Many know that Katy Perry was born as Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson and assumed her mother's maiden name of Perry for her stage name, but here are 10 things you probably didn't know about her past:
- The Perry branch of her family is of Portuguese origin (more specifically, Azorean) and she's also part Irish, German and English. Surnames adorning her family tree include Blank, Brace, Craig, Denis, Flemming, Hudson, Perry and Vilsack.
- One of her great-grandmothers wrote a book called The Unpardonable Sin. Not a bad name and theme for a song, eh?
- Katy's family seems to have a bit of an enchantment with England and the English. Relatives from different branches traveled there for leisure in 1910 and 1930, and when Katy married Russell Brand, she was following in her mother's footsteps in the sense that her mother's first marriage was to an Englishman.
- Her Perry grandfather survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake when just a baby. His big brother recalled the city being in flames while they evacuated with all their possessions in a cart.
- Her father's side of the family is decidedly Southern with roots in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Kentucky, but she also has roots in New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont.
- This great-great-grandfather of Katy's began life as a brewer before moving into the steel and banking industries. The family mausoleum leaves no doubt that he made serious money.
- Three of her great-great-grandparents hailed from the Azores and it's Horta that gets the bragging rights for her Perry origins.
- A great-great-grandfather of hers served the Union in the Civil War before settling into a career as the proprietor of a steam laundry back at a time when that probably seemed rather futuristic.
- Katy's family wasn't the kind to let moss grow under their feet. One of her 4th great-grandmothers gave birth to five children in Alabama, six more in Kentucky, and then made it an even dozen with one more in Tennessee.
- Being of half Irish heritage myself, I know that the Irish like to claim their own, so I'll conclude by pointing out that Katy's closest link to the auld sod is a great-great-grandmother who journeyed all the way from Eyrecourt, County Galway to California.
Buyer Beware Postscript: Some of you may have spotted this blog that's recently cropped up by someone purporting to be genealogist to the stars. Normally, I wouldn't trouble to point this out, but a quick check revealed that there's no one of this name in the state of California and this "character" has started selling celebrities' family trees and offering gift cards for information she's unable to find on her own. My earlier research into Katy Perry's family tree also made it easy to see that most of what this person wrote about Ms. Perry's ancestry is simply wrong. With shows such as Who Do You Think You Are? and Faces of America causing interest in celebrity roots to explode, such money-making schemes are bound to emerge, but please don't be fooled. Check with resources such as the Association of Professional Genealogists, request credentials or references, or ask other genealogists whether they've ever heard of the individual.