Burt Reynolds

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Reynolds in 2004, photo by PrPhotos

Birth Name: Burton Leon Reynolds

Date of Birth: February 11, 1936

Place of Birth: Lansing, Michigan, U.S.

Date of Death: September 6, 2018

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

Ethnicity: English, with some Scots-Irish/Northern Irish and Scottish, distant German and Dutch

Burt Reynolds was an American actor, singer, director, producer, and football player. He starred in the films Deliverance, Smokey and the Bandit, Boogie Nights, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, among many others, as one of the top movie stars of the 1970s and part of the 1980s.

Burt was the son of Harrietta/Harriette Fernette “Fern” (Miller) and Burton Milo Reynolds, who was Chief of Police of Riviera Beach, Florida, where Burt was raised.

Burt had English, some Scots-Irish/Northern Irish and Scottish, and distant German and Dutch, ancestry. While he was often associated with the American South and Southern characters, he appears to have had no Southern-born ancestors.

Burt was sometimes said to have had Italian ancestry. This is not accurate. Burt was also often cited as having had some degree of Cherokee Native American ancestry, specifically through his father and paternal grandmother. It is not clear if this Cherokee Native American ancestry has been verified/documented. None of Burt’s verified ancestors appear to have been Native American.

Burt had a son, who is adopted, with his former wife, actress Loni Anderson.

Burt’s paternal grandfather was John Burton Reynolds (the son of Eli/Elijah Burton Reynolds and Elizabeth L. Lattimore/Lattamore). Burt’s grandfather John was born in Niagara Falls, Niagara, New York. Burt’s great-grandfather John was the son of Eli Reynolds and Anna Hurd Field, who was born in Vermont; Eli and Anna’s fathers both fought in the Revolutionary War. Elizabeth was born in Ohio, the daughter of English parents, John Lattimore, from Northumberland, and Elizabeth Stanley, from Nottingham.

Burt’s paternal grandmother was Effie May Thompson (the daughter of Milo Thompson and Ann/Anna Eliza Wilcox). Effie was born in Aurelius, Ingham, Michigan. Milo was the son of Orin/Orrin Thompson and Susannah/Susanna Wright. Ann was the daughter of George W. Wilcox and Lauria/Laura Sophronia Olmsted/Olmstead.

Burt’s maternal grandfather was Leon Chauncey Miller (the son of Charles Aldrille Miller and Florilla/Flora Annette Bell). Leon was born in Casnovia, Muskegon, Michigan. Charles was the son of George Miller and Anna Akerly. Burt’s great-grandmother Annette was the daughter of David Bell and Lucy Ann Blodgett.

Burt’s maternal grandmother was Nina Bell Wheeler (the adopted daughter of George Y. Wheeler and Harriette/Harietta/Harriet/Harrietta A. Hungerford). Nina was born in Michigan. George was born in Canada, and was the son of William Wheeler and Sarah Wright. Harriette was the daughter of Elias B. Hungerford and Polly/Dolly Lovina Tucker.

Sources: Information about Burt’s birthplace – http://lansingonlinenews.com

A discussion of Burt’s claimed Cherokee Native American ancestry – https://www.quora.com

Genealogies of Burt Reynolds – https://www.geni.com

Burt’s father on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Burt’s father on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Burt’s paternal grandfather, John Burton Reynolds, on the 1880 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Burt’s paternal grandmother, Effie May Thompson, on the 1870 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Burt’s paternal great-grandparents, Milo Thompson and Ann/Anna Eliza Wilcox, on the 1900 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Burt’s paternal great-grandmother, Ann/Anna Eliza Wilcox, on the 1860 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Burt’s paternal great-great-grandmother, Lauria/Laura Sophronia Olmsted/Olmstead, on the 1870 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Burt’s mother on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Burt’s mother on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Marriage record of Burt’s maternal grandparents, Leon Chauncey Miller and Nina Bell Wheeler – https://www.familysearch.org

Burt’s maternal grandparents, Leon Chauncey Miller and Nina Bell Wheeler, on the 1900 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Burt’s maternal grandmother, Nina Bell Wheeler, on the 1880 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

20 Responses

  1. Bronco says:

    He claimed to have also Italian and Cherokee roots. That would explain his looks and being considered a sex symbol in the 70s beyond his anglo saxon heritage.

    • ethnogenesis says:

      No evidence nor documentation was found to back Burt Reynolds’ claim of additional ethnic and Indigenous ancestries, a Cherokee genealogist named Sam Morningstar on Quora confirmed this, the actor known to exaggerate and fabricate many details of his life: for example, being born in Waycross, Georgia turned out not to be true. And Burt Reynolds’ racist, sexist and right wing bigoted comments, it goes to show people like him aren’t trustworthy, and biographers proved that he lies and “I look like those races” stereotypical comments.

    • noonedropclowns says:

      He clearly had distant, black ancestry as many whites in the south do. The Cherokee, Italian, Choctaw, etc. is usually to cover that up.

  2. follers says:

    Tommy Lee Jones might have one thirty two Native American ancestry, but neither Lautner or Carter or Reynolds have ever been listed as having proven Native American ancestry.

    It’s remarkable how, upon Reynolds’ death, so many media outlets block-reprinted the Cherokee claim as fact. The UK’s Independent, in the interest of good humour, even additionally printed the Italian mother claim ”and” the Waycross, Georgia birthplace to boot, before printing a correction.

    • andrew says:

      Taylor Lautner is predominantly of German descent. His father is about 3/4 German and his mother has a good amount of German ancestry too. He is listed now as English before anything else but his only English ancestors trace back to Colonial times and most of his ancestral lines are actually German with plenty of anglicized surnames. Besides that he has sizeable Dutch ancestry.

  3. fuzzybear44 says:

    Rest in peace Burt

  4. Ardor says:

    Yeah, I don’t get it.

    He definitely has native ancestry. Anglo-Celtics don’t look like that. Lol.

    Even George Clooney is hiding something. Though it isn’t native blood, but perhaps Arab or Spanish.

    • DannyDannyCoolDannyDannyCool911 says:

      Yeah, because no Brit on earth has olive-skin…rolls eyes. People on this site are such ignorant imbeciles. You can get tanned British and pale Italian and Spanish. why can’t you morons grasp this?

    • NOTREALLY says:

      “perhaps arab or spanish”
      totally the same ethnicities man, you really nailed it

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