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 is Dolores Lavone Pettit (the daughter of Theodore George Pettit and Florence Geneve/Geneva/Genieve Ullrich). Dolores was born in 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: Genealogy 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 –

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 –

83 Responses

  1. danishcookie7 says:

    Sony just signed up Adam Driver to play Maurizio Gucci in the upcoming Gucci film. It’s just weird because Adam Driver doesn’t even look like Maurizio let alone anyone Italian. He is very obviously mixed with non-european DNA. Like seriously what the hell? This is Maurizio Gucci

    I have to remind myself that Hollywood is in America, the country where Italians are seen as “Other” even though Italians have always been and always will be European. The country where J.Lo and Ricky Martin can play Italian roles. Most Italian Americans aren’t even fully Italian.

    I can understand Lady Gaga playing Maurizios wife since at least she looks fully European enough to play her.

    Casting Adam Driver is such a bizarre choice though. Is it really difficult to find any unambiguous european man to play Maurizio?

  2. andrew says:

    He has a French line on his mother’s side (“Pedigo”).

    “Pettit” is also of French origin

  3. AquaVida7 says:

    I read somewhere that his biological father (Joe Douglas Driver) was actually adopted by, or into, the Driver clan. This person (male) seemed to be more in charge of their facts (ancestral/family) than most people in on-line forums-quite frankly I thought that it was information that didn’t need sharing-at all. Adam Driver himself, probably knows whether it’s true or not. But he’s not going to bother to correct it, at this stage, because he doesn;t regard it as relevant to his current activities/life. This means that whilst his (Adam’s) maternal line of Needham would be correct (accurate), with German, Dutch, Scottish, English and Irish ancestors etc., his Driver side of the family would not be. I strongly suspect (trying hard not to racially or facially stereotype here, which is hard to avoid, when it’s so blindingly obvious) that his biological father’s ancestral line would perhaps include Hispanic, Portuguese, Italian or even Philippino (Filipino or even Hawaiian), or First Nation/Native American Indian Heritage, but I’ll let Adam Driver make that decision to go down that DNA testing path, if (big if) and when he wants to. I think that he wants to remain “mysterious” and that’s his prerogative too. He perceives himself as being of the Driver clan.. grannies, pa’s etc. that were related and looked after him. His unique “look” certainly lends itself to a veritable “chameleon collection” of acting roles. To all intents and purposes, he’s a Driver/Needham (Wright) combo through and through! And that’s enough!

  4. comrade says:

    Adam Driver looks spanish/iberian to me.

  5. mellisme says:

    Looks to hate Native American heritage.

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