Birth Name: Robert Arquette
Date of Birth: July 28, 1969
Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States
Date of Death: September 11, 2016
Place of Death: Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
*father – English, French-Canadian, Swiss-German, German, Scottish, Irish, Welsh
*mother – Ashkenazi Jewish
Alexis Arquette was an American actress, musician, and cabaret performer.
Her family surname was spelled Arcouet many generations back. Alexis’s father, actor Lewis Arquette (Lewis Michael Arquette), had English, French-Canadian, Swiss-German, German, Scottish, Irish, and Welsh ancestry. Alexis’s mother, Brenda Olivia (Nowak), was also involved in the arts, and was Jewish (of Polish Jewish and Russian Jewish descent).
Alexis was born Robert Arquette, and changed her name to Alexis Arquette. She transitioned from male to female. Alexis was the sister of actors Rosanna Arquette, Richmond Arquette, Patricia Arquette, and David Arquette.
There is a claim on the internet that Alexis’s father was a descendant of explorer Meriwether Lewis. Meriwether Lewis had no children. It is possible that Alexis’s father was related to Meriwether Lewis in some other way.
A DNA test whose results were displayed on the show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2016) stated that Alexis’s sister Patricia’s ancestry is:
*48.5% Ashkenazi [Jewish]
*36.6% British & Irish
*11.3% Broadly Northern European
*2.1% Broadly European
*1.0% Broadly Southern European
*0.2% French & German
*0.1% Sub-Saharan African
*<0.1% East Asian & Native American
Alexis’s patrilineal line can be traced to Jean Arcouet dit Lajeunesse, who was born, c. 1646, in Marennes, Rochefort, Saintonge, France.
Alexis’s paternal grandfather was Clifford Charles “Cliff” Arquette (the son of Charles Augustus Arquette, Jr. and Winifred/Wynne/Minnie Ethel Clark). Clifford was born in Ohio, and was a famous comedian under the name “Charlie Weaver.” He was known for his appearances on the Hollywood Squares television show, and was also a Civil War expert. Alexis’s great-grandparents Charles and Winifred were in vaudeville. Charles was the son of Charles Arquette (who was born in Michigan, to parents of French-Canadian descent, Peter Daniel Arcouette/Arquette, who was from Sandwich, Ontario, and Marie Anne Valade Viliquette), and of Philomina Josephine “Minnie” Fritsche, who was Swiss, of Swiss-German descent. Alexis’s great-grandmother Winifred was the daughter of Charles Cicero Clark and Emma E. Kear.
Alexis’s paternal grandmother was Mildred Nesbitt LeMay (born Mildred Speight, the daughter of Shirley Sidney Speight and Willie Sue Barr). Mildred was born in Texas, and took on the surname of her stepfather, David John LeMay. Shirley was the son of Jessie Bryan Speight and Ellen Martha Williams. Willie was the daughter of Thomas Alexander Barr and Mary Emma Hill.
Alexis’s maternal grandfather was Yusseff “Joseph” Nowack/Nowak (the son of Wolff “Zev” Nowak and a mother whose maiden name was Yasnor). Yusseff was a Jewish emigrant, who was born in Belaja Zerkovy/Bila Tserkva, Kiev, Ukraine, then in the Russian Empire.
Alexis’s maternal grandmother was Claire Hibel/Hibbel (the daughter of Harry Hibel and Fannie Zacharek). Claire was born in New York, to Russian Jewish parents. Harry was the son of Louis Hibel and Jennie Ita Osterer, who was born in Przasnysz, Poland. Fannie was the daughter of Moshe Zacharek and Rochel Fannie Schnitzler/Znizer.
Genealogies of Alexis Arquette (focusing on her father’s side) – http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com
Patrilineal genealogy of the Arquette family – http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com
Alexis’s paternal grandfather, Clifford Charles Arquette, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Alexis’s paternal great-grandfather, Charles Augustus Arquette, on the 1880 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org