Jill Hennessy

Hennessy in 2012, image via kathclick/bigstock.com

Birth Name: Jillian Noel Hennessy

Place of Birth: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Date of Birth: November 25, 1968

Ethnicity: Irish, French-Canadian, Swedish, Italian, Ukrainian, Austrian, Romani

Hennessy is a Canadian actress and musician. She is known for her roles on the television series, Law & Order and Crossing Jordan. She is the daughter of Maxine and John Hennessy. Her sister is Jacqueline Hennessy, a journalist, television host, and actress. She is married to Paolo Mastropietro, with whom she has two children.

She has said that her mother is mainly a “Ukrainian Gypsy.”

Jill’s paternal grandfather was named John D. Hennessy.

Jill’s paternal grandmother was Eleanor Marie Renaud (the daughter of Raymond Renaud and Rose Carnegie/Carnaghie). Rose was born in Ontario, to Italian parents, Louis Carnaghie and Mary.

Jill’s maternal grandmother was the daughter of Ukrainian parents. Jill has said, “My grandmother was a powerhouse force of nature… She grew up in a Ukrainian camp outside of Edmonton, not speaking any English.”

A picture of Jill with her mother can be seen here.

Sources: https://www.avenueedmonton.com

Obituary of Jill’s paternal grandmother, Eleanor Marie (Renaud) Hennessy – http://erbgood.com

Jill’s paternal great-grandmother, Rose (Carnegie/Carnaghie) Renaud, on the 1911 Canada Census – https://www.familysearch.org


Curious about ethnicity

22 Responses

  1. madman says:

    “Her dad’s executive sales job moved them across Canada a lot, but the girls and baby brother made frequent visits to their Ukrainian grandparents in Edmonton.”


    So apparently her maternal grandfather is of Ukrainian origin too.

    In her song Edmonton (which is about her maternal grandmother), the first two line goes: “She brought a glass teacup / Red as Gypsies’ blood”. So it’s safe to say that her grandmother was of Romani descent, which is backed up by her living in a camp outside of Edmonton. Anyway, I don’t think she has Austrian ancestry now.

  2. madman says:


    “The fact that she is singing at a Ukrainian center is appropriate. One new song, “Edmonton,” is about her maternal grandmother, who was born to Ukrainian immigrants.

    “My grandmother was a powerhouse force of nature,” says Hennessy. “She grew up in a Ukrainian camp outside of Edmonton, not speaking any English.” The family later moved to Edmonton, where they had to deal with intolerance and prejudice.”


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