Boston Native Edward Norton Learns of Shocking Relationship to Pocahontas
Actor Edward Norton has paved a successful career over the years, and while he grew up and formed his craft in Columbia, Maryland, his roots started in Massachusetts.
Norton appeared on the latest episode of Finding Your Roots on PBS where he discovered his roots go much deeper than he imagined.
He discovered he was a direct descendant of Pocahontas.
Known for movies such as Fight Club and, most recently, Glass Onion, Boston-born Norton is no stranger to screen time.
His latest television appearance was his most vulnerable yet as his family’s history was on full display for Finding Your Roots, the show that explores a person’s family tree history by using DNA analysis and genealogical detective work to travel generations into the past.
Host Henry Louis Gates sat down with Norton for the show’s ninth-season premiere and unveiled an incredible discovery that left Norton speechless.
Pocahontas was Norton’s 12th great-grandmother.
It turns out Norton’s roots were deep in colonial Virginia, starting with the marriage of the Virginia settler John Rolph and the “Powhatan woman” known as Pocahontas.
It was a story that Norton’s family considered to be a tall tale passed down from generation to generation, but Gates confirmed that the bloodline is there.
“John Rolph and Pocahontas got married on April 5, 1614,” Gates told Norton. “Pocahontas died some time in March 1617. ... You have a direct paper trail, no doubt about it.”
Norton was in awe of the show's findings.
“This makes you realize what a small piece of the whole human story you are,” he said.
Watch the new season of Finding Your Roots every Tuesday at 8 p.m. on PBS.