Casper Van Dien

by ethnic on October 14, 2010

Birth Name: Casper Robert Van Dien, Jr.

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

Date of Birth: December 18, 1968

Ethnicity: Dutch, English, Swiss-French, Swiss-German, Irish, Scottish, Swedish, Finnish, remote French, Polish, and Danish

Casper Van Dien is an American actor.

Various web sites state that Casper also has Native American ancestry. It is not clear if this ancestry has been documented. No Native American ancestors are listed on publicly available family trees of Casper Van Dien.

He has four children, two with his former wife, Carrie Mitchum (whose grandfather was actor Robert Mitchum), and two with his former wife, actress Catherine Oxenberg.

Casper’s paternal grandfather was Casper Anson Van Dien (the son of Casper Force Van Dien and Alice Wilsie Peterson). Casper’s grandfather Casper was from a family that had lived in the United States since the 1600s, and was of mainly Dutch descent, with some English, and remote French, Polish, and Danish, roots. Some of Casper’s distant ancestors had been born in Germany, but were possibly or likely of ethnic Dutch descent. Casper’s great-grandfather Casper was the son of John William Van Dien and Jane E. Vreeland. Casper’s great-grandmother Alice was the daughter of Anson Rice Peterson and Rachel Auryansen.

Casper’s paternal grandmother was Elizabeth Maria Bornand (the daughter of William Henri Bornand and Emma Augusta Villard). Elizabeth was born in New York, to Swiss parents, of Swiss-French and Swiss-German descent. William was the son of Louis Bornand and Elisabeth Schneider. Emma was the daughter of Auguste Villard and Rose Anne Marie Gauthier.

Casper’s maternal grandfather was William Burnell Morrow (the son of James William Morrow and Beatrice Flagg). William had English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry, and was from a family with deep roots in the U.S. James was the son of Rufus Marion Morrow and Harriet Esther Tanner. Beatrice was the daughter of Byron Stephen/Salls Flagg and Winnifred L. Joyce.

Casper’s maternal grandmother was Edith Wilhelmina Johnson (the daughter of Carl Emil Johnson and Hannah Omen/Oman). Carl was born in Sweden. Hannah was born in Finland, and may or may not have been of Swedish descent.

Sources: Genealogy of Casper Van Dien – http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com

Genealogy of Casper’s mother (focusing on her father’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Casper’s maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Maria Bornand, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Marriage record of Casper’s maternal great-grandparents, William Henri Bornard and Emma Augusta Villard – https://familysearch.org

Casper’s maternal grandmother, Edith Wilhelmina Johnson, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Edith Wilhelmina Johnson on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Edith Wilhelmina Johnson on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Barbara J. Petrick / Shutterstock.com

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

madman August 15, 2017 at 9:05 am

I think Hannah Omen/Oman was ethnically Swedish. The 1920 and 1930 censuses lists her language as Swedish, the same for her parents’ language.
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MJV1-945
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XMZK-HH1

Although the 1910 census disagrees:
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MPXS-QH6

perez-richart September 7, 2015 at 10:05 pm

tom brady its you

slowdive February 1, 2016 at 8:16 pm

Tom Brady in 15 years!

legez August 29, 2015 at 7:05 am

he looks german or Norwegian to me

chris91 June 21, 2014 at 11:52 am

Im so sick of reading this nonsense when I try to find out someones ethnicity. Every extremely white american like brad pitt is supposed to have 0.0001 % native at least. People on here are so desperate to find any remote non-eurpoean admixture its an agenda dont be so desperate. He’s another very germanic looking guy so put that native this and that up your ass

Fatmonkey February 26, 2014 at 3:43 am

I’d say he was at least ‘potentially’ part-Native American, since I remember I read an old interview he gave, where he said he was of distant Native American heritage on his mother’s part. The absence of the evidence on the internet doesn’t mean his statement is false, and I don’t see why he’d publicly state something he himself isn’t sure of. I used to examine his maternal ancestry alot, and I found the tree to be much less defined than that of his father’s. Perhaps some of his uncharted maternal ancestors could be Native American.

follers February 26, 2014 at 5:44 am

A lot of people say they have Native American ancestry. It should be verified.

Fatmonkey July 13, 2013 at 6:09 am

Casper van Dien’s line of descent showing his part-Italian ancestry (through one of his paternal’s ancestors, David Sohier):

David Sohier was the son of Antoinette Malapert, who was the daughter of Michel Malapert, who was the son of Michel Malapert, who was the son of Jean de Malapert, who was the son of Jean de Malapert d’Hervilly, who was the son of Jean d’Hervilly, who was the son of Jeanne d’Arcy, who was the daughter of Helvide de Bazoches, who was the daughter of Nicholas III de Bazoches, who was the son of Nicholas II de Bazoches, who was the son of Nicholas I de Bazoches, who was Nicholas de Bazoches, who was the son of Gervais de Bazoches, who was the son of Ermengarde de Roucy, who was the daughter of Sybille de Pouille, who was the daughter of Sichelgaita of Salerno, who was the daughter of Guaimar IV of Salerno.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guaimar_IV_of_Salerno

follers July 6, 2013 at 4:18 am

to fatmonkey – Casper is also part Polish, as you can see, from his Zabriskie lines.

Philip Seymour Hoffman is descended from the same ancestors.

Fatmonkey July 6, 2013 at 7:31 am

Do check his father’s distant (maybe back to mid-17th century) family tree – I remember having noticed an ancestor named ‘Jurriaen Thommassen’. Thommassen was a Danish immigrant who came to Netherlands from Jutland (the specific sub-region was named ‘Ruppe’: hence the ‘Van Ripen’ addition to his descendants’ surname), married a Dutch woman and begot a line of descendants which would, later on, adopt surnames such as ‘Auryansen’, ‘Ariance’, ‘Jurrianse’, etc. as a homage to their forefather’s name, Jurriaen. It is of him that the Auryanses of U.S. descended, at least according to a site maintained by a member of the family. As with the ‘Des Marets’ thing, though, I can’t seem to be able to retrieve the link containing the story of the Auryanse family, either, even though I do remember I’ve read the entire text on the site.

Anyway, that said, Casper’s distant ancestry is also Danish. And yeah, I planned to point his Polish descent as well, but you were quicker than me.

follers July 5, 2013 at 2:31 pm

To fatmonkey – I see Efje Demarest’s children with Jan Auryansen listed as Cornelia and Jannetje, who were both female. Did they have any other children?
http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=:2673141&id=I549460890

Casper’s ancestor, Rachel Auryansen, was the daughter of James Demarest Auryansen and Sarah Chandler.
https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VNVF-ZTJ

follers July 5, 2013 at 2:46 pm

More to fatmonkey – Rachel’s father, James Damarest Auryansen,’s parents were Abraham Auryansen and Sarah Demarest – https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MC1D-JLH

From that point on, I imagine you can link Sarah (Demarest) Auryansen to the family you are looking for.
http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=PED&db=czmrfm&id=I03178

Fatmonkey July 6, 2013 at 3:54 am

I was right, then. Rachel Auryansen actually does descend from the Des Marets of Cambray, France. Thanks, and again, I like how quickly you make these trees.

follers June 21, 2013 at 1:00 am

to fatmonkey – to be honest, every single person of English descent is descended from English kings. They have millions of descendants now. This is why I often stop following genealogy after a couple of generations (sometimes).
See for example http://www.foxnews.com/story/2006/07/05/genealogist-almost-everyone-on-earth-descended-from-royalty/

Fatmonkey July 5, 2013 at 1:32 pm

I just wanted to ask you for one more favor. I’m acquainted with you being able to assemble and draw long genealogy trees with ease. I was wondering if you could find any reliable sources which could confirm my belief that Casper is a descendant of the House of Des Marets, a medieval noble family originating in Cambray, France. I started having this suspicion since I examined his paternal ancestry, i.e. the side of his paternal ancestress, Rachel Auryansen. On the genealogy site ‘familytreemaker.com’, there once was an article featuring almost full genealogy of Rachel Auryansen showing that her paternal grandmother was Efje Demarest (her surname being a variant of the original ‘Des Marets’ form), as well as that Efje’s descent is connected to the noble Des Marets of medieval France. Recently, I tried to find that article once again – but apparently it has been deleted! On the other side, the number of genealogy sites presenting the Auryansen & Demarest (Des Marets) family trees and connections is scarce to nonexistent.
So, in short, try to locate Casper’s descent from the Des Marets family, with Rachel Auryansen’s immediate ancestors as the guideline (at least to my memory it should be the guideline).

Fatmonkey June 20, 2013 at 3:55 pm

I examined Casper’s genealogy a lot, especially on his mother’s side, and, while there is a possibility I’m mistaken, I discovered a side-genealogy which makes Casper a descendant of Henry II of England. This is how I believe it should go (again: I don’t (!) know how accurate this is, but it may be, none the less):

William Burnell Morrow (Casper’s maternal grandfather) was the son of Byron Salls Flagg, who was the son of Stephen Salls Flagg, who was the son of Ira Flagg, who was the son of Isaac Flagg, who was the son of Abigail Chadwick, who was the daughter of John Chadwick, who was the son of Sarah Wolcott, who was the daughter of John Wolcott, who was the son of William Wolcott, who was the son of Humphrey Wolcott, who was the son of Humphrey Wolcott, who was the son of John Wolcott, who was the son of John Wolcott, who was the son of Edward Wolcott, who was the son of Roger Wolcott, who was the son of Matilda Cornwall, who was the daughter of Richard de Cornwall, who was the son of Geoffrey de Cornwall, who was the son of Richard de Cornwall, who was the son of Geoffrey de Cornwall, who was the son of Richard de Cornwall, who was the son of Richard Plantagenet, who was the son of John “Lackland” Plantagenet, who was the son of Henry II Plantagenet, King of England.

ethnic June 19, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Yeh cool nickname.

Fatmonkey June 19, 2013 at 3:42 am

I never found a genealogy tree of Casper’s with a German ancestor on it, and I looked through practically all of his parents’ family trees available on net. Could you point a link where you discovered this? His father’s genealogy tree mentions no German ancestry either.

follers June 19, 2013 at 1:15 pm

This is a family tree of Casper’s paternal great-great-great-grandpa, Elias Adrian Vreeland. Elias’s great-great-great-great-grandpa, Elias Michielsen Vreeland, was born in New York, to a Dutch fa ther, Michael Jansen Vreeland, and a German-born mother, Fitje Hartmans Wessels, from Cologne, Rhineland, Germany.
http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=PED&db=vreelandproject&id=I7187

follers June 19, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Another ancestor is on the tree of Casper’s great-great-grandpa, Anson Rice Peterson. Anson’s great-great-great-grandpa, Johannes Barentsze Waldron, was the grandson of Jan Meynderts, who is listed as born in Jever, Friesland, Niedersachsen, Germany.
http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=PED&db=heim-family&id=P145

Another possible ancestor is the originator of Anson Rice Peterson’s line, Claes Pieterszen, who is described in family trees as “a young man from Hamburg”. This one is less clear, though.
http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=PED&db=:2835182&id=I2744

Fatmonkey June 19, 2013 at 4:29 pm

I’ll “re-research” all of the genealogies you gave me again, but for the time being, none of the three ancestors I examined had German ethnicity, but rather Dutch (even though they were indeed born in Germany). I’m guessing those were Dutch families living as an ethnic minority in Germany.
I remember that, on one ancestry board, I saw the names of the parents of William H. Bornand (Casper’s paternal great-grandfather): Louis Bornand and Elisabeth SCHNEIDER.
http://boards.ancestry.com/localities.weurope.switzerland.cantons.vaud/275/mb.ashx

The record’s veracity is kinda disputable, though, and I haven’t managed to locate William H. Bornand’s ancestry anywhere else either.

andrew June 19, 2013 at 4:33 pm

I love your nickname lol

follers June 19, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Replying to fatmonkey’s still-invisible comment – are you sure that his German-born ancestors were all of Dutch descent? Fitje Hartmans Wessels’s mother, Preyntje Hartman, is listed as born in Germany.

The “Schneider” thing is indeed correct. This is the marriage record of William Henri Bornard and Emma Augusta Villard, which lists William’s mother’s maiden name as “Schneider”. They were probably German-Swiss, as you say.
https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F67F-MN5
This is them on the census.
https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/M5WT-QT2

Fatmonkey June 20, 2013 at 7:43 am

I saw both documents – yeah, guess it seems true enough. Thanks.

I keep being perplexed at how many celebrities, when speaking of their heritage, omit to mention at least half of their ancestors’ ethnicities, if not more. Casper is but one of the examples (he mentioned, as you said, a non-traceable Native American ancestry, yet never spoke of German, Scottish, Irish, or Finnish, which are all documented).

Just one more thing: one of his ancestresses on his mother’s side, I think her name is ‘Joanna Maddocks’: her surname is Welsh, right? Would it be fair to say Casper is part Welsh, too?

follers June 20, 2013 at 10:56 am

I don’t know, there are a lot of people named Maddocks from England. http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=Search&includedb=&lang=en&ti=&surname=Maddocks&stype=Exact&given=&bplace=England

Joanna was the daughter of John Maddocks, who was the son of Henry Maddocks. I think Henry is the last traceable ancestor on that line? He is listed as being born c. 1640, in Saco, Maine. Some other trees on Rootsweb have him born in England, one says “perhaps England”, another says “WALES england” but gives a 1627 birth year. Who knows?

“I keep being perplexed at how many celebrities, when speaking of their heritage, omit to mention at least half of their ancestors’ ethnicities, if not more”

I see this very often. For example, I recently looked at the family tree of Fergie, and it is another such case.
http://ethnicelebs.com/fergie

follers June 20, 2013 at 10:58 am

Oh, and Matthew McConaughey, who is quite multi-ethnic!
http://ethnicelebs.com/matthew-mcconaughey

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