Ancestry of Rita Hayworth

Compiled by Donald R. Hayworth - March 2005



Here is what is known about the ancestry of actress "Rita Hayworth", with a fair degree of certainty.  She was born on 12 October 1918 in Brooklyn, New York, and died on 14 May 1987 in New York.  At birth, she was named Margarita Carmen Cansino.  She was the daughter of Spanish-born dancer and nightclub owner Eduardo Cansino and Ziegfeld Follies showgirl, Volga Haworth.

"Rita and her mother, Volga"

She appeared in a few early films as "Rita Cansino" (16 films, years 1926 to 1737) until her first husband, who was also her agent, convinced her to change her stage name.  "Cansino" seemed to  ethic to him.  For her new stage name, they chose her mother's last name and a shortened form of her own first name; and "Margarita Cansino" became famous as "Rita Hayworth" (A total of 55 films during the years 1937 to 1972).

Please note that it is not certain whether the birth name of her mother, Volga, was Haworth or Hayworth, but that is not unusual with this surname.  Most sources seem to agree that her mother was born "Volga Hayworth", but Volga may have dropped the "y" from the spelling of the family name as her stage name.  It is certain that Volga's brother, Vinton, spelled his name "Hayworth" and their parents also spelled the family name "Hayworth".  Earlier generations used the spelling "Haworth".  It is also certain that Margarita Cansino chose the stage name of "Rita Hayworth" based upon her mother's maiden name.

Volga M. Hayworth was born on 8 August 1897 and died on 26 January 1945.  She was the daughter of Allyn (or Allynn) Duran Hayworth and Margaret E. O'Hare.  Allyn Duran Hayworth and Margaret O'Hare were married on 7 Jun 1893 in Washington DC.  It seems likely that Volga Hayworth was born in DC and moved to New York as a young adult to become a Ziegfeld Follies showgirl, but her place of birth is not certain.

Allyn Duran Hayworth was born 12 November 1870 in Vigo County, Indiana.  He was the son of Barnabas (or Barnabus) Hayworth and Sarah A. Land.  While the ancestry of Barnabas Hayworth cannot yet be proven beyond a doubt, it seems almost certain that he was born in 1847 in Vigo County, Indiana, and was the son of Jeremiah Hayworth (born 5 March 1818, and died 16 October 1868 in Vigo County, Indiana) and Elizabeth Cartwright.  They were married on 18 May 1843 in Vigo County, Indiana.

Records indicate that Barnabas Hayworth, son of Jeremiah Hayworth, seems to have married Sarah A. Peri (rather than Sarah A. Land) on 26 April 1869.  It seems likely that Sarah A. Peri and Sarah A, Land are the same person.  I believe that Sarah was born Sarah A. Peri and that she was the widow of one Joseph Land, when she married Barnabas Hayworth.  However, I cannot yet prove this to be the case.

If, as I believe, Barnabas Hayworth, father of Allyn Duran Hayworth, is the son of Jeremiah Hayworth and Elizabeth Cartwright, then the actress "Rita Hayworth" is a direct descendant of the immigrant George Haworth and her Haworth lineage is as follows:

(9) Rita Hayworth (born Margarita Carmen Cansino), then (8) Volga Haworth (married to Eduardo Cansino), then (7) Allyn Duran Hayworth (married to Margaret E. O'Hare), then (6) Barnabas Hayworth (married to Sarah A. Land, born Sarah A. Peri, widow of Joseph Land), then (5) Jeremiah Hayworth (married to Elizabeth Cartwright), then (4) Jeremiah Haworth (married to Mary Paine), then (3)  Micajah Haworth (married to Mary McCury), then (2) Stephanus Haworth (married to Rachel Beeson), and then George Haworth, the immigrant, who married Sarah Scarborough.

That makes Rita Hayworth my fifth cousin, once removed (fifth cousin of my father).  Our common ancestors would be Micajah Haworth (grandson of George Haworth, the immigrant) and Mary McCurry.


Sources: All of the above information was found on the Internet.  I have not attempted to locate any original sources.  Most of the information can be found in census records and the IGI files maintained by the Latter Day Saints in their Family History Center and available at "".   However, the information that Barnabas Hayworth married Sarah A. Peri and that he was the son of Jeremiah Hayworth and Elizabeth Cartwright is in the data base file at Rootsweb maintained by Ron Haworth and available via the data base link on this web site.

Note:  Don updated this information and made a great presentation at the 310 year reunion celebration  in Portland, July 2009. 

In February 2010, we added the Hollywood Star picture, and on December 5, 2012, we added the picture of Rita and her mother.

Additional references can be found at:, Ron Haworth, editor.

Return to the Family Notes Page