Chris Williams

"Sondheim on Sondheim" Broadway Show Opening Night - Arrivals

Williams in 2010, photo by

Birth Name: Christopher James Williams

Place of Birth: Tarrytown, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: November 2, 1967

Ethnicity: African-American, along with some English and Welsh

Chris Williams is an American actor and comedian. He is the brother of model and actress Vanessa L. Williams, and the uncle of dancer and singer Jillian Hervey.

Chris is the son of Helen L. (Tinch) and Milton Augustine Williams, Jr. His parents were both black.

In an interview, a journalist stated that his sister Vanessa’s mixed heritage includes African-American, Welsh, and Native American. No Native American markers appear on his sister’s DNA test. Vanessa appeared on the program Who Do You Think You Are? (2011), where she discovered that their great-great-grandfather, David Carll, was a “mulatto” (mixed race) man who avoided slavery and married a white woman (their great-great-grandmother).

Chris’s ancestry is at least 1/32nd English. One of his maternal great-great-great-grandfathers, George Appleford, was born in Surrey, England, in 1802.

An AncestryDNA test taken by Chris’s sister Vanessa stated that Vanessa’s genetic ancestry is:

*56% African
——–*23% Ghana
——–*15% Cameroon/Congo
——–*7% Togo
——–*6% Benin
——–*5% Senegal
*44% European
——–*17% British Isles
——–*12% Finnish/Ural/Volga
——–*11% Southern European
——–*4% Spain/Portugal

Chris’s sister Vanessa has said:

Now, I can’t wait to go to Ghana and Cameroon and Togo and Senegal — it’s a great opportunity to see why the customs resonate with you. I love to travel and I love to explore, and I have to admit that I was always jealous of people who knew their cultural background. Both my family and myself came out with light eyes, so obviously there is a recessive gene here. Not knowing what that was just made me very curious.

Chris’s paternal grandfather was Milton Augustine/Abner Williams (the son of John Hill Williams and Mary L. Fields). Milton was born in Tennessee. John was the son of George Williams and Mollie/Molly Turner. Mary L. was the daughter of William A. Fields and Elizabeth “Lizzie” Fields.

Chris’s paternal grandmother was Iris Agnes Carl/Carll (the daughter of Frank S. Carl/Carll and Imogene Jackson). Iris was born in New York. Frank was the son of David Carll and Mary Louisa Appleford, who was white, and whose own father was English. Imogene was the daughter of Henry Titus Jackson and Emiline/Emmaline G. Russell.

Chris’s maternal grandfather was Edward James Tinch (the son of John Wilbur Tinch and Helen Elizabeth Fitzgerald). Edward was born in New Jersey. John was the son of John Tinch. Helen was the daughter of William Fitzgerald and Margaret.

Chris’s maternal grandmother was Doris Catherine Griffen/Griffin (the daughter of Moses George Wilson and Elvira Viola Johnson). Doris was born in New York. Moses George was the son of George Wilson and Frances Duson. Elvira was the daughter of Waldo/Walter Johnson and Fannie/Fanny Cavel/Calvin.

Sources: Genealogy of Chris Williams –

Genealogy of Chris’s father (focusing on his own mother’s side) –

Chris’s paternal grandmother, Iris Agnes Carl/Carll, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

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