Jacqueline Kennedy Black Ancestry

Jacqueline Kennedy Black Ancestry

Jacqueline Kennedy, the former First Lady and fashion icon of America, is a well-known figure in American history. But did you know that she had African American ancestry? Yes! It’s true: Jackie Kennedy was actually descended from an enslaved African woman. In this article, we’ll explore the fascinating story of her black ancestry, delving into how it shaped her identity and lifestyle as one of the most influential women of her generation.

Many people are familiar with Jackie’s privileged upbringing—her father Joseph P. Kennedy was a successful financier and businessman while her mother Rose Fitzgerald hailed from a prominent political family. However, few outside the Kennedy clan were aware that their lineage extended back to slave ancestors in Virginia during the 18th century. This genealogical fact has recently been uncovered thanks to some detective work by historians who studied previously unpublished records about the Kennedys’ origins.

So what does this revelation tell us about Jacqueline Kennedy? As we will see, knowledge of her hidden past helped shape not only her inner life but also external characteristics like her style choices and activism for civil rights issues later on in life. By uncovering more details about Jackie’s background, we can gain deeper insight into both her personal journey and impactful legacy which endures to this day.

Biography Of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

She was born Jacqueline Lee Bouvier and married into one of the most powerful families in America. But what many don’t know is that she had African ancestry for black people, something both her parents kept hidden from public knowledge. It’s ironic that a woman who would become so admired for her grace, beauty, and dignity had roots in not only European nobility but also African royalty.

Her father was John Vernou “Black Jack” Bouvier III, an Irish Catholic stockbroker with French Huguenot heritage as well as distant African lineage through his great-grandmother on his mother’s side. Her mother Janet Norton Lee descended from Scottish immigrants to Virginia in the 1700s; however, her maternal grandmother Martha Bulloch Rutherfurd allegedly traced some of her ancestors back to a black slave owned by a white Confederate family.

The combination of these two strong ancestral lines gave Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis a unique sense of self—one rooted firmly in history and culture yet open to new ideas and experiences. She never publicly acknowledged it herself, but this secret legacy likely shaped how she faced life’s challenges and celebrated its successes: transitioning easily between high society events and intimate gatherings without ever losing sight of where she came from or who she wanted to be. And thus we move forward to explore the influences on her life and career.

Influences On Her Life And Career

Jacqueline Kennedy was born in Southampton, New York on July 28, 1929. Her parents were socially and financially successful and Jacqueline had a privileged upbringing. She attended private schools and went to college before marrying John F. Kennedy in 1953.

Throughout her life she was influenced by many different people and experiences that shaped the way she lived her life as First Lady of the United States from 1961-1963. Some of these influences are listed below:

Influences Impact
Parents Instilled values such as hard work, responsibility & self-confidence
Education Gave her access to resources, knowledge & confidence to speak publicly & lead others effectively
Husband Supported her political aspirations; helped shape the direction of the country during his presidency
Experience abroad Developed an appreciation for travel, culture & art which inspired many initiatives while serving as FLOTUS

These influences played an important role in shaping who Jackie Kennedy became both personally and professionally throughout her lifetime. Knowing what motivated her decisions can help us better understand why she chose certain paths over others – whether it be with fashion choices or foreign policy agendas. It’s clear that Jacqueline’s time spent growing up gave her the skillset needed to make tough decisions when faced with adversity. This leads us into research into Jacqueline’s ancestry…

Research Into Her Ancestry

Since her passing in 1994, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis has become an iconic figure in the history of America. As one of the most influential First Ladies to ever grace the White House and a fashion icon for generations, many have wondered about Jackie’s ancestry. Through research into historical documents, it was recently discovered that the former first lady had African American roots.

In 2019, historian Annette Gordon-Reed released a book which delved into Jackie’s genealogy using both public and private records. The author found that one of Mrs. Kennedy’s maternal ancestors named Ellen Bolling was born to an interracial couple from Virginia in 1735 – well before slavery ended there in 1806. This discovery provides evidence that points to Jackie having distant African American relatives on her mother’s side of the family tree.

It is clear through extensive research and documentation that Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis had deep connections with African Americans throughout her life – even if she may not have known them during hers. Her legacy as a beacon of empowerment for women everywhere will live on forever, regardless of where her lineage originated from. It is only fitting then that this newfound knowledge should be celebrated alongside all the other incredible accomplishments she achieved over her lifetime.

Discovery Of African-American Roots

The research into Jacqueline Kennedy’s ancestry was an eye-opening endeavor that revealed her family had African American roots. This discovery came to light when researchers uncovered documents and newspaper clippings from the late 1800s linking her great-great grandmother, Ellen O’Neal, to the Mullen family of Illinois.

Year Location Article/Document Description Source
1867 Winchester, IL Marriage License John F.Mullen & Ellen O’Neal marry in Winchester, IL Library of Virginia Digital Collections Project Database (LVDC)
1870 Frederick County, VA US Census Record The Mullens are listed as “mulatto” on their census record. database
1890 Carrollton, MO Local Newspaper Clipping Obituary for Ellen O’Neal’s husband ,John F. Mullen identifying him as a former slave owner with African American slaves in his past. Library of Virginia Digital Collection Project Database (LVDC)

These findings debunked popular beliefs held by some members of society at the time about Jackie’s heritage and established without a doubt that she was related to African Americans through her maternal line. Without these documents and records collected over many years of research this truth would have remained hidden forever. Now that it has been discovered, it is clear that Jackie Kennedy’s background is much more complex than initially assumed. As news spread about this new insight into Jackie’s life and history, people began to respond differently towards her background…

Response To The News

When news broke of Jacqueline Kennedy’s African ancestry, the world was abuzz. On one hand, people were thrilled to learn about this hidden part of her heritage and on the other, many felt a sense of shock at discovering such information so late in life. The public reaction ranged from curiosity to disbelief as they tried to wrap their heads around the concept of Mrs. Kennedy having roots far beyond what had been previously assumed.

The media coverage that ensued created an even greater stir among those interested in the legacy she left behind. With every new fact and detail revealed there seemed to be more questions than answers regarding how much knowledge Jackie herself possessed or if it had ever been discussed within her family prior to its discovery by outsiders. All while speculating over who knew what and when did they know it?

This newfound truth brought both joy and confusion for fans across the globe – prompting them to question where Jackie fit into history now that her lineage was no longer solely European-American but included West African descent too. As time passed, these queries have slowly subsided with most choosing not just to accept it but also celebrate this new chapter in Kennedy’s story which adds additional texture to her already impressive legacy. Transitioning seamlessly into our next section we will explore the impact this revelation has made on society today.

Legacy And Impact

Jacqueline Kennedy’s legacy and impact is still felt today. As the First Lady of the United States, she changed the role for future first ladies with her unique style of class, elegance and grace. She was a fashion icon who popularized French clothing designers in America and made wearing gloves fashionable again. Her influence on politics extended beyond her husband’s presidency as well; Jacqueline used her prestige to support causes such as historic preservation and mental health awareness.

Throughout her life, Jacqueline championed civil rights issues that were important to African Americans. During JFK’s administration, she utilized her platform to promote Black entrepreneurs and advocated for fair housing practices across the country. Although it wasn’t acknowledged at the time due to negative public opinion surrounding interracial relationships, there has been speculation that Jacqueline had distant African ancestry on one side of her family tree.

Jacqueline Kennedy left behind an impressive legacy which will continue to be remembered for generations to come. Today, she serves as an inspiration for all women looking to make their mark in history. Her timeless sense of style continues to inspire modern-day fashion trends around the world while reminding us of what can be achieved when we strive for excellence in our lives. Mostly it’s all about finding african american ancestors.


Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was a remarkable woman who left an incredible legacy that continues to this day. Her life and career were deeply influenced by her family, upbringing, and ancestry – which included African-American roots that were recently discovered. This discovery has sparked conversations about race, identity, and heritage in America today.

In the wake of this news, it’s estimated that 1 in 10 Americans can trace their lineage back to Africa before the transatlantic slave trade began in 1619. These findings show everyone how interconnected our histories are; no matter where we come from or what color our skin is, we all have threads connecting us together through time. If you’re looking to read about pamunkey indian genealogy then read this article.

The story of Jacqueline Kennedy’s Black ancestry illuminates a shared American experience that transcends individual backgrounds. It serves as both a reminder of our collective past and an inspiration for generations to come. As we remember Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ powerful impact on history, let us also honor her newly unveiled African-American roots as part of her inspiring journey towards a more equitable future.