Dolly Parton

dolly parton

Parton in 2012, photo by DFree/

Birth Name: Dolly Rebecca Parton

Place of Birth: Sevier County, Tennessee, U.S.

Date of Birth: January 19, 1946

Ethnicity: English, Scottish, Irish, German, Welsh, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish

Dolly Parton is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, actress, author, businessperson, and humanitarian. Her films include 9 to 5, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Steel Magnolias, Straight Talk, and Joyful Noise.

Dolly is the daughter of Avie Lee Caroline (Owens) and Robert Lee Parton. Her brother was songwriter Floyd Parton. Much of Dolly’s ancestry is English, along with Scottish, Irish, German, Welsh, and Scots-Irish/Northern Irish. Her family has lived in the American South for a long time. She is married to Carl Dean.

Among her siblings are/were singer and songwriter Stella Parton. musician and actor Randy Parton, and singer and actress Rachel Dennison. Her uncle was songwriter Bill Owens.

Dolly has been said to have some degree of Cherokee Native American ancestry. No such ancestry has of yet been documented/verified in her family tree. For more information, see this Q&A.

Dolly’s paternal grandfather was William Walter Parton (the son of Albert Huston/Houston Parton and Tennessee Smith “Tennie” Russell). William was born in Tennessee. Albert was the son of Benjamin Christopher/Chris/Chrisenberry Parton and Margaret Jane Evans. Tennessee was the daughter of Lorenzo Dow Russell and Ellie Hannah Downs.

Dolly’s paternal grandmother was Bessie Elizabeth Rayfield (the daughter of George Washington Rayfield and Cassandra/Cassey/Casie/”Cassie” Ann Moore). Bessie was born in Tennessee. George was the son of Charles Rayfield and Elizabeth Bohannnon/Bohanan. Cassandra was the daughter of Andrew Jackson Moore and Rachel Metcalf.

Dolly’s maternal grandfather was The Rev. Jacob Robert “Jake” Owens (the son of James Robert Owens and Mary Malinda/Melinda Messer). Jacob was born in North Carolina or Tennessee. James was the son of Samuel Paxton Owens and Annie Sutton. Mary Malinda was the daughter of Isaac Hugh Avery Messer and Hannah Harriett/Harriet Jane Conard/Connard/Conrad.

Dolly’s maternal grandmother was Rena/Rene/Renie Kansas/A. Valentine (the daughter of Henry Lloyd Valentine and Margaret Louisa Whitted). Rena was born in Tennessee. Henry was the son of William R. Valentine and Sarah E. Dickson/Dixon. Margaret was the daughter of William Jesse Whitted and Rebecca Dunn.

Sources: Genealogies of Dolly Parton –

Genealogies of Dolly’s parents –

Dolly’s maternal great-great-great-grandmother, Mary Ann Shamblin, on the 1850 U.S. Census –

Dolly’s maternal great-great-great-great-grandparents, Aaron H. Shamblin and Juda Bryant, on the 1870 U.S. Census –
Aaron H. Shamblin and Juda Bryant on the 1880 U.S. Census –

Dolly’s mother on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Dolly’s maternal great-grandfather, Henry Lloyd Valentine, on the 1880 U.S. Census –


Curious about ethnicity

35 Responses

  1. GLXY says:

    I think it’s better to say Scotch-Irish rather than Scottish and Irish because it’s not the same. If she’s Scotch-Irish she doesn’t have Irish ancestry from Ireland but rather Scottish and Northern English ancestry.

    I don’t think Scotch-Irish people who are protestants consider themselves like Irish Catholics.

    • follers says:

      Do you know for sure that Dolly Parton has Scotch-Irish ancestors, though? The only Irish-born ancestors on the tree link were named Robert McMahan and his wife, Catherine O’Brien – who just seem like regular Irish to me, based on their surnames.

      • GLXY says:

        You’re right she has some Irish ancestry, it’s just that I know she’s mostly of Scotch-Irish and English ancestry because she grew up in Appalachia and there’s not a lot of “real Irish” there.

        By the way you’re doing a really great job, I don’t how you can find these informations

      • M-oneill-14 says:

        Yes they are Irish Gaelic surnames, O’Brien from Munster in the south of Ireland and McMahon is from Monaghan in Ulster I think but you can’t just assume that they were Catholic, “regular Irish” yes but the religion is unknown.

    • M-oneill-14 says:

      They wouldn’t have much Irish Gaelic blood in them as in the north of Ireland we Irish Gaels and Ulster Scots have been largely segregated since the 1600’s and the ones that moved over to America wouldn’t have moved only about 100 or so years after the Ulster plantations, just a few generations.

      Many Scot-Irish would have Gaelic ancestry though, some are descended from Scottish Gaels, e.g. the Mc surnames.

      It should also be noted that not all of the Irish protestants who moved to America are of Scottish/English descent, some protestants are still of Irish Gaelic descent (e.g. O surnames) this would be common in the south of Ireland.

  2. nnnnn says:

    And I thought, she’s a cloned sheep Dolly….

  3. Chad MacGregor says:

    Fenian bastard.

  4. James McCarthy says:

    Sure it’s the best darn team in Scotland,
    And the players all are grand,
    We support the Celtic,
    As they are the finest in the land we love them,
    We’ll be there to give the Bhoys a cheer
    When the league flag flies,
    And it cheers us up when we know the Scottish Cup,
    Is coming home to rest at Paradise.

    Sure it’s a great old team to play for,
    Yes it’s a great old team bedad,
    When we read its history,
    It’s enough to make your heart grow sad,
    God bless them.
    We don’t care if we win lose or draw,
    Darn the hair do we care,
    Because we only know that there’s going to be a show,
    And the Glasgow Celtic will be there,
    And the Glasgow Celtic will be there.

  5. Chad MacGregor says:

    Glasgow Celtic are scum.

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