Rosanne Cash

Cash in 2015, photo by kathclick/

Place of Birth: Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.

Date of Birth: May 24, 1955

Ethnicity: Italian/Sicilian (maternal grandfather), English, smaller amounts of Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, Scottish, Irish, German, around 1/32 African-American

Rosanne Cash is an American singer, songwriter, and author. She records country, folk, pop, rock, blues, and Americana. Her songs include “Seven Year Ache,” “I Don’t Know Why You Don’t Want Me,” and “A Feather’s Not A Bird;” the latter is part of her “The River & the Thread” album, with her husband and collaborator, musician, producer, and songwriter John Leventhal. She has written fiction and essays across major magazines and publications.

She is the daughter of author Vivian Cash (born Vivian Dorraine Liberto) and singer, songwriter, musician, and actor Johnny Cash. She has three children with her former husband, country music singer and songwriter Rodney Crowell; and a son with John Leventhal.

A DNA test whose results were displayed on the show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2021) stated that Rosanne’s genetic ancestry is:

*92.3% European
*3.8% Western Asian
*3.3% Sub-Saharan African
*0.6% Unassigned

During their marriage, Rosanne’s parents were often the subject of racist attacks by people who believed that Rosanne’s mother Vivian was a black woman. Genealogical researchers for the show discovered that Rosanne’s mother was of approximately 1/32 African descent, unbeknownst to the family, with DNA research indicating that Rosanne’s father Johnny likely had a similar percentage of African ancestry.

Genetically, Rosanne was found to have a common ancestor with actress Angela Bassett.

Rosanne’s paternal grandfather was Raymond Cash (the son of The Rev. William Henry Cash and Rebecca Sara/Sarah Jane Overton). Raymond was born in Arkansas. The Rev. William was the son of Moses Reuben/Ruben Cash and Pheletia/Philisia/Phelitia White Taylor. Rebecca was the daughter of John Hubbard Woodson Overton and Susan Wilkinson Whorton.

Rosanne’s paternal grandmother was Carrie Cloveree Rivers (the daughter of John Lewis Rivers and Rosanna Lee Hurst). Carrie was born in Arkansas. John was the son of William Jasper Rivers and Lydia Jane Massey. Rosanne’s great-grandmother Rosanna was the daughter of Philip James Hurst and Mary Ann Gainey.

Rosanne’s maternal grandfather was Thomas Peter Liberto (the son of Rosario “Frank” Liberto and Angelina Rinaudo). Thomas was born in Texas, to Italian parents, from Cefalù, Palermo, Sicily. Rosario was the son of Salvatore Liberto and Venera Sesio/Serio. Angelina was the daughter of Salvatore Rinando and Rose Valenziana.

Rosanne’s maternal grandmother was Irene Robinson (the daughter of George Edgar Robinson and Dora Minnie Robinson). Irene was born in Texas. George was the son of Benjamin Franklin Robinson and Mattie E. Haynes. Dora was the daughter of Lafayette Carberson Robinson and Zereldia/Zeralda/Zerilda Ann Ewers.

Lafayette’s mother, Rosanne’s great-great-great-grandmother Sarah A. Shields, was born a slave, the daughter of William Bryant Shields, a white slave owner, and of his black slave. William freed Sarah in 1848, along with his eight other children, who were also born into slavery. Sarah married a white man, Anderson Robinson, in 1838, while she was still legally a slave.

Sources: Genealogy of Rosanne Cash –

Genealogy of Rosanne’s father –

Genealogy of Rosanne’s mother –

39 Responses

  1. Erik1714 says:

    I think it is more likely that Rosanne’s mother had about 1/16th African-American blood, than that she and Johnny would have had the same amount. Given Vivian’s appearance.

  2. Jason 7 says:

    Clint Black was on the same episode of “Finding Your Roots” and has similar origins. Why doesn’t he have a page here yet?

  3. Mr. Postman says:

    I totally understand why Vivian’s family passed. But looking at her pictures, I’m shocked they were able to pull it off.

    • ashash says:

      Vivian and her family didn’t know they had any African ancestry. Her maternal great-great grandmother was mixed-race and decided to pass. Vivian was around 1/32 African.

      So was Johnny Cash, by the way. DNA testing found that Johnny, like his former wife Vivian, was also around 1/32 African. He also had an African-American ancestor who decided to pass.

      • andrew says:

        Who is this rumoured Cash’s non white ancestor. I found nothing.

        • ashash says:

          No rumored non-white ancestor. When Rosanne took her DNA test, they found that her father had about the same amount of African ancestry as her mother, both being about 1/32 SSA. Where did that come from on Johnny’s side? Who knows? But more than likely he also had an ancestor who passed.

          • noonedropclowns says:

            That’s not what Gates found. He found about 2.5% African and DNA through Vivian‘s line and one percent through Johnny. And then you’re getting into fingerprints here to try to One Drop somebody. It’s ridiculous. It’s nonexistent or near nonexistent. And it meant nothing to her. Nobody asked how Vivian felt and she was really clear. She was proud to be Sicilian, which she was overwhelmingly 1000 times more than some forgotten black person everybody’s fixated on, and she didn’t like any of the rumors of dignified with her response. She was really clear about that. She strongly identified as white/Sicilian which she was. That is completely being disrespected by the one drop clown show.

      • noonedropclowns says:

        Who passes on almost zero Black ancestry? Nobody was “passing” even during the Civil War. You have a lot of misinformation. For starters only ONE of Vivian’s second great great parents was mixed. The other fifteen were all white/European! All of the mixed GG grandparent descendants, all married white. So who’s “passing“? Those were white people even back then. They were excepted into white society. By the time Jim Crow came around, it didn’t really matter and if they decided to put white on paper that was completely the truth. No more no less than a lot of other white southerners.

        You should look at the Texas A&M paper that was done trying to find more black Ancestry by this jealous Black One Drop fanatic. All he discovered was that Sarah was not only multi racial, but so was her mother of the enslaved woman that Mr. shields had the nine kids with. This is not a shock because the slave owners would rarely marry completely African women. That’s why Sarah shields was able to have her marriage legally recognized to Andrew Robinson a white man.

    • Ethnicity37 says:

      Vivian’s dad was 100% Sicilian and many of them have indirect African ancestry. Add on, Vivian’s mom had some African -Vivian is most likely a genetic throwback. Vivian’s family was accepted as white-they weren’t passing. Her father was well-known in his community. It was only until Vivian’s picture was on display that it caused her some problems. In colored photos, she looks Italian/Sicilian. In black and white photos, she looks like a mixed or black woman.

      • porkarella says:

        Listen to me a real Italian from Italy in Europe not a fake from Murica her face in Italy can be Southern especially Neapolitan of real ancient Albanian/Macedonian root cause Neapoles region centuries ago was mass invaded by Albanians and Macedonians like by many others foreigners cause when Turkish invaded their lands lots of them escaped to South Italy I know it for real In Italy from North to South we study it at school.
        Then she’s super mixed to other races like every single Murican.

        • noonedropclowns says:

          Incorrect. And I have nearly all full blooded Italian in Ancestry/Sicilian. She is shockingly, not mixed compared to most white people in the south. Did any connection to slavery. And compared to many Italian Americans especially today. That’s what’s fascinating is how remote for non-European ancestry actually is. A lot of One Drop clowns are butt hurt over it but those are the people that see somebody with “1/32” Black ancestry and start screaming and then when it’s George Zimmerman who is like almost half black Afro Peruvian they just re-classify them as “white” to fit a bogus narrative.

        • noonedropclowns says:

          That’s the only picture of her that exists or you can kind of see she was semi multi racial just barely. The other photo she looks like a complete white woman which she was other than some random remote ancestor. Honestly, I know this is going to offend people, but her features were really bloated in the store to buy alcohol there. She just doesn’t look like herself. She had severe drinking problems. It looks like she Was not well in that photo.

    • noonedropclowns says:

      They didn’t pass. Her life was white from start to finish. And Sicilian/Italian from start to finish. Being Sicilian was marginalization enough in the south. In some places it was worse than being black.

  4. Ethnicity37 says:

    I knew it!!!!!!! Her mother is majority European. Her mother clearly does look like a black woman with mixed ancestries, however, some Italians and/ or Sicilians look that way as well.

    • italiano90 says:

      Not really. I knew she was mixed with African when I first saw her pictures.

    • noonedropclowns says:

      But you’re incorrect. It’s not even one drop. She has more Asian DNA than African. If Vivian Cash had been black or multiracial, they’re never would’ve been a Johnny Cash. Black people can’t accept this. It’s sad. It’s like you’re the biggest cupholders of white racial purity today.

  5. andrew says:

    In fact Cash’s wife did not look Sicilian at all but clearly mixed-race.

    • noonedropclowns says:

      Wrong. Vivian looked completely Italian. You don’t have any Italian Sicilian ancestry or narrative so you don’t understand

      • andrew says:

        I dont exactly get what Sophia Loren has to do with this, nor they look-alike. If I google Vivian Liberto images, all I see is a woman of color with visible SSA features.

        • noonedropclowns says:

          Sophia Loren looks like her in that photo. And became famous because she played Black role in one of her earlier Italian films. There’s too much of a lack of cultural literacy in these comments, which makes this website really difficult. Those features are going to be found in plenty of Europeans. Vivian zone European father had a wide nose. I’d be really shocked if you were a white person because this is how all of the black one droppers talk about her. Regardless, she was not only not black, but she wasn’t even mixed race. She was European. Morphologically, culturally, genealogically, and legally.

          • andrew says:


            I still dont get what Loren has to do with this, and what “black role” had she played? Perhaps Cleopatra lol.

            Loren had light eyes, whas exceptionally tall for her era (Meds are supposed to be short) and her own (Neapolitan) mother was said to have won a contest for Greta Garbo (who was Swedish) doubles in Hollywood. The only somehow exotic feature was her aquiline nose that producers wanted to change.

        • noonedropclowns says:

          I’m no mutt. You’re clearly insecure of your own race(s) because y in DAFQ would you (as a man) care so much about Rosanne’s ancestry? GET A LIFE

        • noonedropclowns says:

          Vivian Cash had stick pin straight hair and green eyes. It was fashionable to curl it in the 1950s. She also was deeply tanned sometimes.

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