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 has starred on the series Girls and in the films Silence, Marriage Story, Paterson, Midnight Special, The Last Duel, and House of Gucci, among many other works. 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 –

92 Responses

  1. jonasbttencourt says:

    Well his family history is “obscure” to say the least. It’s quite obvius by now that this is not his whole background. My bet is that he must have some black and native ancestry from his southern roots, or maybe some iberian or even eastern european part that was buried due to some shady reason. The black part would be the most likely if a significant part of his family really was from Luisiana. His case is different from the ones of Taylor Lautner and Josh Brolin, for example, where even being true that they look indeed odd for their background, there are plausible explanations to why they look like that. It’s really highly unlikely that this is it, not to say Impossible. My strongest bet is that he actually have some distant (thing of 1/8th or a bit more than that) of either black or native. My dad has a picture of his maternal grandfather, who was most likely biracial (we never knew for sure), and he kinda looked like Adam. Anyway, great actor, im a fan of his work since Silence.

  2. bucksadoo says:

    He looks Native American.

  3. italiano90 says:

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

  4. 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.

    • andrew says:

      It’s common sense Adam Driver is not (just) what it’s listed above, but are you suggesting he is part Louisiana Creole?

    • truegattaca says:

      He does not look like he has African American background at all. In terms of the White people from the South, you would think that they have a high African American background but they actually do not, based on genetic testings. He also does not have family members from Louisiana, where if White people are mixed, that is where they are from.

      • truegattaca says:

        But there is a chance he might be of South American background.

        • italiano90 says:

          Very likely he has indigenous blood. His father was likely mestizo. Even the white people in Latin America would look at him odd if he fully identified as white. His eyes and some of his facial features give it away. Go to Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela etc you will see some people who look 100% European unlike Adam Driver who looks racially ambiguous.

          • truegattaca says:

            He could have indigenous blood, that makes sense. Adam Driver does not really look that racially ambiguous seeing as he clearly shows European background as well. He just looks a bit odd (not in an offensive way), but his features can be strange. I do believe he is mestizo since many mestizo can look like him.

          • Yesterday says:

            He’s clearly white. Stop being ridiculous. He doesn’t look mixed at all.

          • danishcookie7 says:

            @Yesterday He is not “clearly white”.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.