Birth Name: Mark-Paul Harry Gosselaar
Place of Birth: Panorama City, California
Date of Birth: March 1, 1974
Ethnicity: Dutch Jewish, German, Dutch, Indonesian
Mark-Paul Gosselaar is an American actor. He is known for playing Zach Morris on the television series, Saved by the Bell.
Mark-Paul’s father, Hans Gosselaar, is of half Dutch Jewish and half German descent (it is not clear whether Mark-Paul’s German ancestors were Jewish, too). Mark-Paul’s mother, Paula, who is originally from Bali, Indonesia, is of Dutch and Indonesian (Asian) background. Her maiden surname, “van den Brink”, is Dutch. Mark-Paul has mentioned that he was at one time fluent in Dutch, as a child (his three older siblings were born in The Netherlands). Pictures of Mark-Paul with his mother can be seen here and here.
Mark-Paul’s patrilineal ancestry can be traced back to his four times great-grandfather, Jacob Nathan Gosselaar, who was born, c. 1733, in Rotterdam, and to his own parents, Nathan Godslaars and Betje Livirden or Blommetje Israel Machiel.
Mark-Paul’s paternal grandfather was Aron “Arie” Gosselaar (the son of Hartog “Herman” Gosselaar and Hester van Emden). Aron was a Dutch Jew, and was born in The Hague, in The Netherlands. Aron’s parents both came from old Dutch Jewish families, with traceable genealogy in The Netherlands going back to the 1700s (he also had more distant German Jewish and Polish Jewish ancestry). Hartog was the son of Nathan Gosselaar and Vrouwtje Hijman de Jong. Hester was the daughter of Clara van Emden. Mark-Paul’s paternal great-grandparents Hartog and Hester both died in The Holocaust. They were killed in the Sobibor extermination camp, in Nazi-occupied Poland, on April 9, 1943.
Mark-Paul’s paternal grandmother was Ida “Itty” Ferdinanda Kosel (the daughter of Johann Kosel and Maria Theodore Elisabeth Söte). Ida was German, and was born in Paderborn, Detmold, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is not clear if Ida was Jewish or not.
Sources: Mark-Paul mentions some of his background, in The Washington Post, 2008 – http://www.washingtonpost.com
Genealogy of the Jewish Gosselaar family in The Netherlands – http://www.vandenhaak.com
Genealogy of Mark-Paul’s paternal grandfather, Aron “Arie” Gosselaar – https://www.geni.com
Genealogy of Mark-Paul’s paternal grandfather, Aron “Arie” Gosselaar (focusing on his own mother’s side) – http://www.genealogieonline.nl
Photo by Pr Photos