Cliff Richard

2012 RHS Chelsea Flower Show - Press and VIP Day

Birth Name: Harry Rodger Webb

Place of Birth: Lucknow, British India (present-day India)

Date of Birth: 14 October, 1940

Ethnicity: English (mostly), 1/16 Dutch, 1/16 Welsh, either 1/16 or 1/32 Indian

Cliff Richard is an English pop singer, musician, performer, actor, and philanthropist. His father, Rodger Oscar Webb, was born in Rangoon (present-day Yangon), Burma, of English and 1/8 Dutch descent. His mother, Dorothy Marie (Dazely) Bodkin, was born in Lahore, British Raj (present-day Pakistan), of English, 1/8 Welsh, and either 1/8 or 1/16 Indian descent.

Cliff’s paternal grandfather was Frederick William Webb (the son of Thomas Benjamin Webb and Amelia Sophia Smart). Thomas was the son of Thomas Webb and Mary Taynton. Amelia was the daughter of James Smart and Amelia Emily Brill.

Cliff’s paternal grandmother was Donella Eugenie “Dewy” Woodfall (the daughter of William James Woodfall and Gertrude Eliza Jensen). William was the son of Charles Woodfall and Dorothy Graye. Gertrude was the daughter of Baron Joseph Jensen and Elizabeth Alexander. Baron Joseph was of Dutch descent.

Cliff’s maternal grandfather was William Edward Dazely (the son of Albert Edward Dazely and Daisy Haines). William was born in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. Albert was the son of Edward Dazely and Ann Susan Crowley. Daisy was the daughter of Ernest Clause Haines and Grace Birrell.

Cliff’s maternal grandmother was Dorothy Edith Bridgwater (the daughter of William Brock Bridgwater and Marie Beatrice Smith). William was the son of William Bridgwater and Martha Hennessey Walker. Marie was the daughter of George David Smith, who may have been of Welsh descent, and Emeline Josephine Rebeiro. Emeline’s father, Vitriaus Rebeiro, was Indian, from Goa. It is not clear if Emeline’s mother was also Indian.

Sources: Genealogy of Cliff Richard – http://www.geni.com

Biography of Cliff Richard – https://books.google.com.ph

Article about Cliff’s family history – http://www.dailymail.co.uk

Photo by prphotos

5 Responses

  1. madman says:

    1. From the biography of Cliff Richard:
    “The fact that the boy who became Cliff Richard was born in India and baptized Harry Rodger Webb has been presented a million times. But nothing has ever been said about how his parents, Rodger and Dorothy Marie, came to be on the subcontinent and there have been only the sketchiest descriptions of his grandparents.
    Perhaps because of this it has often been rumoured that Cliff’s dark good looks are due to mixed race. When he was a teenager in Cheshunt the question for his friends was not whether he had Indian blood, but from which parent it came. Most of them plumped for Mrs Webb because she was most like Cliff in appearance and had the same darker skin tone.
    Cliff has never been a good source of information on family history because he has never been interested. The most he has ever said is that his grandparents were ‘as English as roast beef’, and that it had been they who had made the move to India. He once told a journalist that he thought one of his grandfathers was born in Threadneedle Street, in the City of London, but that ‘every time I pass through there all I can see are banks and insurance offices’.
    The truth is that only one of his grandparents was born in England, but not in Threadneedle Street, and it’s possible that some of his great-great-grandparents never knew any country other than India. The mystery of the skin pigmentation is partly solved by the records of baptism, marriage and burial held by the India Office Library in London. They show that a great-grandmother on his mother’s side was half Welsh and half Spanish, born to George David Smith and Emiline Josephine Rebeiro who had married in Calcutta in 1869. Photographs of her in middle age show that she had distinctively Mediterranean looks which passed to her children.”

    2. The linked genealogy of Cliff does not match what has been written already. The only information from his father’s side it includes is the name of his paternal grandfather, and the information about his mother’s side is incomplete and contradictory to what has been written down here. It says that it was Cliff’s maternal great-grandfather Edward Dazely (no Albert as first name) who was the son of George David Smith and Emeline Josephine Rebeiro (it lists George as Emeline’s husband but not as Edward’s father, likely a simple mistake), and not his maternal great-grandmother Marie Smith (who is not included). Due to this, the genealogy used should be linked if what the text says now is in fact correct.
    Another genealogy – http://www.wikitree.com/genealogy/Webb-Family-Tree-6933 – also states that Cliff’s great-grandfather Edward Dazely was the son of George David Smith, although not the son of Emeline, who is instead listed as the mother of Cliff’s maternal grandmother Dorothy Edith Bridgwater, and the wife of William Brock Bridgwater.

    3. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2055932/Bigamy-Raj-scandal-buried-Cliffs-past.html
    Here is an article that investigates Cliff’s Indian ancestry. It says that Cliff’s maternal grandfather was William Edward Dazely (the son of Edward Dazely and Daisy), whose grandmother, Emeline Josephine Rebeiro, was the daughter of Vitriaus Rebeiro, an Indian man from Goa. It also includes a statement from Cliff’s cousin, Garth Gregory, who says that it is “well known in the family that there was Indian blood”.
    If Vitriaus was in fact Indian, it would make Cliff 1/32 Indian, not 1/16th as currently written. That is, if his wife was not Indian too, of course. The surname Rebeira might be Portuguese in origin (perhaps there is a connection to the statement in the biography that Emeline was Spanish).

    4. https://familysearch.org/tree/#view=tree&person=LJG7-8LB&section=portrait
    This is the only genealogy I could find of his father’s side.
    http://www.woodfall.info/Col%20Charles.htm
    This site mentions that Baron Joseph Jensen was Dutch (although Jensen is a Danish surname).

    • follers says:

      Well, I’ve made some changes, but I’m not sure if there were other changes you’d like to make.

      • madman says:

        If you find it necessary, you could include a relevant part from the biography. Also, the page’s text and the genealogy still do not match.

        • follers says:

          How can I match them?

          • madman says:

            What I mean is that it is a problem if the link cited as a source tells a different story what has been written. I’m not sure what you can do about it. I’ve looked around and have not found any other genealogies except the ones I’ve linked. The way it is writted now seem to make more sense (especially due to the surname’s matching those of their fathers’), but the genealogies I’ve seen shows (for example) that Cliff in descended from George David Smith through his Dazely line.

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