Prince Harry's American fiancee has ties to Chattanooga
Meghan Markle was born and raised in Los Angeles, but Channel 3 learned her ancestors are from the South.
There's still plenty of buzz about the latest royal engagement.
Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle are set to get married Saturday, May 19th.
Meghan Markle was born and raised in Los Angeles, but Channel 3 has learned her ancestors are from the South.
“It's Doria who has the Chattanooga connection,” said Mary Helms, Historian at the downtown Public Library. “So from there, we find her father and her mother.”
Meghan Markle's mother is Doria Ragland. Doria is the daughter of Ava Burrow Ragland who was a kindergarten teacher for Hamilton County schools at Normal Park and Woodmore Elementary from 1991-1993.
Doria's father, Meghan grandfather, Alvin Ragland was born in Chattanooga during the 1930s. Alvin's parents and their family lived on Terrace Street and Maple Court.
Meghan’s great-grandfather worked as a bag handler at the Northern Hotel. The hotel is now the home of the Mountain City Club.
“I think it shows that she came from very nice people here in Chattanooga,” said Mary Helms. “They were hard working and she can be proud of what they did.”
The Ragland family moved to Chattanooga from central Georgia. Mary Helms a historian at the public library found all this information within two hours. She traced Meghan’s lineage all the way back to her third great-grandfather. Helms says with a little bit more time she could have found even more about the Ragland family.
“The census in Georgia to look for him there and find information about where he lived and what he did in Georgia,” said Mary Helms.
Helms did the search by using the United States census and Ancestry.com.
Steve R. Ragland is the great-grandfather of Markle he married Louise "Lois" Russell in 1929. Steve was working as a presser at a cleaning shop in Chattanooga early in the couple's marriage.
Jeremiah Ragland was the father of Steve and his siblings. He was born in Jonesboro, Georgia, in 1881, then brought his family to Chattanooga.
Jeremiah married Claudia Ritchie, who was also from Jonesboro. Her parents were Ritchie and Mattie Turnipseed.
Claudia worked as a maid at Miller Brothers. She died in 1939. Jeremiah Ragland passed away in 1944.
Both are buried with unmarked graves in the overgrown Greenhill Cemetery in the Shepherd community.