Julia Roberts

Roberts in 2011, Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

Birth Name: Julia Fiona Roberts

Place of Birth: Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.

Date of Birth: October 28, 1967

Ethnicity: English, German, Swedish, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, remote French

Julia Roberts is an American actress and producer. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for Erin Brockovich (2000). Perhaps the biggest female movie star of the 1990s, she has also starred in the films Mystic Pizza, Steel Magnolias, Pretty Woman, Flatliners (1990), Sleeping with the Enemy, Hook, The Pelican Brief, Everyone Says I Love You, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Stepmom, Notting Hill, Runaway Bride, The Mexican, America’s Sweethearts, Ocean’s Eleven, and its sequel Ocean’s Twelve; Mona Lisa Smile, Charlie Wilson’s War, Valentine’s Day (2010), Eat Pray Love, August: Osage County, Secret in Their Eyes (2015), Money Monster, Wonder (2017), Ben Is Back, and Ticket to Paradise, and on television’s The Normal Heart, Homecoming (2018), and Gaslit. She runs production company Red Om Films. She has been a global ambassador for Lancôme since 2009.

Julia is the daughter of Betty Lou and Walter Grady Roberts, who were actors and playwrights. She was raised in Smyrna, Georgia. She is the sister of actors Eric Roberts (Eric Anthony Roberts) and Lisa Roberts Gillan, and the aunt of actress Emma Roberts, who is Eric’s daughter. Julia is married to cinematographer Daniel Moder, with whom she has three children.

Julia’s father’s family has lived in the Southern United States for many generations; her ancestry includes English, German, Swedish, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and remote French.

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

*32% England & North Western Europe
*32% Scotland
*26% Norway
*7% Sweden & Denmark
*2% Wales
*1% Ireland

Genetically, she was found to have a common ancestor with actor Edward Norton.

Julia’s paternal grandfather was Walter Thomas “Tom” Roberts (the son of John Pendleton Roberts and Jimmie Glen Corbitt). Walter was born in Georgia. John was the son of Henry McDonald Mitchell, Jr., whose mother likely was born in Ireland, and of Rhoda/Rodie Suttle/Suttles. John was born and raised under the name of his mother’s late husband, Willis R. Roberts, who had died over a decade before his birth. John’s biological father was married to another woman when he was born. Jimmie was the daughter of Thomas C. Corbitt and Josephine “Josie”/Jodie Gherkey/Garker.

Julia’s paternal grandmother was Beatrice M. Beal (the daughter of William Edward Beal and Pearl F. Dooley). Beatrice was born in Georgia. William was the son of John Frank Beal and Martha Ann Redd. Pearl was the daughter of Washington “Lewis” Dooley and Mahalia/Mahala Ann “Haley” Hitt.

Julia’s maternal grandfather was Wendell John Bredemus (the son of John Math/Mathias/Matheus/Mathews Bredemus and Elin Maria “Eleanor” Johansdotter/Johnson). Wendell was born in Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota. Julia’s great-grandfather John was the son of Mathias/Mathew Bredemus, who was German, and of Elizabeth Steffens/Stevens, who was of German descent. Elin was Swedish, born in Sundstorp, By, Värmland, Sweden, the daughter of Johan/John Jansson/Johnson and Emma Kristina/Christina Carlsdotter/Karlsdotter/Carlson.

Julia’s maternal grandmother was Elizabeth Ellen Billingsley (the daughter of James Henry Billingsley and Nellie Hutchings). Elizabeth was born in Indiana. James was the son of John James Warren Billingsley and Elizabeth P./A. Hymer/Hyner/Pickelhymer. Nellie was the daughter of Dolphin/Dalphin/Dalphon Hutchings and Ellen Greenlee/Matkin/Matkins.

Sources: Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak’s article about Julia’s ancestry, at The Huffington Post – http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Genealogies of Julia Roberts – http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com

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

Genealogy of Julia’s paternal great-grandfather, John Pendleton Roberts – http://www.findagrave.com

Marriage record of Julia’s maternal great-grandparents, James Henry Billingsley and Nellie Hutchings – https://familysearch.org


Curious about ethnicity

95 Responses

  1. Erik1714 says:

    Julia’s husband, Daniel Moder:

    Birth name: Daniel Richard Moder
    Date of birth: 1969
    Place of birth: L.A., California, U.S.

    Ethnicity: German, one fourth French-Candian, Czech, smaller amounts of English, Irish, Dutch and French, distant Scottish

    His father is Michael Richard “Mike” Moder (film producer). His mother is Patricia Ann Watz.

    Daniel’s paternal grandfather was Richard Charles Moder (the son of Charles A. Moder and Rose Sindelar). Rose was born in Missouri, possibly the daughter of Frank Sindelar and Rosalie Lukas, who were Czech immigrants.

    Daniel’s paternal grandmother was Mary Ellen Fritzlen (the daughter of Charles Eugene Fritzlen and Grace Ellen Keelor). Charles was the son of Eugene K. Fritzlen and Mary Jestin Bean. Grace was the daughter of Urias Keelor and Mary Jane Bailey. Mary Jane was born in Illinois, seemingly of full Irish ancestry. Mary Ellen had deep roots in America, with English, Dutch, French and distant Scottish ancestry.

    Daniel’s maternal grandfather was William H. Watz (the son of Philip Watz and Wilhelmina “Minnie” Schulte). Wilhelmina was born in Michigan, the daughter of German parents, Clements J. Schulte and Mary Elizabeth Seitz. Philip was a German immigrant.

    Daniel’s maternal grandmother was Leola Dalbec (the daughter of David Dalbec and Anna Mabel Secor). Leola was of French-Canadian descent. David was born in Michigan, the son of Joseph Dalbec and Adeline Charland. Anna Mabel was the daughter of Octave and Edwige Secor.


  2. andrew says:

    -> Thomas C. Corbitt and Josephine “Josie” Gurkey/Gherkey

    Such an obscure surname.

    This tree states William Edward Beal’s wife was Pearl Dooley. Geni.com does not provide a surname for William’s wife.

    If so, there would be Cherokee blood on that line: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/17718575

  3. andrew says:

    stop trolling.

  4. andrew says:


    According to this, one of her ancestors on her mother’s side, Hans Michael (Gudknecht) Goodnight, is related to Harry Truman and Barack Obama.

  5. Ardor says:

    I will call it the George Clooney Effect (when it comes to Americans) and the Sean Connery Effect (when it comes to Brits).

    It’s really fascinating how some people can have such dark features and be purely Celtic or even Germanic.

    • Obey says:

      Why are people with brown eyes and black hair not white? People with black eyes have everyone, of course! It is absurd to say that a white person is not white just because he has dark hair and black eyes! Until the story of snow white she has black hair and brown eyes, she is undoubtedly extremely white and prettier than many old ugly blonde who looks like the Smigol. On the contrary, there are plenty of blond people with blue eyes that are not white, they are from Mongolia, Arabs, Israelites, or anywhere else on the planet.

    • angiemorton says:

      But you’re surprised because you have no f–king idea of European genetics.

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