Edward Norton learns about actual life His 12th great-grandmother is Pocahontas

The romanticized and mythologized daughter of a Native American chief from the 17th century, Pocahontas, is actually the 12th great-grandmother of American actor Edward Norton.

In the episode of “Finding Your Roots” on PBS on Tuesday, the Oscar-nominated actor discovered his kinship to the woman who wed Virginia settler John Rolfe.

The long-standing family tale was verified to be true by historian and broadcaster Henry Louis Gates Jr., who told Norton: “You have a straight paper trail, no doubt about it, connection to your 12th great-grandmother and great-grandfather, John Rolfe and Pocahontas.”

Gates claims that the union took place on April 5, 1614, in Jamestown, Virginia, while Shakespeare was still alive. Documents, he continued, showed that Rolfe passed sometime in March 1622, while Pocahontas passed away three years later in Gravesend, England.

In 1614, Pocahontas wed John Rolfe.
In 1614, Pocahontas wed John Rolfe.
Hulton Royals Collection/Getty Images Three Lions
Norton said after the revelation, “It just makes you realize how small a… piece of the total human tale you are.”

Early in the 17th century, Pocahontas welcomed English settlers to what is now the United States. According to legend, Mary stopped Captain John Smith’s execution by placing her head on his, thus saving his life.



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The program, which researches celebrities’ ancestry, also found that Norton’s third great-grandfather, John Winstead, held a family of slaves that included a 55-year-old male, a 37-year-old wife, and five small daughters who were 4, 6, 8, 9, and 10 years old.

Norton Garofalo SPLIT
Jennifer Garofalo I lost the “Fight Club” part to Ed Norton.
The 53-year-old Norton said he had looked into his own family before appearing on “Finding Your Roots,” and he emphasized that he didn’t agree with that period of history.

The “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” and “Fight Club” actor said when asked what it was like to view a census that revealed his relative was a slave owner: “The quick answer is that these things are uncomfortable. And you ought to feel uneasy around them.

It’s not a judgment on your personal life; rather, it’s a judgment on our nation’s history, which must first be acknowledged before being confronted.

Norton continued, “When you read’slave aged eight,’ you simply want to die.” He had personalized the census’s information.

The ninth season of the show included a first-episode investigation of Julia Roberts’ ancestry.

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