Gemma Arterton

by ethnic on March 15, 2010

Birth Name: Gemma Christina Arterton

Place of Birth: Gravesend, Kent, England, U.K.

Date of Birth: 2 February, 1986

Ethnicity: English, as well as 1/8th Jewish (matrilineal), and small amounts of German and Scottish

Gemma Arterton is a British actress. She played the title role in the BBC’s four-hour version of Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Her sister is actress Hannah Arterton.

Gemma has English ancestry, as well as a Jewish great-grandmother (her maternal grandmother’s mother, who was of Polish Jewish, with more distant Dutch Jewish, Czech Jewish, and Sephardi Jewish, ancestry). Gemma also has a small amount of German and Scottish roots, from other lines of her own family tree.

Gemma’s paternal grandfather is Arthur Ernest Arterton (the son of Ernest Walter/William R. Arterton and Henrietta Louisa Hall). Arthur was born in West Ham, Essex. Gemma’s great-grandfather Ernest was the son of William Rivett/Clarke Arterton and Emily Cook. Henrietta was the daughter of George Thomas Hall and Lydia Cocking.

Germma’s paternal grandmother is Nellie Christina Smith (the daughter of Arthur Smith and Amy Nellie L. Pouncett). Gemma’s grandmother Nellie was born in Gravesend, Kent. Amy was the daughter of Alfred Pouncett and Christiana, who was German.

Germma’s maternal grandfather is Ronald S. Heap (the son of Edwin Stanley Heap and Elsie Smith). Ronald was born in Oldham, Lancashire.

Gemma’s maternal grandmother was Helen Marjorie Rosina Sarfas (the daughter of Albert Charles Henry Sarfas and Jean I. Lesley, born Jean I. Specterman). Helen was born in Pancras, London. Albert was the son of William George Sarfas.

Gemma’s matrilineal great-grandmother Jean was the daughter of Lazarus/Louis Specterman and Marjorie Elizabeth Spiers, who were both Jewish. Lazarus was the son of Marks Specterman and Rose, who were Polish Jewish immigrants. Marjorie was the daughter of Solomon Spiers, who was of Polish Jewish descent, and of Isabella Phillips; Gemma’s great-great-great-grandmother Isabella was born in Cardiff, Wales, the daughter of Moses/Moss Phillips, who was of Polish Jewish descent, and of Flora Kisch, who was also Jewish; Flora was the daughter of Abraham de Simon Kisch and Isabella Halevi.

Gemma’s matrilineal great-great-great-great-great-grandmother, Beila b Simhah or Isabella HaLevy/Halevi, was born, c. 1799, in Middlesex, England, the daughter of Simchal Halevi and Hannah Moses.

Sources: Family history of Gemma Arterton (focusing on her father’s side) –

Genealogy of Gemma Arterton (focusing on her father’s side) –

Genealogy of Gemma Arterton (focusing on her mother’s side) –

Genealogy of Gemma’s maternal great-grandfather, Albert Charles Henry Sarfas (focusing on his father’s side) –

Genealogy of Gemma’s maternal great-great-grandfather, William George Sarfas –

Genealogy of Gemma’s maternal great-great-great-great-grandmother, Flora Kisch –

Featureflash /

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

madman October 7, 2017 at 1:31 am

as well as a Jewish matrilineal great-grandmother —> 1/8th Jewish (matrilineal)

neiltennant January 24, 2017 at 2:28 am

She is exotic enough to play PERSIANS and italians in movies which she also did

andrew January 28, 2017 at 11:46 am

Plenty of Persian women use cosmetic surgery to look more Western European.

neiltennant January 6, 2018 at 5:11 pm

what a logic


MettaWorkPlease September 14, 2016 at 8:48 pm

I knew she was too pretty to be just English

Hill April 9, 2017 at 8:15 am

No one is just English. They’re just mostly English, like her. Therefore your comment makes no sense.

ashash January 6, 2018 at 6:58 pm

The Jewish in her is what makes her beautiful, not the English.

madman July 23, 2016 at 11:00 am

English, 1/8th Jewish, small amounts of German and Scottish

andrew September 14, 2016 at 1:10 pm
crunty July 17, 2016 at 8:20 am

The foreign elements in here give her an edge over other English actors, none of which have her exotic looks and smoky voice.

phaedra April 24, 2016 at 11:37 pm

Her surname is so foreign sounding. Sounds like a Turkic name.

neiltennant January 24, 2017 at 2:26 am

No its not exotic or foreign but her looks is very exotic

labird August 29, 2015 at 10:26 am

Correct she is 1/16 German an 1/16 German is not very distant precisely.

follers August 29, 2015 at 1:01 pm

She’s less than 1/16th.

Wolfman August 28, 2015 at 11:20 am

Beautiful! I thought she was a Punjabi Princess like she played in Prince of Persia? LOL X

ashash March 28, 2015 at 1:14 pm

She’s 1/8 Jewish!

Cara Delevingne is 1/16 Jewish. Olivia Wilde is 1/64 Jewish and Damien Lewis is 1/32 Jewish.

Very cool.

Wolfman March 7, 2016 at 10:55 am

Cool! I have some DNA matches with Jews from Eastern European Poland, Russia and Ukraine. It’s from their Scythian and Hun origin which connects them with my caste.

Sully January 20, 2015 at 5:28 pm

I used to think she was Russian or Ukrainian for some reason. I guess because she reminded me so much of Ukrainian/Russian actress Olga Kurylenko.

Junior August 14, 2010 at 12:08 pm

She doesn’t look English at all..

NightStarrywayto1971 March 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm

another dumb comment…

Dave May 9, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Here’s a detailed family tree… mostly English and a bit of German…

ethnic May 13, 2010 at 8:35 am

Nice one Dave

Tic May 9, 2010 at 5:52 pm

Very English look… brown eyes and hair.

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