Thora Birch

by andrew on October 29, 2013

Thora Birch

Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Birth: March 11, 1982

Ethnicity: Polish (maternal grandmother), French-Canadian, German, Irish, evidently German Jewish, Italian, and Scandinavian

Thora Birch is an American actress. She is known for her role in the films American Beauty (1999) and Ghost World (2001). Thora is the daughter of former adult film actors Jack Birch and Carol Connors. The family’s original surname is said to be Biersch.

Among Thora’s verified ancestry is Polish (from her maternal grandmother), French-Canadian, German, and Irish.

She has also stated:

My ancestors were mostly from different parts of Europe, a bit of German Jewish, a little Italian and also some Nordic. Birch comes from Biersch, German. My name, Thora, is the goddess of thunder and lightning, Thor’s sister, in Norse mythology. If I’d been a boy I would have been Thor.

Thora’s maternal grandfather was Victor Joseph Campau (the son of Philip/Phillip/Philemon/Philomon/Philomo Joseph Campau and Mary Ellen Wilds). Victor was born in Michigan. Philip was of French-Canadian descent, the son of Jovite/Jovitus David Faustinus Campeau and Marie-Philomena/Philomene Adeline Roger Joinville. Thora’s great-grandmother Mary Ellen was the daughter of Edward Wilds, who was born in Michigan, to German parents, and of Roseanne/Rosann/Rosey Loy, who was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, to Irish parents.

Thora’s maternal grandmother was Violet Carol “Vi” Basiaga (the daughter of Jozef/Joseph “Joe” Basiaga/Basinga/Basaiga and Anna/Annie/Ann M. Wiesko/Bielczko/Wencko). Violet was born in Michigan, to Polish parents. Jozef was the son of Joannes/John Basiaga/Basinga/Basaiga and Sofie/Sophie/Sophia/Sofia Christian/Krzyszton/Megacz. Anna was the daughter of Adam Wiesko and Cositunery Vinnytho.

Sources: Marriage record of Thora’s maternal grandparents, Victor Joseph Campau and Violet Carol “Vi” Basiaga –

Thora’s maternal grandfather, Victor Joseph Campau, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Thora’s maternal great-grandmother, Mary Ellen Wilds, on the 1880 U.S. Census –

Thora’s maternal grandmother, Violet Carol “Vi” Basiaga, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Obituary of Thora’s maternal grandmother, Violet Carol “Vi” (Basiaga) Campau –

Marriage record of Thora’s maternal great-grandparents, Jozef/Joseph “Joe” Basiaga/Basinga/Basaiga and Anna/Annie/Ann M. Wiesko/Bielczko/Wencko –

Thora’s maternal great-great-grandparents, Joannes/John Basiaga/Basinga/Basaiga and Sofie/Sophie/Sophia/Sofia Christian/Krzyszton/Megacz, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Photo by kathclick/

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

madman April 9, 2018 at 10:29 am

Jack Birch —> Jack Birch (Jack C. Birch)
Carol Connors —> Carol Connors (Carol Lynn Campau)

Since Jack was born in 1939, this might be him (not sure, maybe someone else could look into it):

In that case, this is her grandmother (the Jewish part?):

follers April 9, 2018 at 7:09 pm

That Rumetsck/Rummage family wasn’t Jewish. Perhaps the apparent grandfather, Jack M. Birch, was.

Pegzi September 21, 2017 at 11:36 pm

Adam Wiesko was Finnish.

follers September 22, 2017 at 9:30 am

What makes you say that? Wiesko can be a Polish surname too.

follers May 30, 2017 at 6:26 pm

Can anyone find more on her ancestry?

bablah May 31, 2017 at 7:11 am

Her grandmother’s obituary:

Her maternal grandparents marriage record:

Grandmother on a census:

Her father was from Struze, Krakow according to his draft records, which is probably Stróże, Małopolska Voivodeship (there are two, I think it’s the one in Nowy Sącz county).

Also his and Anne’s marriage record:

I found a death record for one Sophie Wiencko, she appears to be Joseph’s sister and she married Anne’s brother Benny:

Here are Joseph’s parents on a census:

Also found baptisms of few of their children in Poland:

bablah May 31, 2017 at 7:21 am
madman April 9, 2018 at 11:32 am

Is it clear that this is her grandmother in the obituary?

ashash November 11, 2015 at 9:40 pm

She’s a woman of color. I had no idea.

J.J. October 31, 2013 at 5:04 am

correction; her eyes are grey/green

notional October 29, 2013 at 8:06 am

whats the difference between German Jewish and Ashkanzi Jewish?

andrew December 14, 2013 at 6:24 pm

no difference

guurl December 14, 2013 at 7:15 pm

German Jews are Ashkanazi Jews. The only difference is the location of where they lived. If a Jew was from Poland he would be a Polish Jew.

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