Perche, region of emigration
to Quebec in the 17th century
Perche, region of emigration to Quebec in the 17th century

Ancestry of Madonna

When Madonna came to Quebec in 1987 for the «Who's That Girl Tour», she revealed that her mother was French-American. Suddenly, genealogists started researches. "It took more than two years mainly because Michigan has no marriage registers like in Quebec" explains René Jetté. This Canadian professor from Montreal University, author of a dictionary of the families of Quebec that makes authority, made team with an American colleague Gail F. Moreau-DesHarnais. They published in 1994 the fruit of their research in the magazine Michigan's Habitant Heritage, Journal of the French-Canadian Heritage Society of Michigan from which the following family tree is extracted.

French Canadian descent

Madonna talks about her French direct ancestor, Julien Fortin, in the French TV show "La chanson numero 1" broadcasted on France 2, June 8, 2003

Madonna Louise Ciccone (a.k.a. Madonna) was born on August 16, 1958 in Bay City, Michigan, located near the base of the Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron. She was the third of six children in a Catholic family.

Her father, Silvio Anthony Ciccone (a.k.a. Tony), was an Italian American design engineer for Chrysler/General Dynamics. He has his roots in L'Aquila in the Abruzzo region (Italy). He married a French Canadian descent, Madonna Louise Fortin, on July 2, 1955 in Bay City. The family lived in a small brick house in Pontiac, Michigan.

Madonna’s mother died of breast cancer in 1963 when Madonna was five years old. A few years later, her father married their housekeeper Joan Gustafson and had two more children.

Willard and Elsie Fortin, the maternal grandparents of Madonna, are direct descendants of Julien Fortin dit Bellefontaine, the first Fortin who settled in New France in 1650. He was from the parish Notre-Dame-de-Vair, today part of the village Saint-Cosme-en-Vairais (Sarthe, France). 90% of the American Fortin descend from Julien Fortin. The Fortins are today the ninth largest family in Quebec.

Ethnic breakdown of Madonna’s ancestry

Ethnic breakdown of Madonna’s ancestry
The ethnic breakdown of Madonna’s ancestry is:
50% Italy on the father's side
50% France (through Quebec) on the mother's side

French-Canadian ancestry of Madonna

French-Canadian ancestry of Madonna has explored the French-Canadian ancestry of Madonna. See details here.

Click to enlarge

From Perche (France) to Michigan...

Elsie Fortin, Madonna's grand-mother

Elsie Fortin (1911-2011)

Madonna’s grandmother, Elsie Fortin, has died on Wednesday, March 8, 2011. She was just three months away from turning 100 years old.

Fortin lived in on North Dean Street in Bay City where she passed away. She was born in Standish, Michigan. She married a distant cousin William Fortin in November of 1929. She had eight children, 36 grandchildren, 47 great grandchildren, and 6 great-great grandchildren. To read her full obituary, click here.

The single patronym FORTIN of Madonna's maternal grandparents covers two parallel adventures of French-Canadian immigrants to Michigan at the end of the 19th century. At that time, it was hard to find a job for the French-speaking Canadians and many tried their chance in the West.

Both branches of Fortin who settled in Michigan had the same origin in Quebec. In the early 18th century, Louis Fortin got married for the first time with Anne Bossé at Cap-Saint-Ignace in 1714. They gave birth to Claude Fortin, ancestor of the maternal grandmother of Madonna, Elsie Fortin.

In 1735, Louis Fortin got married for the second time with Madeleine Langelier; their son, Augustin Fortin, is the ancestor of Willard Fortin, the maternal grandfather of Madonna.

This Louis Fortin is the grandson of the first Fortin who arrived in 1650 in New France: Julien Fortin born in the parish Notre-Dame-de-Vair, part of the village Saint-Cosme-en-Vairais, (Sarthe, FRANCE) today.

Madonna, a cousin of Celine Dion, Justin Bieber, Justin Trudeau, Hillary Clinton, Ryan Gosling, Angelina Jolie, Camilla Parker-Bowles...

Lady Gaga and Madonna cousins? has discovered that Madonna has many family ties with other celebrities in music (Celine Dion, Justin Bieber), politics (Hillary Clinton, Justin Trudeau), the film industry (Ryan Gosling, Angelina Jolie) and royalty (Camilla Parker-Bowles)! All those celebrities have in common French-Canadian pioneers, and in particular Percheron pioneers.

For instance, the Percheron pioneer Zacharie Cloutier, an ancestor of most of the celebrities mentioned before, who was born in Mortagne-au-Perche.

As strange as it may seem, there is nothing exceptional about those family ties. As the Percheron pioneers were among the very first French emigrants to settle in New France, most of North Americans with French-Canadian ancestry have Percheron blood and are more or less related.

Famous cousins of Madonna

Minimum number of family links
Famous cousins of Madonna
source & infographics
The Material Girl has many family ties with the famous descendants of those Percherons pioneers. has found out not less than:
 • 345 links with Justin Bieber
 • 315 links with Celine Dion
 • 268 links with Xavier Dolan
 • 188 links with Jack Kerouac
 • 157 links with Angelina Jolie
 • 144 links with Ryan Gosling
 • 76 links with Justin Trudeau
 • 45 links with Hillary Clinton
 • 32 links with Camilla Parker-Bowles
 • 20 links with Alanis Morissette

Cousin with Hillary Clinton

  • Hillary Clinton talks about her family links with Angelina Jolie and Madonna in The Ellen Degeneres Show (April 7, 2008).

The Percheron ancestors of Madonna

Besides Julien Fortin dit Bellefontaine, the direct ancestor of Madonna born in Saint-Cosme-en-Vairais, Madonna has many ancestors whose the origin is Perche. All immigrated in the 17th century. They came from the following villages (note that the ancestor pages are available in French only):

- Champs (Louis Guimond)
- Chemilly (Jules Trottier, Catherine Loiseau)
- Coulimer (Guillaume Fournier)
- Courgeon (Perrine Mallet)
- Dangeau (Jean Cordeau)
- Feings (Charlotte Chevalier, Nicolas Gaudry)
- Igé (Pierre Gagné)
- Mamers (Nicole Lemaire)
- Marolles-les-Braults (Pierre Voyer)
- Mortagne-au-Perche (François Belanger, the Bouchers, Jean Côté, Zacharie Cloutier, Xainte Dupont, Pierre Maheust, Mathurine Robin, Charles Turgeon)
- Moussonvilliers (Pierre-Denis Aloignon)
- Parfondeval (Jean Trudel)
- Le Pin-la-Garenne (Robert Drouin)
- La Poterie-au-Perche (Louise Goulet)
- Randonnai (Eloi Tavernier)
- Réveillon (Toussaint Giroux)
- Saint-Cosme-en-Vairais (Pierre Gagné, Louis Gagné dit Bellavance, Charles Pouliot)
- Saint-Germain-de-Loisé (Robert Boulay)
- Saint-Léonard-des-Parcs (Noël Langlois)
- Saint-Mard-de-Réno (Marin Chauvin)
- Saint-Maurice-lès-Charencey (René Letartre)
- Tourouvre (the Gagnons, Jean Guyon, Gabriel Rouleau, the Roussins)
- La Ventrouze (Pierre Gagnon, Robert Gagnon, the Lehoux, Marie Mesange, Renée Roger, Marguerite Tavernier)
- Verneuil-sur-Avre (Paul Bertrand)

Julien Fortin, the French maternal ancestor of Madonna

FORTIN N... (-)
FORTIN Simon (1575-1617)
FORTIN Julien ((e) 1599-1679)
LAVYE Marie (1601-1628)
FORTIN Julien dit Bellefontaine (1621 Notre-Dame-de-Vair - ~1690)
GAMACHE Geneviève (1636 Saint-Illiers-la-Ville - 1709 Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours L'Islet)

FORTIN Eustache ( ~1658-1736)
CLOUTIER Louise (1676-)
FORTIN Louis (1711-1788)
BLANCHET Marie Françoise (1709-1753)
FORTIN François (~1750-1780)
DANDURAND Marie Louise (1744-)
FORTIN Geneviève (~1780-)
FORTIN Charles Thomas (1656-1735)
CLOUTIER Xainte (~1661-1725)
FORTIN Louis (1690-1749)
1st marriage
BOSSE Marie Anne (1693-1734)
FORTIN Claude Joseph (~ 1712-1799)
METHOT Marie Jeanne (1724-1789)
FORTIN Joseph romain (~ 1750-)
DELISLE Marie Louise (~ 1755-)
FORTIN Joseph (1774-)
2nd marriage
LANGELIER Marie Madeleine (1707-)
FORTIN Augustin Magloire (1739-1800)
THIBAULT Marie Judith (1755-)
FORTIN Augustin (~ 1785-)
GAUDrEAU Marie-Euphrosine (1788-)
FORTIN Narcisse (~1825-)
RIOUX Félécité (~1820-)
FORTIN Narcisse (1860-1903)
LAJOIE rose (1869-)
FORTIN Willard (1903-1959)

FORTIN François (~ 1810-< 1855)
BLIER Marie Victoire (1814-)
FORTIN Henri Nazaire (1840->1900)
DANIEL Emilie (1845-1906)
FORTIN Henri Guillaume (1867-~1920)
DEMERS Marie-Louise (1875-1929)
FORTIN Elsie Mae (1911-2011)

FORTIN Madonna Louise (1932-1963)
Madonna's mother
CICCONE Silvio Anthony (1931-)
CICCONE Madonna Louise (1958)
Madonna, From France to Michigan

© 2017 - All rights reserved