Wentworth Miller

Miller in 2008, Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com

Birth Name: Wentworth Earl Miller III

Place of Birth: Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, England, U.K.

Date of Birth: June 2, 1972

*25% African-American
*25% Jamaican [African, as well as small amount of Scottish]
*25% Rusyn
*12.5% Lebanese/Syrian
*12.5% Curaçaoan [mix of Dutch, French, Swedish, Hispanic, remote Polish]

Wentworth Miller is an American actor, model, screenwriter, and producer. He starred in the television series Prison Break, playing Michael Scofield.

Wentworth was born in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, England, to American parents, Roxann (Palm), a special education teacher, and Wentworth E. Miller II, a lawyer and teacher. His family moved to Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York, during his early years. He holds dual U.S. and U.K. citizenship.

Wentworth’s father is black, of Jamaican (African, and a small amount of Scottish) ancestry on one side and African-American ancestry on the other. Wentworth’s maternal grandfather’s father was from the Caribbean island of Curaçao, and was of Dutch, French, Swedish, Hispanic, and remote Polish, descent, and Wentworth’s maternal grandfather’s mother was of Lebanese/Syrian ancestry. Wentworth’s maternal grandmother was the daughter of Rusyn parents.

Regarding his ancestry and his experience with racism, he has said:

My experience is that I find myself having to constantly define myself to others, day-in, day-out… My encounters with racism are sort of second-hand situations where I might be standing around with a group of white friends and someone makes a comment that they wouldn’t make, say, at my family reunion. It leaves a cut. Someone calls you “n______” and it’s like a knife to the gut. To be in that sort of situation it’s just a little nick, but you suffer enough nicks and you bleed to death just the same. So when that happens, you’re confronted with the quandary: do I stop the party, do I grind things to a halt?

Wentworth has mentioned that one of his paternal great-grandmothers was Jewish (which was also written in The New Yorker in 2003). However, Wentworth’s paternal grandfather’s mother was a Black Jamaican, while Wentworth’s paternal grandmother’s mother was an African-American from the Southern United States. Therefore, it is not clear if Wentworth really has any documented Jewish ancestry. Similarly, Wentworth has also been described as having English, German, Cherokee, and Russian roots. It is not clear if any of these lineages have been documented/verified.

Wentworth’s paternal grandfather was Wentworth Earl Miller (the son of Claudius/Claude Cephas Miller and Rhena Jane Newman). Wentworth’s grandfather was born in 1925 in New York, to parents who were emigrants from Jamaica. The family is listed as “Negro” (Black) on both the 1930 U.S. Census and the 1940 U.S. census. Claudius was the son of George Miller and Rebecca May. Rhena was the daughter of Richard Pearce/Pierce Newman and Georgiana McDonald Rose. Georgiana’s father, Wentworth’s great-great-great-grandfather, was Scottish.

Wentworth’s paternal grandmother was Pauline Pinkston (the daughter of Greene/Green Fort Pinkston and Penella/Pernella/Percilla Bertha Horne). Pauline was born, c. 1925, in Tennessee. Pauline and her parents are listed as “Negro” (Black) on the 1930 U.S. Census and the 1940 U.S. Census, and “Mulatto” on other censuses, as was common for most African-American families. Greene was a prominent doctor, and was born in Mississippi, the grandson of freed slaves; he was the son of Ritten Pinkston and Fannie Gresham. Wentworth’s great-grandmother Penella was born in Tennessee, the daughter of Jesse/Jessie Henry Horne and Alice Hill. Pauline Pinkston’s second husband was Chester Oden, Jr.

Wentworth’s maternal grandfather was Frederick William Palm (the son of Hendrik/Hendrick “Harry” Frederik Palm and Melekia/Malakia “Margaret” Sabah). Wentworth’s grandfather Frederick was born in New York. Hendrik was born, in 1894, in Willemstad, the capital city of the Caribbean island of Curaçao, the son of Frederick/Frederik Wilhelm Palm, a merchant, and of Maria Josefa Helena “Elene” Conquet, who was born in Santo Domingo. Hendrik’s family had lived on Curaçao for many generations. His ancestry was Dutch (like many people on this island), along with French, Swedish, Hispanic, and remote Polish, with a forebear who was born in Brazil, and who was likely ethnically Dutch. The Palm line originated in Sweden. Wentworth’s great-grandmother Melekia’s parents, Namaan/Naman Sabah and Emiline/Emileen/Emily, were Lebanese/Syrian immigrants, making Wentworth Miller himself of 1/8th Lebanese/Syrian descent.

Wentworth’s maternal grandmother was Mildred Emiliya/Emilya “Millie” Hawaka (the daughter of Nicholas/Nicolas Hawaka and Florence Busczniewicz). Mildred was born in Pennsylvania. Nicholas was born in Austria, likely of Rusyn descent. Florence was Rusyn.

Sources: Genealogy of Wentworth Miller – https://www.geni.com

Wedding announcement of Wentworth’s parents (with a picture of Wentworth’s mother) – http://news.google.com

Wentworth’s paternal grandfather, Wentworth Earl Miller, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Genealogy of Wentworth’s paternal grandmother, Pauline Pinkston – http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com

Wentworth’s paternal grandmother, Pauline Pinkston, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Wentworth’s paternal great-grandparents, Greene/Green Fort Pinkston and Penella/Pernella/Percilla Bertha Horne, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Article, including picture, about Wentworth’s paternal great-grandfather, Greene/Green Fort Pinkston – http://www.commercialappeal.com
Picture of Greene Fort Pinkston – https://static.wixstatic.com

Wentworth’s paternal great-grandfather, Greene/Green Fort Pinkston, on the 1880 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Wentworth’s paternal great-great-grandparents, Ritten Pinkston and Fannie Gresham, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Wentworth’s paternal great-grandmother, Penella/Pernella/Percilla Bertha Horne, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Death record of Wentworth’s paternal great-great-grandfather, Jesse/Jessie Henry Horne – https://www.familysearch.org

Genealogies of Wentworth’s mother – http://www.myheritage.com

Death records of Wentworth’s maternal grandparents, Frederick William Palm and Mildred Emiliya/Emilya “Millie” (Hawaka) Palm – https://www.findagrave.com

Obituary of Wentworth’s maternal grandfather, Frederick William Palm (with picture) – http://news.google.com

Genealogy of Wentworth’s maternal great-grandfather, Hendrik/Hendrick “Harry” Frederik Palm (in the island of Curaçao) – http://www.henkbeers.nl

Information about Wentworth’s Palm ancestors – http://dominicaanserepubliek.nlambassade.org

Wentworth’s maternal grandmother, Mildred Emiliya/Emilya “Millie” Hawaka, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Obituary of Wentworth’s maternal grandmother, Mildred Emiliya/Emilya “Millie” (Hawaka) Palm (with picture) – http://www.legacy.com


Curious about ethnicity

294 Responses

  1. BarTankhoum says:

    For all the people who are surprised and say he doesn’t look half-Black, well the answer is simple: he is not REALLY half-Black half-White. Just have a look at his father, he’s already mixed:


    In the US his father is considered Black because of the one drop rule, but this is more of a social approach than a real objective approach. To be honest, in very few countries would he be considered Black (still talking about his Wentworth’s father). In other words, Wentworth’s mother being totally Caucasian and his father being mixed, Wentworth is less than half Black. Sorry Wentworth, I know you like the idea of being half-Black, but you’re not.

    I come from a country where interbreeding is pretty common, and I’m used to seeing REAL half-Black/half-White people, meaning whose Black side is FULLY Black. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to look like Wentworth if one of your parent is fully Black. Actually you’re way more likely to look like his father…

    • ses101 says:

      Yeah I agree. The whole black or white thing in America is too binary. “Mixed race” is vague but at least it is more accurate.

    • midori29 says:

      @bartabkhoum You have zero idea what youre saying and you dont realize that not all blacks are dark skinned. There are many other half blacks who look whiter
      1. Mariah Carey, yes her dad is black, there are blacks living in Venezuela
      2. Slash from Guns and Roses his mom is black
      3. Halsey, black dad

      * You people need to get educated.

  2. andrew says:

    I would change “Spanish” with “Hispanic”. How do we know that his Dominican ancestors were Spanish and not mixed with Amerindians and/or Black Africans?

  3. andrew says:

    some information here about his Palm ancestors:

    “Frederik Wilhelm Palm was born in 1872, son of Cornelis Palm en Clara Catharina Haayen. He was
    a merchant. In 1893 he married Maria Josefa Helena Conquet, born in Santo Domingo and daughter
    of Hendrik Zenon Conquet and Jozefeta Cecilia Millomar.”



  4. andrew says:

    there’s Hispanic stuff on his Curaçaoan side, and remote Polish.

    An ancestor born in Santo Domingo (Jozefeta Cecilia Millomar) and another one in Pernambuco, Brazil (in North-East)


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