John Waters

Waters in 2014, photo by kathclick/

Birth Name: John Samuel Waters, Jr.

Place of Birth: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.

Date of Birth: April 22, 1946

Ethnicity: Irish, English, as well as German, Welsh, Scottish, and French

John Waters is an American film director, screenwriter, author, actor, stand-up comedian, journalist, visual artist, and art collector. He had often worked with actor and drag queen Divine.

He is the son of Patricia Ann (Whitaker) and John Samuel Waters.

One of his maternal great-great-great-grandfathers, George Price Whitaker, was a successful landowner and member of the Whitaker iron family, who were prominent in iron and steel in 19th and 20th century America.

A DNA test whose results were displayed on the show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2021) stated that John’s genetic ancestry consists of:

*53% England, Wales, and Northwest Europe
*47% Ireland and Scotland

John’s paternal grandfather was Somerset Rawlings Waters (the son of Samuel Davis Waters and Florence Owings). Somerset was born in Maryland. Samuel was the son of Somerset R. Waters, Jr., who was a slaveowner, and of Rachel Davis. Florence was the daughter of Edwin Uriah Owings and Achsah Elizabeth Bradford.

John’s paternal grandmother was named Lilian Eugenia Anderson/Thomas.

John’s maternal grandfather was Clifford Edmund/Edmond Whitaker (the son of Clifford Caroll Whitaker and Bertha E. Ford). John’s grandfather Clifford was born in Sunrise City, District of Alaska, while his own father had searched for gold in the Klondike region. John’s great-grandfather Clifford was the son of Edmund Simmons Whitaker and Mary E. McFarland, whose own parents were Irish. Bertha was the daughter of W. A. Ford and K. D. More.

John’s maternal grandmother was named Ann/Anne Estelle/Stella/Estella Neville (the daughter of John J. Neville and Mary C.). Ann was born in Maryland. John was born in Maryland, to Irish parents, Patrick Neville and Catharine. Mary C.’s father was born in Ireland, and her mother was born in Pennsylvania.

Sources: Genealogy of John Waters –

Genealogy of John Waters (focusing on his father’s side) –

Marriage record of John’s maternal great-grandparents, Clifford Caroll Whitaker and Bertha E. Ford –

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