Jessica Biel

by ethnic on June 16, 2008

Birth Name: Jessica Claire Biel

Place of Birth: Ely, Saint Louis, Minnesota, United States

Date of Birth: March 3, 1982

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish (great-grandfather), Danish (great-grandmother), English, along with German, Swiss-German, Scottish, distant Welsh, Swedish, and French

Jessica Biel is an American actress and model. She is known for her role in the TV drama 7th Heaven, and the films The Illusionist and I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, among many others. Jessica is married to singer and actor Justin Timberlake, with whom she has a son.

Jessica has Hungarian Jewish (from her patrilineal great-grandfather), Danish (from a great-grandmother), English, as well as some German and Swiss-German, and remote Swedish (from the early 1700s) and French, ancestry. Jessica did not know of her Hungarian Jewish ancestry until her appearance on the show Who Do You Think You Are?, in a 2017 episode. She stated:

I never heard any of this before. I’m really surprised… I can’t wait to share this with my dad… [I] never had any sort of religious community at all… [I’m] going to learn a lot more about the Hungarian Jews.

Jessica had believed that she has some degree of Native American ancestry on her mother’s side (sometimes stated as Choctaw Native American). A DNA test (AncestryDNA) whose results were displayed during Jessica’s appearance on Who Do You Think You Are? stated that Jessica has no Native American ancestry.

The DNA test stated that Jessica’s genetic ancestry is:

*99% Europe
——–*30% Great Britain
——–*26% Europe West
——–*16% Italy/Greece
——–*12% Scandinavia
——–*8% European Jewish
——–*3% Iberian Peninsula
——–*2% Ireland
——–*2% Europe East [possibly Jewish]
*<1% Africa
——–*<1% Africa

Jessica’s paternal grandfather was Donald Arthur Biel (the son of Edward Lincoln Biel and Carrie L. Rasmussen). Edward was born in Illinois, the son of Moritz/Morris Biel and Otillie/Ottilia Morskovitz, who were Jewish immigrants from Žilina (then in the Kingdom of Hungary, now in Slovakia). Carrie was born in Illinois, the daughter of Mikael Frederik Rasmussen and Eleonora Katrine Lund, who were Danish immigrants.

Jessica’s paternal grandmother is Claire Porter (the daughter of Howard Carlisle/Carlyle Porter and Marie/Mary Celeste Weber). Claire was born in Illinois. Howard was born in North Dakota, the son of Charles William Porter and Anna E. Bryant, who had roots in the U.S. going back to the 1600s. Marie/Mary Celeste was born in Illinois, the daughter of George Theodore Weber and Elizabeth Hausner, both of whom were of German descent.

Jessica’s maternal grandfather was Garth Lon Conroe (the son of Clifford Albert Conroe and Mary Frances Eloise Newkirk). Garth was born in Colorado, to a father from Kansas and a mother from Illinois. Clifford was the son of Vernon Eugene Conroe and Ada Butsch. Mary Frances Eloise was the daughter of Henry Milo Newkirk and Lillian Lee Cannon.

Jessica’s maternal grandmother is Norma J. Roberts (the daughter of James Conaway/Conway Roberts and Flora Zobeda Brasier/Brazier). Norma was born in Colorado, to parents from Missouri. James was the son of William David Roberts and Hannah Jane Miller. Flora was the daughter of William Brazier/Brasier and Eliza Belle Pearson.

Sources: Genealogies of Jessica Biel – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com
http://www.geni.com

Jessica’s paternal grandfather, Donald Arthur Biel, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Jessica’s paternal grandmother, Claire Porter, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Genealogy of Jessica’s paternal great-grandmother, Marie/Mary Celeste (Weber) Porter – https://www.findagrave.com

Genealogy of Jessica Biel (focusing on her mother’s side) – https://www.wikitree.com

Jessica’s maternal grandfather, Garth Lon Conroe, on the 1940 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Jessica’s maternal great-great-grandparents, Vernon Eugene Conroe and Ada Butsch, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Jessica’s maternal grandmother, Norma J. Roberts, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Genealogies of Jessica’s maternal great-grandparents, James Conaway/Conway Roberts and Flora Zobeda Brasier/Brazier – https://www.findagrave.com

Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

andrew August 28, 2017 at 8:03 am
bearboy April 4, 2017 at 11:17 am

I don’t know much about Jessica Biel but I don’t think the Europe East category on ancestry DNA can be “possibly Jewish.” European Jewish on ancestry DNA is equivalent to Ashkenazi Jewish and if that was Jewish it would go into the European Jewish category. In fact I believe she is less likely to have Jewish ancestry with the 2% European East than the 3% Iberian Peninsula ancestry or <1% African ancestry (assuming it's Africa North).

andrew April 4, 2017 at 12:12 pm

These are just trivia. The most important thing is that she has no Native American ancestry.

fuzzybear44 April 7, 2017 at 11:05 pm

What, no Choctaw ? Here I am thinking we could have a native ancestor in common. Oh well another celebrity wannabe native bites the dust

follers March 21, 2017 at 3:17 pm
bearboy March 23, 2017 at 7:38 am

I find it kind of surprising that her father had no idea he had a Jewish grandfather.

bearboy March 23, 2017 at 7:46 am

But then again look at Bill Maher, Madeline Albright, and John Kerry.

follers March 23, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Maher has known that his mother is Jewish since he was about thirteen, so it’s not really the same thing.

andrew February 23, 2017 at 5:04 pm
andrew February 23, 2017 at 4:59 pm
follers February 23, 2017 at 9:20 pm

Sarah Keaton isn’t an ancestor of Jessica’s, but of Jessica’s great-great-great-grandfather, Sherwood William Pearson’s, other wife, Nancy Jane Keaton Pearson.

andrew February 24, 2017 at 3:11 pm
andrew February 23, 2017 at 4:46 pm
andrew October 22, 2017 at 2:36 pm
anen87 March 27, 2016 at 8:20 pm

She resembles Christy Turlington a lot. The nose, eye color, smile/teeth. The only common ethnicity they share is English.

labird August 18, 2015 at 9:35 am

Where does exactly says that she has Swedish ancestry?
I don´t find it in all the sources posted.

follers August 18, 2015 at 4:57 pm
passingtime85 April 17, 2015 at 1:35 am

Correction.

I don’t think Morris Biel was Jewish. Each of the censuses he was listed on, he always listed Austrian/Hungarian as his nationality and Hungarian as his language. Are you sure you aren’t mixing her grandfather up with another Morris Biel?

Could you cite which document led to the assumption?

follers April 17, 2015 at 8:10 am

His language being listed as “Hungarian” doesn’t mean much (most Hungarian Jews did not speak Yiddish). Census language or “race” can prove someone is Jewish, but usually can’t rule it out.

“Biel” and “Morskovitz” are clearly not ethnic Hungarian surnames.

The family has two “boarder”s listed as living with them over the years. Louis Silver, in 1900, born in Austria, and Herman Schlesinger, in 1920, born in Hungary (likely Jewish).

Moreover, at least two of the Biel children married Jewish spouses in the United States. Alexander Biel married Anna Weinberger (whose parents were also Hungarian Jews). Julius Biel married Ella Berman (whose parents were Russian Jews). While several of the other siblings married non-Jews, none of them married non-Jewish Austrians or Hungarians.

One child marrying a Jewish spouse doesn’t mean much. But given the time period and everything else, it’s unlikely two children would (if they weren’t Jewish themselves), especially considering none of the other siblings married non-Jewish Austrians or Hungarians.

Alexander’s wife, Anna Weinberger, is a pretty good example of someone from a typical Hungarian Jewish immigrant family. Her parents, Rosa (Neumann) and Abraham Weinberger, are listed as speaking Hungarian on the census as well. But all or most of their children married Jewish spouses.

Based on some evidence, I think the family converted to Christian Science in the United States. That would explain why some of the children married Jews (who probably also practiced Christian Science) while some married WASPs (but none married people of non-Jewish Central European background).

passingtime85 April 18, 2015 at 4:03 pm

Wouldn’t that all be considered circumstantial evidence? Either way I’ll just leave it be.

follers February 23, 2017 at 4:06 pm
cdonorab April 7, 2017 at 1:02 pm

In the episode it shows a census from the town in Hungry were the Biels lived and it was all Jewish people. The person who showed Jessica the entry for her family said that if a non Jewish person was in it they would have marked them as non Jewish. Not only that the Jewish dna is consistent with great grandparents being Jewish.

midori29 February 10, 2015 at 10:39 am

Actually I did read in reports that she had Native American dna and she looks it.

follers February 10, 2015 at 11:05 am

What was the name of Jessica Biel’s last Native American ancestor?

ashash April 1, 2015 at 1:12 pm

Well, Jessica is part Ashkenazi Jewish mixed in with Northern European and therefore looks Turkish. Perhaps you are confusing her appearance with that of a Native American.

WTF January 29, 2015 at 5:06 am

This bitch is so overrated and ugly. She looks like a man and her husband is ugly af too.

ashash December 20, 2014 at 1:44 pm

Thought she was Native American. She looks Native American, though.

J420 August 14, 2015 at 8:15 am

Lol no. No she doesn’t.

WTF June 26, 2014 at 4:44 am

she has a michael jackson nose

gonzo January 13, 2014 at 8:38 pm

Бил – bił in polish is as u said past tense from your english “to beat” (bić in polish), pronunciation is not similar to biel (maybe only in USA where people often pronounce their immigrant names in all kinds of wrong ways – in this case yes Бил can sound like biel lol). Biel in polish means “whiteness” not “white” which is biały.

biel=white=polishsurname December 25, 2013 at 6:58 pm

“immigrants from the Austro-Hungarian Empire” it means they were polish jews after partition of Poland… Biel means White in polish, it is polish surname.

biel=white=polishsurname&word January 4, 2014 at 3:06 am

You forgot one thing. There was no Poland that time [ 3 partitions of Poland in 18 century]and 1/3 of Rzeczpospolita/Poland/Polish land became part of Austro-Hungarian Empire. BTW, “Biel” is polish surname/word and means “white” in Polish language and there is no such word in hungarian language…Make some research in polish and hungarian vocabulary or in google translator and you will see i am right.

Marc 2 January 5, 2014 at 8:15 am

Looks like you’re from Poland. Don’t you think that this surname concentrates around southern Poland, about Carpathian area.
And second question, what do you think about pronunciation of name “Biel” which is very similar to Eastern Slavic word “Бил” or “to beat” in English???

Marc 2 January 5, 2014 at 8:21 am

“Бил” or “To beat” in the past tension, surely

AnonymousPerson December 24, 2013 at 8:39 pm

She looks like she has some Native American in her.

andrew December 24, 2013 at 5:42 am

for humanid

Jewish is placed first coz it’s her paternal direct lineage, maternal is alwais put after. I think Jessica is unaware to have some Jewish in her, as many Americans about any ethnicity btw

Marc 2 November 3, 2013 at 7:47 am

To people don’t get confused reading about Biel’s ethnicity, there’s a sense to express it as a percentage.

British/French – 68,75 %
Danish -12.5 %
Austrian or possibly Ashkenazi (never mind) -12.5 %
Swiss -6.25 %

So she’s predominantly Western European

follers November 3, 2013 at 10:17 am

French and British are not the same (and Biel’s French ancestry is much smaller than her English), there is also Swedish and German, and we’re down to “possibly” Ashkenazi now?

Marc 2 November 3, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Her German ancestry among the Swiss branch. And i did not find Swedish.
European trend: Western-Central-Eastern is not less important than trend: North-South, both culturally and ethnically.

andrew November 4, 2013 at 5:21 am

The main difference is Eastern European/Western European. I can distinguish Eastern Europeans from Western ones (it doesnt matter if Northern/Central or Southerners) by a mile, and it’s not about the hair/eyes type/colour. They have a different head shape

Marc 2 November 27, 2013 at 4:13 am

Agree. It is very easy to distinguish Eastern Europeans from Western in general.If we’re talking about these two areas It is possible to guess where are some people from with 90-95% possibility. And you’re right, level of pigmentation doesn’t have to do with this. Central Europe is between this two areas and it’s population is the result of two head tides, from West and from East. This zone streches from Italy through Germany to Scandinavia, and is the most mixed in Europe.

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