Carrie Underwood

Ancestry of
Carrie Underwood

Country Music Singer and Songwriter


Who is Carrie Underwood?

Carrie Underwood is a singer and songwriter who rose to fame as the winner of the fourth season of the television series American Idol in 2005. She has over a hundred major awards including numerous Grammy Awards, Billboard Music Awards, Country Music Association Awards, Teen Choice Awards, Academy of Country Music Awards, CMT Music Awards, and CMT Artists of the Year awards. In 2010, she also set the Guiness World Record for most country number one hits for a female artist in the U. S.

Famous Kin

Carrie Underwood’s famous kin include co-Founders of the C. A. Pillsbury Company, Charles A. Pillsbury and John Sargent Pillsbury, and former U. S. President Gerald Ford. However, a claim by that she is related to President Abraham Lincoln is false (see below).

Family Facts

Question of Cherokee Ancestry

There has been a lot of speculation regarding Carrie Underwood and whether she has Native American ancestry. Many of her ancestors lived in Indian Territory, which is now Oklahoma, but were they white or Native American?

The evidence shows Carrie Underwood has Native American ancestors, and more specifically, her ancestors were Cherokee. They moved from Texas and settled in the Cherokee Nation (now Oklahoma) in a town called Texanna. The town was settled by a band of Cherokees who were driven out of the newly independent Republic of Texas in 1839 by Texas President Mirabeau Lamar. Although it is not known if any of Carrie’s ancestors were among the first 180 Cherokees to settle in Texanna, they are found in the town or surrounding area in the second half of the nineteenth century.

False Claims

Carrie Underwood Relationship to Abraham Lincoln

Ancestry.com posted an article on their Lifestyle blog titled “Carrie Underwood is Related to Another American Idol.” Their claim is that Carrie Underwood’s great-grandmother Essene Elba Thompson was a 1st cousin 5 times removed of President Abraham Lincoln making him one of Carrie’s famous kin.

While it’s true that Essene is related to the famous president, the problem is that Essene is not Carrie’s great-grandmother. Essene was the second wife of Stanton Luke, Carrie’s great-grandfather. His first wife, Adeline Gillespie was Carrie’s great-grandmother. The ironic part of this story is that it was a record from an Ancestry.com database that proved Lincoln's relationship to Carrie Underwood was wrong. So, unfortunately, Carrie Underwood is not related by blood to President Abraham Lincoln through Essene Thompson.

Carrie Underwood’s Paternal Grandparents

Most online websites (as of April 2018) give Carrie Underwood's paternal grandparents as Albert Gerald Underwood and Mollie Smith. This would appear to be incorrect as Albert Gerald Underwood's obituary names his "six surviving sons" and Stephen Underwood is not among them. However, Stephen and his wife Carol do appear in the obituaries for two of Stephen's brothers, Jerry and David. This would make his parents Bryan Gladys Underwood and Nell Ella Green.

Just some of the websites that appear to contain the wrong genealogy for Carrie Underwood (as of April 2018) were the following:

  • Ancestry.com
  • Geneanet.org
  • Ethnicelebs.com
  • Rootsweb (part of Ancestry.com)
  • Geni.com

Please note: The ancestor reports on this website have been compiled from thousands of different sources, many over 100 years old. These sources are attached to each ancestor so that you can personally judge their reliability. As with any good genealogical research, if you discover a link to your own family tree, consider it a starting point for further research. It is always preferable to locate primary records where possible. FamousKin.com cannot and does not guarantee the accuracy and reliability of these sources.


Carrie Underwood photo by Matthew Wittkopp (CC BY 2.0)