Rebel Wilson isn't a Disney: genealogist

Darren Cartwright

A US genealogist cited in Rebel Wilson's defamation trial says the Hollywood star should stop telling people she's related to Walt Disney.

Los Angeles-based Dale Sheridan posted on his blog more than a year ago that the Pitch Perfect star was not related to Mickey Mouse's creator.

Mr Sheridan, who has been a genealogist for more than two decades, became intrigued about the Aussie actress' lineage after she appeared on The Graham Norton Show in 2015 and claimed to be a distant relative of Disney's.

"It's such a close connection that she referenced that it's an easy thing to confirm or not," Mr Sheldon told AAP.

"It was something that got me curious and it turned out not to be true."

He was surprised by Wilson's claim.

"It's just kind of sad actually," Sheridan said.

Wilson, born Melanie Bownds, claimed her grandmother told her that her great-aunt was Lillian Bounds, Disney's wife.

She told the jury in her defamation trial against Bauer Media her family changed the spelling of Bounds because of taunts and teasing over its spelling, saying people would joke about them being, "out of bounds".

Wilson said her grandmother had researched a family tree confirming the familial link to Disney's wife and she was proud of it.

However, Bauer's defence barrister Georgina Schoff said a genealogist had proved there was no familial connection.

She was referring to Mr Sheridan's work, even though he said he was never contacted by Bauer's lawyers.

He says he's a fan of Wilson and meant her no harm.

"It wasn't my intention to confront her or call her out on it," he said.

"In genealogy, we find a lot of errors all the time and those errors get perpetuated through generations."

He said it took him less than three hours to work through both Wilson's and Lillian Bounds' family trees.

However, it did take him some effort to track down Wilson's father's lineage.

"It took me about 45 minutes to the Disney side, that was pretty easy .. her name in Idaho is very uncommon ... but the Wilson side took me a couple of hours," he said.

"I didn't know who her father was at first. That was the hardest part.

"I just Googled the hell out of him and finally found ... through her mother and her work with dog breeding ... her father was also a dog breeder.

"I probably wouldn't have been able to go further if I hadn't found a memorial reference for him on a Facebook page."

He found Lillian Bounds had nine siblings and none of them could be traced to Wilson's relatives.

Sheridan published his findings in great detail on The Wandering Genealogists blog.