Place of Birth: Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Date of Birth: January 23, 1981
*father – African-American
*mother – English, small amounts of Scottish and Dutch
Julia Jones is an American actress. She is known for playing Leah Clearwater, a Native American character, in the Twilight series, and for several other Indigenous roles in films, including Wind River and Cold Pursuit. She also co-stars on the shows Westworld and Dexter: New Blood.
Julia’s father is Frank N. Jones, a lawyer and political figure in Massachusetts. He has often been publicly identified as an African-American. He is originally from Clarksdale, Mississippi.
Julia’s mother is white. She has English, and small amounts of Scottish and Dutch, ancestry.
Julia has often referred to having Native American ancestry on her father’s side. She has stated, “My dad is part Choctaw, Chickosaw and African American. I didn’t realize the significance of not being white until I moved to LA.,” and also said, “I’m a Native American actress.”
It is not clear if Julia’s Choctaw Native American and Chickasaw Native American ancestry has been verified/documented. Julia’s recent paternal ancestors appear to all have been African-American.
She has also said:
I’m part Chickasaw and Choctaw, but I’m a multi-[ethnic] person. That’s just a part of my identity. I’ve been playing Native roles for a long time, a very long time. [“Twilight” is…] an opportunity to portray a group of people who are not portrayed very frequently and very accurately at all in the media. And I cherish that. I think that there should be more roles for Native actors in contemporary pieces, and it’s an important part of who I am.
Julia has a degree in English from Columbia University, which she attended after graduating from the Boston Latin School in Massachusetts.
Julia’s paternal grandfather was John/Johnny Jones (the son of John Jones/Johns and Susan/Susana Bingmen/Bingman). Julia’s grandfather John was born in Fayette, Jefferson, Mississippi, and was African-American. Susan was the daughter of Nathan Bingman/Bingamin and Laura/Lana Jackson.
Julia’s paternal grandmother was Frankie Russell (the daughter of James Russell and Beulah Douglas). Frankie was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and was African-American. James was the son of John Russell and Lelia/Lela/Lelah Harris. Beulah was the daughter of Frank Douglas and Victoria Bright/Wright.
Julia’s maternal grandfather was Roger Wells (the son of James Parrish Wells and Jesse/Jessie Maria Strowger). Roger was born in New York. James was the son of Edward Akin Wells and Elizabeth Parrish. Jesse was the daughter of Horace Bryan Strowger and Frances Maria Barnes.
Julia’s maternal grandmother was Julia Harland (the daughter of John Brisby Harland and Hazel Louise Hughston). Julia’s grandmother Julia was born in New York. John was born in Cropton, Yorkshire, England, the son of Frederick Harland and Julia Brisby. Hazel was born in New York, the daughter of E. Burton Hughston and Nettie Horning.
Sources: Interview with Julia and her family – http://www.chicagotribune.com
Julia’s father on the 1940 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Marriage record of Julia’s paternal great-great-grandparents, Nathan Bingman/Bingamin and Laura Jackson – https://www.familysearch.org
Julia’s paternal great-great-grandfather, Nathan Bingman/Bingamin, on the 1880 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Julia’s paternal grandmother, Frankie Russell, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Julia’s paternal great-grandfather, James Russell, on the 1900 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Marriage record of Julia’s paternal great-great-grandparents, John Russell and Lelia/Lela/Lelah Harris – https://www.familysearch.org
Julia’s paternal great-great-grandmother, Lelia/Lela/Lelah Harris, on the 1870 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Julia’s maternal grandfather, Roger Wells, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org