Clint Eastwood Jr.'s Genealogy

"Talking to the writer, Clint [Eastwood] stressed the lack of grandeur in his background.
"My dad was Scots-English; my mother's Dutch-Irish. Strange combination.
 All the pirates and people who were kicked out of every place else."

In other words, there are no Eastwoods in the Society of Mayflower Descendants. It is sometimes Clint's pleasure to slightly overemphasize his lack of early promise..." Schickel, page 19

*Update from author, Steve Eastwood
The above quote by Eastwood to his friend and biographer, Richard Schickel, might have been what Clint said, and he meant well, however, it's inaccurate on several counts. My genealogic research of Clint's maternal ancestry shows that his mother's lineage does have both Dutch & Irish members, but her direct lineage couldn't be more English/American, tracing directly back to Gov. William Bradford, the first leader of the famed "Pilgrims", upon landing at Plymouth Rock.

As per Clint's Dad being Scots-English, this is something my Father had always told me as well (adding Irish to the mix). I too, accepted this "Eastwood Myth" until my interest in genealogy  was aroused and I found no evidence to support it. I'm pretty sure we (Clint, myself, and respective family members, our parents, etc.) based our facts on an entry from Asa Eastwood's diary, written back in the mid 1800's, now housed at the Syracuse University Library - Special Collections Research Center. Asa mention's our first American ancestor, Richard Eastwood, as well, so I'm sure he was talking about the earliest  history of the English Eastwoods going back to Anglo Saxon times.

Clint takes pleasure in emphasizing the lack of grandeur in his heritage. True, Clint was raised, as was I, by hard working, middle class parents who provided all the essentials necessary to raise an educated, healthy, motivated family with a sound ethical background. Granted, neither Clint nor myself were meeting young society ladies at Debutante Balls, much less driving a Mercedes Benz to high school. However, we both were fortunate enough to have loving parents who provided all the essentials required to raise children equipped to face the future with a sound, spiritual, outlook. I'm sure Clint would whole-heartedly agree with this assessment. But, let's return to our Eastwood ancestors.

"All the pirates and people who were kicked out of every place else."  I laughed at the irony of this statement. Our last common ancestor, Asa Eastwood (1781-1870), together with both his older brother, John and younger brother, Enos, served on the United States' very first warship, the famed frigate USS CONSTELLATION which aggressively defended America's right of safe passage on the seas for US merchant ships. Their participation in the US's naval victories in the Barbary Wars with Tripoli (1801), and many battles against piracy in the Caribbean Sea, served notice to the world that the United States would defend her honor and freedom at all costs. - So much for Clint's claim to pirate ancestors. In fact, the three "Eastwood Boys"  were the United States' first "pirate hunters".

"...people who were kicked out of every place else." Once again, I have to take issue with cousin Clint's claim. My DNA test results, proved conclusively what Asa Eastwood had claimed in his diary in the 1800's, we are direct descendants of Richard Eastwood, the first known Eastwood in America. In 1642, Richard, together with his wife Elizabeth (both barely 20 years old), braved over four and a half months on the open seas to immigrate from England to the first English colony in America, Jamestown. Upon arrival to the "New World" (May 22, 1642), they acquired 400 acres of choice farmland on Indian Creek a western branch of the Nansamund River, in what would soon become Norfolk County, in the State of Virginia. The grants had been issued by the colony's new Government. If that isn't enough to debunk Clint's claim to ancestral riff-raff, I might go further back in our ancestry to Eastwoods before the colonization of America. Clint stated that his Eastwood ancestors were Scots-English, which is what my father, Robert B. Eastwood (great grandson of Asa), had told me, as well. Since it is impossible for Clint and myself to have different Eastwood ancestors prior to Asa Eastwood (1781-1870), I intend to diligently research the possibilities of a Scottish heritage.

My dad also included Irish when discussing our heritage. At this point in time, I have yet to locate any Scottish ancestors, but I have uncovered a line of English Eastwoods which migrated to Ireland in the mid 1600's. John Eastwood, originally from Nottinghamshire, England, settled with his family in Louth County, Ireland. He established his residence, built Castletown Castle, and eventually became the Mayor of Dublin, Ireland in 1658. I'm not certain if we are descendents of that line, but no indications of a degenerate lineage. SORRY CLINT!

"It isn't quite true, as Richard Schickel wrote, that 'there are no Eastwoods in the Society of Mayflower Descendants', although that nicely burnishes the aura of an underdog. The first paternal forebear arrived in America early in the seventeenth century, and Eastwoods were among the early pioneers heading West. Originally, Yankees, Puritans and Easterners, family relations spread out and pushed into New York, Ohio, Michigan, Virginia, Illinois, Louisiana, Kansas, Colorado, Nevada, California and Alaska... They chartered new towns, erected prairie churches, held local office, wore peacekeeping badges..."
from: McGilligan, pages 2-3:

ANOTHER UPDATE FROM STEVE EASTWOOD
"...there are no Eastwoods in the Society of Mayflower Descendants
 -
Well, that statement might be true - See "The Mayflower Compact"
However, Clint's maternal genealogy not only directly links him to "The Mayflower", it links him to the #1 man himself, Gov. William Bradford. I have seen numerous references to this fact, but never anything conclusive. Armed with my growing knowledge of genealogy, I decided to devote some time to get to the bottom of this "ancestral legend". Once again, with apologies to Clint's reference to  "all the pirates and people who were kicked out of every place else.", what I discovered really debunks all his claims to a scurrilous ancestry. The Ahnentafel of Clint's mother shows much more than Clint's ancestral line to the Mayflower. He also has ancestors in common (James Morgan and Margery Hill) with England's King Henry I, the late Princess of Wales (Lady Diana), including the likely future King of England (either Prince William or Prince Harry).*
*
see The Royal Descents of 500 Immigrants to the American Colonies or the United States Who Were Themselves Notable or Left Descendants Notable in American History [2002 ed.], p. 657) by Anthony Hoskins (see also TAG 72 [1997]: 15-19). Intertwined are connections to some of America's most aristocratic families. Included on the list are the Kelloggs, the Bartholomew Family, and names like Hull, Parsons, the Halls, Lathrop, Smith, Steele and many other prominent, established New England families. Once again, I can only state that, not only is Clint not descended from lower class misfits, contrary to his upbringing, his maternal ancestors are among America's most elite families.
 OOPS! SORRY AGAIN, COUSIN!

"[Clinton Eastwood Junior] ... is the son of Clinton Eastwood Sr. (whose mid-Atlantic Eastwood descent is traceable for six generations) and Margaret Ruth Runner, daughter of Waldo Errol Runner and Virginia May McClanahan."

* Author's Note: The above statement from the official biography of Clint Eastwood, was accurate up until last year. However, things have changed since then. I'm in the fortunate position of being more than just a novice genealogist tracing Clint Eastwood's lineage. As Clint's third cousin (one time removed), and especially, a male Eastwood descendent, a test of my DNA (12 match test Family Ancestry # 58304) enabled long time Eastwood genealogists to establish our direct link to America's first Eastwood, Richard (1620 - Mar 6, 1691), thereby making our traceable lineage double from six generations to twelve. I plan to diligently continue to pursue (both through historical research and DNA examination) Eastwood genealogy back many more generations, hopefully through early Anglo Saxon times. This new information establishes that, despite the fact that Clint downplays his Eastwood heritage, the family has indeed established itself in America at a level that follows its proud English roots.
That noted, The author (Steven Eastwood) has devoted quite a bit of time and energy to verify the validity of his maternal heritage. Again, as stated in Schickel's fine biography:  "In other words, there are no Eastwoods in the Society of Mayflower Descendants. It is sometimes Clint's pleasure to slightly overemphasize his lack of early promise..." Schickel, page 19. Though it is accurate to state that no Eastwoods are in the "Society of Mayflower Descendents", they instead played a prominent role in establishing America's first English Colony in Jamestown, Virginia. As for the famed Pilgrim settlement in New England, Clint's maternal line is directly traceable not only to the "Society of Mayflower Descendents", but, I put forth the following pedigree showing that Clinton Eastwood Jr. is the 10th great grandson of Gov. William Bradford, himself, the first Pilgrim leader. Not only is that a shocking bit of historical information, his maternal line is also entwined in the family histories of both presidents George, and George W. Bush, as well as US Presidents Rutherford B. Hayes and Grover Cleveland. To add to that, he also has maternal ancestors (James Morgan and Margery Hill) with a likely royal descent, linked to the late Princess of Wales, and Prince William and Prince Harry, the probable next King of England. * Please refer to:


With deference to Clint and his biographers, my research has shown conclusively that Clinton Eastwood Jr. is, no doubt, the closest descendent to "American Royalty" living today!

 

 Sorry, Clint! 

Whether you like it or not, you are indeed...

"America's Royalty"