Renée Zellweger

by ethnic on January 20, 2009

Birth Name: Renée Kathleen Zellweger

Place of Birth: Katy, Harris, Texas, U.S.

Date of Birth: April 25, 1969

*Swiss [including Swiss-German] (father)
*Norwegian, Finnish/Kveeni, Swedish, possible Sami (mother)

Renée Zellweger is an American actress and producer. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Cold Mountain (2003).

Renée’s father, Emil Erich Zellweger, was born in Au, a town in the canton of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and has Swiss-German ancestry. Renée’s mother, Kjellfrid Irene (Andreassen), was born in Norway, of Norwegian, Finnish/Kveeni, and Swedish ancestry.

Many of Renée’s mother’s ancestors were from Sodankylä in northern Finland. During the 19th century, many Finns emigrated to Finnmark, in northern Norway; they are known as Kveeni, and both of Renée’s maternal grandparents were of part Kveeni descent.

Several internet sources state that Renée has Sami ancestry. It is not clear if this ancestry has been verified/documented. Sami are Indigenous people who inhabit Norway, Finland, and Sweden.

Renée’s paternal grandparents were Emil Zellweger and Dorothy or Mickey Preisig.

Renée’s maternal grandfather was Ove Magnar Ingolf Andreassen (the son of Johan Edvard Charles Andreassen and Emma Ovidia/Ovidie Hansen). Ove was born in Ekkerøy, Finnmark, Norway. Johan was the son of Oluf Martin Andreassen and Fredrikke Mathilde Strand. Emma was the daughter of Oluf Bernhof Hansen and Ingeborg Martha Eriksdatter Jørstad.

Renée’s maternal grandmother was Bjørga Johanna/Johanne Hildonen (the daughter of Isak Wilhelm Johansen Hildonen and Kathrine Jensdatter Hedlund). Bjørga was born in Tana, Norway. Isak was the son of Johan Daniel/Danielpoika/Danielsen Hiltuen/Hiltunen/Hildonen and Johanne Kathrine Johannestyttär Kylmänen/Kullmann. Renée’s great-grandmother Kathrine was born in Vefsn, Norway, the daughter of Swedish parents, Jens Paulsen Hedlund, from Härjedalen, Jämtland, and Brita Isaksdatter Bergstrøm, from Åre, Jämtland.

Sources: Genealogies of Renée Zellweger (focusing on her mother’s side) –

Genealogy of Renée’s maternal grandfather, Ove Magnar Ingolf Andreassen –

Featureflash /

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

neiltennant December 11, 2017 at 2:13 pm

i know she has a German name

but she does actually not look typical German

if she were unknown and we would see her on the streets we would speak English with her :-)

andrew December 11, 2017 at 2:17 pm

She does not have German ancestry (from Germany) whatsoever

Susi November 4, 2015 at 1:11 pm

Correction. She has Kveeni-ancestry. Kveeni’s are a group of Finnish descent people who moved to Norway, Finnmark, in 1600-1700. Kjellfrid (her mother) was partly Sami and Kveeni.

follers November 4, 2015 at 1:49 pm

How do you know she has Sami ancestry?

Susi November 5, 2015 at 6:35 am

Yeah, actually that I looked into it (despite all second hand source claims), it seems like there’s no Sami ancestry, at least in the first 5 gens going back on Kjellfrid’s family background. I think it’s still highly likely that there is some – but if it’s relevant to Rénee… I wouldn’t say. Kjellfrid’s father’s side of family are all from Finnmark which is at the very top of Norway and Finland. Kjellfrid’s father’s father’s father’s father is named Andreas Olbeksen, I couldn’t work out where a name “Olbes” or “Olbek” could be from as it is Andreas’ father’s name (Olbeksen = Son of Olbes/k). There’s no info available in the internet any further, so if anyone knows about the origin of the name it could lead to conclusion if there’s some Sami ancestry or not. But in any case Andreassens are most probably Kvens/Kveenis.

Kjellfrid Andreassen’s mother is named Hiltunen and her paternal grandmother’s last name was Kylmänen, so she definitely is Kven or Finnish in anycase. Kjellfrid’s mother could be half Swede/Norwegian too, since her name is Hedlund. Though it doesn’t tell much since it’s normal for a Finn to have Norwegian or Swedish last name. I’d say Rénee’s mother is possibly something like half Finnish/Kven and other half Norwegian, or mostly Kven.


All this info is from and

Susi November 5, 2015 at 6:40 am

Forgot to add that Kjellfrid’s father’s mother is also from Finnmark. So Kven from father’s side, Finnish/Kven from mother’s father’s side and possibly Norwegian or Swedish from mother’s mother’s side. [correction]

tttyyy July 8, 2015 at 5:43 pm

Wish I was scandinavian

bearboy June 10, 2015 at 6:15 pm

Wow actually you’re right follers, it’s almost like looking in a mirror! :)

Capricious April 5, 2015 at 5:24 am

She has no Sami ancestry. I mean just because someone has small hooded eyes they’re all of a sudden Sami or “Asiatic”?

It’s an internet rumour. People saw her eyes that way, made fun of her and then be like “she is probably [insert indigenous group]”.

veterinary tech November 22, 2013 at 11:48 am

Hi there, all is going sound here and ofcourse every one is sharing facts, that’s truly fine,
keep up writing.

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