Kevin James

by follers on October 5, 2012

Birth Name: Kevin George Knipfing

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

Date of Birth: April 26, 1965

Ethnicity:
*German (father)
*likely at least partially Jewish (mother)

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. Kevin is married to actress Steffiana de la Cruz, who is of Filipino descent.

His father was of German ancestry. His mother appears to be of at least half Jewish ancestry, possibly more.

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). 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). 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 likely was George Lee Klein (the son of Samuel M. Klein and Edith H./E. Silverman). George 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 Sarah Apt, who was from Wloclawek.

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, Robert Louis Knipfing) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

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

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

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

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

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

image via actionsports/Bigstock.com

{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

follers July 9, 2017 at 10:47 am

For the record, the George L. (Lee) Klein who died in 1988 was the son of Samuel Klein and Edith Silverman.

neiltennant July 14, 2017 at 9:57 am

aha

BINGO !

he has Jewish roots

bearboy August 5, 2017 at 5:20 pm

I think Kevin James is 50% German, 25% Romanian Jewish, 12.5% Greek Jewish, and 12.5% Italian.

bearboy August 6, 2017 at 11:19 am

How come we are uncertain that George Lee Klein was Kevin James maternal grandfather? Also assuming he is the grandfather are my percentages accurate?

follers August 6, 2017 at 1:30 pm

George L. Klein was probably his grandfather, and Theodora Bruno his grandmother, but I just need a little more something (anything) to be sure. And yes.

bearboy August 6, 2017 at 1:38 pm

Follers, not sure you have an ancestry.com subscription (mine expired recently) but under “1940 United States Federal Census” it says Janet B. Klein, 1939 NY. Parents Theodora G. Klein and George L. Klein.

follers August 7, 2017 at 7:33 am

That’s right.

andrew July 5, 2017 at 4:49 am

@ follers

Which is his mother’s surname?

follers July 5, 2017 at 5:27 am

I don’t know, but the name Valentine obviously comes from James’ father and grandfather, both named Joseph Valentine Knipfing.

andrew July 5, 2017 at 5:39 am

So it’s a middle name

neiltennant July 5, 2017 at 12:26 pm

he and his brother could easily pass for italians

his brother has curly hair but green eyes

neiltennant July 14, 2017 at 9:58 am

His mother s name was HIMMELMAN HILPERT

Himmelman = German Jewish and with 1 M it is clear that it is Jewish

HILPERT on the other side is typical German non Jewish

follers July 14, 2017 at 10:04 am

There are lots of non-Jewish Himmelmans. I don’t think James’ great-great-grandmother Regina was Jewish.

madman July 5, 2017 at 6:16 am

There does not appear to be many Janet Knipfings in the U.S. So maybe this obituary is of Kevin’s maternal grandfather, since the man’s daughter is named “Janet Knipfing”.

https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QKT9-4HN9

follers July 5, 2017 at 7:50 am

Unless I’m missing something, I believe this is right, and that this is James’ mother and her family.
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K7MT-619

https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=33409528

follers July 5, 2017 at 7:52 am
bablah July 5, 2017 at 7:55 am

His mother was born in December 1938, so that just might be her.

bablah July 5, 2017 at 7:56 am

On the other hand, the name on the obit for is wife is Jo-An Sigismondi, and it’s Theodora Bruno on that census. Do you have any more evidence that these are the same people?

follers July 5, 2017 at 8:02 am

For one thing, the George Klein who died on December 16, 1988 had the middle initial “L.”, just like the George Klein on the census, and was the right age, and was from New York.

Jo-An Sigismondi could be a second wife, or it could be a nickname.

The only other Janet Knipfing in the U.S. was born with that surname.

neiltennant July 5, 2017 at 12:28 pm

sigismondi is typical ITALIAN

like the star director FLORIA SIGISMONDI

madman July 5, 2017 at 1:44 pm

This all seem to make sense. If it’s correct, Kevin’s mother is of three quarters Jewish and one quarter Italian descent (assuming the latter isn’t Jewish as well). Esther was a Greek Jew.

follers July 5, 2017 at 2:06 pm

Indeed. This is what is puzzling me. Has James ever mentioned his ancestry? I guess it would make a kind of sense that he never talks about his Jewish heritage, since he practices Catholicism, and was probably raised as such.

Still, it’s a little odd.

I’ll research further, of course.

follers July 5, 2017 at 8:25 pm

See, for the people on the census to not be James’ family, there would have to be a whole other family where:
-the father is named George L. Klein
-the daughter is named Janet B.
-George was born around 1917
-Janet was born around 1938
-They lived in New York
-George is presumably Jewish, since his wife, Theodora, had a Jewish mother

Is it really plausible that there were two families with this exact background? Almost certainly not.

neiltennant July 14, 2017 at 9:59 am

aggain I was right

i assumed that he has also Jewish and Italian roots

HIMMELMAN is Jewish surname KLEIN also

athelya January 6, 2016 at 12:09 pm

The only reason he doesn’t look typically german is because he’s stocky and fat.. let’s face it.

neiltennant July 5, 2017 at 4:12 am

you are ridiculous and stupid

Kimmel July 5, 2017 at 9:08 pm

He’s an ethnic German from the nose down.

neiltennant January 6, 2016 at 9:47 am

its is nearly impossible that he has only german roots

please people we know yet that his father was german

but what is with his mother ?

Please people some of you were so offensive to me and even my friends thought i would be crazy because some day years ago

i said that BRANDON URIE from panic at the disco looks like he would have something ASIAN

they laughed at me and showed me wikipedia where at that time the background was not mentioned

the same thing with half hispanic BRANDON BOYD of incubus

therefore people please keep calm and just wait someday we will see here

KEVIN JAMES

german, irish german, italian, irish, english

or something

pookerella January 5, 2016 at 3:53 pm

I believe his mother is Italian or Albanian.

neiltennant July 5, 2017 at 4:07 am

+ 1

totally agree with you

his mother is obviously italian

his brother changed his name to GARY VALENTINE
that surname is italian

musicfangirl January 1, 2016 at 12:38 pm

I would have thought he was Celtic

Dildo (SE) September 7, 2015 at 3:58 am
pookerella January 5, 2016 at 3:54 pm

No, definitely not.

neiltennant July 14, 2017 at 10:01 am

YOU STUPID IDIOT

he is indeed of Jewish decent

bearboy July 14, 2017 at 8:08 pm

We get it Neil Tennant you are right but why be so offensive?

A user August 1, 2015 at 5:07 pm

“no my dear he does not look german thats a fact”

A fact? Wth does that mean? How can the look of an entire nation be called a fact?

“germans can be different but he would be a foreigner if he vsists germany”

He would be a foreigner because he’s American. If you mean he would look foreign then you need to explain to me why.

neiltennant July 5, 2017 at 4:08 am

don’t be ridiculous

we only know that his father is of german descent

his mother is of italian descent

cwm85 August 1, 2015 at 4:09 pm

I always thought he was Irish or something. Idk why. But he’s German. Not typical German looking but ok.

JoshG October 25, 2015 at 12:33 pm

How exactly do irish people look? How exactly do german people look? It’s like saying someone looks more spanish then portuguese. LOL

neiltennant July 5, 2017 at 4:09 am

i am from germany and you are right

you can look in whole germany and won’t find people with that look

neiltennant May 20, 2015 at 4:50 am

its obviously that his mother was not of german descent
americans are a mixture of several european countries

Some cannot find a guy like him in germany or better said its not so obvious

A user July 18, 2015 at 5:37 am

Why is it obvious again, because he doesn’t look german?

neiltennant August 1, 2015 at 2:42 pm

no my dear he does not look german thats a fact

germans can be different but he would be a foreigner if he vsists germany

A user August 2, 2015 at 8:41 am

“no my dear he does not look german thats a fact”

A fact? Wth does that mean? How can the look of an entire nation be called a fact?

“germans can be different but he would be a foreigner if he vsists germany”

He would be a foreigner because he’s American. If you mean he would look foreign then you need to explain to me why.

neiltennant August 2, 2015 at 10:52 am

I said he does not look german. I do live in germany and i know how most germans look

american ? are you kidding ? American is not a race or something and according to this site he has only german roots

and please look at his brother GARY VALENTINE he doesn’t look german too

there must be something else like british or italian or other european descent

what would not be a surprise for an american

A user August 2, 2015 at 10:57 am

I didn’t say american was a race, you said he would be a foreigner and i said of course because he would because he’s from america. Foreign is about where your from not what your ethnicity is.

“there must be something else like british or italian or other european descent”

A. You’d have to prove that
B. Why? You still haven’t explained what about him means he cannot be german.

neiltennant August 2, 2015 at 11:10 am

are you from the us ? that would explain why you don’t understand what i wrote

he would be seen as foreigner because of his appearance not because of his passport :-))

did you ever seen sociological studies or numbers about ethnicity and races in the us ??

Then you would understand, that most americans are not of homogenic ethnic groups but have more ethnic backgrounds

even the muslim population in the us shows that inter-racial marriages are common for example between muslims of yugoslawian and sudanese descent or between turkish and lebanse etc.

Do you get it ?

therefore it is uncommon that kevin james has only german roots

i have only seen one celeb here ANNA SCHLUMSKY who should have only one ethnic background and everybody wondered how it can be possible in the melting pot usa

A user August 2, 2015 at 3:20 pm

Foreign:of, relating to, or derived from another country or nation; not native.

He’s American and thus would be a foreigner in Germany. If you mean he would appear foreign then you should have stated that.

“are you from the us ? that would explain why you don’t understand what i wrote”

What’s that supposed to mean?

“therefore it is uncommon that kevin james has only german roots”

I assume you mean unlikely. You didn’t just say, however, that its unlikely that he’s only german, you said “there must be something else like british or italian or other european descent” AND I WANT TO KNOW EXACTLY WHY THAT IS? WHY CANT HE BE FULLY GERMAN? ANSWER THOSE QUESTIONS.

athelya January 6, 2016 at 12:12 pm

what makes him so non-german looking huh? please, enlighten me.

neiltennant July 5, 2017 at 4:10 am

i do live in germany

and im not ethnic german

and Believe me i cannot explain it but he does not look german

neiltennant July 14, 2017 at 10:02 am

discussion ends now

please look !

He has Jewish and Italian roots on maternal side

now i want an apology from you

follers July 14, 2017 at 10:06 am

Indeed.

Almost certainly, Kevin James’ mother is of three quarters Jewish and one quarter Italian descent.

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