Bob Marley

A stamp printed in Jamaica commemorating the 50th anniversary of

Bob Marley on Jamaican stamp printed c. 1995, photo by Neftali/

Birth Name: Robert Nesta Marley

Date of Birth: February 6, 1945

Place of Birth: Nine Mile, Saint Ann, Jamaica

Date of Death: May 11, 1981

Place of Death: Miami, Florida, U.S.

Ethnicity: English, African-Jamaican

Bob Marley was a legendary Jamaican reggae singer, songwriter, musician, and guitarist.

He was the son of Cedella (Malcolm) and Norval Sinclair Marley. His parents were both born in Jamaica, his father in Clarendon. His father was white, and had English ancestry. His mother was black. He was quoted saying:

Me don’t dip on the black man’s side nor the white man’s side. Me dip on God’s side, the one who create me and cause me to come from black and white.

Bob was married to singer Rita Marley (born Alpharita Constantia Anderson), until his death. Bob had eleven children (at least), including musicians Ziggy Marley and Damian Marley, and entrepreneur and football player Rohan Marley. His grandson, Skip Marley, is also a musician.

He was baptized by the Archbishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian Church on November 4, 1980 in Kingston, Jamaica.

Bob’s paternal grandfather was Albert Thomas Marley (the son of Frederick Marley and Hannah Jane Tiltman). Albert was English, born in South Weald, Brentwood, Essex, England, to parents from Rye, Sussex. Frederick was the son of Thomas Marley and Jane Simms/Sims. Hannah was the daughter of Richard Tiltman and Mary Ann Moore.

Bob’s paternal grandmother was named Ellen Bloomfield (the daughter of Richard Bloomfield).

Bob’s maternal grandfather was Omeriah/Amariah Malcolm (the son of Robert Malcolm and Katherine Bygrave). Omeriah was born in Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica.

Bob’s maternal grandmother was Alberta/Albertha Willoughby/Whilby (the daughter of David/Daniel Willoughby and Hannah/Anna Downs). Daniel was the son of Richard Whilby and Jeanette.

There are claims on the internet that Bob had some kind of Jewish ancestry, sometimes cited as Syrian Jewish, through his father, or, sometimes, his mother. There is no documented evidence that Bob had Jewish ancestry. The Bloomfield family line from which Bob descended, a famous family in Jamaica, is sometimes cited as having been originally Jewish; this is almost certainly false.

Sources: Genealogies of Bob Marley –

45 Responses

  1. faraway243 says:

    Regarding Bob Marley’s ancestry, there have been unsubstantiated rumors that his father’s side was entirely or partially of Syrian Jewish descent. Genealogical research that has been done into his family tree does not provide any evidence to support these claims. Marley’s father, Norval, was born to Albert Thomas “Robert” Marley and Ellen Bloomfield in Jamaica in the early 1880s. Albert had immigrated to Jamaica from England to make a living in the mahogany trade. The 1861 England Census shows Albert living with his family at age 9 in Essex, England. His father is listed a staff sergeant in the army, and all of the children of the family have typical English names. Both of Albert’s parents are listed as being born in Rye, Sussex – essentially the Marley’s ancestral village – where the family can be traced a few more generations back to the mid-18th century. Syrian Jews however didn’t arrive in England until the latter half of the 19th century and settled mainly in Manchester. And almost conclusively, a record for Albert’s father Frederick shows he was baptized on Feb 20th 1820, indicating he was Christian and not Jewish. Thus is it almost certain that the Marleys were of English Christian extraction. As for Bob Marley’s paternal grandmother, Ellen Bloomfield, the situation is slightly more unclear. She was born in 1854 to Richard Bloomfield and an unrecorded mother. Once again, the name ‘Bloomfield’ has no connections to the Syrian Jewish community and is rather a well-known English/Jamaican surname. Yet unlike her husband, there are no genealogical documents pertaining to her family background. While it is possible she was born to an English father and a mother from a different ethnic background, as of yet there is no supporting evidence.

  2. andrew says:

    He was baptized by the Archbishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian Church in Kingston, Jamaica, on November 4, 1980

  3. andrew says:

    his grandson, Skip Marley, is a musician.

  4. roman2886 says:

    I don’t why people believe there are no White Jamaicans they are wrong there is White Jamaicans in Jamaica I’m a Eurasian Filipino there is there such White Filipinos there must be i never heard of White Filipinos i’m talking about full blooded White Filipinos Filipinos have no Asian ancestry there is full blooded Filipinos lots of Germans and Americans as well as Spanish where born in the Phillippines left still in Phillippines the unmixed Spanish Filipinos where the White Filipinos they where generations of Spanish people born in the Phillippines most Filipinos are mixed Eurasian and Amerasian since there such as White Jamaicans there is defiantly such thing as White Filipinos i’m yet too see blonde blue eyed Filipinos are brunette grey eyed Black haired and brown eye Filipinos i’m talking about Filipinos who are 100% White.

    • danishcookie7 says:

      A filipino is a person from the Philippines who has heavy amounts of East Asian/Polynesian DNA. There is no such thing as “White Filipinos” as Filipinos are South East Asian/Polynesian. A white person born in the Philippines is only “Filipino” by nationality but ethnicity wise he is nowhere near Filipino. He is not even the same race. He/she are white from a European country. You never heard of “White Filipinos” because they don’t exist. It’s not like White Latinos where there are actual Latinos that are entirely descendants of Spaniards/Portuguese.

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