Daniel Radcliffe

Radcliffe in 2005, BMCL / Shutterstock.com

Birth Name: Daniel Jacob Radcliffe

Place of Birth: Fulham, Hammersmith, London, England, U.K.

Date of Birth: 23 July, 1989

*Northern Irish (father)
*Ashkenazi Jewish (mother)

Daniel Radcliffe is a British actor. He is known for playing Harry Potter in the feature films based on the book series.

Daniel is the son of Alan Radcliffe (Alan George Radcliffe), a literary agent, and Marcia Gresham (previously Marcia Gresham Jacobson), a casting agent.

Daniel’s father is from Northern Ireland, and is from a Protestant family; given the English surname Radcliffe, Daniel’s father likely also has English ancestry. Daniel has family in County Down.

Daniel’s mother was born in South Africa, to Jewish parents (their families were originally from Lithuania and Poland). Daniel’s maternal grandfather was from South Africa and Daniel’s maternal grandmother was born in England.

Daniel is an atheist, and has repeatedly stated that he self-identifies as Jewish. For example, when asked by The Daily Beast if he considers himself Jewish, he stated:

Absolutely. I really do. My dad is Northern Irish and my mum is Jewish. That’s working blood. Though I am not religious in the least, I am very proud to be Jewish.

Daniel’s paternal grandfather was Edward “Teddy” Radcliffe (the son of George Edward Radcliffe). George was born in Banbridge, Co. Down, the son of Edward Radcliffe.

Daniel’s paternal grandmother was named Elsie May Crowther.

One of Daniel’s paternal great-grandmothers was named Florence McDowell. She was the daughter of Tommy McDowell and Elizabeth.

Daniel’s maternal grandfather was Wilfred Jacobson (the son of S. H. Jacobson). The Jacobson family in Johannesburg, South Africa, comes from Lithuania.

Daniel’s maternal grandmother is Muriel Jean Patricia Gresham (born Gershon; the daughter of Samuel “Sam” Gershon and Rachel/Raie Diana Jacobs). Muriel was born in Rochford, Essex, England. Samuel was born in Hackney, London, England, and was the son of Louis Gershon, who was born in Wreschen, now Września, Posen, Germany, now Poland; and of Jessie Greenwall/Lipman, who was born in Kalisz/Kalisch, Wielkopolskie, Poland. The couple had lived in South Africa. Daniel’s great-grandmother Rachel was also born in London, to Maurice Jacobs (the son of Yehuda Leib/Louis Krengel and Bessie Sara Marks) and Julia Jacobs or Millie Cohen (the daughter of Maurice Cohen).

Sources: Information about Daniel’s appearance on Who Do You Think You Are?, 2019 – https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk

Genealogies of Daniel Radcliffe – http://bygonesandbyways.blogspot.ca


Curious about ethnicity

20 Responses

  1. HamarFFox says:

    Does anyone know why his mother was married as Gresham (her mother’s maiden name) and not Jacobson? Gresham is also given as Daniel’s mother’s maiden name.

    • follers says:

      Radcliffe’s grandmother was born under the surname “Gershon”, which was then changed to “Gresham”.

      As I understand it, Radcliffe’s mother was raised by her own mother, and barely knew her own father, whose surname was “Jacobson”. Her name was Marcia Gresham Jacobson, and she presumably shortened the name to simply “Gresham” when she started working in showbusiness.

  2. bearboy says:

    Opinion question if you don’t mind which is a more accurate test ancestry DNA or 23andme?

  3. Rob2000 says:

    “Radcliffe” is a classic English surname. As such, it is extremely likely that his Northern Irish ancestry in fact consists of English settlers in Ulster and their descendants. The fact that his Northern Irish side is Protestant makes this even more likely.

    The name “Radcliffe” is both Anglo-Saxon and locational, meaning that it could not have arisen anywhere but England. To illustrate the point, it would be like attributing English ancestry to an American called Kelly or O’Sullivan based on one of his ancestors’ having been born in England. It would be appropriate to acknowledge that Radcliffe is of English ancestry.

  4. ARS says:


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.