Edward Norton

Norton in 2012, photo by PR Photos

Birth Name: Edward Harrison Norton

Place of Birth: Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.

Date of Birth: August 18, 1969

Ethnicity: English, as well as smaller amounts of German, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, Scottish, Swiss-German, French, Belgian, and Dutch

Edward Norton is an American actor, filmmaker, and activist. He has starred in the films Primal Fear, American History X, Fight Club, and Birdman, among many others. For a time, he lived and worked in Osaka, Japan, and speaks Japanese.

Edward is the son of Lydia Robinson “Robin” (Rouse), a teacher of English, and Edward Mower Norton, Jr., an environmental lawyer, conservation advocate, and federal prosecutor. His grandfather, James Rouse, was an urban planner, real estate developer, civic activist, and philanthropist. James founded The Rouse Company, developed the city of Columbia, Maryland, where Edward grew up, and also helped develop Boston’s Quincy Market, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, and Norfolk’s Waterside Festival Marketplace. Edward is married to Canadian film producer Shauna Robertson, with whom he has a son.

Edward was raised an Episcopalian.

A DNA test whose results were displayed on the show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2023) stated that Edward’s genetic ancestry consists of:

*50% England & North Western Europe
*36% Scotland
*13% Germanic Europe
*1% Norway

Genetically, he was found to have a common ancestor with actress Julia Roberts.

Edward’s patrilineal line can be traced to Thomas Frederick Norton, who was born, c. 1747, in London, England.

Edward’s paternal grandfather was Edward Mower Norton, Jr. (the son of Edward Mower Norton and Alice C. Baals). Edward’s grandfather Edward was born in Ashland, Boyd, Kentucky. Edward’s great-grandfather Edward was the son of Seneca Hughes Norton and Josephine E. Weis, whose own father, Daniel K. Weis, was a lawyer and editor of the Ashland Express. Alice was the daughter of Franklin S. “Frank” Baals and Cora Anna Stewart.

Edward’s paternal grandmother was Betty Kent Harrison (the daughter of Joseph Kent Harrison and Cornelia Long Somerville). Betty was born in Pecos, Reeves, Texas. Joseph was the son of George Moffett Harrison and Bettie/Betty Montgomery Kent. Cornelia was the daughter of Henry Wilson Somerville, whose grandfather was Scottish, and of Mary Mercer Long.

Edward’s maternal grandfather was James Wilson Rouse (the son of Willard Goldsmith Rouse and Lydia Agnes Robinson). James was born in Easton, Talbot, Maryland. Willard was the son of John Goldsmith/Gouldsmith Rouse and Harriett/Hallie Bayless Hanway. Lydia was the daughter of Alfonso Robinson and Charlotte Emory, whose father was German.

Edward’s maternal grandmother was Elizabeth Jamieson “Libby” Winstead (the daughter of William Henry Winstead and Helen Hope Privett). Elizabeth was born in Goldsboro, Wayne, North Carolina. William was the son of John Meldrum Winstead and Parthenia Marshall Walker. Helen was the daughter of Burkett Morris Privett and Mary Howard Leitner.

Sources: Genealogy of Edward Norton – https://famouskin.com

Genealogy of Edward Norton (focusing on his mother’s side) – https://www.geni.com

Obituary of Edward’s maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Jamieson “Libby” (Winstead) Rouse – http://articles.baltimoresun.com

History of the Norton family – http://www.nortonfamily.net


Curious about ethnicity

22 Responses

  1. Hadnodiner says:

    gosh how i am in love with this actor

  2. Thenabster says:

    Norton has been confirmed to be distantly Native American (his 12th great grandmother was Pocahontas)

    • ashash says:

      Yes, he is actually a descendant of Pocahontas. I wonder if he is the first celebrity they found who is actually related to her?

    • Oaken05 says:

      It’s interesting, because haven’t having seen the episode, yet, the way I keep seeing this reported is that he’s descendanded of John Rolfe, with the implication being that they can’t connect him, genetically, to her, but can document the connection. How is the connnection covered in the actual TV episode?

      • Oaken05 says:

        Okay, saw the rerun of the episode, tonight. Dr. Gates explicitly states that he’s descended from Pocahontas, though this is only through documentation. It is no wonder the ancestry didn’t show up in the DNA test given how far back it is. I was just curious about whether they were able to trace is both genetically and by documents, and it looks as if it was only through the latter.

        Interesting connection given how common the story is in old American families!

    • follers says:

      1/16384 Native American, as discussed on the talk page before, yes.

  3. muricansareallmutts says:

    Looks Brit from UK.

  4. jonasbttencourt says:

    Should have won that Oscar for American History X. Really not surprised to see this wasp background, his name and features scream classic white american, i can almost picture him in one of those black and white noir movies…

  5. andrew says:

    according to Famouskin, Pocahontas was Edward’s 12th great-grandmother. This would make Edward of 1/16384 Powhatan Native American ancestry

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