Russian Jewish

Maggie Wheeler

by stlucas on March 24, 2017

Birth Name: Margaret Emily Jakobson

Place of Birth: Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: August 7, 1961

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

Maggie Wheeler is an American actress. She is the daughter of Barbara and John R. Jakobson. Her parents are both Jewish. Maggie is married to Daniel Borden Wheeler.

Maggie’s paternal grandparents were Louis Jakobson (the son of Adolph Sam Jakobson and Fanny Leftrist/Lefkowitz) and Lucille B. Rafelson (the daughter of Abraham J. Rafelson and Hattie London). Adolph and Fanny were born in Hungary. Abraham was originally from either Poland or Russia. Hattie was born in New York, to parents from Germany.


Maggie’s paternal grandfather, Louis Jakobson, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Death record of Maggie’s paternal grandfather, Louis Jakobson –

Maggie’s paternal great-grandmother, Hattie London, on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Photo by s_bukley/


Iris Apfel

by stlucas on March 24, 2017

Birth Name: Iris Barrel

Place of Birth: Astoria, Queens, New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: August 29, 1921

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

Iris Apfel is an American businessperson, interior designer, and fashion icon. She is the daughter of Sadye (Asofsky) and Samuel Barrel. Her parents were Jewish. Her father was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her mother was originally from Russia. Iris was married to Carl Apfel, until his death in 2015.

Iris’ paternal grandparents were Morris Barrel (the son of Moser J. Barrel and Reitha Jacobs) and Fannie Maltzman. Morris and Fannie were born in Russia.

Iris’ maternal grandparents were Abraham J. Asofsky and Syd Jennie Richman. Abraham was born in Slutsk, Belarus.


Genealogy of Iris Apfel –

Birth record of Iris’ paternal uncle, Harrie Lipman Barrel –

Photo by


Meghan Ory

by stlucas on March 22, 2017

Birth Name: Meghan R. Ory

Place of Birth: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Date of Birth: August 20, 1982

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish, possibly other

Meghan Ory is a Canadian television and film actress. She is daughter of Bonnie and Nathan E. Ory. She has a brother, Jesse. Meghan is married to actor John Reardon.

Meghan’s surname, “Ory”, was originally spelt “Oritsky”, and hails from Ukraine.

Meghan’s paternal grandfather was Randolph Aaron “Randy” Ory (the son of Nathaniel Edward Ory and Jennie Gottlieb). Randolph was born in Anniston, Alabama, U.S., to Jewish immigrant parents. Nathaniel was born in Kiev, Ukraine, the son of Abraham Oritsky/Ory and Gussie Aaron. Jennie was also born in Kiev, the daughter of Thomas Gottlieb and Minnie Kaminsky.

Meghan’s paternal grandmother was Jesse/Jessie Pankin (the daughter of Harris Pankin and Ray). Jesse was born in New York, U.S. Harris and Ray were Russian Jewish immigrants.

Sources: Genealogy of Meghan Ory (focusing on her father’s side) –

Meghan’s paternal grandmother, Jesse/Jessie Pankin, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Photo by kathclick/


Melissa Rosenberg

by stlucas on March 22, 2017

Birth Name: Melissa Anne Rosenberg

Place of Birth: Marin, California, United States

Date of Birth: August 28, 1962

*Ashkenazi Jewish (father)
*Irish, possibly other (mother)

Melissa Rosenberg is an American screenwriter and television producer. She is the daughter of Patricia J. (Connolly), a lawyer, and Jack Lee Rosenberg, a psychotherapist, who is the founder of integrative body psychotherapy.

Melissa’s father is Jewish. Melissa’s mother is said to be of Irish ancestry.

Melissa’s paternal grandparents were Jack Rosenberg (the son of Fanny/Fannie Leber) and Sylvia Minton. Fanny was born in Russia.

Melissa is married to television director Lev L. Spiro. Lev is Jewish.

Sources: Birth certificate of Melissa Rosenberg –

Obituary of Melissa’s father, Jack Lee Rosenberg –

Photo by s_bukley/


Seth Grahame-Smith

by stlucas on March 11, 2017

Birth Name: Seth Jared Greenberg

Place of Birth: Rockville Centre, Long Island, New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: January 4, 1976

*Ashkenazi Jewish (father)
*English, German, Lithuanian, possibly other (mother)

Seth Grahame-Smith is an American novelist, film director, film producer, and screenwriter.

He was born in Rockville Centre, New York, the son of Deborah Ann (Williams) and Barry Michael Greenberg. He was raised in Weston and Bethel, Connecticut.

Seth’s father is Jewish. Seth’s mother is Protestant. They divorced when Seth was three years old. Seth’s mother later changed her surname to “Grahame”, after British writer Kenneth Grahame, and to “Smith”, after her second husband.

Seth’s paternal grandfather was Aaron Herbert Greenberg (the son of Benjamin Greenberg and Sadie Streicher). Benjamin was born in Romania, the son of Meyer Augenblick and Matilda. Sadie was born in Russia, the daughter of Aaron Streicher and Ida Weingrad.

Seth’s paternal grandmother was Alice Rhoda Strauss (the daughter of Jacob Strauss and Clara Mandel/Mandell). Jacob was born in New York, to parents from Austria, Samuel Strauss and Bessie. Clara was born in Lemberg, Austria (now Liyv, Ukraine), the daughter of Hersch Finger and Chaje Weiblich.

Seth’s maternal grandfather was James Wesley Williams (the son of James Wesley Williams, Sr. and P. Maxham). Seth’s great-grandfather James was the son of Silas Williams.

Seth’s maternal grandmother was Mildred Ann Strauss (the daughter of Peter Strauss and Antonina Sincavage).


Genealogy of Seth Grahame-Smith –

Seth’s paternal grandfather, Aaron Herbert Greenberg, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Photo by kathclick/