Matthew Perry

by ethnic on May 20, 2010

Birth Name: Matthew Langford Perry

Place of Birth: Williamstown, Massachusetts, U.S.

Date of Birth: August 19, 1969

Ethnicity: French-Canadian, English, Irish, German, Swiss-German

Matthew Perry is an American and Canadian actor and writer.

His father, actor John Bennett Perry, who is American-born, has English, Irish, German, and Swiss-German ancestry. His mother, Suzanne Marie (Langford), who is Canadian-born, has English, Irish, and French-Canadian ancestry. Matthew’s stepfather is Keith Morrison, who was an investigative reporter for NBC Dateline.

Matthew’s patrilineal line can be traced back to John Perry, who was born, c. 1588, in Hampshire, England.

Matthew’s paternal grandfather was Alton L. Perry (the son of Carl Schurz Perry and Mary Ann Gillick). Alton was born in Vermont. Carl was born in Readsboro, Vermont, and had English ancestry, the son of Crosby Alpheus Perry and Ida B. Cutler. Mary Ann was born in Massachusetts, to Irish parents, Patrick Gillick and Mary A.

Matthew’s paternal grandmother Maria Schaefer Bennett (the daughter of Ralph Stone Bennett and Lydia Hannah Schaefer). Matthew’s grandmother Maria Schaefer was born in New York. Ralph was born in Homer, New York, and had English ancestry, the son of Augustus Henry Bennett and Emma Gertrude Pratt. Lydia was born in New York, to a German father, Johannes Schaefer, and a mother, Emilie Schlachter/Schluchter, who was born in Lugano, Switzerland, of Swiss-German descent.

Matthew’s maternal grandfather was James Silas Warren Langford (the son of James Roy Warren Langford and Mary Ann Batterton). Matthew’s great-grandfather James was born in Ironside, Hull, Québec, and had English and Irish ancestry, the son of Silas Samuel Langford and Emma Mary Rogan. Matthew’s great-grandmother Mary Ann was born in Ottawa, of Irish descent, the daughter of Thomas Batterton, who was born in County Wexford, Ireland, and of Mary Jane Barrett.

Matthew’s maternal grandmother was Marie Gabrielle Lucille Coupal (the daughter of Joseph Theodore Coupal and Bérangère Layeux). Marie Gabrielle was of French-Canadian ancestry. Joseph was the son of Amable Coupal and Marie Zoe Hebert. Bérangère was the daughter of Hormidas/Hormisdas Layeux and Eliza/Elisa Dallaire.

Sources: Genealogies of Matthew Perry –

Genealogy of Matthew Perry (focusing on his father’s side) –

Matthew’s paternal grandmother, Maria Schaefer Bennett, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

image via Featureflash /

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

neiltennant March 29, 2018 at 10:31 am

he is said to have also Jewish roots

i have read this so many times


follers March 29, 2018 at 5:26 pm

Yes, someone added it to Wikipedia, I think in the summer of 2010, and it stayed on for enough months to inspire the likes of Hollowverse. That’s how the internet works.

andrew June 14, 2016 at 6:07 pm
andrew July 12, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Emilie Schlachter, who was born in Lugano, Switzerland, of Swiss-German an Italian town. Cool

follers July 12, 2014 at 4:25 pm

Schlachter isn’t an Italian surname.

andrew July 12, 2014 at 7:19 pm

well that’s obvious

pookerella July 6, 2014 at 11:37 am

Keith Morrison, investigative reporter of NBC Dateline fame, is married to Matthew’s mother and is, therefore, his stepfather.

roman2886 April 26, 2014 at 3:46 pm

He has no Native American in him he is primarily English Irish Swiss German and French Canadian.

cdonorab April 27, 2014 at 6:47 am

You are correct. I was wrong he does not have native American ancestry.

roman2886 June 4, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Not all Americans have English ancestry not even a drop some Americans only Irish and German ancestry just 2 european ancestry not enough too be Euromutts 4 European ancestries and above is enough too be a Euromutt is there any Americans that only have Irish Swiss and German ancestry without a drop of English ancestry.

cdonorab April 26, 2014 at 7:15 am

He also has a small amount of Native American ancestry. His great-grandfather Joseph Coupal was a descendent of Martin Prevost and Marie Anne Olivier Sylvestre whose father was a translator for Samuel De Champlain. Their marriage was first recorded between a European and a north american native.

roman2886 April 26, 2014 at 3:44 pm

He no Native American ancestry he is 100% White

Nick November 18, 2013 at 7:39 am

Sorry to disappoint everyone, but Perry is not of English decent in the least. Perry comes from the Acadian root name “Poirier”. I live in PEI, Canada, in a small Acadian community, and we have many Perry’s and Poirier’s – all coming from the same family if you can go back far enough.

Many Acadians, after our Deportation in 1755 and 1758, fled to the United States (or were deported there) … and a great deal went to (drum roll) Massachussetts.

I haven’t been able to go as far back as I could with our beloved Friends’ star background, but I am determined to find it soon.

Therefore, Matthew Perry, purely on his forefather’s side, is 100% Acadian (which people often misinterpret as loosely saying “French-Canadian”, which isn’t accurate)

follers November 18, 2013 at 2:12 pm

His father isn’t of French-Canadian ancestry. The French-Canadian ancestry comes from Matthew’s maternal grandmother. This is a pretty good genealogy of Matthew Perry.

brighty May 8, 2012 at 1:32 pm

his father’s family tree is approximately 75% english, going right back to early colonial times, and 25% german/swiss. His mother also has some english ancestors as well as irish. His maternal grandmother’s first name suggests a french connection too, but that’s just guesswork.

asdfghjkl April 19, 2011 at 7:12 am

ohhh!!!! I love Matthew Perry! I seriosly loved him on the show “Friends”and I thought he was scottish…

Dave August 25, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Perry again another English surname

Liam O'Connel December 30, 2011 at 1:22 am

Alot of Irish people have English surnames

Alice December 30, 2011 at 7:39 am

A lot of Irish people have English surnames. Ireland was controlled by England for 800 years. It was part of the UK until 1922. There has been a lot of coming and going between the islands of Ireland and Britain. Also alot of Irish had to anglicise their names from Gaelic. An example is where a lot of McGowans became Smiths. Mac an Gabhain literally means “son of the smith”.

Alice December 30, 2011 at 7:40 am

I forgot to say that 6 counties in Ulster are still part of the United Kingdom.

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