Kurt Cobain

by ethnic on November 23, 2009

1993 MTV Video Music Awards

Birth Name: Kurt Donald Cobain

Date of Birth: February 20, 1967

Place of Birth: Aberdeen, Washington, U.S.

Date of Death: April 5, 1994

Place of Death: Seattle, Washington

Ethnicity: Irish, English, Dutch, French/French-Canadian, German, Scottish

Kurt Cobain was an American songwriter and musician. He was the lead singer, guitarist, and primary songwriter of the rock band Nirvana. Other members of Nirvana were Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, as well as Aaron Burckhard and Jason Everman.

Kurt was the son of Wendy Elizabeth (Fradenberg) and Donald Leland Cobain. With his wife, musician Courtney Love, Kurt was the father of visual artist Frances Bean Cobain.

Kurt’s father is of Irish, English, Dutch, French/French-Canadian, and distant German, descent. Kurt’s mother is of Dutch, Irish, Scottish, English, and German ancestry.

Kurt’s patrilineal ancestry traces back to his great-great-great-grandfather, John James Cobain, who was born in Ireland, c. 1863.

Kurt’s paternal grandfather was Leland Elmer Cobain (the son of John James Arthur Cobain and Grace Almeda Gibson). Leland was born in Washington. John was the son of John James Cobain, who was born, c. 1863, in Tyrone, Northern Ireland, and of Anna Minerva van Alstyne/van Alstine. Grace was the daughter of Jasper/Jaspar Gibson and Mary Ann Ford, whose own mother, Mary Elizabeth Moore, was born in Iowa, to Irish parents.

Kurt’s paternal grandmother was Iris Maxine Labrot/LaBrot (the daughter of Clairmont Neil Labrot/LaBrot and Florence Jeanette Tuck). Iris was born in Washington. Clairmont was the son of Thomas Labrot/LaBrot and Delia/Adelia Angle Clairmont, and had French/French-Canadian and Irish ancestry. Florence was the daughter of Benjamin L. Tuck, who was Canadian, and of Eva E.

Kurt’s maternal grandfather was Charles Thomas Fradenburg (the son of Charles Lester Fradenburg and Elizabeth Mary Ultican). Kurt’s grandfather Charles was born in Washington. Kurt’s great-grandfather Charles was the son of William Henry Fredenburgh and Irene Diamond. Elizabeth was the daughter of James Ultican, who was from New Brunswick, Canada, to Irish parents, and of Bridgett/Bridget Elizabeth Sullivan, whose own parents, John Daniel Sullivan and Catherine Harrington, were also Irish, from County Cork.

Kurt’s maternal grandmother was Margaret Dawson Irving (the daughter of James William Irving and Ada Elizabeth Dawson). Margaret was born in Washington. James was born in Scotland. Ada was born in Kent, England.

Sources: Genealogies of Kurt Cobain – http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Genealogy of Kurt Cobain (through his daughter, Frances Bean Cobain) – http://www.wargs.com

Genealogies of Kurt Cobain (focusing on his father’s side) – http://www.wikitree.com

Genealogies of Kurt’s paternal grandparents, Leland Elmer Cobain and Iris Maxine Labrot/LaBrot – http://www.findagrave.com

Genealogy of Kurt’s paternal great-grandmother, Grace Almeda Gibson (focusing on her mother’s side) – http://www.ancestry.co.uk

Kurt’s paternal great-great-grandfather, Thomas Labrot/LaBrot, on the 1880 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Genealogy of Kurt’s maternal grandfather, Charles Thomas Fradenburg – http://www.ancestry.com

photo by Prphotos

{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

neiltennant June 27, 2018 at 12:02 am

he was a very nordic type
boring nordic

andrew June 13, 2018 at 3:51 pm

He is 1/64 French:

Census record of Thomas Labroat – https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MN4B-WDD

andrew October 22, 2016 at 4:48 pm
andrew September 14, 2016 at 1:06 pm

The “Fredenburgh” line in not German but Dutch. The surname was originally spelled “Vredenburgh”:

andrew September 14, 2016 at 1:07 pm
andrew September 13, 2016 at 6:19 pm

Full genealogy: http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=PED&db=dowfam3&id=I432525
* Anna Minerva van Alstyne had Dutch, Irish (her paternal grandmother was born in Ireland) and distant German ancestry

*Neil Clarmont LaBrot had French Canadian and some Irish ancestry (his maternal grandmother was born in Ireland)

* Benjamin L. Tuck was born in Canada

Another genealogy of his paternal great-grandmother (focusing on her own mother’s side):

Thank you for the corrections

andrew September 13, 2016 at 5:46 pm


Genealogy of his maternal grandfather: http://www.ancestry.com/genealogy/records/charles-thomas-fradenburg_46102262

* James Ultican was born in New Bunswick, Canada, to Irish parents, Thomas Ultican and Catherine Parle.
* Bridget Elizabeth Sullivan’s parents, John D. Sullivan and Catherine Harrington, were also Irish, from County Cork.

Genealogy of his paternal great-grandmother:

* Mary Ann Ford was the daughter of Sidney S. Ford and Mary Elizabeth Moore, born in Iowa to Irish parents, Robert Moore and Mary Armstrong.

andrew August 29, 2016 at 4:18 pm

John James Cobain was born, c. 1863, in Tyrone, Northern Ireland

andrew August 24, 2016 at 2:40 pm
dannyboyenglish October 5, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Kurt Cobain is English. Also has Irish, Scottish etc. Cobain is English name. It came from Cobham in Surrey and Kent in south England. Look on house of names website. He also looks and sounds English.

andrew October 5, 2013 at 4:46 pm
follers October 5, 2013 at 6:11 pm

I’ve put up a complete version of his ancestry.

Alice October 6, 2013 at 11:40 pm

A lot of Irish have English names. There has been a lot of English, Scots and Welsh in Ireland from hundreds of years back. Also alot of Irish names were anglicised.

The original Cobains would have come from England sometime in the past but if they have been in Ireland for hundreds of years they would be most likely more Irish now.

Alice October 7, 2013 at 12:18 am

Anyway he has quite a few Irish names in his ancestry like Sullivan, Harrington and Murphy.

Labtec October 7, 2013 at 2:20 pm

“Catherine Harrington” may have been born in Ireland, and her ancestors were *probably* Irish, but the Harrington surname is far more “English” than “Irish”.

Harrington in Ireland is an Anglicization, although there is also history of British families with that surname moving to Ireland.


Alice October 9, 2013 at 2:10 am

Yes there are a lot of English names in Ireland. Harrington is quite a numerous name there. Just look at Pádraig Harrington for example. He is one of Ireland’s best golfers.

M-oneill-14 November 22, 2014 at 4:42 pm

He was from the USA not England.

Of course he has a mixture of descent, most Americans do.

The surname is actually traced to Tyrone in modern Northern Ireland where his great-great-great grandfather was a shoe maker, it possibly is an anclicized version of MacConboirne.


caligurl2 March 3, 2015 at 11:24 pm

WRONG. Kurt Cobain is an American of multiple ethnicities. What is with you English people on this site and claiming mixed Americans as English? Its like you’re so desperate to prove to everyone that contrary to the stereotype the British aren’t ugly. Great job using multi-ethnic Americans who are more representitive of the new world whites than anything to use for your rebuttal.

I’ve lived and went to school in England and NOT ONE of the boys ever looked like Brad Pitt, Kurt Cobain, Paul Walker or any of the other people you lot like to claim as “english” or english looking on this website. American whites haven’t looked english since the 1700s. Wehn im in Britain I see a very notcieable difference between British whites and American ones (and not only because they tend to be uglier than American). There are many Britain looks and phenotypes you just will never find in America like this look


^ I’ve not once seen an American look like that ever, but loads of Brits who do. Brits look very distinctive from American whites and its largely because American whites have multiple ancestries. You can’t sit here and tell me the other ancestries don’t matter or make a difference in their appearance like English is some sort of god ethnicity that over rules all the others lmao

falisio March 4, 2015 at 2:03 pm

Caligurl no offense but you sound like a retard and I doubt you actually lived in England. What were you attempting to prove with that photo. You might as well post an ugly black person and then compare them to Beyonce. Ofcourse the majority of a people don’t look like famous entertainers you git. That doesn’t mean the entertainers don’t have phenotypes common of their people which is the case with Kurt Cobain here. He clearly looks Anglo. You’re just too much of an anglophobe to appreciate a good looking person of British or mostly British ancestry which is a real shame. Maybe one day you will stop being so racist against the British. Most American caucasian actors look majority british descent. American actors can easily fit in Australia and Britain so deal with it. Come to terms with the fact that you find many majority British people attractive :P

Labtec February 12, 2013 at 3:50 pm


Cobain is a British name. It originated in the Lowlands of Scotland and Northern England.

It was brought to Ulster by the various English and Scottish Protestant settlers during the 1600s.

dannyboyenglish October 5, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Labtec it isnt from scotland and north england! Where you imagine that from? Cobain is from south of England! It came from the town of Cobham in Surrey and kent. The Cobain family go back to anglo saxon times. He has part scottish and irish heratige but mainly English. His dads side was English. The Cobain name

M-oneill-14 November 22, 2014 at 4:49 pm

This is not the case, in Ireland it was an anglicized version of a Gaelic surname, other examples of these are Neeson and Johnson, which are English sounding names bu really came from MacNeise and McShane.

The area in which his Irish ancestors came from is 90% Catholic so I would assume his ancestors were not from the plantations.

andrew January 25, 2013 at 7:20 pm
dannyboyenglish October 5, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Andrew you plank! Cobain is English. How is Cobain name irish? It isnt mac greggor or somethin! Cobain name comes from Cobham town in surrey and kent in south of england. Check records and house of names on web

andrew October 5, 2013 at 4:41 pm

his ancestor had “Cobane” as last name, then it was changed. No relation with Cobham.
You know most if not all Irish surnames are anglicized.

M-oneill-14 November 22, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Danny, surnames are a complicated business in Ireland, during the 1600’s and 1700’s many Gaelic families had to change their surnames (turn them into the english form)
Just because people here have English surnames doesn’t not mean that that line of their descent actually were English.
I am O’Neill, many O’Neills in the past changed to Neilson, very English sounding but exactly the same descent as myself.

Vadius December 31, 2012 at 6:33 pm

He has also spanish roots… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Spanish_Americans

look in “Music” paragraph


nnnnn November 21, 2012 at 12:50 am

Like him. How he could marry that auful woman? Drugs..

gurl April 17, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Nirvana :)

sadie April 11, 2012 at 1:05 am

I heard he also had Spanish in him wow what a wild mix!

Anonymous January 2, 2012 at 11:03 pm

I heard his ancestry went back to 17th century Manhattan. Could there be dutch there as well?

richie March 6, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Even if Kurt was part Spanish/Cuban it must have been very distant! He looks like a full blooded Irishman!

LIL VACHA February 16, 2011 at 6:50 pm


wtf February 17, 2011 at 6:44 am

wheres the proof ?

lil vacha February 17, 2011 at 1:34 pm

wargs.com/ (its a genealogy website :D

Lauren February 13, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Actually, you are were not mistaken. It is not just Courtney that has Cuban ancestry. Kurt had Cuban blood on the Fradenburg side, through Wendy’s maternal grandmother as far as I know; however, unlike Courtney’s Cuban heritage, Kurt’s may not have been hispanic Cuban heritage, but franco-german (which of course so many people here will find unfathomable because they have no idea Cuba saw significant numbers of non-hispanic European migrations post-colony and pre-Castro).

Samia_Kabullah_Bella November 28, 2010 at 10:08 am

Starfelah i didn’t know he was part English 8D

Who Cares November 28, 2010 at 12:08 am

Cuban? Yeah right.

Elio December 11, 2011 at 11:37 pm

What’s that supposed to mean? You do know many people in Cuba look like Kurt right? Actually I have some resemblance to him myself although my hair is a darker shade of blond, many Cubans are of European descent.

Veronica November 27, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Cuban!!! really wow

Junior July 19, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Cobain was part cuban?, that is a surprise..

Lil Vacha July 19, 2010 at 4:07 pm


Lil Vacha July 19, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Hey “ethnic”, Kurt Cobain is of Scottish, Irish French, Cuban, Spanish, German, and English descent. His father is Scottish Irish, and French and his mother is Cuban, Spanish, Irish, German, and English. Source:

Azerrad, p. 13
Cross, p. 7

and its at Wikipedia.org

Tyler July 9, 2010 at 6:57 am

I read somewhere that he’s also part Cuban, but I can’t confirm this.

Lil Vacha July 19, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Yeah. dats true.

ethnic November 26, 2009 at 3:46 pm

Zianth thanks for the post. I did a little search and it seems that Larowwa could be a French name. Ill look in to it a little more.


Zianth November 24, 2009 at 12:53 am

Im not sure, but now in his ancestry, i find woman, who possible is of russian descent. 7/GREAT-GRANDPARENTS – Lydia Larrowa. Lydia russian name, and Larrowa similar to the last name with russian descent. Maybe Lavrowa? It’s popular russian last name … http://www.wargs.com/other/cobain.html

Alf July 9, 2010 at 7:10 am


Here’s an interview form Kurt stating that the Cobains were from Co. Cork in Ireland.

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