Birth Name: Édith Giovanna Gassion
Date of Birth: 19 December, 1915
Place of Birth: Belleville, Paris, France
Date of Death: 10 October, 1963
Place of Death: Plascassier, Grasse, France
*12.5% Moroccan [evidently Berber]
Édith Piaf was a French cabaret singer, songwriter, and actress.
Édith’s father, Louis Alphonse Gassion, was an acrobat, contortionist, and circus performer. Édith’s mother, Annetta Giovanna Margherita (Maillard), was a café singer, with the stage name Line Marsa. Her father was from Falaise, Normandy, France, and was of French descent. Her mother, who was born in Livorno, Tuscany, Italy, was of one half French, one quarter Moroccan (usually described as Berber), and one quarter Italian, ancestry. Édith is sometimes described as having had Algerian Kabyle roots from her Moroccan line. It is not clear if this is accurate.
Édith had a daughter. Édith was married to Greek hairdresser, singer, and actor Théo Sarapo, until her death.
Édith’s paternal grandfather was Victor Alphonse Gassion (the son of Pierre François Gassion and Augustine Duval). Victor was born in Falaise, Calvados, Lower Normandy, France, and was a horseman in the circus.
Édith’s patenral grandmother was Louise Léontine Deschamps/Descamps (the daughter of Louis François Descamps and Elisabeth Lucier). Édith’s grandmother Louise was born in Carvin, Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France. Édith’s great-grandfather Louis was the son of Auguste Hyppolite Descamps and Jeanne Campagne.
Édith’s maternal grandfather was Auguste Eugène Maillard (the son of Stanislas Maillard and Marie Victorine Crétois).
Édith’s maternal grandmother was Emma Saïd ben Mohamed (the daughter of Saïd ben Mohamed and Margarita Bracco). Edith’s grandmother Emma was born in Soissons, Aisne, Picardy, France. Édith’s great-grandfather Saïd ben Mohamed was born in Mogador, Essaouira, Marrakesh-Tensift-Al Haouz, Morocco, and was the son of Mohamed ben Mohamed and Ajah ben Ali. Édith’s great-grandmother Margarita was born in Murazzano, Province of Cuneo, Piedmont, Italy, and was the daughter of Giuseppe Bracco and Catherine/Caterina Chiappella/Chapelle.
Source: Genealogy of Édith Piaf – http://www.geni.com
The fact that the most famous and “typical” french singer had North African ancestry is quite funny !