Ben McKenzie

by ethnic on January 5, 2010

GQ 2011 "Men of the Year" Party - Arrivals

Birth Name: Benjamin McKenzie Schenkkan

Place of Birth: Austin, Travis, Texas, United States

Date of Birth: September 12, 1978

*25% Dutch Jewish (Ashkenazi Jewish and Sephardi Jewish)
*75% mix of English and some Scottish

Ben McKenzie, also billed as Benjamin McKenzie, is an American actor and producer.

Ben is the son of Frances (Victory), a poet, and Pieter Meade Schenkkan, an attorney. His uncle (father’s brother) is playwright and screenwriter Robert Schenkkan. Ben is married to actress Morena Baccarin, with whom he has a daughter.

Ben’s paternal grandfather was from a Dutch Jewish family, and had both Ashkenazi and Sephardi ancestry, including more distant German Jewish, English Jewish, French Jewish, Italian Jewish, and Iranian Jewish, ancestors. However, Ben’s grandfather was probably raised a Catholic (his own parents, Ben’s great-grandparents, likely converted from Judaism to Catholicism). The rest of Ben’s ancestry is English, with a smaller amount of Scottish.

Ben’s patrilineal line can be traced back to Abraham Juda Schenkkan-Levie, who was born, c. 1781, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and to Abraham’s parents, Juda Eliaser Levie and Roosje Isaac, who were born in Stuttgart, Germany.

Ben’s paternal grandfather was Robert “Bob” Frederic Schenkkan (the son of Jozef/Joseph Schenkkan and Flora/Flortje Josephine/Josefina Van Der Zyl/Zijl). Robert was born in New York. Jozef and Flora had immigrated from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and were both from Dutch Jewish families (with Ashkenazi, as well as some Sephardi, ancestry). Joseph was the son of Levie Hyman Schenkkan and Roosje Ensel. Flora was the daughter of John/Izak/Isaac Van Deziel/der Zijl and Anna Eva/Theresia Wolf. Joseph and Josephine may have converted to Catholicism in either the Netherlands or in the United States; though they were both born Jewish, their children were evidently raised Catholic (one of their daughters had become a nun).

Ben’s great-great-aunt, Martha van der Zijl, died in Auschwitz (in 1943). Martha was the sister of Ben’s great-grandmother, Flora/Flortje Josephine/Josefina Van Der Zyl/Zijl.

Ben’s paternal grandmother was Jean Gregory McKenzie (the daughter of Francis “Frank” Clement McKenzie and Alice Bell Beall). Francis was the son of James E. McKenzie and Mary Anne Dahlia Sizemore. Alice was the daughter of William Joseph Bell Beall and Georgia Augusta Roberts.

Ben’s maternal grandfather was Thomas Edward Victory (the son of Thomas Benjamin Victory and Katherine Rugeley Rochelle). Ben’s great-grandfather Thomas was the son of James Thomas Victory and Mary Ann Shepherd. Katherine was the daughter of Joseph Pancoast Rochelle and Louisa Jane Carlton.

Ben’s maternal grandmother was Currie Esther Horton (the daughter of Guy Taylor Horton and Currie Belle Farmer). Guy was the son of Thomas Marion Horton and Sarah Frances Taylor. Currie Farmer was the daughter of William Harrison Farmer and Sally Elizabeth Best/Bazer.

Sources: Genealogy of Ben McKenzie (focusing on his father’s side) –

Genealogy of Ben’s paternal grandfather, Robert “Bob” Frederick Schenkkan –

Genealogy of Ben’s paternal great-great-great-grandfather, Hijman Abraham Schenkkan (through Hijman’s brother, Isaac Abraham Schenkkan) (focusing on his own mother’s side) –

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

neiltennant January 3, 2018 at 3:38 pm

interesting to know that the teenage-cast of THE OC was made of several
mid 20 year old actors haha

neiltennant January 3, 2018 at 3:36 pm

he is married with Morena baccarin

neiltennant June 27, 2016 at 3:15 pm

another Jewish american celeb with an WASPy Name but with Jewish roots

sarahle February 26, 2015 at 1:00 am
aroxysimon June 8, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Wth, thought he was just Scottish

GLXY November 6, 2012 at 3:40 pm

McKenzie is a Scottish surname not Irish. Where did he said that he is Irish ?

Vega April 2, 2012 at 1:10 pm


He is Scots-Irish not Irish

ethnic April 4, 2012 at 7:11 am

Do you have a link to that?

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