Birth Name: Keisha Maree Castle-Hughes
Place of Birth: Donnybrook, Western Australia, Australia
Date of Birth: 24 March, 1990
Ethnicity: English, Māori, distant Scottish
Keisha Castle-Hughes is an Australian-born New Zealand actress. She is known for playing Paikea “Pai” Apirana in the 2002 film Whale Rider, as well as for her roles in Piece of My Heart, The Nativity Story, Game of Thrones, and FBI.
Keisha was born in Donnybrook, Australia, and moved to Auckland, New Zealand in 1991. She has received New Zealand citizenship. She is the daughter of Desrae Hughes and Tim Castle. Her father, an Australian, has English ancestry. Her mother is Māori, and is also of part English descent. Keisha is married to Donny Grahamer. She has a daughter with her former partner Bradley Hull; and a daughter with Danny.
Keisha is the first millennial to have been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress (for Whale Rider, 2002, nominated for 2003’s movie year). She is also the first person of any gender born in the 1990s to have been nominated for an Academy Award for acting.
Keisha’s maternal grandfather is Kevin Thomas Hughes (the son of Thomas “Tom” Taihoa Ahuriri Hughes and Kathleen Mary “Kay” Neil). Thomas was the son of Etera Saddler Ahuriri, who was Māori, and who likely also had a Scottish great-grandfather; and of Irene Hughes, who likely was of English parentage. Etera was a nephew of Heni Materoa Carroll, leader of the Te Aitanga-a-Māhaki.
Keisha’s maternal grandmother is named Grace. Grace’s grandfather was Te Watihana “Wati” Hemi Ngapo James, who was of Ngāpuhi. Grace’s grandmother likely is Te Whanau Pani Grace Brown, who is of mostly Māori descent, of Ngāti Te Ata and Ngāti Raukawa.
Sources: Genealogy of Keisha Castle-Hughes (focusing on her mother’s side) – https://www.geni.com
Obituary of Keisha’s maternal great-grandfather, Thomas “Tom” Taihoa Ahuriri Hughes – https://www.echovita.com
Article about Keisha’s maternal great-great-grandfather, Etera Saddler Ahuriri – https://www.stuff.co.nz
Military record of Keisha’s maternal great-great-grandfather, Etera Saddler Ahuriri- https://www.aucklandmuseum.com