Chuck Norris

12th Annual Movieguide Faith & Values Awards - Arrivals

Norris in 2004, photo by Prphotos

Birth Name: Carlos Ray Norris

Place of Birth: Ryan, Oklahoma, U.S.

Date of Birth: March 10, 1940

Ethnicity: English, smaller amounts of Scottish, Welsh, and German, remote French, Swedish, and Dutch

Chuck Norris is an American martial artist, actor, film producer, and screenwriter.

Chuck is the son of Wilma (Scarberry) and Ray D. Norris. He is married to model Gena O’Kelley. He has five children, including actor Mike Norris and stock car racing driver and stuntman Eric Norris.

Chuck has stated that both of his parents were of half Irish and half Native American ancestry (“Genetically speaking, I am equal parts Irish and Native American”). Specifically, he has said that his paternal grandfather was an Irish immigrant, his paternal grandmother was of Native American descent (“a full-blooded Cherokee Indian”), his maternal grandfather was of Native American descent (“a Cherokee Indian from Kentucky”), and, finally, that his maternal grandmother was of Irish descent.

However, these statements do not appear to be accurate, at least not strictly speaking. Most of Chuck’s recent ancestors, including his paternal grandfather, were U.S.-born. His family tree contains mostly English surnames and English-born distant ancestors, along with a smaller amount of Scottish, Welsh, and German, roots, and remote French, Swedish, and Dutch. No Native American ancestry has been verified/documented in any publicly available family trees of Chuck Norris, and all of Chuck’s grandparents are described as “white” on U.S. censuses.

Chuck is the son of Wilma (Scarberry) and Ray D. Norris. Chuck’s patrilineal line traces to a John Norris, who was born, c. 1525, in Norfolk, England.

Chuck’s paternal grandfather was named James Henry Norris (the son of William/Simon Norris and Eliza Ann). James was born in Tennessee. William was the son of Samuel Norris and Melissa Curtis.

Chuck’s paternal grandmother was Ella May “Ellie” Tinker (the daughter of James Asbury Tinker and Clarisa Ann “Clara” Cofer). Ella was born in California. James was the son of Jesse Tinker and Margaret McArthur.

Chuck’s maternal grandfather was named John Porter Scarberry (the son of Martha Scarberry). John was born in Kentucky. Martha was the daughter of Richard E. Scarbrough and Eliza Jane Smith.

Chuck’s maternal grandmother was named Ada Agnes Hargrove (the daughter of John P. “Jack” Hargrove or Zachary Phelon Hardgrove/Hargrove, and of Alice/Jemimie Hill). Ada was born in Texas.

Sources: Genealogies of Chuck Norris –

Information about, and genealogy of, Chuck’s father –

Chuck’s father on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Chuck’s paternal grandmother, Ella May “Ellie” Tinker, on the 1880 U.S. Census –

Chuck’s maternal grandparents, John Porter Scarberry and Ada Agnes Hargrove, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Genealogy of Chuck’s maternal grandfather, John Porter Scarberry (focusing on his own father’s side) –

Chuck’s maternal great-grandparents, John P. “Jack” Hargrove and Alice, on the 1910 U.S. Census –


Curious about ethnicity

36 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    Tbh his genealogy is largely incomplete so it should be put up a full one before denying what he claimed.

  2. Jarap says:

    Why is his name Carlos? I thought he may be Hispanic.

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