Gabrielle Union

Union in 2011, s_bukley /

Birth Name: Gabrielle Monique Union

Place of Birth: Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.

Date of Birth: October 29, 1972

Ethnicity: African-American

Gabrielle Union is an American actress and model.

She is the daughter of Theresa and Sylvester Union. Her parents are both African-American. Her mother descends from the prominent Bryant-Fisher African-American family in Nebraska. Gabrielle is married to professional basketball player Dwayne Wade, with whom she has a daughter.

Gabrielle is a first cousin, once removed, of rapper and songwriter Saweetie. Gabrielle’s maternal grandparents, John Glass and Gloria G. Davis, were also Saweetie’s paternal great-grandparents.

Gabrielle’s paternal grandfather was Sylvester Union, Sr. (the son of The Rev. Frank Union and Betsey/Betsy Smith/Johnson). Sylvester was born in Florida. The Rev. Frank was the son of Shedrick Union and Henrietta Boykins. Betsey was the daughter of Andrew Johnson and Christo.

Gabrielle’s paternal grandmother was Etta Helen Nails (the daughter of Clarence Nails and Roxie Abram). Etta Helen was born in Oklahoma. Clarence was the son of Alexander Nails/Nail and Rosa McCoy. Roxie was the daughter of Charley/Charles Abram and Tobitha Anderson.

Gabrielle’s maternal grandfather was John Glass (born John Washington, the son of Charles Washington and Ora Belle Daniels). John was born in California. Ora was the daughter of Charles Daniels and Mattie Ingram.

Gabrielle’s maternal grandmother was Gloria G. Davis (the daughter of Virgil Davis and Myrtle Mae Fisher). Gloria was born in Nebraska. Virgil was the son of David Davis and Grace. Myrtle was the daughter of Frank Fisher and Emma Early.

In an interview, Gabrielle stated that she checked her ancestry and discovered that she has West African, Filipino, and Native American heritage. It is not clear if this Filipino and/or Native American ancestry has been verified/documented. No such lineage appears among Gabrielle’s recent ancestors. Gabrielle’s statements may be based on some kind of DNA test that she undertook (i.e., one that stated she has “Native American” and/or “Asian” ancestry).

Sources: Genealogy of Gabrielle Union –

Gabrielle’s paternal grandfather, Sylvester Union, on the 1920 U.S. Census –
Sylvester Union on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Gabrielle’s paternal grandmother, Etta Helen Nails, on the 1920 U.S. Census –
Etta Helen Nails on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Gabrielle’s maternal grandfather, John Glass, on the 1940 U.S. Census –

Gabrielle’s maternal great-grandmother, Ora Belle Daniels, on the 1900 U.S. Census –

Obituary of Gabrielle’s maternal great-grandmother, Ora Belle (Daniels) Washington Glass –

Gabrielle’s maternal grandmother, Gloria G. Davis, on the 1930 U.S. Census –


Curious about ethnicity

68 Responses

  1. danishcookie7 says:

    Has she posted her DNA results? She has Asian ancestry but no European? That’s odd considering she is African American.

  2. alexgxo says:

    Her mom looks mixed but not like mulatto.. Iike a MGM with noticeable European blood (but probably said she’s black).. but gabby herself looks mostly black to me.

  3. legez says:

    she looks 90% black and 10% native

  4. cwm85 says:

    I bet she has some Asian, European in her too.

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