Jerry Lewis RIP

by ethnic on November 1, 2015

16th Annual NBS Scholarship Gala NBA Scholarship Dinner - Jerry Lewis Receives the Nevada Broadcasters' Association Lifetime Achievement Award

Birth Name: Joseph or Jerome Levitch

Date of Birth: March 16, 1926

Place of Birth: Newark, New Jersey, U.S.

Date of Death: August 20, 2017

Place of Death: Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

Jerry Lewis was an American actor, comedian, singer, writer, director, producer, and humanitarian.

His parents, Rachel “Ray” (Brodsky) and Daniel Levitch, were both from Jewish families (from Poland and Russia). His mother was born in Russia, and moved to the U.S. around 1904.

Jerry had six children, two with his wife, dancer SanDee Pitnick, and four with his former wife, singer Patti Palmer (born Esther Grace Calonico). Among his children with Patti is musician Gary Lewis.

Jerry’s paternal grandparents were Morris Levitch and Hannah Werstein (the daughter of Yitzchak/Yitzhak Leib “Isaac” Werstein). Morris was a Jewish immigrant, from either Poland or Russia, depending on the census. Hannah was a Russian Jewish immigrant.

Jerry’s maternal grandparents were Jonah/Joseph Brodsky (the son of Baruch Tzvi) and Sarah Kaufman. Jonah and Sarah were both Russian Jewish immigrants.

Sources: Genealogy of Jerry Lewis –

Jerry’s paternal grandparents, Morris Levitch and Hannah Werstein, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Jerry’s mother on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Photo by Prphotos


Adam Driver

by follers on May 23, 2015

adam driver

Birth Name: Adam Douglas Driver

Place of Birth: San Bernardino, California, United States

Date of Birth: November 19, 1983

Ethnicity: English, along with 1/8th Dutch, small amounts of German, Irish, Scottish, more distant Welsh

Adam Driver is an American actor. He is the son of Nancy (Needham) and Joe Douglas Driver. His father has English, along with German, some Scottish, and distant Welsh, ancestry. His mother has English, 1/4 Dutch, and some German and Irish, ancestry. His father’s family is from Arkansas and his mother’s family is from Indiana, where Adam was raised, in Mishawaka. His stepfather is a Baptist minister, and Adam had a religious upbringing. He is married to Joanne Tucker.

After 9/11, Adam joined the United States Marine Corps, and served in Afghanistan.

Adam’s patrilineal ancestry can be traced back to John Driver, who was born, c. 1675, in Avening, England, to Giles Driver and Olive Hardy.

Adam’s paternal grandfather was Kelly Potter Driver, Jr. (the son of Kelly Potter Driver, Sr. and Rosa/Rosie Bell Whiteside). Adam’s great-grandfather Kelly was the son of Miles Washington Driver and Sarah Elizabeth Johnson. Rosa was the daughter of Jacob Davis Whiteside and Eliza Ann Withers.

Adam’s paternal grandmother was Edith Mae Fisher (the daughter of Joe Guy Fisher, Sr. and Belva/Belvia/Belvie Yeager). Joe was the son of Walter S./W. Fisher and Mary Jane Quattlebaum. Belva was the daughter of Charles O. Yeager and Irene Almeda Favors.

Adam’s maternal grandfather was Ira Lee Needham (the son of Lester G. Needham and Gertrude Dykstra/Dexter). Lester was the son of Ira H. Needham and Flora Anna Harrington. Gertrude was born in Indiana, to Dutch parents, John H. Dykstra/Dexter and Jantje/Jennie F. Kuypers/Kipers.

Adam’s maternal grandmother is Dolores L. Pettit (the daughter of Theodore G. Pettit and Florence Geneve Ullrich). Florence’s parents were Jacob Ullrich and Nellie Blanche Carpenter. Jacob was the son of a German father and an Irish mother.

Sources: Genealogy of Adam Driver –

Genealogy of Adam Driver (focusing on his father’s side) –

Adam’s paternal grandfather, Kelly Potter Driver, Jr., on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Obituary of Adam’s paternal grandfather, Kelly Potter Driver, Jr. –

Genealogy of Adam’s paternal great-grandfather, Kelly Potter Driver –

Adam’s paternal grandmother, Edith Mae Fisher, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Obituary of Adam’s paternal grandmother, Edith Mae (Fisher) Driver –

Genealogy of Adam’s paternal great-great-grandmother, Mary Jane Quattlebaum (focusing on her own father’s side) –

Obituary of Adam’s aunt (mother’s sister), Debra L. (Needham) Camren –

Genealogy of Adam’s maternal grandfather, Ira Lee Needham (focusing on his own father’s side) –

Adam’s maternal grandfather, Ira Lee Needham, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Genealogy of Adam’s maternal great-grandmother, Gertrude Dexter/Dykstra (focusing on her own father’s side) –

Adam’s maternal grandmother, Dolores L. Pettit, on the 1940 U.S. Census –

Adam’s maternal great-grandmother, Florence Geneve Ullrich, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Photo by kathclick/


Halle Berry

by ethnic on December 25, 2014

Birth Name: Maria Halle Berry

Place of Birth: Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.

Date of Birth: August 14, 1966

*African-American (father)
*English, German, Irish, distant Dutch (mother)

Halle Berry is an American actress and model. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for Monster’s Ball (2001). She is the only black actress to have won the Best Actress Oscar.

Halle’s father, Jerome Jesse Berry, was African-American. Halle’s mother, Judith Ann (Hawkins), is white, of English, German, Irish, and distant Dutch, descent. She has two children, a daughter, with her former partner, Canadian model Gabriel Aubry, and a son, with her former husband, French actor Olivier Martinez.

Of her upbringing, Halle has said:

I was raised by my white mother and every day of my life I have always been aware of the fact that I am biracial. However, growing up I was aware that even though my mother was white, I did not look or feel very white myself.

Halle’s paternal grandparents were Robert Berry and Cora Lee Powell (the daughter of Adam Powell and Charity Munford).

Halle’s maternal grandfather was Earl Ellsworth Hawkins (the son of Eugene Allen Hawkins and Bessie Clare Spaulding). Earl was born in Ohio. Eugene was the son of John William Hawkins and Katherine/Catherina “Katie” Drescher, who was born in Prussia. Bessie was the daughter of Ellsworth Warren/Warner Spaulding and Agnes L. “Aggie” Johnson. Through her maternal grandfather, Halle has American-born ancestors going back to the 1600s.

Halle’s maternal grandmother was Nellie Dicken (the daughter of Henry Dicken and Ada Brown White). Nellie was born in Sawley, co. Derby, England, to a father from Chesterfield and a mother from Spondon. Henry was the son of Robert Dicken and Ann Marsden. Ada was the daughter of John White and Maria.

Sources: Genealogies of Halle Berry –

Halle’s paternal grandmother, Cora Lee Powell, on the 1920 U.S. Census –
Cora Lee Powell on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Death record of Halle’s paternal grandmother, Cora Lee (Powell) Berry –

Genealogy of Halle Berry (focusing on her mother’s side) –

Halle’s mother on the 1940 U.S. Census –

photo by CarlaVanWagoner /


Ryan Reynolds

by Wendy on August 1, 2014

Birth Name: Ryan Rodney Reynolds

Place of Birth: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Date of Birth: October 23, 1976

Ethnicity: Irish

Ryan Reynolds is a Canadian actor and producer. He is known for his roles in the films National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, Waiting…, Definitely, Maybe, Adventureland, and The Proposal, and for playing Wade Wilson/Deadpool in the films X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Deadpool.

Ryan was selected People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” in 2010. He is thus far the only Canadian-born man to have been given this title by the magazine.

Ryan is the son of Tammy and James Chester Reynolds. He has Irish ancestry, and was raised Catholic.

Ryan is married to American actress Blake Lively, with whom he has two children.

Ryan’s paternal grandparents were Ches Reynolds and Helen Mary Long (the daughter of Thomas Long and Katherine).

Sources: Obituary of Ryan’s paternal grandmother, Helen Mary (Long) Reynolds –

Genealogy of Ryan Reynolds (focusing on his father’s side) [apparently incorrect] –

photo by s_bukley /


Daniel Craig

by ethnic on September 1, 2013

Birth Name: Daniel Wroughton Craig

Place of Birth: Chester, Cheshire, England, U.K.

Date of Birth: 2 March, 1968

Ethnicity: English, Welsh, Scottish, Irish, distant French Huguenot

Daniel Craig is a British actor. He is known for playing James Bond.

Daniel is married to actress Rachel Weisz. He has a daughter with his former wife, actress Fiona Loudon.

Daniel is the son of Carol Olivia (Williams) and Timothy John Wroughton Craig. He has English, Welsh, Scottish, Irish, and distant French Huguenot, ancestry. His father was born in Aled, Denbighshire, Wales. Daniel is a descendant of Daniel Chamier (1660-1698), a French Huguenot minister, and of Sir William Burnaby, 1st Baronet (c. 1710-1776), a naval officer.

Daniel’s paternal grandfather was William John Gartland Craig (the son of William Craig and Mary Josephine Gartland). Daniel’s grandfather William was born in Suffolk, England. Daniel’s great-grandfather William was the son of William Craig and Margaret Dunlop, who were of Scottish origin. Mary Josephine was the daughter of Michael Gartland and Lucy Ann Grimshaw.

Daniel’s paternal grandmother was Rosalind/Rosalinde Maud Jones (the daughter of Howard Edward Jones and Rosa Zieman Smith). Daniel’s grandmother Rosalind was from Llandudno, Wales, though most of her parentage was not Welsh. Howard was the son of John Edward Jones and Marian Kate Leverett. Daniel’s great-grandmother Rosa was the daughter of Charles Mayvore Smith and Grace Matilda Wroughton, who were born in India (Grace in Madras), of English origin.

Daniel’s maternal grandparents were Olwyn Williams and Doris. Olwyn’s family was from Flintshire, Wales.

Sources: Wales Online article about Daniel’s family history –

Family history of Daniel’s father –

photo by Featureflash /


Brie Larson

June 4, 2011

Birth Name: Brianne Sidonie Desaulniers Place of Birth: Sacramento, California, United States Date of Birth: October 1, 1989 Ethnicity: *French-Canadian (father) *English, Swedish, German, Welsh, Scottish (mother) Brie Larson is an American actress, singer, and director. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for Room (2015). Her father is from a French-Canadian family, from […]

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Katie Holmes

May 11, 2010

Birth Name: Kate Noelle Holmes Place of Birth: Toledo, Ohio, U.S. Date of Birth: December 18, 1978 Ethnicity: German, Irish, English Katie Holmes is an American actress, model, and filmmaker. She is known for her role as Joey Potter on the teen drama series Dawson’s Creek. Katie’s father is of three quarters German and one […]

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Hilary Swank

July 30, 2009

Birth Name: Hilary Ann Swank Place of Birth: Lincoln, Nebraska, U.S. Date of Birth: July 30, 1974 Ethnicity: one quarter Mexican [Spanish and Indigenous], with the rest of Hilary’s ancestry being English, German, and smaller amounts of Swiss-German, Scottish, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, Welsh, and Dutch Hilary Swank is an American actress and producer. She has twice […]

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Al Gore

November 21, 2008

Birth Name: Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. Place of Birth: Washington, D.C., U.S. Date of Birth: March 31, 1948 Ethnicity: English, Scottish, distant German, remote Welsh, 1/1024 Portuguese Al Gore is an American politician, advocate, philanthropist, and environmentalist. A Democrat, he served as the 45th Vice President of the United States, from January 20, 1993, to […]

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Adolfo Suárez

August 20, 2017

Birth Name: Adolfo Suárez González Date of Birth: 25 September 1932 Place of Birth: Cebreros, Ávila, Spain Date of Birth: 23 March 2014 Place of Death: Madrid, Spain Ethnicity: * Galician (father) * Spanish [Castilian] (mother) Adolfo Suárez was a Spanish attorney and politician. He was the first democratically elected Prime Minister since the Second […]

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Trea Turner

August 20, 2017

Birth Name: Trea Vance Turner Place of Birth: Boynton Beach, Florida Date of Birth: June 30, 1993 Ethnicity: English, German, possibly other Family Background: Trea Turner is an American professional baseball shortstop for the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball. Trea Turner is the son of Mark Howard Turner and Donna Jean (Morick) Turner. Turner’s maternal grandparents […]

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Samantha Droke

August 20, 2017

Birth Name: Samantha Raye Droke Place of Birth: De Leon, Comanche, Texas, U.S. Date of Birth: November 8, 1987 Ethnicity: English, German, Irish, Scottish Samantha Droke is an American actress. Samantha is the daughter of Synthia Ann (Couch) and Lyndon Allen Droke. Samantha’s paternal grandfather was Louis Albert Droke, the son of Van E. Droke […]

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Charlie Weber

August 20, 2017

Birth Name: Charles Alan Weber, Jr. Place of Birth: Jefferson City, Missouri, U.S. Date of Birth: September 20, 1978 Ethnicity: *German, Swiss-German (father) Charlie Weber is an American actor and model. Charlie is the son of Nanette Susan and Charles Alan “Chuck” Weber, Sr. Charlie’s paternal grandfather was Anton G. “Tony” Weber (the daughter of […]

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Tom Verica

August 20, 2017

Birth Name: Thomas A. Verica Place of Birth: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. Date of Birth: May 13, 1964 Ethnicity: *Italian (father) *German, English, Irish (mother) Tom Verica is an American actor. Tom is the son of Betty Ann (Musser) and Thomas “Tom” Verica. Tom’s father has Italian ancestry. Tom’s mother is mostly of German, English, and […]

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