Beyonce‘s family tree has revealed that her great-great-great grandmother was a slave who married a wealthy white merchant.
The 36-year-old star in a recent interview with Vogue said she has been delving a little deeper into her past and is amazed at her incredible heritage.
“I researched my ancestry recently and learned I come from a slave owner who fell in love with and married a slave.”
Beyoncé’s ancestors lived in Louisiana, in America’s Deep South, where a brutal slave trade was rife for almost 150 years before it was abolished in 1865.
According to the Daily Mail, US records show Beyonce’s great-great-great grandmother Rosalie Jean Louis, born in 1800, was a black slave who married wealthy white American merchant Joseph Lacey.
The newspaper reports that historical records don’t confirm whether or not he owned slaves, as the Crazy In Love singer suggests.
In 1830 Rosalie Jean Louis and Joseph Lacey had a daughter named Celestine Josephine Lacey, who was known to the family as “Tine”.
A picture of her as a young woman shows her wearing a finely embroidered dress with scalloped sleeves and a tiny cinched waist.
Beyonce’s great-great grandmother Celestine Josephine Lacey went on to become the life-long mistress of a married man of French descent named Eloi Rene Rosemond Broussard, according to the report.
Broussard ran a thriving sugar plantation where 331,000 slaves worked – four years before abolition in Louisiana.
He had married a local girl named Rose Herbert in 1845 when he was aged 24 and the pair had two children.
Tine was employed as the family’s housekeeper but would later become Broussard’s lover – and have 13 of his children, including Beyonce’s great-grandmother Odelia.
According to U.S. genealogist Christophe Landry, who uncovered the illicit liaison, the couple never married but Broussard was acknowledged as the natural father on their birth.
He also attended church ceremonies for all of his kids, including their weddings, where he formally stated he was their dad.
Broussard died in 1904 aged 79 as the woman listed in census records as his “servant” survived him.
Tine passed away two years after the 1920 census listed her as a single woman, aged 90, living in Iberia, Louisiana.
She left behind 10 children, including Odelia who had gone onto marry self-employed farmer Eugene Deréon.
The couple lived in Vermilion, LA, and had 18 children, although two sadly passed away.
They were both listed in US records as “mulatto” – a term used at the time to describe those with one black parent and one white parent.
Their youngest child, Agnéz Deréon, born in 1909, went onto become a famed seamstress and her second marriage would see her give birth to seven children, including Beyonce’s mum Tina.
Agnéz’s business was doing well so she moved her family to Galveston, Texas, and sent her kids to private school.
Tina went on to become a fashion designer and named her line House of Dereon, honouring her mother’s maiden name.
She married Bey’s talent manager dad Mathew Knowles, who have another talented daughter – singer Solange.
In her chat with Vogue, Beyonce says it took a lot of time to “process that revelation” but she is coming to terms with finding out about her slave ancestry.
Beyonce’s family tree photo: