Place of Birth: Sherman Oaks, California, USA
Date of Birth: February 11, 1969
*Scottish, Italian or Arbëreshë (Albanian), English, possibly Irish (mother)
Jennifer Aniston is an American actress, director, producer, and businessperson. She is the daughter of Greek-born actor John Aniston and American-born actress Nancy Dow. Jennifer is married to actor and filmmaker Justin Theroux.
Jennifer’s father was born with the name Yannis Anastassakis, and was a friend of actor Telly Savalas. Savalas was Jennifer’s godfather. Jennifer’s mother is of one quarter Italian or Arbëreshë (Albanian), as well as of Scottish, and some English, descent. On Inside the Actors Studio (2011), Jennifer stated that her mother also has Irish, as well as “a little splash of Greek”, ancestry; it is not clear where on her mother’s family tree Greek ancestry would come from. Her great-grandfather’s surname, “Grieco”, is a variant of the Italian surname “Greco”, which literally means “Greek”. The name may occur among the Arbëreshë.
Jennifer’s paternal grandparents were Antonios J. Anastassakis and Stella Joanna Koume/Mazethek. They were born on the island of Crete, Greece.
Jennifer’s maternal grandfather was Gordon McLean Dow (the son of Francis Dow and Ellen Sarah McLean). Francis was born in St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada, to a Scottish immigrant father, James Dow, and a mother of Scottish descent, Katherine Stewart. Ellen was born in St. Francis, Maine, the daughter of Neil McLean and Mary Henderson; three of Ellen’s grandparents were Scottish immigrants, while Ellen’s maternal grandmother, Sarah Ann Diamond, was born in Campbelltown, New Brunswick, to American parents who were descended from English immigrants of the Colonial American period.
Jennifer’s maternal grandmother was Louise Mae Grieco (the daughter of Louis Grieco and Mae/May I. Dunbar). In U.S. Censuses, Louis Grieco lists himself as having been born in either Italy or New York; on the 1920 and 1930 U.S. Censuses, Louis states that his parents were born in Albania. It is possible that they were from the Arbëreshë community (ethnic Albanians who lived in Italy).
Jennifer’s matrilineal great-grandmother Mae/May I. Dunbar was born in Pennsylvania, to parents who were also born in Pennsylvania. It is unclear what Mae’s ancestry was, but the surname “Dunbar” is usually English.
Sources: Jennifer’s paternal grandparents, Antonios J. Anastassakis and Stella Joanna Koume/Mazethek, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Jennifer’s mother’s ancestry –
Jennifer’s maternal grandmother, Louise Mae Grieco, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Louise Mae Grieco on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Louise Mae Grieco on the 1930 U.S. Census –
Genealogies of Jennifer Aniston (incorrectly identify Jennifer’s maternal great-grandparents as Michael Grieco and Carmela Pecoraro) –
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