Birth Name: Zachary David Alexander Efron
Place of Birth: San Luis Obispo, California, United States
Date of Birth: October 18, 1987
Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish (paternal grandfather), English, German, Scottish, possibly around 1/16th Irish, and remote Dutch and Belgian/Flemish
Zac Efron is an American actor and singer. He is known for his roles in the films High School Musical, Hairspray, 17 Again, The Lucky One, and The Paperboy, among others.
Zac’s paternal grandfather is Jewish (the son of Jewish immigrants from Poland). The surname Efron, an Ashkenazi Jewish surname, is Hebrew, and is taken from the Biblical place name, עפרוניים. Zac once described himself as Jewish in a skit where he was more or less playing himself (see here), but it is unclear if Zac fully identifies himself as Jewish.
Zac’s three other grandparents were/are not of Jewish heritage. Zac’s paternal grandmother’s ancestry included German, Scottish, and English. Zac’s maternal grandfather was of English and German descent, and Zac’s maternal grandmother had English, possibly around one quarter Irish, and distant Dutch and Belgian (Flemish), ancestry. One of Zac’s maternal step-grandfathers, Irving Lipskey, was Jewish.
Zac is an agnostic, and has never been religious.
A picture of Zac with his paternal grandfather can be seen here.
No genealogical connection between Zac and writer Nora Ephron has been established, but is possible. Nora’s family’s surname was spelled Efron generations back.
Zac’s paternal grandfather is Harold Efron (the son of Nasko/Nossen “Nathan” Rueben Efron and Dworja “Dora” Kleszczelska/Klein/Kleiniskyoff). Harold was born in New York, while Harold’s parents, known as Nathan and Dora in the U.S., were Jewish immigrants (Nasko from from Boćki or Siemiatycze, both in Poland, and Dworja from Boćki). Nasko and Dworja married in 1927 in Zabłudów, Białystok, Poland. Nasko was the son of Leibel Efron and Gitel “Gutka” Worona. Dworja was the daughter of Nathan Kleszczelska/Klein/Kleiniskyoff and Dvora.
Zac’s paternal grandmother is Dorothy Rhe Karcher (the daughter of George Lippincot Karcher, Jr. and Mildred Geneva Cooper). Dorothy was born in Idaho, and has German, Scottish, and English ancestry. George was born in Pennsylvania, to Pennsylvania-born parents, George Lippincot Karcher and Elizabeth Janet McRobbie. Mildred was born in Idaho, to Minnesota-born parents, Alonzo Byron Cooper and Mary Ellen Hipsley.
Zac’s maternal grandfather was Robert Harold Baskett (the son of Roswell C. Baskett and Matilda A. “Lillie” Bade). Robert was born in Washington. Roswell was born in Washington, to a father from Missouri, Charles Monroe Baskett, and a mother from Tennessee, Mary/Martha Isabelle Daily/Dail. Roswell had English ancestry. Matilda was born in Wisconsin; Matilda’s father, Albert Carl/Charles Bade, was born in Wisconsin, to German parents, while Matilda’s mother, Bertha A./Emily Herrmann/Herman, was a German immigrant.
Zac’s maternal grandmother was June Helene Glidden (the daughter of Joseph Henry Glidden and Helene Durgan). June was born in Washington. Joseph was born in Michigan, as were Joseph’s own parents, Elmer Joy Glidden and Luzelle/Luzell Richmond. Elmer had English, as well as distant Dutch and Belgian (Flemish), ancestry. Elmer’s patrilineal line traces back to John Glidden, who was born, c. 1550, in Pancras, near Bideford, Devon, England. Zac’s great-grandmother Helene Durgan was born in Washington state, to a father from New York, Edmund or Edward Durgan, and a mother from Michigan, Angie Estelle Baker. Edmund/Edward Durgan’s parents were Canadian, and he was of Irish or part Irish ancestry. The surnames “Richmond” and “Baker” are often English.
Zac’s great-grandmother Helene (Durgan) Glidden wrote the 1951 novel The Light on the Island, about her childhood growing up on Patos Island, Washington, where her father (Zac’s great-great-grandfather) was lighthouse keeper between 1905 and 1913.
Sources: Genealogy of Zac Efron – http://famouskin.com
Marriage record of Zac’s paternal grandparents, Harold Efron and Dorothy Rhe Karcher – https://familysearch.org
Family history of Zac’s paternal grandfather, Harold Efron – http://efronfamilyhistory.com
Zac’s paternal grandfather, Harold Efron, on the 1940 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Zac’s comment on his Jewish grandfather – http://twitter.com
Zac’s paternal grandmother, Dorothy Rhe Karcher, on the 1940 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Genealogy of Zac Efron (focusing on his mother’s side) – http://www.wikitree.com
Genealogy of Zac’s mother (focusing on her mother’s side) – http://www.geni.com
Wedding record of Zac’s maternal grandparents, Robert Harold Baskett and June Helene Glidden – https://familysearch.org
Zac’s maternal grandfather, Robert Harold Baskett, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Genealogy of Zac’s maternal great-grandfather, Roswell C. Baskett – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com
Zac’s maternal great-grandfather, Roswell C. Baskett, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Zac’s maternal great-grandmother, Matilda A. “Lillie” Bade, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Zac’s family in the Glidden genealogy: the fit of the Glidden genes, Volume 2, 2005 – http://books.google.ca
Zac’s maternal grandmother, June Helene Glidden, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Genealogy of Zac’s maternal great-great-grandfather, Elmer Joy Glidden – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com
Genealogy of Zac’s maternal great-great-great-grandfather, Joseph Henry Glidden (focusing on his own father’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com
The Light on the Island, the 1951 novel by Zac’s maternal great-grandmother, Helene (Durgan) Glidden – https://www.amazon.ca
Picture of Zac’s maternal great-grandmother, Helene (Durgan) Glidden – http://lindadelopez17.files.wordpress.com