Michelle Pfeiffer

by ethnic on January 11, 2010

Birth Name: Michelle Marie Pfeiffer

Place of Birth: Santa Ana, Orange, California, United States

Date of Birth: April 29, 1958

Ethnicity:
*25% German
*25% Swiss-German
*25% Swedish
*25% mix of English, Welsh, French, German, Dutch, and Irish

Michelle Pfeiffer is an American actress, singer, and producer. Her sister is actress Dedee Pfeiffer.

Michelle is the daughter of Donna Jean (Taverna) and Richard Pfeiffer. Her paternal grandfather was of German descent, and her paternal grandmother had English, Welsh, French, German, Dutch, and Irish ancestry. Her mother is of half Swiss-German and half Swedish descent.

Michelle is married to writer and producer David E. Kelley, with whom she has two children, an adopted daughter, Claudia Rose Pfeiffer, and a biological son, John Henry.

Michelle’s paternal grandfather was William J. Pfeiffer, Jr. (the son of Wilhelm Frederick John Pfeiffer and Susanna A. Mueller). Wilhelm was born in Colbe, Satle Province, Saxony, Germany, and was the son of Ernst Pfeiffer and Henrietta Borchert. Susanna was born in Minnesota, of German descent, and was the daughter of John Henry Mueller and Catherine Myers.

Michelle’s paternal grandmother was Dorothy Stanley (the daughter of James Bert/Burton Stanley and Blanche Hulda Griffith). Dorothy, her parents, and all of her grandparents, were from Pennsylvania. Dorothy had English, Welsh, French, German, Dutch, and Irish ancestry. Blanche was the daughter of Abner Messenheimer Griffith and Rachel Penrose; Rachel was the daughter of William Penrose and Rebecca Wright.

Michelle’s maternal grandfather was Jacob “Jake” Bernhard Taverna (the son of Jacob Taverna and Dorethea “Dorothy” Bernard). Michelle’s grandfather Jacob was born in New Rockford, Eddy Co, North Dakota, to Swiss parents (his father from Davos). He was of Swiss-German descent. Jacob may have been related to the Von Taverna family of Switzerland. Michelle’s great-grandfather Jacob was the son of Hans Taverna and Anna Engel.

Michelle’s maternal grandmother was Delma Lillian Hill (the daughter of John Sigurd Hill and Amanda Karolina Olson). John was born in Minnesota, to Swedish parents, Johan Gustaf Peterson and Martha Kristina Johnsdotter. Amanda was born in Hornaryd, Sweden, the daughter of Sven Johan Olson and Sara Katarina Petersdotter.

Sources: Genealogy of Michelle Pfeiffer (focusing on her father’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Michelle’s paternal grandmother, Dorothy Stanley, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Genealogy of Michelle’s paternal great-great-grandmother, Rachel Penrose (through Rachel’s brother, Mahlon Penrose) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Genealogy of Michelle Pfeiffer (focusing on her mother’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Michelle’s maternal grandfather, Jacob “Jake” Bernhard Taverna, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Genealogy of Michelle’s maternal grandfather, Jacob “Jake” Bernhard Taverna – http://records.ancestry.com

Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

crunty August 21, 2016 at 11:20 am

She is a right old mix, but with a surname like Pfeiffer (English: piper), she is definitely for the most part, German.

Enigmato January 16, 2015 at 10:20 am

I’m relatively closely related to this woman, although she does not know who I am. My grandmother was cousins with her mother or father, is, I think how it goes… Anyway, I came here to learn more about my own ancestory on the Pfeiffer side, but it turns out there is not much information here compared to what I already have in our “family book”. But still, a nice site!

Enigmato January 16, 2015 at 10:21 am

oops! sorry for the double post! D:

Enigmato January 16, 2015 at 10:17 am

I’m relatively closely related to this woman, although she does not know who I am. My grandmother was cousins with her mother or father, is, I think how it goes… Anyway, I came here to learn more about my own ancestory on the Pfeiffer side, but it turns out there is not much information here compared to what I already have in our “family book”. But still, a nice site! Maybe I will just shell out the cash to have my dna tested anyway since I’ve not a clue who my father is, anyway! Just a little concerned about privacy issues. I don’t want some company making clones of me later on in the future… I’ve already served enough time on this planet lol! Jk, but seriously it just seems weird to me for some reason… not sure why.

ethnic January 16, 2015 at 9:13 pm

Hi Enigmato. glad you like the site! Hope you can find your roots more.

Check7t September 3, 2014 at 7:48 am

Swedish.

Malin Roseen February 4, 2012 at 5:11 am

No,most of us Swedes don’t talk so much.
Not all of us,but many people think we are not shy,we’re
not so open.
But we can be open,if they make us relax or just taking a beer.
Real swedes can handle alcohol,we have it in our veins..

Nicole June 19, 2011 at 7:58 am

Her mother’s maiden name is Taverna. That is a surname of Italian origin and Switzerland has a lot of people with mixed German, Swiss, Italian backgrounds.

andrew July 12, 2014 at 3:46 pm

That’s Italian for sure

andrew May 17, 2016 at 5:13 am

I didn’t find anything about “Von Taverna” family. Also “Frauenkirk Devas, Wiesen” as toponym doesn’t exist, it’s “Davos Frauenkirch” or “Davos Wiesen”, both fractions of Davos.

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davos_Frauenkirch

Davos is in Canton of Grisons, that is the only officially trilingual canton (Swiss German, Italian and Romansh).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graub%C3%BCnden

follers May 17, 2016 at 4:16 pm
andrew May 17, 2016 at 5:47 pm

Most of those results are about the town of Taverna in Calabria. “Von” means “of”, “van”, “de”,”di”, depending by languages, and “Taverna” is an Italian word from Latin “taberna-ae”, meaning “restaurant”. Davos is a few miles from Italian border so it’s possible that Hans Taverna had some Swiss-Italian ancestry even though he was a Swiss-German as most of Davos inhabitants.

follers May 17, 2016 at 5:52 pm
andrew May 17, 2016 at 6:21 pm

Ok. The surname was shortened.

tash November 3, 2010 at 7:36 pm

well actually irish are of celtic origins. Swiss, German, Dutch and Swedish are of germanic origins or baltic.

alex April 4, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Yep Irish, Scottish are of celtic origins. German, Dutch and Swedish are germanic.. Swiss people are mixed.. italians, french, germans etc.

Alice July 9, 2014 at 1:55 am

Celtic and Germanic are cultural attributes. If people remember the Celts were supposed to come from Switzerland/Germany area. The German people especially East Germans are mainly Slavic. If anyone looked at dna plots they would see it is a bit silly to get culture and genetics mixed up.

Freerk July 9, 2014 at 1:45 pm

We always mix up. Celtic and Germanic and so on are ethnic attributes – that twisted a bit between genetic and (mainly) cultural parameters. In Middle Europe the people are a complete mix of genetics, language, and general culture, as a result of 3,000 years of extensive migrations by Celtic, Germanic, Romanic and Slavic peoples (plus Hungarians) and the older original peoples. Nevertheless you can still see regionally typical faces.

The direction of migrations is mainly from the north to the south, so you can say a northern European is genetically relatively “pure” (with “p” like in “incest”) northern European, while a southern European is more or less a mixture of the indigenous southern European peoples and those Celts and/or Germanics who searched for a better life in the warm south.

While the cultural influences go from the south to the north – the Germanic tribes were influenced by the Celtic tribes who were influenced by the Romans who were influenced by the Greek. “Influence” may be a bit understatement.

If you talk about Romance peoples for example, you talk about language, because “Romance” are people who speak a language that is derived from Latin.

The “Romance” French are mainly the descendants of Celts and Franks (a Germanic tribe), but their culture has deeply been influenced by the Romans and their language is mainly a derivate of the Latin language.

The northern Germans are Germanic (sounds a bit silly …), in South Germany the people about 500 BC were Celtic (France and South Germany were the core territory of the Celts), then Germanic tribes came from the north and built the dominant group, while the Celts spread over Europe; East Germany and Poland have been under changing dominance between Slavic and Germanic peoples for more than 2,000 years.

We use to say people are Germanic or Romanic or Celtic or Slavic, but in fact they all are different mixes and we see just the recent dominant linguistic state.

Except regions like that I come from where nobody wanted to settle down who hasn’t been there for the last 3,000 years … :-(

Sharon August 25, 2010 at 3:42 pm

She looks Swedish.

Freerk November 21, 2014 at 3:11 pm

No, she’s just blonde. According to her face, she’s a mixture of German, French and Irish, with German as dominant influence.

E M August 5, 2010 at 11:32 am

To Kim J:

Germans and Irish are ethinicities, not separate races. They both belong to the European (Caucasian) race.

?? March 4, 2010 at 4:16 pm

mutts are mixed cultures and ethnicities, not just race.

Jo April 12, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Soooo… technically yes, then… she would be a mutt. *shrug*

sharlene January 16, 2010 at 12:54 pm

mutts are mixed race arent tehy?
michelle is just european… im highly confused

KimJ June 3, 2010 at 5:34 pm

*face palm* Europe is a continent. That is like saying all peoples in the Americas are one in the same. A German is not the same culturally or racially as an Irish person and so on. They each have different customs, history, language, culture, etc. etc. I am really surprised that this would be needed to be explained to anyone to be quite honest….

I am mixed racially as well. Most Americans are. I am also a European mutt.

Freerk July 9, 2014 at 2:14 pm

“Racially” they are the same by any definition of race. By linguistic or cultural criteria they are different, of course.

ethnic January 12, 2010 at 10:26 pm

I didnt notice Swedes looking like they were keeping a secret. lol.

hmm July 10, 2010 at 6:35 am

same here lol

Anna August 25, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Neither did I, must be a stereotype.

Anonymous January 12, 2010 at 5:08 pm

ha very interesting.

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