Soledad O’Brien

O’Brien in 2011, lev radin /

Birth Name: María de la Soledad Teresa O’Brien

Birth Place: St. James, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: September 19, 1966

*father – three quarters Irish, one quarter Scottish
*mother – Cuban [African, some Spanish, small amount of Indigenous]

Soledad O’Brien is an American broadcast journalist, executive producer, and philanthropist.

Soledad is the daughter of Estela Lucrecia (Marquetti y Mendieta) and Edward Ephram O’Brien. Her father is a white Australian, from Toowoomba, Queensland, of three quarters Irish and one quarter Scottish ancestry. Her mother, who is Cuban, is black, and was born in Havana. Soledad is not fluent in Spanish. Soledad is married to businessperson Bradford “Brad” Raymond, with whom she has four children.

Soleded’s Irish ancestry is from counties Cork and Clare.

A DNA test taken by the show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2016) stated that Soledad’s genetic ancestry is:

*63.4% European
——–*34.5% British & Irish
——–*17.7% Broadly Northern European
——–*4.3% Iberian
——–*4.0% Broadly European
——–*2.9% Broadly Southern European
——–*<0.1% French & German
*32.4% Sub-Saharan African
——–*28.7% West African
——–*2.1% Broadly Sub-Saharan African
——–*1.5% Central & South African
*3.2% East Asian & Native American
——–*2.5% Native American
——–*0.6% Broadly East Asian & Native American
——–*0.1% Southeast Asian
——–*<0.1% Broadly East Asian
*0.9% No Match
*0.2% Middle Eastern & North African

Soledad’s paternal grandfather was Thomas Patrick O’Brien (the son of Patrick O’Brien and Ellen Fitzgerald). Thomas was born in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, to Irish parents. Patrick was born in Miltown Malbay, County Clare, the son of Anthony O’Brien and Mary Kinane. Ellen was born in Bantry, County Cork, the daughter of Michael Fitzgerald and Hannah Sullivan.

Soledad’s paternal grandmother was Muriel Wightman (the daughter of William Joseph Wightman and Maria Higgins). Muriel was born in Stanthorpe, Queensland, Australia. William was born in Yandilla, Queensland, to Scottish parents, William Hunter Wightman and Mary Wilson, William from Potterow, Edinburgh and Mary from Aberlemno, Angus. Soledad’s great-grandmother Maria was Irish, from County Limerick.

Soledad’s maternal grandfather was Nicolás/Nicholas Alberto Marquetti y Hernández (the son of Antonio Marquetti y Seranno and Juana de Lucrecia Hernández). Nicolás was born in Havana, Cuba.

Soledad’s maternal grandmother was Juana de las Luz Maria de la Caridad Mendieta y Arredondo (the daughter of Eduardo Mendieta and Maria Josefa Arrdedondo y Núñez).

O’Brien in 2007, photo credit: jasondrumsatl

A DNA test on the show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2019) found that Soledad has a common ancestor with comedian and television personality Stephen Colbert.


Genealogy of Soledad O’Brien –

Genealogies of Soledad O’Brien (focusing on her father’s side) –


Curious about ethnicity

33 Responses

  1. Multiethnicchick says:

    I knew she was mostly white. And her is mixed. Why do these people keep ignoring mixed people that have more African, but act like mixed people with more European are somehow more mixed. Stupid Americans and their racism

    • GeneologyFan says:

      Soledad identifies as Afro-Latino. She’s written about the anti-black racism that she’s experienced.

      Skin color is not an accurate indicator of someone’s heritage.

      Most African-Americans are of mixed ancestry, with an average of 22% European heritage. Similar admixture can be seen in many places in the Americas with African diaspora who came from the Atlantic slave era.

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