Rachel Dolezal has no genealogical claim whatsoever that she is black, going back through the last four centuries, an investigation by Daily Mail Online has revealed.
The woman who sparked a national debate on race has no black relatives dating back to 1671; in fact her family were entirely white including some who were Mormons.
Archives show that Rachel’s ancestors came to the US from Europe and have no bloodlines linking them to slaves or Africa.
Even a great grandmother who has almost identical features to Rachel was identified as white in two census documents.
Our reporters commissioned Massachusetts-based genealogist Elizabeth Banas to look into Rachel’s past to see if her heritage was indeed as her parents described.
Ruthanne and Larry Dolezal, from Troy, Montana, said in interviews that Rachel was a mixture of Swedish, German and Czech heritage with a little Native American.
Roots: Rachel Dolezal has no black relatives dating back to 1671; in fact her family were entirely white including some who were Mormons. Her appearance as a black woman now belies the way way she looked as a teenager
Uncanny resemblance: The most arresting image from archived material is that of great grandmother Addie Catherine Bunt. She bears a striking similarity to Dolezal and the two share the same features, the same broad nose, wide set eyes and identical smile. But Bunt was identified as white in the 1920 census for Shoshone, Iowa at the age of 11 and the 1940 census when she was 21. She married LaVerne Mussell
Jacob Mussell was Rachel ‘s great great-grandfather, the father of Jules LaVerne Mussell
Our findings support their claims and show that Rachel has no black lineage even though she has defined herself as African American in her job applications.
Miss Banas said: ‘I did not see anything in the records to indicate a connection to an African bloodline’.
The family of Rachel, 37, the former head of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the NAACP, have accused her of lying about her race since at least 2007.
She is also accused of making up hate crimes against her in an apparent attempt to bolster her identity as a civil rights campaigner.
Our investigation into her ancestry shows that everyone in her family has been identified as white in numerous entries in the US census and other archived material.
The most arresting image from archived material is that of Addie Catherine Bunt, who was born on June 22 1908 in Ontario, Oregon.
She bears a striking similarity to Rachel Dolezal even though she was born in 1908, 69 years before her great granddaughter.
The two share the same features, the same broad nose, wide set eyes and identical smile.
But Bunt was identified as white in the 1920 census for Shoshone, Iowa at the age of 11 and the 1940 census when she was 21.
Bunt married a man called Jules LaVerne Mussell in March 1927 in Caldwell, Idaho and had eight children with him.
John Wordrut Bunt husband of Sarah Anne Taylor third great-grandfather. He was the son of Mormon William
She eventually lived until the age of 101 and died in Caldwell in March 2011.
Rachel’s family tree shows that her father’s side are the Boomers; her third great grandfather was John A Boomer, who the 1871 census of Canada shows was originally of Dutch origin, as was his wife Mary.
The Dolezals are also her father’s line and her second great-grandparents are Mary Kohout, who was born July 1874 in Bohemia, which is now part of the Czech Republic.
Another great-grandparent was called Marie (unknown surname) and was born around 1863 in Germany.
On her mother’s side, Rachel’s roots in Europe run deep.
Her maternal great grandfather Max Schertel was born around 1880 in Germany.
He married a lady called Anna – her maiden name is not known – who was born in 1877 in Sweden.
Miss Bana’s investigations also revealed that some of Rachel’s other relatives called Eliza and William Bunt were Mormons.
Eliza Bunt was baptized a member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in June 1802 in Fayette County, Kentucky.
William had already been baptised the year before in Kentucky by a man called George Hall.
Speaking to Daily Mail Online, Miss Banas said: ‘Rachel’s story really is an American story and some of her ancestors were pioneers who lived in Oregon.
‘They were immigrants who came to the US, they farmed the land and lived a life that we think of when we talk about the early times in the US when our country was new.
Woman identified as Eliza Ann Turner wife of William Bunt and fourth great-grandparents of Rachel. Miss Bana’s investigations also revealed that Eliza and William Bunt were Mormons
‘There was absolutely nothing showing a black lineage, there was no one described as African.
Miss Banas added that she did not find any trace of Native American blood in Rachel’s family but she did not rule it out.
One possibility was that before the Civil War some of the Bunts lived near Native Americans and that an aunt or a cousin may have married one of them.
Miss Banas said: ‘I didn’t find anything to be ashamed of. If I met her I would say: ‘What’s wrong with being white?’
‘There’s nothing wrong with her background. We are not talking about finding Nazi criminals or anything like that…
‘…I have a hard time understanding what she did.
‘There are a lot of things that you can change about yourself but you can’t change your ancestors’.
A 1920 census from Killdeer, North Dakota, showing Sam and Huldah Rhoades, Rachel Dolezal’s second great grandparents.
Draft card of George Allen Boomer, Rachel Dolezal’s second great grandfather
1850 census from Lockridge, Iowa showing mention of William and Eliza Bunt, Rachel Dolezal’s fourth great grandparents.
Canadian census showing record of John Boomer, Rachel Dolezal’s third great grandfather, in 1871
In interviews Rachel has claimed that her racial identity is more complicated than just the way that she looks and that in her eyes she is black.
However amid the row on Monday she was forced to resign her post in charge of the Spokane NAACP, less than a week after her charade was exposed.
She said that she did so ‘with complete allegiance to the cause of racial and social justice and the NAACP’.
She also claimed that ;separation of family and organizational outcomes is in the best interest of the NAACP’.
But she did not mention the effect her story had had on her parents who have claimed she is trying to ‘destroy her biological family’.
Ruthanne and Larry have said that she is responsible for a sexual abuse case which was brought against her elder brother Joshua, 39, an English professor.
In an interview Ruthanne said that of all her daughter’s ‘malicious fabrications this is definitely the worst’.
After assuming a black identity Rachel got a fine art master’s degree from the historically black Howard University, though she later sued them for discriminating against her for being white.
Rachel married and divorced a black man and is currently an adjunct professor in the Africana Studies program at Eastern Washington University.
In a speech posted to YouTube she even gave a talk on the history of black hairstyles and wears her her in an African American style.