Jean’s genetic ancestry is:
Among Billie Jean’s genetic ancestry that was marked “European” is mostly British & Irish, smaller amounts of Scandinavian, French, German, and Eastern European, and 0.1% Ashkenazi Jewish.
Billie Jean has sometimes been said to have Native American ancestry. This is not accurate.
Sources: Genealogies of Billie Jean King – http://www.geni.com
She is a 7th cousin of Sharon Stone, through their shared ancestors Shubal Luse and Eleanor Swayze.
The story of this couple is accurately mentioned in Finding Your Roots, Season 2. It’s the same “Luce” line of Henry Luce of TIME Magazine.
Billie’s mother believed to have Native American Seminole ancestry, but that was debunked on the show.