Birth Name: Amy Frederica Brenneman
Place of Birth: New London, Connecticut, U.S.
Date of Birth: June 22, 1964
*father – Swiss-German, German, English, Irish, Scottish
*mother – Ashkenazi Jewish
Amy Brenneman is an American actress, writer, and producer. Her father’s ancestry includes Swiss-German (the origin of her surname), German, English, Irish, and Scottish. Her mother’s family was Jewish, from Germany, Russia, and Lithuania. While Amy has described herself as “half Jewish,” she is a practicing Episcopalian Christian. Her mother had joined a Congregationalist church as an adult.
Amy is married to television and film director Brad Silberling, with whom she has two children.
Amy’s patrilineal ancestry can be traced to Melchior Breniman/Bronimann/Brenneman, who was born, c. 1631, in Steffisburg, Bern, Switzerland.
Amy’s paternal grandfather was Russell Langdon Brenneman (the son of Charles Howard Brenneman and Laura Clarissa Heburn). Russell was born in Pennsylvania. Charles was the son of Charles Christian Brenneman and Mary Frances Brown. Laura was the daughter of Jake Heyburn and Clara Jane McNabb.
Amy’s paternal grandmother was Anita Marguerite Seeds (the daughter of Robert Lee Seeds and Anna Beatta Stearns). Anita was born in Ohio. Robert was the son of John Wesley Seeds and Mary Hoover. Anna was the daughter of Joseph Marion Stearns and Mary Jane Clark.
Amy’s maternal grandfather was Allen Shoenfield (the son of Abraham L. “Abe” Shoenfield and Belle Hoffstadt). Allen was born in Kentucky. Abraham was born in Kentucky, to German Jewish parents. Belle was born in Indiana, to German Jewish parents.
Amy’s maternal grandmother was Kate Friedman (the daughter of Joseph A. Friedman/Freedman and Bertha Mostovsky). Kate was a Jewish emigrant from either Russia or Lithuania.
Amy is a fourth cousin, once removed, of actor James Spader. Amy’s paternal great-great-great-grandfather, Jacob Nessly Brenneman, was a brother of James’s paternal great-great-grandmother Julia Anne Brenneman.
Sources: Genealogy of Amy Brenneman – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com
Marriage record of Amy’s paternal grandparents, Russell Langdon Brenneman and Anita Marguerite Seeds – https://www.familysearch.org
Amy’s paternal grandmother, Anita Marguerite Seeds, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Amy’s mother on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Amy’s maternal grandfather, Allen Shoenfield, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Amy’s maternal grandmother, Kate Friedman, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org