Chino XL

Birth Name: Derek Keith Barbosa

Place of Birth: The Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: April 8, 1971

*father – Puerto Rican [African, Spanish, distant Sephardi Jewish], small amount of Dominican
*mother – African-American, some Barbadian [African, English], distant Dutch and Swedish, possibly distant Lenape Native American

Chino XL is an American actor and rapper. He is known for his dark subject matter and complex punchline rhymes. He rapped about his mixed background in the song “Who Am I?” As an actor, he has appeared in the films Alex & Emma and The Beat and on the series CSI: Miami, Reno 911!, and Zane’s Sex Chronicles.

Chino grew up in East Orange, New Jersey. He is the son of Carol/Carole and Manuel Barbosa. His father was born in New York City, to parents from Puerto Rico. He is listed as “Negro” on the 1950 U.S. Census. A photo of Chino’s father can be seen here. His mother was born in New Jersey, to a father from New Jersey and a mother from New York. A photo of Chino’s mother can be seen here.

“Chino” means “Chinese” in Spanish. According to Chino, he was given this nickname by his father, who felt he looked Chinese as a baby. His uncle was keyboardist and record producer Bernie Worrell. Chino was raised in New Jersey.

Chino has four children.

Chino’s paternal grandfather was Alejandro Barbosa y Santiago (the son of Juan Barbosa and Macaria/María Santiago y Nazario De Barbosa). Alejandro was born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. On his birth record, Alejandro and his father Juan’s races are listed as “Mulatto.” Macaria is listed as “Blanca.” They are all listed as “White” on U.S. Censuses. Juan was the son of Zenon Barbosa and Marta Rosario. María was the daughter of Ceferino Santiago Labiosa and Monserrate Nazario Luciano.

Chino’s paternal grandmother was Alicia Camacho (the daughter of Julio Camacho y Cohen and Luz Maria Lugo). Alicia was born in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. Julio is listed as “Mulatto” or “White” on U.S. Censuses. He was the son of Rufino Camacho and Andrea Cohen, who were listed as “Mulatto” on U.S. Censuses. Rufino was the son of Pedro Camacho and Victoria Gruyar. The surname Gruyar is typically found in the Dominican Republic, and is likely of French origin. Chino’s great-great-grandmother Andrea was the daughter of Juan Cohen and Juana M. Melchor. Juan Cohen likely was a descendant of Samuel Cohen, a Portuguese Sephardi Jew, who immigrated to Curaçao from the Netherlands in the 1600s. On the 1920 Census, Andrea listed Juan’s birthplace as Curaçao. Juana is listed as “Negro” on the 1910 U.S. Census.

Chino’s maternal grandfather was Joseph R. Brown (the son of Leander Brown and Caledonia Walker). Joseph was born in Plainfield, New Jersey. Leander was born in New Jersey, the son of Alexander Brown and Sarah Jane Cuff, who were also born in New Jersey. Caledonia was born in Virginia, the daughter of Andrew Walker and Mary.

Chino’s great-great-grandmother Sarah descended from mixed-race free people of color who settled Gouldtown, New Jersey, in the 1700s. Sarah’s father, William Cuff, was the son of Reuben Cuff and Hannah Pierce. Hannah’s mother, Marie/Mary Van Aca, was born in the Netherlands. Hannah’s father, Anthony Pierce, was born on Barbados, to an English father and a Barbadian mother. Chino’s great-great-great-great-grandfather Reuben Cuff was the son of Cuffie/Cuffee Padgett/Cuff, a freed slave, and of his ex-master’s widow, who was named either Rebecca or Tara Padgett. Sarah’s mother, Chino’s great-great-great-grandmother Prudence Murray, was the daughter of Tabitha Lupton and John Murray. Tabitha is listed as “Colored” on U.S. Censuses. John was the son of Katherine and Othniel Murray. Katherine was born in Sweden. Othniel was born in Maryland. Othniel claimed partial Lenape Native American ancestry, though this has not been verified.

Chino’s maternal grandmother was Alberta E. Garner (the daughter of Ernest E. Garner and Melvina Griffith). Alberta was born in Manhattan, New York, of mostly African-American descent. Ernest was born in New York, the son of James E. Garner, who was born in Maryland, and of Lucy E. Draper, who was born in Virginia. Melvina was born in Massachusetts, the daughter of a Barbadian father, William H. Griffith, and of a New York-born mother, Charlotte Davis.

Sources: Genealogies of Chino’s parents –

Article mentioning Chino’s ancestor, Samuel Cohen –

Articles about Gouldtown, New Jersey which mention Chino’s ancestors –

4 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    Very interesting background, he reminds me of Sean Paul.

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