Harrison Ford

by ethnic on December 26, 2013

Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

Date of Birth: July 13, 1942

*Irish and one quarter German (father)
*Ashkenazi Jewish (mother)

Harrison Ford is an American actor and producer. He is the son of Dora/Dorothy (Nidelman), a radio actress, and Christopher Ford (born John William Ford), an actor and advertising executive. His brother is actor Terence Ford.

Harrison’s father was born in Manhattan, New York, of three quarters Irish and one quarter German ancestry. Harrison’s mother, also born in New York, was Jewish, the daughter of Jewish immigrants from Minsk, Belarus (at that time, Minsk was part of the Russian Empire). Harrison was raised around both Catholicism (his father’s religion) and Judaism (his mother’s religion). Harrison’s father’s first wife, Celia Mast, was also Jewish.

On Inside the Actors Studio (2000), Harrison humorously stated, “As a man I’ve always felt Irish, as an actor I’ve always felt Jewish.”

Harrison was selected People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” in 1998. He is the first man of significant Jewish heritage to have been given this title by the magazine (Adam Levine, in 2013, is the second, and David Beckham, in 2015, is the third).

Harrison is married to actress Calista Flockhart. He has five children, one with Calista; two with his former wife, Mary Marquardt; and two with his former wife, screenwriter Melissa Mathison.

Harrison’s paternal grandfather was named John Fitzgerald Ford. John was of Irish descent.

Harrison’s paternal grandmother was Florence Veronica Niehaus/Von Niehaus (the daughter of Charles Niehaus and Della Conway). Florence was born in New York. Charles was of German ancestry. Della was born in New York, to Irish parents, Roger Conway and Bridget Rooney.

Harrison’s maternal grandfather was named Harry Nidelman/Needleman. Harry was born in Minsk, to a Jewish family.

Harrison’s maternal grandmother was Nachama “Annie/Anna” Lifshitz/Lipshitz (the daughter of Chaim/Khiam Ha Levi “Jacob” Lifshitz and Reisa or Leah Shmerkovitz). Nachama was born in Minsk, to a Jewish family. She met Harrison’s grandfather, born in the same city, in the United States. Chaim was the son of Eliezer Aron Lippman, who was born in Ukmergė, Vilnius, Lithuania, and of a woman whose surname was “Halevi”.

Sources: Jenkins, Gary (March 1999). Harrison Ford: Imperfect Hero.

Genealogies of Harrison Ford – http://www.geni.com

Birth record of Harrison’s father – https://familysearch.org

Harrison’s paternal grandmother, Florence Veronica Niehaus/Von Niehaus, on the 1900 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Death record of Harrison’s paternal great-grandmother, Della (Conway) Niehaus – https://familysearch.org

Harrison’s mother on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

neiltennant July 5, 2017 at 10:18 am

my god he is 75 and looks 20 years younger and is still hot

he is slim athletic and has all his hair

andrew August 22, 2016 at 3:58 am
allennox December 20, 2015 at 8:18 pm

He aint dead

Ajaxfan December 19, 2015 at 12:22 am

R.I.P my friend

cwm85 December 20, 2015 at 2:28 pm

R.I.P. ??

Capricious October 9, 2015 at 6:10 am

I think he would’ve been much attractive if he had dark or hazel eyes…

Racial Realist March 25, 2018 at 3:55 pm

His eyes are ambiguous and dark enough that in some movies they do look brown or hazel. In most of Star Wars for instance.
Wasn’t until much later that I realized his eyes were green.

Affellay August 2, 2015 at 3:17 pm

wow hes got an earring in his left ear:) wonder why it looks so cheap lol

nnnnn April 28, 2013 at 2:21 pm


MickeyCool32 July 14, 2012 at 2:44 pm

a surname tells you were your family comes from directly regardless whether they lived in a country they were born in and directly moved from. The family think their irish as in native gaelic irish but they are not, they would be termed anglo-irish.

Alice September 6, 2012 at 5:21 am

Mickey – Ireland is an unusual place when it comes to tracking surname origin. Many Irish families (even Gaelic) have names that were translated from their original Gaelic form to English and Ford is one of those names. Ford is quite a common name in Ireland and some of the people could originate from England or be Gaelic. http://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=ford
Ireland was controlled by England for hundreds of years and there were plantations of English, Welsh, Scottish people into Ireland but also many native names were anglicized. I’m of Irish descent myself and my name is of Norman origin. These people have been in Ireland for centuries and even if the origin is English or Cambro-Norman they are Irish. Many of these names have been in Ireland for nearly a 1000 years and as I said they could have been anglicized from the original Gaelic.

MickeyCool32 July 14, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Actually fitzgerald did originate with a english knight called otto but also he married welsh women to and it became fitzgerald in wales before moving to ireland however thats not saying all the women were pure welsh. So it does not originate in ireland. Ford is entirely an old english surname and originated in england meaning a river crossing so dave is totally right. Ford is not gaelicised, So yes harrison would think he is irish and many brits settled in ireland and thought of themselves as irish as they were born in ireland but infact they were not ethnically irish (gaelic) and even some gaelic names are not purely native irish e.g. Doyle which means dark (haired) foreigner. Many went native. But ultimately ford is english and not even gaelicised. Yes they saw themselves as irish as a nationality but not necessarily gaelic and also many gaels were protestants as well as many british settlers were originally catholic, so its a very confusing picture, the modern irish have a broad range of hair and eye colours. Also many millions of english settled in america for centuries and while many americans dont have direct english ancestry will have distant english ancestry, the english are supposedly an invisible group however were very visible but not recorded well, more people have english ancestry than they assume. Many people pivk irish as the irish have sold themselves well and it is seen as a cooler identity

Alice September 6, 2012 at 5:54 am

Fitzgerald is a Norman name originally and they came to Ireland in the 12th century from England/Wales. Many English families are of Norman origin as well so are you saying they are not English? Many people came to the British Isles from continental Europe but that was hundreds of years ago. Whether Irish have English origin names or Norman origin they have been in Ireland for centuries and would be well and truly mixed with lots of Gaelic Irish. It is interesting knowing the history of names but by your logic wouldn’t a lot of “English” people be Frisian? These people have been in Ireland a lot longer than places like USA, Canada, Australia have been in existence. The history of what you say is correct but so many Irish have foreign origin names just like the Scottish and English. I’m not disagreeing with you but just explaining that many names in Ireland are not Gaelic but are of English/Scottish/Welsh origin (also Norman/Viking) but people bearing those names are as Irish as anyone bearing O or Mac names.

Alice September 6, 2012 at 6:06 am

The more I have delved into the history of the British Isles the more I am perplexed by the petty animosities of the people. There is more shared ancestry and heritage than differences. It is good that people can put aside the bad history of the past and realise that whether you are English, Welsh, Scottish or Irish you have more in common than not.

Dave August 25, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Ford is an English name, FitzGerald is Anglo-Norman English origin, the amount of excuses made by Americans to deny English heritage is unbelievable.

Anonymous August 25, 2010 at 1:44 pm

They both are Irish names.

Alice December 26, 2011 at 5:12 am

People can get names very wrong. FitzGerald is a common name in Ireland and it is not English but Norman but is now completely Irish as they came in the 12th century. The name Ford is also quite common in Ireland. I’m sure people know where there families originate from. The British Isles has so many people coming and going from Britain to Ireland over the years you would have to check where people originate from.

Alice April 4, 2012 at 9:53 pm

The above link is about Henry Ford but explains about the Ford family in Ireland. It does illustrate the complexity of working out where people come from judging by their surnames especially in Britain and Ireland. There has been alot of movement back and forth.

kat January 15, 2012 at 6:54 am

You do realize, that the English anglicized Irish surnames don’t you? If Harrison Ford says that his ancestry if from Ireland, than so be it.

ethnic May 5, 2010 at 10:37 am

I totally agree Dave.

Dave May 5, 2010 at 4:57 am

When asked, Ford usually only mentions his Irish and Jewish heritage. But yes, his paternal grandmother was German. His ancestry is traced in this book

Anonymous May 4, 2010 at 10:22 pm
ethnic May 4, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Niehaus is a German name.

ralph May 3, 2010 at 5:43 pm

No Harrisson Ford’s father was Irish and his mother was a Russian Jew. He revealed this on Inside The Actors’s Studio

LiL V4CH4 April 17, 2010 at 9:43 am
natalia rusak April 17, 2010 at 9:04 am


kira:)) March 28, 2010 at 4:21 pm

indiana jones is the greatest!

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