Mary Elizabeth Winstead

LOS ANGELES - OCT 10:  Mary Elizabeth Winstead arriving at the P

Winstead in 2011, photo by kathclick/

Place of Birth: Rocky Mount, Nash, North Carolina, U.S.

Date of Birth: November 28, 1984

Ethnicity: English

Mary Elizabeth Winstead is an American actress and singer. She is of English descent. Her family has lived in the United States, and in the American South in general, for many generations.

Mary Elizabeth’s paternal grandfather was Ambler William “Jack” Winstead (the son of George William Alford Winstead and Rosa Berdie Wells). Ambler was born in North Carolina. George was the son of George Washington Winstead and Rilda Annie/Anna Olive Gardner. Rosa was the daughter of John Bernet Wells and Martha Williamanne Roberson.

Mary Elizabeth’s paternal grandmother was Oveda Rochelle Proctor (the daughter of Walter Young Proctor and Eva Gertrude Bowden). Oveda was born in North Carolina. Walter was the son of John F. Proctor and Lucy Jane Batchelor. Eva was the daughter of Benjamin Franklin Bowden and Sarah Elizabeth Batten.

Mary Elizabeth’s maternal grandfather was The Rev. Johnnie/Johnie/Johnny Wilbur/Wilber Knight (the son of Wilbur/Wilber Lee Knight and Nancy/Lucy Bell Tucker). The Rev. Johnnie was born in North Carolina, and was a Church of God minister. Mary Elizabeth’s great-grandfather Wilbur was the son of John Robert Knight and Dorcus Elizabeth/M. Sparks.

Mary Elizabeth’s maternal grandmother was Virgie Kathleen/Catheline Strickland (the daughter of James Purdie Strickland and Mittie/Millie Elizabeth Horne). Virgie was born in North Carolina. James was the son of Isaac Calvin Strickland and Idella Frances Warren. Mittie was the daughter of John Franklin/Frank Horne and Martha Elizabeth Jolly.

Mary Elizabeth is a second cousin, three times removed, of actress Ava Gardner. Mary Elizabeth’s paternal great-grandfather, George William Alford Winstead, was the son of George Washington Winstead and Rilda Annie/Anna Olive Gardner. Rilda was the daughter of William Spencer Gardner and Elizabeth Weaver Edwards. William was the son of William Gardner and Cynthia Eliza Batts. William and Cynthia, Mary Elizabeth’s great-great-great-great-grandparents, were also the paternal great-grandparents of Ava Gardner.

It is sometimes claimed on the internet that Mary Elizabeth has some degree of Native American ancestry. No Native American ancestry has been verified/documented in any publicly available family trees of Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

Mary Elizabeth’s surname, Winstead, is shared by the paternal grandmother of actress Evan Rachel Wood, who is also from North Carolina. While Mary Elizabeth and Evan likely have a common Winstead ancestor, this shared connection must be distant, in or before the mid 1700s.

Mary Elizabeth is a third cousin, once removed, of politician Roy Cooper, who has been Governor of North Carolina, since January 1, 2017. Mary Elizabeth’s paternal great-great-grandmother, Lucy Jane Batchelor, was the sister of Roy’s maternal great-grandfather, Bunion Ward Batchelor.

Sources: Genealogy of Mary Elizabeth Winstead –

Genealogy of Mary Elizabeth Winstead (focusing on her father’s side) –

Mary Elizabeth’s paternal grandfather, Ambler William “Jack” Winstead, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Mary Elizabeth’s paternal grandmother, Oveda Rochelle Proctor, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Genealogies of Mary Elizabeth’s maternal grandparents, The Rev. Johnnie/Johnie/Johnny Wilbur/Wilber Knight and Virgie Kathleen/Catheline Strickland –

Mary Elizabeth’s maternal grandfather, Johnnie/Johnie/Johnny Wilbur/Wilber Knight, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Death record of Mary Elizabeth’s maternal grandfather, The Rev. Johnnie/Johnie/Johnny Wilbur/Wilber Knight –

Mary Elizabeth’s maternal grandmother, Virgie Kathleen/Catheline Strickland, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

2011 Eyegore Awards - Arrivals

Winstead in 2011, photo by


Curious about ethnicity

58 Responses

  1. California says:

    She reminds me of those Korean actresses and singers that get a shit-ton of plastic surgery. She is pretty though and exotic.

  2. M says:

    She looks half Asian.

  3. Princess says:

    I don’t understand why she’s lying about her ethnicity, most these comments say she looks Asian and she does. Jennifer Tilly hid the fact that she was half Chinese when she first started acting. Some people are ashamed of their nonwhite heritage and want to be seen as white. Carol Channing was another who lied about being part black (her dad was mulatto), she came out as “black” when she was in her 80s.

    • follers says:

      How can she be lying about her ethnicity? Did you once again not read anything the page says? It names all of her grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. Are you saying they’re not her grandparents?

  4. shobohunter says:

    and your obsession with asian and eye shAPES……

  5. Capricious says:

    Looks like she has Asian in her, or maybe it’s her makeup.

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