Brad Pitt Family History


William Bradley Pitt, better known as the actor Brad Pitt, was born on December 18th, 1963 to William and Jane Pitt in Shawnee, Oklahoma.  His father ran a trucking company and his mother was a school counselor.

Soon after his birth, the family moved to Springfield, Missouri where Brad grew up and went to school.  He described Springfield as “Mark Twain country, Jesse James country, with a lot of hills and a lot of lakes.”

Brad enrolled in the University of Missouri in 1982.  As graduation approached, he did not feel ready to settle down. He loved films and, since films were not being made in Missouri, he decided to go to where they were made.  Two weeks short of completing the coursework for a degree, he left the university and moved to Los Angeles where he took acting lessons and worked odd jobs.

His acting career there began in 1987.  He got some recognition for the part he played in the 1991 road movie Thelma and Louise.  But his breakthrough role probably came in the 1994 film Legends of the Fall.  Since that time Brad Pitt has had star quality as an actor.

As a public figure, he has been cited as one of the most powerful and influential people in the American entertainment industry. For many years too, he was seen as the world’s most attractive man by various media outlets.

And his personal life has been the subject of wide publicity. He is divorced from two well-known actresses, Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie.  The divorce from Angelina Jolie was particularly painful.  They were known as Brangelina and had six children, three of their own and three adopted.

Pitts in Virginia and North Carolina

During an interview on Inside the Actors Studio in 2012, Brad Pitt said that his ancestry was “probably Irish-Scots, Germans who settled in the area, and Native American Indian.  I know we have some Seminole and some Cherokee Indian in us.”

All this may be true in a way.  But the records suggest, at least on his paternal side, that England is the main origin of his forefathers.  The line here goes back from Oklahoma to Texas and Alabama and then further back to North Carolina and Virginia.

The Virginia line could have led all the way back to Colonel Robert Pitt, an English merchant from Bristol who arrived in 1637 and purchased land in Isle of Wight county.  His youngest son Henry, born in Virginia in 1645, might – as some genealogies have suggested – have been the forebear of later Pitts, including the John Pitts who was born in Frederick county (now part of West Virginia) in or around 1700.  However, the dates here do seem to be wrong.

John’s son Andrew Pitts married Martha Stroud in 1750.  They were Quakers and lived near the town of Charlestown in Frederick county.  Around 1755 they moved to Rowan county in the northeast part of North Carolina where other Quakers had congregated.  Andrew died in 1772 and Martha outlived him by more than fifty years.  Two of their sons Samuel and Jonathan remained in North Carolina; whilst the youngest Andrew departed with his family to Indiana in 1809.

How long the Pitts remained Quakers is unclear.  Jonathan Pitts lived in Guilford county, another area for Quaker settlement.  And his son James Pitts married his second wife Rebecca Moore at the Deep River Friends Meetinghouse in Guilford county in 1828.  But his son William moved away in 1841, marrying his wife Cynthia in Alabama and changing the family name from Pitts to Pitt.  Perhaps the Quaker connection went at that time as well.

Later Pitts

After almost a century in North Carolina, these Pitts moved around a lot in the next seventy years before coming to Oklahoma:

  • William and Cynthia made their home in Jasper, Alabama in the 1840’s
  • they had gone onto Fannin county, Texas by the time of the 1870 census
  • their son Thomas, born in Alabama, married his second wife Bell Ray in Arkansas in 1888 before returning to Texas.  They were in Springhill, Louisiana by the time of the 1910 census.
  • meanwhile their youngest son Oliver Pitt, born in Texas in 1891, moved with his parents to Louisiana.  He married his wife Rosie Dorris in Arkansas in 1911 and migrated to Oklahoma where their son Alvin was born in 1913.

Oklahoma had only opened up for land settlement in 1889 with its famous Land Run.  By 1907 the territory had been accepted into American statehood and Oliver and Rosie were to arrive there five years later.

Oliver farmed for a while in Oklahoma and then moved back to Springhill, Louisiana where he died in 1973.  His son Alvin, Brad’s grandfather, died before him in Alabama in 1959. Alvin’s son Bill, Brad’s father, was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma in 1941, as was Brad himself in 1963.

Brad Pitt’s Family Tree  

  • John Pitts from Virginia (1700-1738) m. Elizabeth Gardner (1700-1749)
  • – Andrew Pitts (1725-1772)
  • – John Pitts (b. 1730) m. Ann
  • Andrew Pitts from Virginia m. Martha Stroud (1730-1823) in 1750
  • – Elizabeth Pitts (1750-1815) m. Thomas Knight
  • – Mary Pitts (1752-1826) m. Richard Harrold
  • – Samuel Pitts (1754-1813) m. Elizabeth Jones
  • – Jonathan Pitts (1756-1849)
  • – Andrew Pitts (1759-1845) m. Margaret Braxton
  • Jonathan Pitts from North Carolina m. Amelia Crutchfield (1759-1813) in 1790
  • – James Pitts (1791-1855)
  • – Henry Pitts (1796-1859) m. Susanna Payne
  • – Andrew Pitts (b. 1797) m. Elizabeth Johnson
  • – John Pitts (1798-1897) m. Sarah Rogers
  • – Amelia (Milly) Pitts (b. 1799) m. Jesse Crutchfield
  • James Pitts from North Carolina m. Sarah Baldwin (1793-1826); rem. Rebecca Moore (1803-1873) in 1828
  • – Elizabeth Pitts (1816-1903) m. William Henley
  • – William Pitts (1818-1889)
  • – Jesse (Jim) Pitts (1829-1908) m. Miriam
  • – Mary Pitts (1830-1902)
  • – Sarah Pitts (b. 1832) m. Alfred Hedgecock
  • – Samuel Pitts (1833-1920) m. Cemilda Fawcett
  • William Pitts from North Carolina m. Cynthia Parker (1819-1890) in Alabama in 1841
  • – John Pitt (1841-1889) m. Nicy Jame Dickerson
  • – Elizabeth Pitt (1846-1902)
  • – Thomas Pitt (1848-1920)
  • – Cynthia Pitt (1854-1909) m. Joseph Gann
  • Thomas Pitt from Alabama m. Margaret Mahan (1848-1880); rem. Bell Ray (1854-1936) in Arkansas in 1888
  • – William Pitt (1872-1931) m. Mary Wade
  • – Charles Pitt (1875-1960)
  • – Georgia Pitt (1877-1965) m. Mr. Stone
  • – John Pitt (b. 1880)
  • – Oliver Pitt (1891-1973)
  • Oliver Brown (O.B.) Pitt from Texas m. Rosa Lee (Rosie) Dorris (1892-1973) in Arkansas in 1911
  • – Alvin Pitt (1913-1959)
  • Alvin Monroe Pitt from Oklahoma (1913-1959) m. Elizabeth (Betty) Brown (1923-1956) in Kentucky in 1940
  • – William (Bill) Pitt (1941-2008)
  • William Pitt from Oklahoma m. Jane Hillhouse (b. 1941) in Missouri in 1962
  • – Brad Pitt (b. 1963)
  • – Douglas Pitt (b. 1966)
  • – Julie Pitt (b. 1968) m. Rob Neal
  • Brad Pitt from Oklahoma m. Jennifer Aniston in Los Angeles in 2000 (divorced in 2005); and rem. Angelina Jolie in France in 2014 (divorced in 2019)
  • – Shiloh Jolie-Pitt (b. 2006)
  • – Knox and Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, twins (b. 2008)
  • – and three adopted children – Maddox (b. 2001), Pax (b. 2004) and Zahara (b. 2005).



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Written by Colin Shelley

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