Britney Spears

Spears in 2011, Helga Esteb /

Birth Name: Britney Jean Spears

Place of Birth: McComb, Mississippi, U.S.

Date of Birth: December 2, 1981

Ethnicity: English, as well as 1/16th Maltese, small amounts of Scottish, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, Irish, French, and Welsh

Britney Spears is an American pop singer, songwriter, dancer, and actress.

Britney is the daughter of Lynne Irene (Bridges) and James Parnell “Jamie” Spears. She is the sister of film and television producer Bryan Spears and actress and singer Jamie Lynn Spears. She has two children with her former husband, dancer, rapper, model, and actor Kevin Federline.

Britney’s maternal grandmother was an English war bride, and one of Britney’s maternal great-great-grandfathers was Maltese. Most of the rest of Britney’s recent ancestors were American-born, with most of her roots being English, along with Scottish, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, Irish, French, and Welsh, all of them distant or remote to various degrees. Some of Britney’s distant English ancestors lived in Barbados and Liberia.

Britney’s paternal grandfather was June Austin Spears (the son of June Becker/Bacot Spears and Nova Gill). Britney’s grandfather June was born in Amite, Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana. Britney’s great-grandfather June was the son of Pascal Greene Spears and Mary Pauline Bridges. Nova was the daughter of James Monroe Gill and Effie Strahan.

Britney’s paternal grandmother was Emma Jean Forbes (the daughter of William Nelson Forbes and Lexie/Lexis May Thompson). Emma was born in Mississippi. William was the son of William Nelson Forbes and Kiturah/Katuriah Leona Ball. Lexie was the daughter of Ernest Fulton Thompson and Bertha Magee.

Britney’s maternal grandfather was Barnett Oldfield/O’Field “Barney” Bridges (the son of Joel Menton Bridges and Addie/Adeline/Addy Williams). Barnett was born in Louisiana. Joel was the son of James Jack Bridges and Mary Josephine Phillips. Addie was the daughter of Marshall E. Williams and Missouri E. Wall.

Britney’s maternal grandmother was Lilian/Lillian Irene Portell (the daughter of George Anthony Portelli/Portell and Lilian Esther Lewis). Britney’s grandmother Lilian was born in Barkham Road, Tottenham. George was the son of Edward Richard Portelli, who was from Malta, and of Alice Taylor. Britney’s great-grandmother Lilian was the daughter of James Lewis and Esther Moss. Britney’s Maltese great-great-grandfather Edward was the son of Antonio Portelli; it is possible that Edward was of Italian ancestry, like many people on Malta.

Britney’s parents are third cousins. Two of Britney’s paternal great-great-great-grandparents, William Lee Bridges and Pauline Ann Travis, were also two of Britney’s maternal great-great-great-grandparents.

Sources: Genealogies of Britney Spears –

Genealogies of Britney’s paternal grandparents, June Austin Spears and Emma Jean Forbes –

Article about the family of Britney’s maternal grandmother, Lilian/Lillian Irene Portell –


Curious about ethnicity

276 Responses

  1. rafe says:

    I was watching Lucky yesterday and was taken aback at how ethnic she looked in it. Like a Lebanese girl with dyed hair. I knew she had Maltese ancestry, but am surprised it’s only 1/16 of her ancestry.

    • italiano90 says:

      She does not look ethnic in the Lucky video.

    • mmessina92 says:

      She definitely has some southern Italian features. If you watch the video for Baby One More Time, she looks more Italian than English. Her grandmother’s surname was Portelli which is common in Sicily and Malta.

      I’ve never thought Britney looked completely English.

  2. ethnogenesis says:

    AFAIK, Britney at first thought she had Spanish in her, then Choctaw or Lumbee… or now, I guess Jewish ancestors (she was involved in Kabbala). Ethnicelebs isn’t complete, but I worry it’s ending up less reliable in the level of 2010s Wikipedia or what has happened to genealogical websites full of false edits, errors or “stolen” info about one’s ancestors.

  3. Hadnodiner says:

    britney spears goes against the french she can’t have that french blood on her ancestry

  4. danishcookie7 says:

    1. You think every white celebrity looks “ethnic”. What’s next? Reese Witherspoon looks ethnic to you too?

    2. What does a “Hispanic” even look like?

    3. I think you’re a troll with a dupe account.

    • jackson9 says:

      you are the troll. People like you go around attacking Neil Tennant for saying Britney Spears is exotic. She is in Neil’s eyes. get a life and troll somewhere else!

      • andrew says:

        Of course, for an Afghan fella, she is exotic.

        • Oaken05 says:

          Please start consolidating/combining your thoughts. There is no reason for you to spam three or four consecutive comments on one page just because you can’t get your thoughts together.

          Try harder.

        • jackson9 says:

          You aren’t wrong about Hispanics/Latinos. but I don’t even understand why one post was necessary? No one was disputing any of the facts you were providing. I know Latinos (from central to south America) can range from any mix of European, Native American, Sub-Saharan African, and even Asian ancestry.

        • jackson9 says:

          I didn’t say you were spamming no need to get defensive buddy. I am from the United States and although I doubt I am mixed with Sub-Saharan African or East Asian ancestry I wouldn’t mind it at all.

  5. jackson9 says:

    I believe Britney’s 2nd great-grandfather Edward Richard Portelli was the son of Antonio Portelli (1847-1926). Born in Malta, died in Hampshire England. I don’t have an ancestry subscription to confirm this but some people list Antonio’s parents as Domenico Portelli and Maria Chircop. Domenico (1818) would be the son of Vincenzo Portelli (1790) Malta and Maddalena Misfud (1795) Malta. BTW “Misfud” is a very common Sephardic Jewish surname from Malta. If anyone could look into that I would be very happy. thanks

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.