Adam Driver

adam driver

Driver with Lena Dunham in 2013, photo by kathclick/

Birth Name: Adam Douglas Driver

Place of Birth: San Bernardino, California, United States

Date of Birth: November 19, 1983

Ethnicity: English, one eighth Dutch/Frisian, German, Irish, Scottish, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, more distant Welsh and French, remote Swedish

Adam Driver is an American actor. He is the son of Nancy (Needham) and Joe Douglas Driver. His father’s family is from Arkansas and his mother’s family is from Indiana, where Adam was raised, in Mishawaka. His stepfather is a Baptist minister, and Adam had a religious Baptist upbringing. He is married to actress Joanne Tucker, with whom he has one child.

After 9/11, Adam joined the United States Marine Corps, and served in Afghanistan. He later founded Arts in the Armed Forces, a non-profit foundation, which stages theatrical performances for military personnel. Adam is a Lance Corporal in the Marines.

His father has English, German, Scottish, Irish, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, distant Welsh and French, and remote Swedish, ancestry. A picture of Adam’s father can be seen here. Adam’s mother has English, one fourth Dutch/Frisian, and some German and Irish, ancestry.

While Adam was cast as a Jewish character a few times, most notably in This Is Where I Leave You (2014) and BlacKkKlansman (2018), he is not himself of Jewish heritage.

Adam’s patrilineal ancestry can be traced to John Driver, who was born, c. 1675, in Avening, England or Isle of Wight County, Virginia, to parents of English origin, Giles Driver and Olive Hardy.

Adam’s paternal grandfather was Kelly Potter Driver, Jr. (the son of Kelly Potter Driver, Sr. and Rosa/Rosie/Rose Bell Whiteside). Adam’s grandfather Kelly was born in Arkansas. Adam’s great-grandfather Kelly was the son of Miles/Milas Washington Driver and Sarah Elizabeth Johnson. Rosa was the daughter of Jacob Davis Whiteside and Eliza Ann Withers.

Adam’s paternal grandmother was Edith Mae Fisher (the daughter of Joe Guy Fisher, Sr. and Belva/Belvia/Belvie Yeager). Edith was born in Arkansas. Joe was the son of Walter S./W. Fisher and Mary Jane Quattlebaum. Belva was the daughter of Charles O. Yeager and Irene Almeda Favors.

Adam’s maternal grandfather was Ira Lee Needham (the son of Lester G. Needham and Gertrude Dykstra/Dexter). Ira Lee was born in Indiana. Lester was the son of Ira H. Needham and Flora Anna Harrington. Gertrude was born in Indiana, to Dutch parents, John H. Dykstra/Dexter and Jantje/Jennie F. Kuypers/Kipers. Gertrude had roots in Friesland.

Adam’s maternal grandmother was Dolores Lavone Pettit (the daughter of Theodore George Pettit and Florence Geneve/Geneva/Genieve Ullrich). Dolores was born in Lafayette, Indiana, and grew up on a farm in Battleground, Indiana. Theodore was the son of William Clayton Pettit and Cora Ethel Campbell. Florence was the daughter of Jacob Ullrich and Nellie Blanche Carpenter. Jacob was the son of a German father and an Irish mother.

Sources: Genealogies of Adam Driver –

Adam’s paternal grandfather, Kelly Potter Driver, Jr., on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Obituary of Adam’s paternal grandfather, Kelly Potter Driver, Jr. –

Genealogies of Adam’s paternal great-grandfather, Kelly Potter Driver –

Genealogy of Adam’s paternal great-great-grandfather, Jacob Davis Whiteside –

Adam’s paternal grandmother, Edith Mae Fisher, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Obituary of Adam’s paternal grandmother, Edith Mae (Fisher) Driver –

Genealogy of Adam’s paternal great-great-grandmother, Mary Jane Quattlebaum (focusing on her father’s side) –

Obituary of Adam’s aunt (mother’s sister) –

Genealogy of Adam’s maternal grandfather, Ira Lee Needham (focusing on his own father’s side) –

Adam’s maternal grandfather, Ira Lee Needham, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Genealogy of Adam’s maternal great-grandmother, Gertrude Dexter/Dykstra (focusing on her father’s side) –

Adam’s maternal grandmother, Dolores Lavone Pettit, on the 1940 U.S. Census –

Obituary of Adam’s maternal grandmother, Dolores Lavone (Pettit) Needham Riggs –

Adam’s maternal great-grandfather, Theodore George Pettit, on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Adam’s maternal great-grandmother, Florence Geneve/Geneva/Genieve Ullrich, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

85 Responses

  1. bucksadoo says:

    He looks Native American.

  2. italiano90 says:

    He looks like he could be a mestizo Mexican from texas and this is the man playing Maurizio gucci? hollywood is weird.

  3. LauraMilagros says:

    12/12/20 To me, he looks very similar to Keanu Reeves & a tiny bit like Jimmy Smits.
    Interesting heritage of both dudes. From all the genealogy links & family photos shared here, we’re still all left to “play Columbo” bc Adam Driver “ain’t” talkin’. The photo of what I believe to be his grandfather holding Adam’s father as a baby is the most revealing. That man, IMO, is definitely of (mixed) African American ancestry. The women in the color photos shared all have very dark brown eyes. My deduction: having French & possibly Spanish ancestors from Louisiana – they are probably Creole – meaning mixed with African American slaves. His family is primarily Southern Caucasian & they, too, may have hidden, secret African American ancestors. Before the mid 1960s, it was not uncommon for light-skinned AAs & Native Americans to CHOOSE to “pass” for “White.” This was done for self-preservation, safety, economic stability, career opportunities & to avoid the violence & outright tortures from the legal racism once permitted in this country. Govt agencies weren’t as obsessed with birth certificates as they have been since the 1980s, so whatever a person CLAIMED as to birth place, race, etc, was “good enough.” Often, a “mixed” person was rejected by BOTH communities, so all those pesky & annoying family secrets flourished when ppl began to self-identity with whatever “group” they resembled the most. My maternal grandfather was Cherokee, born off the reservation. He was sort-of light-skinned & had blue eyes. HE WENT “PASSING” HIS ENTIRE LIFE (ca 1900 to 1960). I barely knew my grandpa but naturally love him very much. However, his decision … or perhaps HIS parent’s decision … to “go passing” has made it basically impossible for me & my 1st cousins (only have 3) to claim our rightful heritage & ancestry as descendants of the Cherokee (Tslagi) Nation. The key to unlocking the mystery of Driver’s heritage may be in the Census Records going back to his x3 Great Grandparents AND looking at each of their birth certificates. Census Records are a pain, but are accessible to the public. Birth Certs .. well, good luck with that. Those are pretty much off limits except to IMMEDIATE family members. As for Adam Driver himself unlocking the mystery, he either just doesn’t care, or he unable to clarify his family heritage bc all of his relatives have kept it a secret. Cant reveal details that you were never informed about. ~~~ Hopefully, & very soon, humankind will finally live in a world where “race” or ethnicity is not swept under a rug or hidden in a box in a closet, but is viewed as something to be proud of, cherished & celebrated … and… at the same time not matter one bit. ~~~ One world. One “race” – The Human Race.

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