Roger Guenveur Smith

Roger Guenveur Smith – “The Birth of a Nation” Los Angeles Premiere – Inside Arrivals – ArcLight Cinemas Cinerama Dome, 6360 Sunset Boulevard – Los Angeles, CA, USA, 2016 – Photo Credit: Izumi Hasegawa / PRPhotos.com

Place of Birth: Berkeley, Alameda, California, United States

Date of Birth: July 27, 1955

Ethnicity: African-American

Roger Guenveur Smith is an American actor, director, and writer.

Roger is the son of Helen Marie (Guenveur), a dentist, and Sherman Wendell Smith, a judge. His parents were both African-American.

Roger’s paternal grandfather was named Frank Louis Smith. Frank was born in Virginia.

Roger’s paternal grandmother was Lula Jane Boone (the daughter of John Boone and Martha Sarah Nickens). Lula was born in North Carolina. John was the son of Thomas Boone and Eliza Jane Chavis. Martha was the daughter of William Nickens and Sarah “Sallie” Weaver. Lula’s ancestors were likely free people of colour in Hertford County, North Carolina.

Roger’s maternal grandfather was Edward Leon Guenveur/Guonereau (the son of Joseph Paul Guenveur/Guonereau and Eugenia Florence Whiting). Edward was born in South Carolina. Joseph was the son of Ulysses/Ullyses Guenveur/Guonereau. Eugenia was the daughter of Edward Whiting and Margaret Felder.

Roger’s maternal grandmother was named Lauretta Bell Goodall (the daughter of Emma L. Bell). Lauretta was born in South Carolina. Emma was the daughter of William C. Bell and Maria Bolds.

Sources: Roger’s father on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Genealogy of Roger Guenveur Smith (focusing on his mother’s side) – https://gw.geneanet.org

Roger’s mother on the 1930 U.S. census – https://familysearch.org

Genealogy of Roger’s mother (focusing on her father’s side) (through her sister, Dr. Florence Guenveur Streat) – https://www.findagrave.com

Roger’s maternal grandfather, Edward Leon Guenveur/Guonereau, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Death record of Roger’s maternal grandfather, Edward Leon Guenveur/Guonereau – https://familysearch.org

Death record of Roger’s maternal great-grandfather, Joseph Paul Guenveur/Guonereau – https://www.familysearch.org

Roger’s maternal grandmother, Lauretta Bell Goodall, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Death record of Roger’s maternal great-grandmother, Emma L. Bell – https://familysearch.org

21 Responses

  1. bablah says:

    Roger’s paternal grandfather was Frank Louis Smith. Frank was born in Virginia.

    Roger’s paternal grandmother was Lula Jane Boone (the daughter of John Boone and Martha Sarah Nickens). Lula was born in North Carolina. John was the son of Thomas Boone and Eliza Jane Chavis. Martha was the daughter of William Nickens and Sarah ” Sallie” Weaver.

    Looks like Lula’s ancestors were free people of colour in Hertford County, North Carolina.

    A family tree on familysearch also connects her to Jane Webb and Left Savage (through their daughter Dinah):
    http://www.virginiamemory.com/blogs/out_of_the_box/2012/11/14/you-have-no-right-jane-webbs-story/

    • andrew says:

      Lula Jane Boone’s family was likely Melungeon. Chavis (see also Mackenzie Rosman) and Nickens are typical Melungeon surnames.

      Chavis is from Chavez/s, a Spanish/Portuguese surname. Melungeons are said to have Portuguese heritage (among many other things).

      • bablah says:

        Many things are said about Melungeons that haven’t been proven. What is certain is that they’re descended from white women and black men. Being descended from a white woman is what granted them freedom from slavery.

        While it’s very likely that Roger’s ancestors are of the same descent as Melungeons (same area, same last names), his ancestors declared themselves as black. Since Melungeon identity was formed on the basis of denying their African roots, I wouldn’t call them Melungeon (even if they’re of the same background).

  2. andrew says:

    So you still keep reporting just “African-American” or “his parents were both black” (!) ? Hence his look comes out of nothing. If this guy has a DNA test he definitely might be more than 50% European.

    • madman says:

      What do you want the moderators to do? There is no concrete evidence for any recent European ancestry in his genealogy. Should they add it just because you think it exists? That’s not how this works.

      And over 50% European? That’s ridiculous. We know all his grandparents were black, so that makes it very unlikely he himself has that much European in him. And African-American already refers to a group that almost always has some degree on European in them.

      • andrew says:

        Are you serious? I am kinda surprised by your statements. How it’s ridiculous that he might score over 50% European on a genetic test. It’s possible, even though we can’t know for sure. Living in Europe you should know how Black Africans look. This guy has French ancestry, and it’s documented. In addition to his African-American heritage which includes some British ancestry by default, it has produced his look (between mulatto and quadroon I guess)

        • madman says:

          The average African-American is said to be around 20% European. And given that both his parents, and all his grandparents, were African-American, 50% seems a little on the unlikely side.

          The point is that we don’t determine the degree of admixture by looks. That’s not a very reliable standard. Follers has already looked into the alledged French ancestry, and determined that the evidence isn’t strong enough. Maybe it’s right, maybe it isn’t. But we won’t decide by how he look.

        • zanvandam says:

          The man’s immediate family is Black and they identify as such and so does he. Idk why you’re bringing up great grandparents and what not, let him identify as what he does cause he is what he identfies as, that should not been a problem, you are deadass acting like he has two white parents and identifies as Black. If he’s not Black then majority of people on earth are not Black, White, Asian etc., since majority of people have small percentages of other races(Black,White, Asian etc.) while their DNA is predominatly another race (Black, White, Asian etc.)

  3. fuzzybear44 says:

    a little underrated as an actor

  4. bablah says:

    The white Guenveur family in Charleston is of Acadian descent. They came to Charleston from Haiti, so it’s possible he has Haitian or Acadian ancestors, but I couldn’t trace his family any further.

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