Katherine Heigl

by Lil Vacha on September 3, 2009

Birth Name: Katherine Marie Heigl

Place of Birth: Washington, D.C., U.S.

Date of Birth: November 24, 1978

*62.5% German
*12.5% Swiss-German
*25% Irish

Katherine Heigl is an American actress, producer, and model. Among her many roles is the television series Grey’s Anatomy and the film Knocked Up.

Her father is of one half Irish, one quarter German, and one quarter Swiss-German, descent. Her mother is of German ancestry. Katherine is married to musician and actor Josh Kelley, with whom she has three children, including a daughter from Korea. One of Katherine’s siblings, a sister, is also from Korea.

Katherine’s paternal grandfather was John H./Joseph Heigl (the son of Joseph Heigl and Ida Burki). John was born in Minnesota. Katherine’s great-grandfather Joseph was a German immigrant, the son of Lorentz Heigl and Theresa Fodel. Ida was a Swiss immigrant, of Swiss-German descent, and was the daughter of Jacob Burki and Anna Muller.

Katherine’s paternal grandmother was Margaret Mary Lynes (the daughter of Patrick John Lynes/Lyne and Josephine Murray). Margaret was born in New Jersey. Patrick and Josephine were Irish immigrants. Patrick was the son of John Lyne and Ellen Donoghue. Josephine was the daughter of John Murray and Eliza/Elizabeth Smith.

Katherine’s maternal grandfather was Reinhold Ferdinand Engelhardt/Engelhart (the son of Ernest Engelhardt and Marie). Reinhold was born in Germany.

Katherine’s maternal grandmother was Margaretta/Margaret Jane Debus (the daughter of Frederick Jekel Debus and Elda Adeline Niehaus). Margaretta was born in New York. Frederick was born in New York, the son of Charles Frederick Debus and Canadian-born Elizabeth Katherine Jekel, and all of his grandparents were German, from Bavaria and Hessen. Elda was born in Pennsylvania, the daughter of Charles Henry Niehaus and Amelia Johanna Langkamp, who were both of German descent.

Sources: Katherine’s paternal grandfather, John H./Joseph Heigl, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Marriage record of Katherine’s paternal great-grandparents, Joseph Heigl and Ida Burki – https://familysearch.org

Katherine’s paternal great-grandparents, Joseph Heigl and Ida Burki, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Katherine’s paternal grandmother, Margaret Mary Lynes, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Katherine’s maternal grandfather, Reinhold Ferdinand Engelhardt/Engelhart, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Genealogy of Katherine’s maternal grandmother, Margaretta/Margaret Jane Debus – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Obituary of Katherine’s maternal grandmother, Margaretta/Margaret Jane (Debus) Engelhardt – http://www.legacy.com

photo by s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

neiltennant August 29, 2018 at 2:16 pm

she does not look german but italian or romanian

Devotion October 23, 2015 at 12:15 am

What is it with German women and big “ethnic” mouths?

andrew October 23, 2015 at 5:56 am

it’s actually a typical German trait, a wannabe European like you should know.

Devotion October 23, 2015 at 6:21 pm

You’re the idiot with the inferior complex who thinks Italians and Greeks look more like “Nordics” when they actually look like Arabs more. Speak of yourself, hypocrite.

Lol, “wannabe European”. I’m Serbian with Jewish and Lebanese ancestry. I do more take pride in the latter ancestries. Sucks for you I guess.

follers October 23, 2015 at 6:36 pm

I thought you said you were Assyrian, theropod?

andrew October 24, 2015 at 3:28 am

I actually never wrote Italians and Greeks look more “Nordics”, whatever you mean. Otherwise you wrote MANY Greeks look Saudi Arabian, Ryan Reynolds looks Turkish (would he be credible as kebab seller??) and Ben Affleck looks Lebanese. Btw I apologize, I didn’t know you were part Serbian, dear Devotion/Capricious/Theropod (Did I forget some sock accounts?).

Devotion October 25, 2015 at 6:41 pm

A Greek looking like Saudi Arabian? That was just once when I said this. Yes, rather oddly, a number of them resemble Arabs (not necessarily Saudi). I’ve seen more Turks who look Slavic and Nordic than Greeks who look like that. Don’t let your eurocentrism bias talk…

Phoenicians and Levants have more in common with Southern Europeans than Peninsula Arabs. This is fact. But you seem to have a huge problem with that for some reason, jumping to your usual “Euro try hard” antic. Lol…

Seriously, what’s your ethnicity? I wouldn’t be surprised if you were Southern European who gets pressured when people compare him to Middle Easterners.

Lool sockpuppet….This is just one account. You can change usernames as much as you want. Not sure why you’re talking the name thing as an ad hominem…

Follers, “spiritually” yes. Well, my in-laws are Assyrian ancestry. I have grown to like Assyrians since I’m usually around them in my job and my community.

andrew October 25, 2015 at 6:51 pm

I’m Western European. Nordic-looking Turks? maybe in your wet dreams.

Devotion October 25, 2015 at 7:46 pm

Same way you have wet dreams of Greeks and Italians looking more like Germans than they do Lebanese and Turks.

But hey, at least you enjoy these dreams. Good luck with them, Andrew.

andrew July 26, 2018 at 5:07 am

@Devotion (or Shelati, I know you)

I remember you that Italy and Germany are separated by just about 100km (62miles). Lebanon is in the Middle East and the largest part of Turkey is not geographically considered Europe.

neiltennant July 26, 2018 at 2:19 am

idiot that is not german feature
this old woman looks italian

cwm85 July 21, 2015 at 3:24 pm

German. That would have been my first guess and I was correct.

neiltennant August 3, 2015 at 2:07 pm

hey mate I’m from germany and i have never seen a full blooded german with those dark eyes

and thank god that we don’t have nnnnn anymore who claims that every white with dark brown eyes has hazel eyes
thats stupid

thats not true. I have seen so many pics of her and she has dark brown eyes

And believe me in germany i have seen many germans with brown eyes but they were hazel or greenish

and german people i thought of had dark brown eyes i came next to them and saw greenish brown eyes

and the same with british people with dark brown eyes.

Those who have dark brown eyes do have foreigners blood

The only celeb i know who has dark brown eyes and is of german descent is MOLLY RINGWALD but there must be something else

J420 October 24, 2015 at 9:58 am

Please stop lying and stereotyping about dark eyes, they are not soley based among foreigners.

sarahle October 25, 2015 at 11:21 pm

was fuer ein bloedsinn…

of course there are “full blooded” germans with dark brown eyes! for example franzi von almsick the german national swimmer….

neiltennant August 30, 2016 at 1:44 pm

VAN ALMSICK is not full blooded GERMAN

but she has also belgian and dutch descent plus bulgarian descent on her mothers side

Belgians and bulgarians do have dark brown eyes

neiltennant July 21, 2015 at 2:45 pm

her eyes do have some kind of italian vibe

she looks like the daughter of TINE DALY who is mostly italian

follers July 21, 2015 at 4:48 pm

Tyne Daly doesn’t have a drop of Italian blood in her body.

Freerk May 16, 2015 at 6:42 am

Whom it may interest: “Heigl” is a Bavarian name. No German without at least Bavarian ancestry would bear this name.

sarahle May 17, 2015 at 11:39 am

“heigl” is german just with a bavarian dialect… bavarian is part of german language.

Freerk May 18, 2015 at 9:18 pm

Believe me, I am German. ;-)

Bavarian is a German dialect, yes, and it uses some linguistic items that are specific Bavarian. No one without Bavarian ancestors would bear this name. (That doesn’t say he or she is still Bavarian, but the origin of the name is Bavarian).

Germany is a very heterogeneous country; Standard German originally was a artificially constructed administrative language in order to communicate between the small states with their dialects. (That is the reason for its sometimes harsh sounding; the dialects – and besides even the real spoken German apart of German Nazis in American movies … – sound by far softer and more melodic.) No one originally spoke Standard German (it was pushed by the state in schools; my father and most Northern Germans of his generation grew up with Lower Saxon as first language), and thus there are many regional characteristics, for example with the names.

Like typical dialectal morphemes there are many regionally (tribally, if you want) specific names or parts of names in Germany. “-gl” is Bavarian or Austrian, “-le”/”-ele” is Alemannic (Swabian and Baden – and Yiddish, of course, indicating its regional origin ), “-tz”/”-itz” Eastern German (originally Slavic); “Huber” and “Moser” are names that indicate definitely Bavarian ancestry; in the north you write “Meier” or “Meyer”, in the south “Mayer”; “Wilhelm” is Standard German, “Willem” North German; the Frisians (my people) have many given names no one else uses (Freerk, of course :D for Fred(e)rik/Friedrich, Menno, Habbo … Wiebke, Thalke … Fiske O_o; typical is the “-ke”-ending in female names and “-o” in male names) – and so on. And on…

sarahle May 20, 2015 at 11:44 am

danke fuer die ausfuehrliche erlaeuterung. dennoch gehoert alles in die deutsche “schublade” :)

Freerk May 20, 2015 at 5:07 pm

Hab ich’s mir doch gedacht! :D

Im Ernst: Du hast ja nicht ganz Unrecht, aber auch nicht wirklich Recht. Die Schublade ist ein Wandschrank, und da ist einiges Disparate drin. Außerdem versuche ich gerne, speziell Amerikaner daran zu hindern, Deutsche mit Bayern zu verwechseln. ;-)

Ethnisch (und von der Mentalität) sind die Norddeutschen den Niederländern viel näher verwandt als den Süddeutschen, und sprachlich … Ich verstehe sogar einen Dänen besser als einen Bayern, der Dialekt spricht.

(Haben wir schon mal ausprobiert, als wir uns zu einer Tankstelle durchfragen wollten … Natürlich waren wir “Saupreißn, dammische”, für die, und vermutlich haben die einen extrafiesen Dialekt aus der hintersten Schublade gekramt …)

Und versuch mal, einen Norddeutschen für den Karneval oder fürs Oktoberfest zu begeistern … Sinnlos! :D

Es ist also sehr von der Perspektive abhängig, ob man die alle zusammenpackt oder lieber nicht. Oder vom Geltungsbereich. In diesem Fall kann man ohne Einschränkung sagen, dass Heigl ein bayrischer Name ist, weil der tatsächlich ausschließlich bayrisch ist, die Trennschärfe ist also absolut. “Deutsch” ist er nur insofern, als Bayern Deutsche sind. Aber er ist eben nicht deutsch, insofern er in anderen Teilen Deutschlands nicht vorkommt (abgesehen von Exilbayern und deren Nachfahren). ;-)

Englische Tastatur? :)

Shall I translate?

sarahle May 25, 2015 at 11:40 am

you are definitely right!
but I still don’t make differences between a north german or a south german by ethnicity and language, they are one german family just influenced by their “neighbours”.

ja, habe eine auslaendische tastatur :)

Freerk June 7, 2015 at 9:59 am

I don’t completely agree, but I can live with it. :)

As member of a tribe that isn’t defined by a national unity and is located on two sides of a national border, my perspective is expectably different. ;) Nationality to me is a political concept, not ethnical; especially according to ethnical reality in Europe.

neiltennant July 25, 2014 at 5:28 pm

sorry but on that picture she looks like a 65year old german woman who offers you cake and coffee

plus she reminds me of a former SWISS MISS ad from the 60s ??

her eyes are not hazel or green but very dark brown, like ”columbian coffee” to quote KRAMER from SEINFELD

Freerk May 16, 2015 at 6:22 am

“sorry but on that picture she looks like a 65year old german woman who offers you cake and coffee”

Yes, because that is what German women do … O_o

Okay that’s not completely wrong … :D

roman2886 June 24, 2014 at 10:21 am

She is mostly Germanic she hasn’t got much Celtic in her if she was of English Irish Scottish Welsh Swiss and German descent she would be Celtic than Germanic she would defiantly fit in the East of England they are more Germanic than Celtic she has that look in England which is rare.

J.J. October 23, 2013 at 8:56 pm

correction; her eyes are hazel and her hair is dark brown (brunette) (dyed blonde)

billErobreren November 24, 2013 at 9:20 am

“correction” I don’t know how old you are but I remember her as a girl in 1992-1994, check out “That Night” or “My Dad the Hero” so she was born a blonde. Blonde hair can fade with age you know. Can we blame her for wanting to control that

also by the looks of this picture:

I’d say her eyes are a fiery brown

sdoifjdsifj January 17, 2014 at 10:26 am

You’re clearly a dumbass. Stop saying that every white person with brown eyes has hazel eyes. Hazel eyes are NOT light brown.

neiltennant May 20, 2015 at 4:57 am

yes he or she j.j is an idiot and dumbass

everytime I’m on this site i can see and read

CORRECTION her his eyes are hazel

SNOWDEN August 17, 2013 at 5:50 am

dam. born 1978. white people age so fast. i thought she was older

neiltennant July 25, 2014 at 5:35 pm

she was born 1980
but true she looks older !!

i remember that theory,. Most people with color look so much younger — Unfair :-(

because our skins are not that elastic and substance

spaceyaquarius August 7, 2013 at 8:05 pm

The only movie she is hot in is “Wish Upon A Star” 1996 when she was 18 yo. What a great body she has. That short hair makes her look old and saggy though.

shahram July 31, 2013 at 9:20 am

wow, It reminds me my master in university times.
her name is Pantea Arya. she is artificial intelligence master in central tehran azad unv.
she looks so much like to her but she has dark hairs. she is a good master.
so much love to her

Christian March 23, 2012 at 3:00 pm

heigl on the one hand looks very german with her light brown/blond hair and her facial structure

and especially in the southern germany you can find millions of those girls who look similar to her

but unfortunately her beautiful brown eyes look exotic

hmm maybe part native american or italian blood ??

Alice March 24, 2012 at 8:04 am

There are plenty of brown eyes in Europe. That would be the majority colour. Blue eyed blonds are not a majority in Germany despite the stereotype. Katherine is also part Irish so she isn’t full German.

Alice March 24, 2012 at 8:06 am

I work with a German lady at work who has the same eye colour as Katherine and brown hair.

europeproud96 August 9, 2013 at 3:02 pm

finally someone who makes sense,the only countries that can say were blonde and blue eyed people is the northern countries like sweden,finnland,denmark and maybe northern grmany the rest can shut their mouths

andrew August 9, 2013 at 5:25 pm

and ppl must consider that these countries due to hard climate conditions are not highly populated as UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain

ichbinich November 17, 2012 at 1:59 pm

To Christian
do you realy think germans doesn’t have brown eyes?
and the majority of germans doesn’t have blond hair!

nnnnn November 20, 2012 at 7:04 am

Her hair is surely coloured. Had you never some girl-
friend? Most blond women have coloured hair, especially
with brown eyes. And: what’s “exotic” at brown eyes?

skulld January 5, 2013 at 7:27 am

I am brazilian, and in southern Brazil there a A LOT of settlers with german blood. I know pure germans, that have brown eyes.
In Bavaria and some places in southern germany, brown eyes are not uncommon.

nnnnn March 2, 2013 at 3:08 am

BTW, do you know, Christian claims, he lives in Germany!!
I suppose, he’s just a troll

Lisa March 11, 2012 at 9:15 am

I’m german. And Keibler sounds german and her second name Ann-Marie is a typical german name. In the USA you would write Ann-Mary, or?

ichbinich November 17, 2012 at 1:54 pm

To Lisa
In German Anne-Marie or Annemarie not “Ann”

Fred September 3, 2011 at 11:34 am

Stacy Keibler is also of German descent.:-)

Marc January 20, 2012 at 4:46 am

Surname Keibler can be english or french as well.Wikipedia claimed her german heritage just because of her last name, i guess.Even it’s true and Stacy’s ancestor with this surname who arrived to America was from Germany,so when it happened 100 ,200 or 300 years ago? and all the other her ancestors was from Germany too? i don’t think so.

jen August 5, 2011 at 9:10 pm

she looks very german

Marc January 20, 2012 at 4:52 am

she looks western european,more like Britain or French

inkognito March 19, 2012 at 7:02 pm

No she looks 100% german and her real hair colour is brunette the most common hair colour in germany

Addyson June 23, 2011 at 6:29 pm

It’s difficult to find educated people about this subject, nevertheless you seem like you understand what you’re speaking about! Thank you…

Fred September 2, 2010 at 10:51 am

The best looking women in America usually are of German descent!:-)

Worldgrl November 11, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Even though C.H. is amazing,.. the best looking are not just of german because alot of the time german is heavylooking ,. but mostly the mixed are

Worldgrl November 11, 2011 at 1:16 pm

I mean K.C.

Paul. January 17, 2010 at 5:13 am

I love this actress. (:
She’s like Sarah Chalke in a way.. both blonde, actresses, worked/working on medical shows, both German descent.. :o

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