Actor Edward Norton learns that Pocahontas is his 12th great-grandmother – National


Hollywood actor and filmmaker Edward Norton always thought his connection to Pocahontas was nothing more than a “family tradition.”

In a new episode of the PBS show Find your rootsan investigation of Norton’s genealogy revealed that Pocahontas, one of the most depicted (and often misrepresented) Native women in history, is his 12th great-grandmother.

Norton, who stars in the new film glass onion, was visibly shocked when host Henry Louis Gates confirmed his family’s longstanding claims.

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“Oh my God,” Norton muttered, shaking his head. “How could you determine that? »

Gates, who has hosted the show since its premiere in 2012, told Norton that a “paper trail” led genealogists to the find. He explained that existing records show that Pocahontas and John Rolfe were married on April 5, 1614, in Jamestown, Virginia.

To put the impressive paper trail into perspective, Gates added that William Shakespeare died in 1616.

Gates said there was “no doubt” about Norton’s family connection to Pocahontas.

“That’s about as far as you can go back,” Gates said.

“It makes you realize what a small piece of all human history you are,” Norton marveled.

Pocahontas was born around 1596. She was the daughter of Wahunsenaca (Chief Powhatan), the Mamanatowick (Supreme Chief) of the Powhatan Chiefdom. The Powhatan chiefdom included about 25,000 Native people in 30 Algonquian-speaking tribes, according to the US National Park Service.

She is best known for stopping the execution of Captain John Smith, who wrote in his journals that she placed her head on his so he could not be killed. There are, however, debates among historians as to whether this actually happened.

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Pocahontas was later kidnapped and taken to an English colony, where she met Rolfe. She converted to Christianity and was baptized. After their wedding, Pocahontas and Rolfe traveled to England. She died in Gravesend, England, in 1617. They had one son, Thomas Rolfe.

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Pocahontas’ story was widely popularized in the mostly fictionalized depiction of her life in the 1995 Disney film. Pocahontas.

Norton is just the latest in a long line to have his genealogy discovered on Find your roots. Previous celebrity guests include Amy Schumer, Anderson Cooper, John Legend and Queen Latifah.

the Find your roots The episode featuring Norton, which aired on Tuesday, also included a dive into the family history of actress Julia Roberts. This is the first episode of the ninth season of the popular show.

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