Birth Name: Valerie June Bowman
Place of Birth: Shiraz, Iran
Date of Birth: November 14, 1956
Ethnicity: African-American, smaller amounts of Creole [French and African], Scottish, and Native American/Algonquin First Nations, distant Ashkenazi Jewish
Valerie Jarrett is an American attorney, businessperson, and civic leader. She was Senior Advisor to the President of the United States, and Director of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, both from January 20, 2009 to January 20, 2017.
Valerie was born in Shiraz, Iran, to American parents, James E. Bowman (James Edward Bowman), a physician, and Barbara (Taylor) Bowman, an early childhood education expert/advocate, author, and professor. Her father ran a children’s hospital in Iran at the time of her birth. Her mother was among the four founders of the Erikson Institute for child development. Valerie was mostly raised in the U.S., in Chicago. She has a daughter with her former husband, late medical professional William Jarrett.
Valerie’s parents were/are both black, as were all her grandparents.
A DNA test taken by the show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2014) stated that Valerie’s genetic ancestry is:
——–*approx. 28% Irish and Scottish
——–*3% Western Europe
——–*2% Ashkenazi Jewish
*46% Sub-Saharan African
——–*6% Ivory Coast and Ghana
——–*2% Southeastern Bantu
——–*1% Benin and Togo
*5% Native American
Valerie’s paternal grandfather was James Edward Bowman (the son of William Henry Bowman and Mary E.). James was born in Washington, D.C. William was the son of Nelson Bowman.
Valerie’s paternal grandmother was Dorothy Peterson (the daughter of George Lee Peterson and Mildred Waddy). Dorothy was born in Washington, D.C. George was the son of Lee Peterson and Laura Tyler.
Valerie’s maternal grandfather was Robert Rochon Taylor (the son of Robert Robinson Taylor and Beatrice Francis Rochon). Valerie’s grandfather Robert was born in Alabama. Valerie’s great-grandfather Robert was an architect, who was the first accredited African-American architect, and was also the first African-American student enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in 1888; he was the son of Henry Taylor and Emily Still. Beatrice was the daughter of Victor Narcisse Rochon and Leonora.
Valerie’s maternal grandmother was Laura Dorothy Vaughn Jennings (the daughter of Neros Jennings and Laura Smith). Valerie’s grandmother Laura was born in California. Valerie’s great-grandmother Laura was the daughter of Ella Vaughn.
Valerie had once stated that one of her great-grandfathers was Jewish. No Jewish ancestry has evidently been documented for Valerie Jarrett, and none of her great-grandfathers were Jewish (at least in the traditional sense). However, her DNA test result did state that she has 2% Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, which means she likely had a Jewish ancestor several more generations back.
Sources: Genealogies of Valerie Jarrett – http://www.geni.com
Valerie’s maternal grandfather, Robert Rochon Taylor, on the 1900 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Obituaries and genealogies of Valerie’s maternal great-grandparents, Robert Robinson Taylor and Beatrice Rochon – https://www.findagrave.com
Genealogy of Valerie’s maternal great-great-great-grandfather, Jean-Stéril Narcisse Rochon (focusing on his father’s side) – https://www.wikitree.com
on her maternal “Rochon” line, she has 1/1024 First Nations (Kaskaskia) ancestry, descending to Catherine Exipakinoea/Exipakinoca
Robert Robinson Taylor was the first accredited African-American architect. He was also the first African-American student enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1888.