Edward Norton’s twelfth grandmother is Pocahontas
There’s a mystery on a Greek island in which Edward Norton plays a billionaire in the new Netflix series Glass Onion.
Despite this, the actor did reveal some secrets about himself during the first episode of Season 9 of PBS’ “Finding Your Roots,” which aired on Tuesday night.
There’s a lot more to Edward Norton’s family roots than I realize
During an interview with The New York Times, American actor Edward Norton claimed that his 12th grandmother, Pocahontas, the romantic and legendary 17th century daughter of a Native American chief, is the real-life Pocahontas.
On Tuesday’s episode of the PBS genealogical history series “Finding Your Roots,” the Oscar-nominated star learned of the relationship between his family and the woman who married Virginia settler John Rolfe during the colonial period.
Henry Louis Gates Jr., a historian and host, confirmed the veracity of the old family rumor, telling Norton, “There is no doubt that you have a direct paper trail, no doubt about it, to your twelfth great-grandmother and great-grandfather, John Rolfe and Pocahontas.”
A few days after Shakespeare’s death, Gates wrote in his autobiography that the couple were married in Jamestown, Virginia, on April 5, 1614—when William Shakespeare was still alive. After Pocahontas died three years later in Gravesend, England, it is revealed that Rolfe was murdered in March of 1622, while Pocahontas died three years later in Gravesend, England.
“It just makes you realize how much you are…a small part of the whole human story,” Norton remarked after the revelation. The arrival of English settlers in the present-day United States began in the early 17th century, with Pocahontas welcoming them. However, her life is said to have been saved by placing her own head on that of Captain John Smith, causing his execution to be postponed.
Norton’s ancestors owned a family of slaves
Norton also learns in this episode that he was associated with a family of slaves consisting of a 55-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman raising five daughters. As a result of the discovery, the “Glass Onion” star admitted he was “very uncomfortable.”
According to him, “The short answer is that this stuff feels uncomfortable, and you should feel uncomfortable about it. Everyone should feel uncomfortable about it.” In the rest of the interview, the actor explains that he does not see the news as a “judgment” of himself but instead as an assessment of the past.
In his own words, Norton told me, “It is not a judgment upon you or your life, but a judgment upon the history of this country. It is a judgment which must first be recognized, but then challenged.”
While finding the roots, Norton is better set up
Gates Jr. mentioned during the taping of Looking for His Roots that Norton was better prepared to talk about his family genealogy than any other guest he’d had, besides the fact that his grandparents had transcribed the journals of at least one ancestor in the 19th century. So Norton was “better prepared than Any guest I can remember.”
Norton told Gates Jr. After the host revealed through registration papers that another ancestor joined George Washington’s Continental Army in 1777.
Gates Jr. also reveals at the end of the episode that Roberts has a DNA strand very similar to Norton’s, meaning they may share a common ancestor somewhere in their ancestors. Julia Roberts also appeared in theinding Your Roots season premiere. Stay tuned for more celebrity gossip in the coming weeks.