Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Gates in 2010, photo by Prphotos

Place of Birth: Keyser, West Virginia, U.S.

Date of Birth: September 16, 1950

Ethnicity: African-American, European [Irish, English]

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is an American literary critic, professor, historian, filmmaker, and public intellectual. He is a scholar at Harvard University. He hosts/has hosted, successively, the television series African American Lives, African American Lives 2, Faces of America, and Finding Your Roots, where he discusses the ancestry of notable people.

Henry is the son of Paulina/Pauline Augusta (Coleman) and Henry Louis Gates, Sr. He is married to historian Dr. Marial Iglesias Utset. He has two children with his former wife Sharon Lynn Adams.

Henry’s paternal grandfather was Edward St. Lawrence Gates (the son of Edward L. Gates and Maudaline/Maudalene/Maude E. Scott). Henry’s grandfather Edward was born in Maryland. Henry’s great-grandfather Edward was the son of Jane Gates. Maudaline was the daughter of Thomas Campbell and Mary Byrd.

Henry’s paternal grandmother was Gertrude Helen Redman (the daughter of Charles W. Redman and Sarah Susan Bruce/Hamilton). Gertrude was born in West Virginia. Charles was the son of David Redman and Elizabeth Bruce. Sarah was the daughter of Joseph Bruce and Sarah Bruce, who were born into slavery.

Henry’s maternal grandfather was Paul Abraham Coleman (the son of Charles A./C. Coleman and Martha Pogue). Paul was born in West Virginia. Martha was the daughter of George Pogue and Martha.

Henry’s maternal grandmother was Marguerite/Margaret Elizabeth Howard (the daughter of Samuel James Howard and Lucy Ellen Clifford). Marguerite was born in West Virginia. Lucy was the daughter of Lou Isaac Clifford and Elizabeth Jane Redman.

In his 2016 book, Finding Your Roots, Season 2: The Official Companion to the PBS Series, and in an article at The Huffington Post, Henry wrote that his 23andMe DNA test results state his genetic ancestry to be:

*50.1% European
*48.6% Sub-Saharan African
——–*17% Cameroon/Congo
——–*13% Benin/Togo
——–*8% Ivory Coast/Ghana
——–*7% Nigeria
*0.9% Native American

Among his ancestors are the Yoruba people of Nigeria. He also has Irish ancestry through his direct matrilineal line.

In his book The Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Reader, 2012, he wrote:

A number of exact matches turned up, leading straight back to that African Kingdom called Northern Europe, to the genes of (among others) a female Ashkenazi Jew. Maybe it was time to start listening to ‘My Yiddish Mama.’

Sources: Genealogies of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. – http://www.geni.com

Genealogies of Henry’s parents – https://www.findagrave.com

Obituary of Henry’s father – http://www.legacy.com


Curious about ethnicity

22 Responses

  1. ethnogenesis says:

    1% Chinese/East Asian was found in another DNA test. But knowing genealogy, cultural identity and kinship determine one’s “race” which scientists said it’s more a political, social and cultural construct of coming up with groups of people based on appearance, geographical lands of origin, and scientifically, ancestral genetics, he’s aware of “finding roots” to support claims whether they’re proven or family lore.

  2. Manila says:

    He is married to Cuban historian Marial Iglesias Utset. He has two daughters with his former wife, Sharon Lynn Adams.

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