Tom Cruise

by ethnic on May 13, 2015

Birth Name: Thomas Cruise Mapother IV

Place of Birth: Syracuse, New York, USA

Date of Birth: July 3, 1962

*43.75% German
*43.75% Irish
*12.5% English

Tom Cruise is an American actor and filmmaker.

Tom’s father was of one quarter Irish, one quarter English, and one half German ancestry. Tom’s mother was of three eighths German and five eighths Irish ancestry. All four of Tom’s grandparents were born in Kentucky, as were all eight of Tom’s great-grandparents. The English line of Tom’s ancestry goes back to Colonial American times.

He has been married to actresses Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman, and Katie Holmes. Among his children is actor Connor Cruise.

Tom’s paternal grandfather was Thomas Cruise Mapother II (the son of Thomas O’Mara, whose named was later changed to Thomas Cruise Mapother, and Anna Stewart Bateman). Thomas O’Mara’s parents, Thomas O’Mara and Mary Cruise, were both of Irish descent. Anna S. Bateman’s parents, Thomas J. Bateman and Elvira Tompkins, were of English descent.

Tom’s great-great-grandmother, Mary Cruise, who was of Irish descent, married twice. Her first husband was Dillon Henry Mapother, by whom she had six children. After Dillon’s death, she remarried to Thomas O’Mara, who was of Irish stock. Their son, who was born as Thomas O’Mara, was listed under that name in the 1880 Census. His name was later changed to Thomas Cruise Mapother. The reason(s) for him changing his name are not clear.

Tom’s paternal grandmother was Catherine Louise Reibert (the daughter of William Reibert and Charlotte Louise Voelker). All of Catherine’s grandparents, Adam Reibert, Francisca Boesser, John Voelker, and Louisa Steadle, were of German ancestry.

Tom’s maternal grandfather was Charles Conrad Pfeiffer (the son of Lee Norbert Pfeiffer and Anna M. Shea). Lee’s father, also named Charles Conrad Pfeiffer, was of German descent, while Lee’s mother, Mary Roselle Hawkins, was of Irish ancestry. Anna M. Shea’s parents were Irish immigrants (her mother’s name was Mary).

Tom’s maternal grandmother was Comala R. Ramser (the daughter of Joseph Charles Ramser and Susan A. Mackey). Comala’s paternal grandfather, George Ramser, was a German immigrant from Elsass, while Comala’s maternal grandfather, Gerald Jeremiah Mackey, was an Irish immigrant. Comala’s paternal grandmother, Catherine Merkel, was of German descent, while Comala’s maternal grandmother, Bridget Quinn, was of Irish ancestry.

Sources: WARGS genealogy of Tom Cruise –

Other resources –

Helga Esteb /


Chevy Chase

by follers on May 8, 2014

HBO Post Emmy Party - Arrivals

Birth Name: Cornelius Crane Chase

Place of Birth: New York City, New York

Date of Birth: October 8, 1943

Ethnicity: English, as well as Scottish, Irish, Danish, small amount of Dutch and German

Chevy Chase is an American actor, comedian, and writer. His parents were both from prominent families. Much of his ancestry is English, with smaller if recent amounts of Scottish, Irish, and Danish, and more distant Dutch and German, roots.

Chevy’s paternal grandfather was Edward Leigh Chase, a painter (the son of Charles Denison Chase and Grace Metcalfe). Charles was the son of Henry Seymour Chase and Sarah Denison Haskell. Grace was the daughter of Lyne Shackelford Metcalfe and Sarah Tennery Baker.

Chevy’s paternal grandmother was Mabel Penrose Tinsley (the daughter of Edward Tinsley and Laura Penrose Thornton). Edward was the son of Theophilus Tinsley, who was born in Ireland, and of Henrietta Josephine Wortman. Laura was the daughter of Edward Thornton and Marie Penrose, who were both born in England.

Chevy’s maternal grandfather was Miles Rutherford Browning, a prominent U.S. Navy officer (the son of Oren Fogle Browning, Jr. and Sarah Louise Smith). Oren was the son of Oren Fogle Browning and Mary Gertrude Clarkson. Sarah was the daughter of James Kearny Smith and Anna Mary Bacon.

Chevy’s maternal grandmother was Catherine/Cathalene Isabella Parker (the daughter of Edward Graham Parker and Charlotte Margaret Linné). Chevy’s maternal step-grandfather, who adopted Chase’s mother, was Cornelius Vanderbilt Crane, of the wealthy Crane and Vanderbilt families. Chevy’s great-grandfather Edward was the son of Charles Edward Parker and Isabella Graham Jennings. Chevy’s great-grandmother Charlotte was the daughter of John Conrad Linné, who was Danish, and of Catherine Fitzpatrick O’Reilly, who was born in County Armagh, Ulster, Ireland.

Sources: Genealogies of Chevy Chase –

Genealogy of Chevy Chase (focusing on his father’s side) –

Photo by


Michelle Monaghan

by follers on April 28, 2014

Michelle Monaghan ethnicity

Birth Name: Michelle Lynn Monaghan

Place of Birth: Winthrop, Iowa

Date of Birth: March 23, 1976

*Irish (father)
*German, more distant Swiss-German, English (mother)

Michelle Monaghan is an American actress. Her father is of Irish descent. Her mother is of mostly German, with a smaller amount of Swiss-German and English, descent.

On her father’s side, Michelle is the granddaughter of Patrick Vincent Monaghan (the son of John Joseph Monaghan and Anna Josephine Reilly) and Eleanor Elizabeth McAleer (the daughter of Timothy Henry McAleer and Marie Bridget Cashman). All of John and Anna’s grandparents were Irish, as were all of Timothy and Marie’s grandparents.

On her mother’s side, Michelle is the granddaughter of Francis Sidney Hammel (the son of Joseph Leo Hammell and Nora Virginia Pierce) and Mary Margaret Schulte (the daughter of Bernard John Schulte, Jr. and Mary Elizabeth Roerkohl). Joseph was of approximately one quarter Swiss-German and three quarters German, descent. Nora was of English and German descent. Michelle’s grandmother, Mary Schulte, was of German descent.

Sources: Genealogy of Michelle’s father –

Genealogy of Michelle Monaghan (focusing on her mother’s side) –

Genealogy of Michelle’s maternal grandmother, Mary Margaret (Schulte) Hammel (focusing on her own father’s side) –

Obituary of Michelle’s maternal grandmother, Mary Margaret (Schulte) Hammel –

Photo by kathclick/


Ed Helms

by follers on October 19, 2012

Ed Helms

Birth Name: Edward Parker Helms

Place of Birth: Atlanta, Georgia

Date of Birth: January 24, 1974

Ethnicity: English, with smaller amounts (to varying degrees) of Northern Irish (Scots-Irish), German, Dutch, French, as well as 1/8192 Italian

Ed Helms is an American actor and comedian.

Most of Ed’s ancestry is English, with smaller amounts of Northern Irish (Scots-Irish), German, Dutch, and French, roots. Like many Americans of English ancestry, Ed is a descendant of Bartolomeo Taliaferro, an Italian, born c. 1562, in Venice, Italy, who moved to England and married an Englishwoman, Joane Lane (this makes Ed of 1/8192 Italian ancestry, through that line). Ed’s family has been in the United States for many generations, with much of his ancestry tracing back to New England of the 1600s.

Ed’s patrilineal line traces back to a William Conner Helme, who was born in Exeter, Devonshire, England, c. 1630.

Ed’s paternal grandparents were Nolan Helms (the son of Joseph Edward Helms and Emma Routon Barrett) and Bettie Ellen Davis (the daughter of John Frank Davis and Mary “Mollie” Russell Welch Lawrence).

Ed’s maternal grandparents were Fitzgerald Sale Parker, Jr. (the son of Fitzgerald Sale Parker, Sr. and Lucy E. Paxton) and Frances Helen Jackson (the daughter of George Pullen Jackson and Inez Emeline Wright). George’s parents were George F. Jackson and Anna Jane Pullen, both of whom were born in Maine. Inez’s parents were Walter Harold Wright and Frances Ione Turner, both of whom were both in Wisconsin.

Sources: Genealogies of Ed Helms (focusing mostly on his father’s side) –

Partial genealogy of Ed (some of his father’s line) –

Partial genealogy of Ed (some of his mother’s line) –

Genealogies of Ed’s maternal grandfather, Fitzgerald Sale Parker, Jr. –

Ed’s maternal grandmother, Frances Helen Jackson, on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Ed’s maternal great-grandparents (George Pullen Jackson and Inez Emeline Wright)’ marriage record –

Genealogy of Ed’s maternal great-great-grandmother, Anna Jane Pullen –

Genealogy of Ed’s maternal great-great-grandfather, Walter Harold Wright –

Genealogies of Ed’s maternal great-great-grandmother, Frances Ione Turner –

image via Joe Seer/


Joseph Gordon-Levitt

by ethnic on January 27, 2008


Birth Name: Joseph Leonard Gordon-Levitt

Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Date of Birth: February 17, 1981

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is an American actor, writer, director, and singer. He is known for playing Tommy on the television series 3rd Rock from the Sun, as well as for his roles in the films 10 Things I Hate About You, (500) Days of Summer, 50/50, and The Dark Knight Rises. His parents are Dennis Levitt and Jane Gordon, and his maternal grandfather was director Michael Gordon. Joseph is married to businesswoman Tasha McCauley.

Joseph’s parents are both Jewish. His father’s family were Russian Jews and Polish Jews, while his mother’s family were Lithuanian Jews, Romanian Jews, and Russian Jews.

Joseph’s paternal grandfather was Milton R. Levitt (born Milton Levitz, the son of Louis Levitz and Fraudel “Fannie” Isaacson). Milton was born in Ohio, to Russian Jewish parents. Louis’s parents were Meyer Levitz and Lena Friedsohn (the daughter of Nathan Friedsohn and Rachel). Fraudel’s parents were Dave Isaacson and Irene/Lena Ida/Riva Feinstock. While census records list Fraudel as having been born in Russia, one source states that Fraudel, Joseph’s great-grandmother, was born in then-Ottoman Palestine, in 1894. At the time, known as the First Aliyah, there were residences of Ashkenazi Jews from Eastern Europe in the area.

Joseph’s paternal grandmother was Celia Roth (the daughter of F. Charles Roth and Fanny “Frade” Mekel). Celia was born in Pennsylvania. Celia’s parents were Polish Jews. Fanny’s parents were named Boruch Mekel and Sarah.

Joseph’s maternal grandfather was film director Michael Gordon (born Irving Kunin Gordon, the son of Paul Gordon and Eva Kunen). Michael was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Paul and Eva were Ashkenazi Jews. Paul’s parents were Leyb (Louis) Gordon and Rachel Gviemer. Paul and Eva are listed as being born in Russia in some records, Lithuania in another record, and in yet another record, Paul is listed as having been born in Russia, while Eva is listed as having been born in Pennsylvania, to parents who were born in Russia.

Joseph’s maternal grandmother was Elizabeth A. Cohn (the daughter of Isaac Cohn and Mollie Fineberg). Elizabeth was born in Ohio. Isaac was a Romanian Jewish immigrant. Mollie was a Russian Jewish immigrant.

Sources: Genealogy of Joseph Gordon-Levitt –

Marriage record of Joseph’s paternal grandparents, Milton Levitz (later Milton Levitt) and Celia Roth –

Joseph’s paternal grandfather, Milton Levitz, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Joseph’s paternal grandmother, Celia Roth, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Joseph’s maternal grandparents, Michael Gordon (“Mickeal Gordon”) and Elizabeth Gordon, on the 1940 U.S. Census –

Joseph’s maternal grandfather, Irving Kunin Gordon (later Michael Gordon), on the 1920 U.S. Census –
Joseph’s maternal grandfather, Irving Kunin Gordon, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Joseph’s maternal grandmother, Elizabeth A. Cohn, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Joseph is able to speak French and is a self-confessed Francophile. The youtube link below shows an interview with Joseph on a television show where he speaks French –

photo by Debby Wong/



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