Birth Name: Jonathan Taylor Weiss
Place of Birth: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States
Date of Birth: September 8, 1981
Ethnicity: German, Swiss-German, Portuguese, distant Irish and French, possibly English
Jonathan Taylor Thomas is an American actor. His father is of Pennsylvania Dutch (German) descent, with some Swiss-German roots, and distant Irish and French ancestry. His mother is of Portuguese and possibly English ancestry.
Jonathan’s paternal “Weiss” line traces back to a Johannes “John” Weiss, who was born, c. 1756, in Wies, Lorrach, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany.
Jonathan’s paternal grandfather was Benjamin Laucks Weiss (the son of George Jacob Weiss and Emma A. Laucks). Benjamin was born in Pennsylvania, and was from a Lutheran family that had lived in Pennsylvania for many generations, of Pennsylvania Dutch (German) descent, with some Swiss-German roots. Benjamin also had remote French ancestry. George’s parents were The Rev. Benjamin J. Weiss and Emma Rahn Merkel. Jonathan’s great-great-grandfather The Rev. Benjamin was a minister in the Reformed Church (also known as the German Reformed Church), who preached in both German and English. Jonathan’s great-grandmother Emma was the daughter of Henry R. Laucks and Emma R. Raser/Raezer.
Jonathan’s paternal grandmother was Helen E. Eagle (the daughter of Charles R. Eagle and Nora Hetty Boerkert/Borkert). Helen was born in Pennsylvania, and was also from a Lutheran family of Pennsylvania Dutch (German) descent, with distant Irish roots. Charles was the son of Richard L. Eagle and Ellen Reifschneider. Nora was the daughter of Albert G. Borkert and Malinda Wentzel.
Jonathan’s maternal grandparents’ surnames were “Gonsalves” and “White”. Jonathan’s maternal grandfather was of Portuguese descent. It is not clear of Jonathan’s maternal grandmother was of Portuguese descent as well. The surname “White” could have been changed from a Portuguese surname, or it could imply English ancestry.
Sources: Genealogy of Jonathan Taylor Thomas – http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com
Engagement announcement of Jonathan’s paternal grandparents, Benjamin Laucks Weiss and Helen E. Eagle, 1925 – http://news.google.com
Jonathan’s paternal grandfather, Benjamin Laucks Weiss, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Marriage record of Jonathan’s paternal great-grandparents, George Jacob Weiss and Emma A. Laucks – https://familysearch.org
Genealogy of Jonathan’s paternal great-grandfather, George Jacob Weiss – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com
Another genealogy of Jonathan’s paternal great-grandfather, George Jacob Weiss (focusing on his own mother’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com
Biography of Jonathan’s paternal great-great-grandfather, The Rev. Benjamin J. Weiss – http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com
More of Jonathan’s patrilineal “Weiss” genealogy – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com
Genealogy of Jonathan’s paternal grandmother, Helen E. Eagle (focusing on her own father’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com
Obituary of Jonathan’s paternal grandmother, Helen E. (Eagle) Weiss – http://articles.mcall.com