Brad Pitt

Ancestry of
Brad Pitt

Movie Actor

Who is Brad Pitt?

Brad Pitt is an American movie actor and filmmaker who is currently married to movie actress Angelina Jolie. He has received a number of Academy Award nominations and has won a Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actor and a Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Cast. Brad Pitt's production company Plan B Entertainment has produced two Academy Award winners for Best Picture, The Departed and 12 Years a Slave.

Famous Kin

While Brad Pitt's list of famous kin is not as numerous as some of his contemporaries, it does include a number of U.S. Presidents and First Ladies. Two famous generals are also among his cousins. They include General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate Army, and General Andrew Pickens, hero of the American Revolution.

Researcher Beware

Brad Pitt's 3rd great-grandparents are Elijah Boyd Hillhouse and Ann Gibson. In her book Finding Your Famous {& Infamous} Ancestors, in a section titled Researcher Beware (pp. 190-192), Rhonda McClure points out some mistakes she made by accepting erroneous death dates found online for Elijah Hillhouse and his wife Ann Gibson. She then goes on to explain how she discovered the error and corrected the dates using his will. She gives what she believes was the corrected information in an ahnentafel chart on page 195.

Ironically in correcting the mistake for Elijah Hillhouse, Rhonda goes on to make another mistake, this time with regards to the death date of Ann Gibson. It turns out that Rhonda's original death date for Ann Gibson was in fact correct. When correcting the erroneous death date for Elijah, she also changed the correct death date for Ann to an incorrect date. In fixing one error, she caused another.

Elijah Hillhouse's will, written August 26, 1895, mentions a wife named Ann. The original death date given by Rhonda McClure for Ann Gibson was September 1859 prior to the will being written. Rhonda apparently assumed that Ann was still alive when he made the will which would make the original date she found incorrect. But the Ann mentioned in the will was Elijah's second wife.

In another twist of irony and in partial defense of Rhonda McClure, this second wife was also named Ann Gibson, an apparent cousin to Eliijah's first wife of the same name. The census records should have tipped Rhonda off that something was amiss. The 1860 census shows Elijah without a wife and the wife Ann who appears in the 1870 census is younger than the first Ann. The tombstones for each of Elijah Hillhouse's wives have the following inscription on them, "Wife of E. B. Hillhouse."

False Claim

There have been a number of sources recently, including one television program, that have claimed that Brad Pitt is related to Kevin Bacon as both are said to be descendants of King Henry II of England. While Brad Pitt's descendancy from King Henry II appears to be legitimate, Kevin Bacon's does not.

Kevin Bacon's connection to King Henry II is said to go through his 7th great-grandmother Ann, wife of Judge William Budd who was born about 1649 and resided in New Jersey. Ann is said by some researchers to have been the daughter of John Claypoole (also Claypole) and one of his two wives. Some give his first wife Elizabeth Cromwell as Ann's mother, and others give his second wife Mrs. Blanche Stavely as her mother. I have found two sources that at first would seem to back up this claim.

The first source is the publication Budd Family (1940)

edited by Alexander Du Bin. On page 8 we find the following statement, "Judge William Budd, married Ann Claypoole, born 1654, died Sept. 1722, of the noted English family of that name.

The second source is the book The Claypoole Family in America, Vol. 1 (1971) by Evelyn Claypool Bracken. Ms. Bracken lists the children of John Claypoole and his wives on page 10. For John and Elizabeth she list the following children: Cromwell, Henry, Oliver, and Martha. She adds the comment, "all died without issue." For John and Blanche she gives the list of their children as John, Bridget, Ann, and Elizabeth.

Although the evidence is thin, it is easy to see why the two sources above might lead one to believe that Ann is a daughter of John Claypoole and his second wife Blanche. Unfortunately a little further investigation reveals a problem with this claim.

There is a series of volumes published by the Oxford University Press known as the Dictionary of National Biography by George Smith. On page 468 in volume IV of the 1908 edition, the children of John Claypoole and Elizabeth Cromwell are listed as Cromwell (died MAY 1678 unmarried), Henry (predeceased his brother), Oliver (died June 1658), and Martha (died January 1664). The list is followed by the comment that "none left issue." So it appears we can rule out Ann as being the daughter of Elizabeth Cromwell.

On page 469 of the same book we find the comment, "He [John Claypoole] married a second time, in June 1670, Blanche, widow of Lancelot Stavely, by whom he had one daughter Bridget." Contrary to what appears in The Claypoole Family in America, this would appear to rule out Bridget as Ann's mother, not only for the reason her only daughter was named Bridget, but also the date of their marriage in June 1670 would indicate Ann was about ten years old when she married and had her first child with Judge William Budd.

So unless other evidence come to light, there appears to be no choice but to rule out Ann Budd as a daughter of John Claypoole through either of his two wives. This would also rule out any connection of Brad Pitt to Keven Bacon through King Henry II.

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. cannot and does not guarantee the accuracy and reliability of these sources.