Bear McCreary

McCreary in 2017, photo by

Birth Name: Julian P. McCreary

Place of Birth: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.

Date of Birth: February 17, 1979

Ethnicity: Armenian (maternal grandmother), Irish, smaller amounts of Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, English, German, Swedish, Swiss-German, and French-Canadian

Bear McCreary is an American musician and composer.

Bear is the son of author Laura Kalpakian and professor Jay McCreary. He was raised in Bellingham, Washington. Bear’s brother, Brendan McCreary, is also a musician. Bear is married to singer and songwriter Raya Yarbrough, with whom he has one child.

Bear’s paternal grandfather is Julian Percival McCreary (the son of Julian Percival McCreary and Mary Belle Koger). Bear’s grandfather Julian was born in South Carolina. Bear’s great-grandfather Julian was born in South Carolina, the son of John Ashley McCreary and Cornelia Ann Odom/Odum. Mary Belle was born in Brazil, to American parents from South Carolina, James William Koger and Frances Selina/Salina Smith.

Bear’s paternal grandmother is named Isabelle/Isabella P. McBreen (the daughter of Patrick H. McBreen and Catherine/Katherine A.). Isabelle was born in Connecticut, to Irish parents.

Bear’s maternal grandfather is William Jesse/Jess Johnson (the son of William Andrew Johnson and Evelyn Mae/May Henderson). Bear’s grandfather William was born in Idaho. Bear’s great-grandfather William was born in Utah, the son of William Andrew August Johnson, whose parents were Swedish, and of Jeanettie Lance. Evelyn was born in England, the daughter of William Ernest Henderson and Norah Jane Rogers.

Bear’s maternal grandmother is Peggy Kalpakian (the daughter of Harry H. Kalpakian and Helen Clark). Peggy was born in Constantinople, Turkey (now Istanbul), to ethnic Armenian parents. Harry and Helen were born in Kayseri, Turkey, and Adana, Turkey, respectively, and were listed as Armenian speakers on the 1930 U.S. Census.

Source: Marriage record of Bear’s maternal grandparents, William Jesse/Jess Johnson and Peggy Kalpakian –

McCreary with wife Raya Yarbrough in 2019, photo by kathclick/

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