Rue McClanahan

photo by Prphotos

Birth Name: Eddi-Rue McClanahan

Date of Birth: February 21, 1934

Place of Birth: Healdton, Oklahoma, U.S.

Date of Death: June 3, 2010

Place of Death: New York City, New York, U.S.

Ethnicity: English, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, Welsh, German, 1/64th Choctaw Native American, distant French-Canadian, Dutch, remote Portuguese

Rue McClanahan was an American actress. She is known for her role as Blanche Devereaux on the sitcom The Golden Girls.

Rue was the daughter of Dreda Rheua-Nell (Medaris) and William Edwin “Bill” McClanahan. She had English, some Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, Welsh, German, 1/64th Choctaw Native American, distant French-Canadian, Dutch, and remote Portuguese, ancestry. Her Portuguese ancestor is Domingo Medearis, who was born in Portugal, c. 1620.

Rue’s niece is actress Amelia Kinkade (Amelia Eileen Kinkade, the daughter of Rue’s sister, Melinda Lou McClanahan, and of Emmett Sheridan Kinkade).

Rue’s paternal grandfather was Jesse/Jessie/Jess Edwin McClanahan (the son of Edwin/Edmund French McClanahan and Margaret Emeline Richardson). Jesse was born in Mississippi. Rue’s great-grandfather Edwin was the son of Enoch Cox McClanahan and Andromache America Mills.

Rue’s paternal grandmother was Fannie Florence Copeland (the daughter of James Granville Copeland and Mary Denby “Polly” Edge). Fannie was born in Oklahoma. James was the son of Moses Wilkerson Copeland and Nancy Webb. Mary Denby was the daughter of William D. “Moses” Edge and Eliza Ann Denby.

Rue’s maternal grandfather was Thomas Edward Medaris (the son of Oliver/Ollie Cromwell Medaris and Eliza Jane Sessums/Sessoms). Thomas was born in Oklahoma. Oliver was the son of Oliver Cromwell Medaris/Medearis and Mary Melvina Goodman.

Rue’s maternal grandmother was Ida Alice “Allie” Airington/Arrington (the daughter of Levi Airington/Arrington and Margaret Emma Mock). Ida was enrolled in the Choctaw tribe. She was born in Oklahoma. Levi was the son of Drury/Drew Airington/Arrington, Jr. and Nancy Taylor. Levi’s great-grandmother, SheNiYah Hanak, was a Choctaw Native American. Margaret was the daughter of Moses Anderson Mock and Louisa Pinson.

Rue was a sixth cousin, once removed, of actor and filmmaker Clint Eastwood, through shared McClanahan ancestry.

Sources: Genealogies of Rue McClanahan –

Genealogy of Rue McClanahan (focusing on her father’s side) –

Genealogy of Rue’s maternal great-great-grandmother, Mary Melvina Goodman –

Genealogy of Rue’s maternal great-great-great-grandfather, Gabriel Loving Medaris –

Rue’s maternal grandmother, Ida Alice “Allie” Airington/Arrington, on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Information about Rue’s maternal eight times great-grandfather, Domingo Madeiras/Madeiros –


Curious about ethnicity

15 Responses

  1. ethnogenesis says:

    From what I know about McClanahan, she has a Choctaw great-grandfather named Running Hawk, according to her autobiography, My First Five Husbands… and the Ones Who Got Away. Her wikipedia article hasn’t been recently updated to confirm her Choctaw ancestry, someone needs to take care of that.

  2. andrew says:

    I’ve found a genealogical relation between her and Clint Eastwood:

    Rue’s paternal great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents, Elijah McClanahan and Emy Ewing, were also Clint’s maternal great-great-great-great-great-grandparents.

    Clint’s maternal great-great-great-great-grandfather was this man:

    Elijah was the grandson of Elijah McClanahan and Ann Ewing, so Clint descends twice from that couple

  3. andrew says:

    Not this time because Ida Alice “Allie” Airington Medaris was enrolled to Choctaw tribe since she was 9 years old

    * Oliver Cromwell Medaris, Jr., was the son of Oliver Cromwell Medaris, Sr., and Mary Melvina Goodman (her genealogy:

    Genealogy of Oliver Cromwell Medaris, Sr.’s father, Gabriel Loving Medaris:

    Gabriel’s great-great-great-grandfather was Domingo Madeiras, the same ancestor of Al Gore, John Huston and Caleb Followill.

    At this site here’s the complete genealogy of Domingo Madeiras’ descendants:

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