Kevin James

James in 2010, image via actionsports/Bigstock.com

Birth Name: Kevin George Knipfing

Place of Birth: Mineola, Long Island, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: April 26, 1965

Ethnicity:
*50% German
*37.5% Jewish [Ashkenazi, Sephardi]
*12.5% Italian

Kevin James is an American comedian, actor, writer, and producer. His brother is actor, comedian, and writer Gary Valentine.

Kevin was born Kevin George Knipfing, the son of Janet and Joseph Valentine Knipfing, Jr., and was raised in Stony Brook, New York. Kevin is married to actress Steffiana de la Cruz, who is of Filipino descent. The couple has four children.

His father was of German ancestry. Kevin’s maternal grandfather was Ashkenazi Jewish (of Hungarian Jewish, Polish Jewish, and Russian Jewish descent). Kevin’s maternal grandmother was the daughter of an Italian-American (Catholic) father and a Sephardi Jewish mother (of Greek Jewish/Turkish Jewish descent). In college, Kevin was a member of Pi Lambda Phi, a historically Jewish fraternity.

Kevin practices Catholicism. He has said:

I’m Catholic Christian. My father always took us to church and we went as a family. I knew, at times in my life, where I would not fall away completely out of the faith, but just not be as faithful and not learn as much. Later on in life, I just started coming back to it more and more. And I’m continuing to learn more and more each day and trying to be the person that God wants me to be.

Kevin’s paternal grandfather was Joseph Valentine Knipfing (the son of Michael John Knipfing and Anna Marie Leist). Joseph was born in New York. Michael was born in Germany, the son of Michael John Knuepfing/Knipfing and Regina Eva Himmelman Hilpert. Anna Marie was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of German parents, Johanne August Leist, from Alsace-Lorraine, and Mary Anna Madlinger, from Baden.

Kevin’s paternal grandmother was Helen Josephine Wolf (the daughter of William Wolf, Jr. and Anna Marie/Mary Eckert). Helen was born in New York. William was born in New York, of German descent, the son of William Wolf and Catherina Ruppert. Anna Marie was born in New York, the daughter of German parents, George Eckert and Kunigunda Meyer/Leyer.

Kevin’s maternal grandfather was George Lee Klein (the son of Samuel M. Klein and Edith H./E. Silverman). George was born in New York, and was Jewish. Samuel was born in New York, the son of Hungarian Jewish parents, David Klein and Lena Steiner. Edith was born in New York, to Polish Jewish/Russian Jewish parents, Harry N. Silverman and Chaja Sarah Apt, who was from Wloclawek.

Kevin’s maternal grandmother was Theodora G. Bruno (the daughter of William Andrew Bruno and Ester/Esther Beatrice Levy). Theodora was born in New York. William was Italian, and was born in Pescara, Abruzzo, the son of Tancredi Bruno and Theodora G. Laurella. Ester was a Greek Jew/Turkish Jew, and was the daughter of Mercada Levy.

James with wife Steffiana de la Cruz in 2011, s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

Sources: Genealogy of Kevin James (focusing on his father’s side) – http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Kevin’s paternal grandparents, Joseph Valentine Knipfing and Helen Josephine Wolf, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Genealogy of Kevin’s paternal grandfather, Joseph Valentine Knipfing (through Joseph’s brother) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Kevin’s paternal grandmother, Helen Josephine Wolf, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Kevin’s mother on the 1940 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Genealogy of Kevin’s maternal grandfather, George Lee Klein (focusing on his own mother’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Kevin’s maternal grandfather, George Lee Klein, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Obituary of Kevin’s maternal grandfather, George Lee Klein – https://www.newspapers.com

Grave site of Kevin’s maternal grandfather, George Lee Klein – https://www.findagrave.com

Marriage record of Kevin’s maternal great-grandparents, Samuel M. Klein and Edith H./E. Silverman – https://familysearch.org

Genealogy of Kevin’s maternal great-grandmother, Edith H./E. Silverman – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Genealogy of Kevin’s maternal great-great-great-grandmother, Dorothea/Dora (Guranowsky) Apt – https://www.geni.com

Obituary of Kevin’s maternal grandmother, Theodora G. (Bruno) Klein Feldt – https://www.legacy.com

Kevin’s maternal grandmother, Theodora G. Bruno, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

New York passenger record of Kevin’s maternal grandmother, Theodora G. Bruno – https://www.familysearch.org

Kevin’s maternal great-grandparents, William Andrew Bruno and Ester/Esther B. Levy, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Death record of Kevin’s maternal great-grandfather, William Andrew Bruno – https://www.familysearch.org

65 Responses

  1. jackson9 says:

    Kevin James great-grandfather William Andrew Bruno was born in 1894 in Pescara, Abruzzo, Italy.

  2. follers says:

    And I found his grandmother’s obituary, too. That confirms everything. And it seems to make it clear there was an error in the 1988 obituary. It looks like Jo-An Sigismondi is not Kevin’s step-grandmother, but rather “Jayne Ann,” the wife of Kevin’s uncle, also named George Klein.
    https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/newsday/obituary.aspx?n=theodora-feldt-teddie&pid=186101580

    Bizarrely, Theodora died eight days after you, madman, found Kevin’s grandfather’s obituary.

    • madman says:

      That’s happen to me before, I think. I remember submitting a profile with half of the ancestry completely unclear. Then, a while ago, when I gave it another shot, I found an obituary of an ancestor that had passed just a little while after I had submitted the profile.

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