Hollywood star’s link to the Dales

Halle Berry
Halle Berry

She’s an award-winning superstar, a former fashion model and was even a Bond girl - but did you know Halle Berry has Dales connections?

As her new film The Call hits cinema screens this week we have taken a look back at the Hollywood A-listers’ ancestry records which show her relatives led much humbler lives as Derbyshire farmers, brass makers and shopkeepers.

Berry was born in Cleveland, Ohio to a white mother and black father and her roots are split between Derbyshire on her mother’s maternal side and Ohio on her mother’s paternal side.

The star’s maternal grandmother, Nellie Dicken, was born in Sawley.

Her great-grandfather Henry Dicken lived in Chesterfield while her great-great grandparents Robert Dicken and Ann Dicken lived in Wingerworth and farmed 62 acres in the area.

Her great-great grandmother on the other side was Ann Marsden from Wirksworth, living in the Market Place. The family were shopkeepers and braziers - making brass objects.

Digging even deeper in to Berry’s ancestors, her great-great-great grandparents were braziers and ironmongers in Wirksworth and records going back to the 1841 British Census shows the actress’s family lived in Wash Green and Coldwell Street in Wirksworth working as stone masons, tailors, straw bonnet makers, house maids and braziers.

Local resident Michelle Levick said she was researching her own family tree - and may be related to Berry.

She added: “I came across this when I was searching my own Dicken family ancestry. Unfortunately my great-great grandad Dicken turned out to be a bit of a character!

“Mine were on Chatsworth Road and then back to Matlock, I do think that she had an ancestor round Brampton and that’s how I came across her, I’m still researching but found my great-great granddad in the Derbyshire Times in the 1860s for being a burglar.

“I found out by him being in Dartmoor in the 1871 census, he was Willam Dicken.”

“I have found out that I’m related to Hilary Clinton though when I went to Beamish Museum to view some jugs belonging to a four times great aunt, she had married John Rodham who is an ancester of Hilary Rodham Clinton,” she said.