Birth Name: Rita Lee Jones
Date of Birth: 31 December, 1947
Place of Birth: São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
Date of Death: 8 May, 2023
Place of Death: São Paulo, Brazil
*father – English, Irish, Scottish, distant Welsh
*mother – Italian
Rita Lee is a Brazilian rock singer, composer, and writer. She was a member of Brazilian rock band Os Mutantes.
Rita was the daughter of Romilda “Chesa” and Charles Fenley/Finley Jones. Her father was from an American family, descended from the Confederados, about 20,000 Confederate American refugees who fled to Brazil after the American Civil War. Her mother was born in Rio Claro, São Paulo, Brazil, to Italian parents from Isernia. Rita was raised Catholic.
Rita was married to guitarist Roberto de Carvalho, until her death, with whom she had three children, including singer, songwriter, and guitarist Beto Lee.
Rita’s paternal grandfather was Cicero/Cisero Byrd Jones (the son of Byrd Jones and Caroline Martha Gibson). Cicero was born in either Alabama, U.S. or Brazil, to parents from Alabama. Rita’s great-grandfather Byrd was the son of William Hiram Jones and Delona. Caroline was the daughter of Edwin Leonard Gibson and Martha Jones. Rita wrote in her autobiography Rita Lee: uma autobiografia, 2016, that her grandfather Cicero’s mother had Cherokee Native American roots. It is not clear if this Cherokee Native American ancestry has been verified/documented.
Rita’s paternal grandmother was Martha Whitaker Norris (the daughter of Robert Cicero Norris and Martha Temperance Steagall). Rita’s grandmother Martha was born in Santa Bárbara D’Oeste, São Paulo, Brazil, to American parents. Robert was born in Alabama, the son of William Hutchinson Norris and Mary Black. Rita’s great-grandmother Martha was born in Tennessee, the daughter of Henry Farrar Steagall and Delia Elizabeth Peck.
Rita’s maternal grandfather was Domenico “Domingos” Padula/Padulla (the son of Antonio Padula and Maria Priuoli/Prioli). Domingos was born in Civitanova Del Sannio, province of Isernia, Molise region, Italy, and moved to Brazil in 1885.
Rita’s maternal grandmother was Clorinda Inforzato (the daughter of Paschoal Inforzato and Filomena di Salvo). Clorinda was born in Isernia.
Genealogy of Rita Lee (focusing on her father’s side) – http://www.geni.com
Genealogies of Rita’s paternal grandparents, Cicero/Cisero Byrd Jones and Martha Whitaker Norris – https://www.familysearch.org
Rita’s paternal grandfather, Cicero/Cisero Byrd Jones, on the 1880 U.S. Census – http://www.familysearch.org