Lawrence Hill

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Place of Birth: Newmarket, Ontario, Canada

Date of Birth: January 24, 1957

*father – African-American
*mother – English, small amount of German, along with 1/64th French

Lawrence Hill is a Canadian novelist, essayist, and memoirist.

Lawrence’s father, Daniel Grafton Hill III, was African-American, originally from Independence, Missouri, and was a sociologist, human rights specialist, civil servant, and historian of Black Canadians.

Lawrence’s mother, Donna Mae (Bender), was a white American, born in South Dakota, and had English, and some German and French, ancestry; she was a civil rights activist. His parents are pictured here.

Lawrence’s parents moved from Washington, D.C., to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1953. He has two siblings, Karen and Daniel, and speaks fluent English and French.

Lawrence’s paternal grandfather was Daniel Grafton Hill II (the son of Daniel Hill and Margaret Phoebe Peck). Lawrence’s great-grandfather Daniel was the son of Richard Hill and Demias Crew.

Lawrence’s paternal grandmother was Mae/May Edwards.

Lawrence’s maternal grandfather was George Almon Bender (the son of Thomas Bender and Gertrude Johnson). George was a pharmaceutical executive. Thomas was the son of Franklin Bender, who was of German descent, and of Sarah Jane Skilton.

Lawrence’s maternal grandmother was Ruby Belle Duryee (the daughter of William Andrew Duryee and Emily Esther Hall). William was the son of Alfred Henry Duryee, whose paternal grandfather was born in France, and of Mary Jane Shupe. Emily was the daughter of George Hall and Esther Curtis.

Sources: Biography of Lawrence’s father –

Genealogy of Lawrence’s mother’s family –

Genealogy of Lawrence’s maternal great-grandfather, Thomas Bender –

1 Response

  1. stlucas says:

    Genealogy of Lawrence’s (maternal) great-grandparents Thomas and Gertrudes –

    Thomas Bender’s parents were Franklin Bender (the son of Nelson Bender and Sarah Abigail Meyer) and Sarah Jane Skilton (the daughter of Thomas Skilton and Martha).

    “Meyer” and “Bender” both indicate German ancestry.

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