Birth Name: Keith Maurice Ellison
Place of Birth: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Date of Birth: August 4, 1963
Ethnicity: African-American, along with some Louisiana Creole [African, French], Spanish, and Cuban, and 1.5/32 Dalmatian/Croatian
Keith Ellison is an American politician and lawyer. A member of the Democratic Party, he has served as Attorney General of Minnesota, since January 7, 2019. He was previously a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Minnesota, from January 3, 2007 to January 3, 2019, and Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee, from February 25, 2017 to November 8, 2018. He is the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress.
Keith is the son of Clida Cora (Martinez) and Leonard E. Ellison, a social worker and a psychiatrist. His father is African-American. His mother is of one eighth Spanish, one eighth Cuban, as well as African-American, Louisiana Creole, and 1.5/16 Dalmatian/Croatian, ancestry.
Keith was raised a Roman Catholic. He converted to Islam at the age of nineteen.
He has four children, including politician Jeremiah Ellison, with his former wife Kim.
Keith is a second cousin, once removed, of stand-up comedian and actor Brandon T. Jackson, through their shared Ellison line.
Keith’s paternal grandfather was Zollie/Zolly Crawford Ellison (the son of Zollie Crawford Ellison and Lula/Lucy Ann Striggles). Keith’s grandfather Zollie was born in Georgia or West Virginia. Keith’s great-grandfather Zollie was born into slavery, the son of Jacob Ellison and Jane Parris. Lula was the daughter of Archibald Striggles and Eliza Lovette.
Keith’s paternal grandmother was Marian/Marion Staley (the daughter of Samuel F. Staley and Flora Bellamy). Marian was born in Florida.
Keith’s maternal grandfather was Frank Maurice Martinez (the son of George Martinez and Clida/Clyda/Clydia Chester). Frank was born in Louisiana. George was born in Louisiana, to a Spanish father and a Cuban mother, and was listed as “Black” or “Mulatto” on censuses. Clida was African-American, from Texas.
Keith’s maternal grandmother was Doris Felicia Balthazar (the daughter of Carroll Augustin Balthazar and Cora Marinovich). Doris was born in Louisiana. Carroll was the son of Francois Paul Balthazar, who was Louisiana Creole, of African (including Ewe Togolese) and French descent, and of Martha Jones, who was African-American. Keith’s great-grandmother Cora was the daughter of Antoine Marinovich and Felicite/Felicia/Felice Beaudoin; Antoine’s father, Antoine Marinovich, was a Croatian immigrant, and his mother, Marie Semelia Givanovich, was born in Louisiana, to a Croatian father, Marco Givanovich, from Prozura, Mljet, and a Creole American mother. Keith’s Croatian roots are Dalmatian, from Dubrovnik, a city on the Adriatic Sea, now in southern Croatia.
Sources: Family history of Keith Ellison – http://www.msnbc.com
Keith’s paternal grandfather, Zollie/Zolly Crawford Ellison, on the 1900 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Genealogy of Keith Ellison (focusing on his mother’s side) – https://www.geni.com