Wes Studi

LOS ANGELES - JUL 16:  Wes Studi at the "Planes: Fire & Rescue"

Studi in 2014, photo by kathclick/Bigstock.com

Place of Birth: Tahlehquah, Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma

Date of Birth: December 17, 1947

Ethnicity: Cherokee, as well as European [Scottish/English]

Wes Studi is a Native American actor and film producer. His roles include the films Dances with Wolves, The Last of the Mohicans (1992), Geronimo: An American Legend, Street Fighter, Heat (1995), Mystery Men, The New World, Avatar, A Million Ways to Die in the West, and Hostiles, and the series Penny Dreadful and Reservation Dogs.

He was born in Tahlehquah, Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma, the son of Maggie (Nofire); his surname comes from her husband Andy Studie. The two were both Cherokee. Wes grew up in Nofire Hollow, named for his mother’s family. Wes’s father was listed as Eugene Philpott, who was raised near his mother on Cherokee land, on his birth certificate. DNA research performed on the show Finding Your Roots, with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2024) showed that Wes’s biological father was one of two brothers surnamed Blair, who were born and lived in the Cherokee nation of Oklahoma, and were of Cherokee and European descent.

When he was five, he spent time at the Murrow Indian Children’s Home. Wes fought in the Vietnam War, for twelve months, and has participated in Native American activism, including the Wounded Knee Incident at Pine Ridge Reservation, in 1973.

Wes is married to Maura Dhu Studi, who is the daughter of actor and entertainer Jack Albertson. Wes has three children, including one with Maura.

The DNA test taken by Finding Your Roots showed Wes’s genetic ancestry to consist of:

*55% Indigenous Americas – North
*16% England & Northwestern Europe
*13% Scotland
*7% Sweden & Denmark
*3% Germanic Europe
*3% Ireland
*2% Norway
*1% Indigeous Americas – Bolivia & Peru

Wes’s biological paternal grandfather was Jesse Thomas Blair (the son of Dami “Thomas Blair” and Ajiya “Margaret Sanders”). Dami was the son of Udigwanosdi “George Blair” and Nvtsi “Nancy Blythe.” Udigwanosdi was born in the late 1700s, in Cherokee Nation East/North Carolina, the son of James Blair, a white father, who led troops against the Cherokee nation during the Revolutionary War; and of Sarah, a Cherokee mother. Udigwanosdi was a slave owner. Wes’s great-grandmother Ajiya was the daughter of Jisgwa “Jesse Sanders” and Atugisgi “Caroline Catron.” Atugisgi’s great-great-grandmother, Nayehi, was born, c. 1737, in Ijota, Cherokee Nation East, and was a prominent warrior and stateswoman in Cherokee history. She led the Cherokee to victory over the Creek nation.

Wes’s biological paternal grandmother was named Katie Mayree Evans.

Wes’s maternal grandfather was Anter Otter Nofire (the son of Jesse/Jess Nofire and Jane Che-Cor-Na-La Ussery). Otter was born in Oklahoma. Jesse was the son of Wo-Ta-Nah Nofire and Nah Cut-Ty-You-Cah (Gar-Dor-Yorahe). Jane was the daughter of Phillip Ussary and Lizzie Catcher. Wes’s great-great-great-grandmother, Nancy Catcher/Big Nancy, was taken from Georgia to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears, led by the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

Wes’s maternal grandmother was named Elsie Scott. Elsie was born in Oklahoma.

Sources: Genealogy of Wes Studi – https://www.geni.com

Wes’s mother on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Genealogy of Wes’s maternal grandfather, Anter Otter Nofire – https://www.findagrave.com

Wes’s maternal grandfather, Anter Otter Nofire, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

9 Responses

  1. History Guy says:

    He looks 100% Native American!

  2. Lorenzo Spitaleri says:

    this has to be the first time I see an actual native on this website

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