Nathan Fillion

by ethnic on August 11, 2010

Nathan Fillion in quotes

Place of Birth: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Date of Birth: March 27, 1971

Ethnicity: French-Canadian, German, Swiss-German, Norwegian, Finnish, Finland-Swedish

Nathan Fillion is a Canadian actor. He is known for his lead roles as Captain Malcolm Reynolds on the series Firefly and Richard Castle on the series Castle.

Nathan was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the son of Cookie (Early) and Bob Fillion. He also became a U.S. citizen in 1997. His surname is French, and his ancestry includes French-Canadian, German, Swiss-German, Norwegian, Finnish, and possibly Finland-Swedish.

Nathan has said that he is descended from Jubal Early (Jubal Anderson Early), a Confederate Lieutenant General in the U.S. Civil War. Joss Whedon named a character Jubal Early on Nathan’s series Firefly specifically because of this.

However, Nathan and Lieu. Gen. Early are not related, at least through their Early lines. Nathan’s line leads back to German ancestors surnamed Ehrle or Oehrle, while the Lieu. Gen.’s line leads back to Donegal, Ireland.

Nathan’s maternal grandfather was Joseph Quinter “Joe” Early (the son of Joseph Benjamin “J.B.” Early and Mary “Polly” Yoder). Nathan’s grandfather Joseph was born in Oregon, U.S., and was of mostly or entirely German descent. Nathan’s great-grandfather Joseph was the son of David Early and Sarah M. Miller. Mary “Polly” was the daughter of The Rev. Levi John Yoder and Mary Misher.

Nathan’s maternal grandmother was Emilia/Emelie/Amelia Charlotta/Charlotte “Millie” Castberg (the daughter of Tycho/Tyco Didrik Castberg and Hagar Elvera Nemlander). Emilia was born in Edmonton, Alberta. Tycho was Norwegian, from Sandefjord. Hagar was from Espoo, Finland, the daughter of Carl/Karl Johan Nemlander and Maria Charlotta, and was possibly of Finland-Swedish descent.

Sources: Genealogies of Nathan’s maternal grandparents, Joseph Quinter “Joe” Early and Emilia/Emelie/Amelia Charlotta/Charlotte “Millie” (Castberg) Early –

Genealogy of Nathan’s “Yoder” family –

Nathan’s maternal grandmother, Emilia/Emelie/Amelia Charlotta/Charlotte “Millie” Castberg, on the 1916 Canada Census –

Obituary of Nathan’s maternal grandmother, Emilia/Emelie/Amelia Charlotta/Charlotte “Millie” (Castberg) Early –

Creative Commons License photo credit: RavenU

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

bablah November 10, 2017 at 11:53 am

Can you add Swiss-German too? Yoders are mostly Swiss.

vilgotaan May 4, 2017 at 2:32 pm

Why Finland-Swedish and not just Finnish and Swedish?

follers April 3, 2017 at 9:21 pm

So the relation to Lieu. Gen. Jubal Early is a tall tale.

bablah April 4, 2017 at 4:17 am

According to the family tree of the liutenant I found online, yep.
They were all from Virginia and some sort of a familial connection is not to be disregarded, but he does not aapear to be a direct descendant.

follers April 4, 2017 at 7:57 am

I’ve disregarded it (it’s in the text).

bablah April 4, 2017 at 9:34 am

I meant a non-blood relation, based on purely geographical proximity. Like an aunt marrying into a different family, or something.

bablah April 3, 2017 at 11:08 am
bablah April 3, 2017 at 1:18 pm

His great-grandfather Tyco was Norwegian (Sandefjord), and his great-grandmother Hagar was from Espoo, Finland but might have been Swedish.

Maternal grandfather:

bablah April 3, 2017 at 1:21 pm
madman April 4, 2017 at 4:12 pm

“Nemlander” sounds more Swedish than Finnish. However, Finnish people can have Swedish surname (and vice versa), it is a complicated issue. She lists her ethnicity as Finnish, though:

bablah April 5, 2017 at 5:04 am

I don’t know much about Scandinavian ethnicities, but isn’t Hagar also a Swedish name?
And she was from Espoo, which had a significant Swedish population.
In any case this is the census page they’re on in image form, the man living next to them is likely her father:

madman April 5, 2017 at 9:24 am

Hagar isn’t (to my knowledge at least, maybe it’s old, plus, it sounds like a man’s name rather than a female’s). Elvera (really “Elvira”) is, however.

In any case, Hagar was the daughter of Carl/Karl Johan Nemlander and Maria Charlotta, so I would agree that she was probably of Swedish origin.

Also, in 1920, 70% of the people in Espoo were Swedish-speakers, as you said.

bablah April 5, 2017 at 10:24 am

When I looked on wikipedia only person named Hagar I could find in Finland was a Swedish speaking writer named Hagar Olsson.
And there’s a Swedish politician named Hagar Normark.
They’re both women.

madman April 7, 2017 at 10:38 am

Must be an old-fashioned name. Now that I think about it, there are similar Swedish female names that are rarely used anymore, like Dagmar.

Anyway, she was likely of Finland-Swedish origin. Please update.

scott August 28, 2014 at 2:34 am

Hes got some Scottish as well

Kim January 16, 2012 at 7:29 pm

I totally agree with Bella’s post. Nathan Fillion has to be the Best Looking Man on tv. Simply Gorgeous!!!

Bella August 12, 2010 at 3:47 am

He’s HOT! I love him on Castle :)

Previous post:

Next post: