Alyson Hannigan

Hannigan in 2011, image via Helga Esteb /

Birth Name: Allison Lee Hannigan

Place of Birth: Washington, D.C., U.S.

Date of Birth: March 24, 1974

*Irish (father)
*Ashkenazi Jewish (mother)

Alyson Hannigan is an American actress and television presenter. She is known for starring in the American Pie universe, and for her roles in the films Impure Thoughts, My Stepmother Is an Alien, Date Movie, You Might Be the Killer, and Flora & Ulysses, and on the shows Free Spirit, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, How I Met Your Mother, Penn & Teller: Fool Us, and Fancy Nancy. She has also been billed as Alyson Denisof.

She is the daughter of Emilie, a real estate agent, and Al Hannigan, a Teamsters truck driver. She has Irish ancestry on her father’s side. Her mother is Jewish; her family was from Poland and Russia. Alyson moved to Hollywood, California, as a young teen for her acting career. She is married to actor Alexis Denisof, with whom she has two children.

Alyson’s maternal grandfather was Jacob R. “Jack” Posner (the son of Samuel Posner and Goldie Grossfeld). Jacob was born in Maryland, to Jewish emigrants from Eastern Europe, either Russia or Poland, depending on the census.

Alyson’s maternal grandmother is Dorothy Mendel (the daughter of Hyman Noah “Herman” Mendel and Esther Pessie Freedman). Dorothy was born in Atlanta, to Jewish parents from the Russian Empire, with roots in Latvia and Lithuania. Hyman was the son of Abraham Mendel and Sara.

Sources: Genealogy of Alyson Hannigan (focusing on her mother’s side) –

Alyson’s maternal grandfather, Jacob R. “Jack” Posner, on the 1920 U.S. Census –
Jacob R. “Jack” Posner on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Obituary of Alyson’s maternal grandfather, Jacob R. “Jack” Posner –

Alyson’s maternal grandmother, Dorothy Mendel, on the 1930 U.S. Census –


Curious about ethnicity

14 Responses

  1. azure2016 says:

    She is totally just Irish and Euro Jewish…Anglo/Jewish as some people call it.

  2. This is cool, my father is Irish and my mother is of German-Jewish descent.

  3. Trese says:

    People that have Irish ancestry shouldn’t be afraid to declare themselves Irish or Irish American because that is part of their heritage, and it doesn’t make them any less proud of being American but you have to remember that Irish history is riddled with alot of sorrow in it, and alot of anger.

    They didn’t necesarily immigrate to America because it was thier dream, they felt they had no other choice because of the famine. You had only 2 choices, which were ‘stay, starve and die’ or ‘leave and live’. Of course when they came to America, they didn’t expect the negative ‘welcome’ on its shores-or the hardships they would have to endure-they were lucky if they were able to get a job. They were told they would recieve land and freedom in America (which was an English influenced idea). The Irish were basically evicted from thier homes by thier English landlords, and if there were good potato crops, they were sent to the English Royalty or the landlord of that particular property in Ireland. Ireland today is still trying to free itself from England after close about 900 years of rule.

    Study up on its history and you’ll understand why alot of Irish Americans still refer to themselves as Irish or Irish American. America is a country of Immigrants and you can be american but also embrace your heritage.

    • ethnic says:

      Your trolling/crap comments are not welcome on this site. You are banned.

      • Sweetpea says:

        Thanks ethnic for deleting her/comments.
        I was going to comment about her but i did not have time to register yesterday.Glad to see today that you have banned her.
        No one was even commenting back to her and she was still throwing insults about/and this everyone is jew/jews are better than everyone else crap.
        Sorry but she is a nut job.

    • dem93 says:

      People denied being Irish, because the Irish were seen as less than dogs. Same in England. It persisted till ww2 and a little after that. My grandparents got spat at..alot.

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