Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
Birth Name: Rachel Meghan Markle
Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States
Date of Birth: August 4, 1981
*father – German, English, Irish, Scottish, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, and remote French
*mother – African-American
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is an American actress, model, and humanitarian.
She was previously known as Meghan Markle. Duchess Meghan is the daughter of Doria Loyce (Ragland) and Thomas Wayne Markle, a lighting director who worked on Married… with Children. She is married to Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, with whom she has a son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
Her father is white and her mother is black. A picture of Duchess Meghan with her father can be seen here. Pictures of Duchess Meghan with her mother can be seen here and here. More pictures of her family, specifically her mother’s side, can be seen here.
An essay Duchess Meghan composed about her biracial identity can be read here. She writes, among other things:
‘What are you?’ A question I get asked every week of my life, often every day… ‘Where are your parents from?’… While I could say Pennsylvania and Ohio… I instead give them what they’re after: ‘My dad is Caucasian and my mom is African American. I’m half black and half white.’…
While my mixed heritage may have created a grey area surrounding my self-identification, keeping me with a foot on both sides of the fence, I have come to embrace that. To say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman. That when asked to choose my ethnicity in a questionnaire as in my seventh grade class, or these days to check ‘Other’, I simply say: ‘Sorry, world, this is not Lost and I am not one of The Others. I am enough exactly as I am.’
She has also specified:
My mom is black and my dad is Dutch and Irish, so the texture of my hair is densely curly. I’ve been getting Brazilian blowouts for a couple of years.
Duchess Meghan’s Dutch ancestry is really Pennsylvania Dutch, the name for ethnic Germans who lived in Pennsylvania; her German ancestry includes Alsatian Germans. Her father also has a preponderance of English ancestry, with Colonial American roots going back to the 1600s, as well as some Irish, Scottish, and Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, and remote French, ancestry. Duchess Meghan and her husband Harry share a common ancestor in the 1500s; the details of this remote genealogical relation can be seen here.
Duchess Meghan’s maternal grandparents were/are both black, from African-American families.
Duchess Meghan has also said:
I took an African-American studies class at Northwestern (university) where we explored colourism; it was the first time I could put a name to feeling too light in the black community, too mixed in the white community… For castings, I was labelled ‘ethnically ambiguous’. Was I Latina? Sephardic (Jewish)? Exotic Caucasian?
Several web sites have stated that Duchess Meghan’s father is Jewish. This is not accurate. While her wedding to her first husband, producer Trevor Engelson, was Jewish or had Jewish elements, that is because Trevor is Jewish. It is possible that Duchess Meghan converted to Trevor’s faith, but there is no particular indication of this being the case. She joined the Church of England upon marrying Prince Harry.
Duchess Meghan is said to be a distant relative of professional baseball player Mookie Betts, through her Betts line.
Duchess Meghan’s paternal grandfather was Gordon Arnold Markel/Markle (the son of Isaac Thomas Markel/Markle and Ruth Ann Arnold). Gordon was born in Pennsylvania. Isaac was the son of George Benjamin McClellian Markle and Mary Jane Mangle/Mengle. Ruth was the daughter of Adam A. Arnold and Martha Jane “Mattie” Sykes, whose parents were English, her father from Kimberworth, South Yorkshire and her mother from Gainsborough, Lincolnshire.
Duchess Meghan has said:
I rarely saw my Grandma Markle, as she hailed from New Hampshire and spent much of her life in Pennsylvania and Florida…
Duchess Meghan’s paternal grandmother was Doris Mary/May Rita Sanders (the daughter of Frederick/Fred George Sanders and Gertrude May Merrill). Doris was born in New Hampshire. Frederick was the son of George Sanders and Maria Belle Ellsworth. Gertrude was the daughter of George David Merrill and Mary Bird, who was born on Malta, to an English father and an Irish mother, from Ballinasloe, County Galway. Her family moved to Canada.
Duchess Meghan’s maternal grandfather was Alvin Azell/Azella Ragland (the son of Steven/Steve R. Ragland and Louise “Lois” Russell). Alvin was born in Tennessee, and was African-American. Steven was the son of Jeremiah/Jerrymiah/Jerry Miah Ragland and Claudie/Claudia Ritchie/Richie. Lois was the daughter of James Cunagan Russell and Virginia Lee Betts/Bettes.
Duchess Meghan’s maternal grandmother was Jeanette Arnold (the daughter of James Arnold and Netty/Nettie Mae Allen). Jeanette was born in Ohio, and was African-American. Nettie was the daughter of Luther Hunter Allen and Gertrude Parks/Gertrude Elizabeth Sadler.
Duchess Meghan’s father’s ancestry first publicly documented on the internet on her ethnicelebs page, by Follers (May 21, 2017)
Genealogies of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex – http://gw.geneanet.org
Genealogy of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (focusing on her father’s side) – http://www.dailyitem.com
Marriage announcement of Duchess Meghan’s paternal grandparents, Gordon Arnold Markel/Markle and Doris Mary/May Rita Sanders – https://www.newspapers.com
Marriage record of Duchess Meghan’s paternal grandparents, Gordon Arnold Markel/Markle and Doris Mary/May Rita Sanders – https://familysearch.org
Duchess Meghan’s paternal grandfather, Gordon Arnold Markel/Markle, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Genealogy of Duchess Meghan’s paternal grandmother, Doris Mary/May Rita Sanders (focusing on her own mother’s side) – http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com
Marriage record of Duchess Meghan’s paternal great-grandparents, Frederick/Fred George Sanders and Gertrude May Merrill – https://familysearch.org
Duchess Meghan’s paternal great-grandparents, Frederick/Fred George Sanders and Gertrude May Merrill, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Genealogy of Duchess Meghan’s paternal great-grandmother, Gertrude May Merrill (focusing on her own father’s side) – https://www.findagrave.com
Duchess Meghan’s paternal great-grandmother, Gertrude May Merrill, on the 1900 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Duchess Meghan’s paternal great-great-grandparents, George David Merrill and Mary Bird, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Information about Duchess Meghan’s paternal great-great-grandmother, Mary Bird’s, family – http://www.dailymail.co.uk
Duchess Meghan’s maternal great-grandfather, Steven/Steve R. Ragland, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Duchess Meghan’s maternal great-great-grandfather, Jeremiah/Jerrymiah/Jerry Miah Ragland, on the 1940 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Death record of Duchess Meghan’s maternal great-great-grandfather, Jeremiah/Jerrymiah/Jerry Miah Ragland – https://familysearch.org
Genealogy of Meghan’s maternal grandmother, Jeanette (Arnold) Johnson – https://www.familysearch.org