Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Birth Name: Dwayne Douglas Johnson
Place of Birth: Hayward, Alameda, California, United States
Date of Birth: May 2, 1972
*father – African-Canadian/Black Nova Scotian, small amount of Irish
*mother – Samoan
Dwayne Johnson, also credited as The Rock, is an American actor, producer, businessperson, professional wrestler, and American/Canadian professional football player. He has starred in San Andreas, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the Fast and the Furious films, and The Scorpion King, among many others.
He is the son of Ata Johnson (born Feagaimaleata or Mataniufeagaimaleata Fitisemanu Maivia) and Rocky Johnson (born Wayde Douglas Bowles), a Canadian and American wrestler. A picture of Dwayne at a young age, along with his parents, can be found here.
Dwayne’s father, who was black (African-Canadian), was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia, Canada, of Black Nova Scotian heritage. Black Nova Scotians are descended from African-Americans who left the U.S. after the American Revolution, having sided with the British. Dwayne’s paternal grandparents were both black, and Dwayne has stated that he also found out that he has some “strong Irish blood” on his father’s side. Dwayne has also been said to have First Nations (Native Canadian) ancestry, although it is not clear if that is accurate.
Dwayne’s mother is Samoan. Dwayne spent some time growing up in Grey Lynn, New Zealand, where he was able to learn about his Pacific Islander heritage. He has a tribal “pe’a” chest-and-arm tattoo.
Dwayne was selected People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” in 2016. He is the second non-white man, and the second man of significant African ancestry, to have been given this title by the magazine (Denzel Washington, in 1996, is the first, and Idris Elba, in 2018, John Legend, in 2019, and Michael B. Jordan, in 2020, are the others, fitting both criteria). Dwayne is also the first Polynesian man to have been given the title.
Dwayne is married to singer and songwriter Lauren Hashian. He has a daughter with his former wife, producer Dany Garcia; and two children with Lauren. Dany works on many of Dwayne’s films.
Dwyane’s paternal grandfather was James Henry A. Bowles (the son of John W. Bowles and Lila/Lilla/Lillian Jones). James was born in Amherst, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, Canada. John was the son of Stephen Bowles and Charlotte. Lila was the daughter of Henry Jones and Mary Jane.
Dwyane’s paternal grandmother was Lillian Gay (the daughter of Alfred Nathan Gay and Isabelle/Isabel/Isabell/Isabella Sickles). Lillian was born in Amherst, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, Canada. Alfred was the son of Delia. Isabelle was born on Prince Edward Island, the daughter of William Benjamin Sickles and Hannah Colecraft.
Dwyane’s maternal grandfather was named Fanene Leifi Pita Maivia (the son of Rebecca Fanene). Fanene was a famous Samoan pro-wrestler, under the name Peter Maivia. He was from American Samoa. In Dwayne’s early wrestling days, he was known as Rocky Maivia, a combination of the nicknames of his father, Rocky Johnson, and his grandfather, Peter Maivia.
Dwayne’s maternal grandmother was named Ofelia “Lia” Fuataga. Ofelia was born in Lalomanu, Aleipata, Western Samoa (then under New Zealand rule, now independent), and was a wrestling promoter.
Sources: Genealogy of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – http://www.geni.com
Family history of Dwayne’s father – http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com
Dwayne’s paternal great-grandparents, Alfred Nathan Gay and Isabelle/Isabel/Isabell/Isabella Sickles, on the 1901 Canada Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Alfred Nathan Gay and Isabelle/Isabel/Isabell/Isabella Sickles on the 1911 Canada Census – familysearch.org