Birth Name: Carly Elisabeth Simon
Place of Birth: New York City, New York, U.S.
Date of Birth: June 25, 1945
*50% Ashkenazi Jewish
*25% Cuban [African, Spanish, likely small amount of Indigenous]
Carly Simon is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and author.
Carly is the daughter of Andrea Louise Heinemann Simon, a community leader, and Richard L. Simon (Richard Leo Simon), a book publisher, who co-founded Simon & Schuster. Carly has two children, singer and songwriter Sally Taylor and musician and actor Ben Taylor, with her former husband, singer, songwriter, and guitarist James Taylor.
Her father was Jewish, of German Jewish descent. Her maternal grandfather was of German ancestry.
Throughout much of her life, Carly was unsure of her maternal grandmother, “Chibie”‘s, background, believing her to have been from Spain, and of Spanish and Moorish descent. Research performed by the show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2017) indicated that Carly’s maternal grandmother’s family was actually from Cuba, and was of part Afro-Cuban descent.
A DNA test whose results were displayed on Finding Your Roots stated that Carly’s genetic ancestry includes:
*2% Native America[n]
Thus, Carly’s maternal grandmother was likely of around 40% African ancestry.
Carly’s paternal grandfather was Leo Leopold Simon (the son of Leopold B. Simon and Sophie Friedenburg/Fiendenburg). Carly’s grandfather Leo was born in Connecticut, to Jewish parents from Saxony, Germany.
Carly’s paternal grandmother was Anna Meier/Mayer (the daughter of Wilhelm/William Meier/Mayer and Rosine/Rosina Mendel). Anna was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, to a German Jewish family.
Carly’s maternal grandfather was Frederick Adolph “Fred” Heinemann (the son of Adolph Heinemann/Heineman and Mary Amelia Haas). Frederick was born in Pennsylvania. Adolph was Prussian, the son of August Heinemann/Heineman, who was born in Brunswick, and of Dora K. Mary Amelia was born in Pennsylvania, of German descent.
Carly’s maternal grandmother was Ofilia/Ofelia “Elma/Alma Marie”/Maria “Chibie” Oliete/Ollright. Ofilia was most likely born in Cuba. On her marriage record, she is listed as the daughter of Jose/Joseph Agustin Oliete/Ollright and Maria/Marie Patrociana de Jesús Baez. However, DNA and other research performed by Finding Your Roots indicates that Ofilia’s biological mother may have been Lauriana Oliete, who was Maria/Marie Patrociana’s daughter. Thus, Maria/Marie Patrociana may have been Carly’s great-great-grandmother rather than great-grandmother. Whether Jose Oliete was Carly’s great-great-grandfather was not addressed.
In her autobiography, Boys in the Trees: A Memoir (2015), Carly wrote:
It was Chibie, above all, who fascinated me. Who was Chibie? Where had she come from?… One story went that she was the illegitimate daughter of King Alphonso XIII of Spain and a Moorish slave he had gotten pregnant… I was able to confirm that until her mid-teens, Chibie lived in England, and that when she left the convent [where she spent time], she could read in eight languages. She was brainy, brilliant, and an utter original. She had dark olive skin and spent the rest of her life bleaching it in order to “pass” in a Caucasian world.
Sources: Genealogy of Carly Simon – http://www.geni.com
Genealogies and obituaries of Carly’s parents – https://www.findagrave.com
Genealogy of Carly’s father – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com
Marriage record of Carly’s paternal grandparents, Leo Leopold Simon and Anna Meier/Mayer – https://www.familysearch.org
Genealogy of Carly Simon (focusing on her mother’s side) – https://www.wikitree.com
Carly’s mother on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Marriage record of Carly’s maternal grandparents, Frederick Adolph “Fred” Heinemann and Ofilia/Ofelia “Elma/Alma Marie”/Maria “Chibie” Oliete/Ollright – https://www.familysearch.org
Carly’s maternal grandfather, Frederick Adolph “Fred” Heinemann, on the 1880 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Carly’s maternal great-grandparents, Adolph Heinemann/Heineman and Mary Amelia Haas, on the 1870 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Carly’s maternal great-great-grandparents, August Heinemann/Heineman and Dora K., on the 1870 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org