Benedict Cumberbatch


Cumberbatch in 2011, photo by PrPhotos

Birth Name: Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch

Place of Birth: Hammersmith, London, England, U.K.

Date of Birth: 19 July, 1976

Ethnicity: English (mostly), as well as Welsh, some Scottish, Cornish, and Irish, distant French, Swiss-French, German, and Dutch

Benedict Cumberbatch is an English actor and producer. He plays Stephen Strange / Doctor Strange in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He is also known for the series Sherlock and the films The Imitation Game, The Current War, Star Trek Into Darkness, and The Power of the Dog, among many other roles.

He is the son of actors Timothy Carlton (born Timothy Carlton Congdon Cumberbatch) and Wanda Ventham. He is married to avant-garde theatre and opera director, playwright, and performer Sophie Hunter, with whom he has three children. Benedict is of mostly English ancestry, with Welsh, Scottish, Cornish, and Irish, as well as distant French, Swiss-French, German, and Dutch, roots. He has ancestors born in Barbados and Antigua.

Benedict’s paternal grandfather was Henry Carlton Cumberbatch (the son of Henry Alfred Cumberbatch and Hélène/Helen Gertrude Rees). Benedict’s grandfather Henry was born in Smyrna, Anatolia, Ottoman Empire (now İzmir, Turkey). He was an officer of the British Royal Navy, who served as a submarine commander before and at the start of WWII. Benedict’s great-grandfather Henry was born in Berdyans’k, Zaporiz’ka oblast, Ukraine, and was a diplomat, who was Queen Victoria’s consul general in Turkey and Lebanon. Their families were from England, and were working overseas at the time of their births. Benedict’s great-grandfather Henry was the son of Robert William Cumberbatch, who was also a diplomat, a Consul in the Russian and Ottoman Empires; and of Louisa Grace Hanson, who was born in Beyoğlu, İstanbul Province, Turkey, to English parents. Robert’s father, Abraham Parry Cumberbatch, was a slave owner in Barbados. Benedict’s direct paternal family line is named Carleton, but his ancestor, Abraham Carleton, changed his surname to that of his own maternal grandfather, Abraham Cumberbatch, as part of the terms of a will.

Benedict’s great-grandmother Hélène Rees was the daughter of Thomas Bowen Rees, who was born in St. Clears, Carmarthenshire, Wales, and was the manager of the Asia Minor Cotton Company; and of Ida Josephine Langdon, who was born in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, U.S., and was of part Colonial American (English) descent, including descent from Mayflower passengers. Benedict’s father has more distant French ancestry, as well as Scottish and Cornish roots. His father is also a descendant of Esaie Fercken, who had Dutch ancestry, and was Chancellor of the Dutch Consulate of Smyrna, and of Esaie’s wife, Louisa Ulrica Justi, who likely had either Swedish or German ancestry. Another of Benedict’s father’s distant ancestors, Louisa Frances Pernet (1737-1811), was born in Paudex, Switzerland, to Pierre Francois Pernet and Marie-Judith du Veluz/Duveluz, and had Swiss-French ancestry.

Benedict’s paternal grandmother was Pauline Ellen Laing Congdon (the daughter of Thomas Edwin Congdon and Pauline Ellice Ferguson). Benedict’s grandmother Pauline was born in Dhoolie, Rangajan, Assam, India. Thomas was a tea planter in Assam. He was born in Bodmin, Cornwall, England, the son of Thomas Edwin Congdon and Mary Moon. Benedict’s great-grandmother Pauline was the daughter of John Paul Ferguson, who was from Moray, Scotland, and of Isobel Mary Esplin, from Canada.

Benedict’s maternal grandfather was Frederick Howard Ventham (the son of Frederick William Ventham and Mabel Waters). Benedict’s grandfather Frederick was born in Lewes, Sussex, England. Benedict’s great-grandfather Frederick was the son of William Ventham and Sarah Jane Hurst, whose mother was born in Dublin, Ireland. Mabel was the daughter of Peter Waters and Rebecca Morgan.

Benedict’s maternal grandmother was Gladys Frances Holtham (the daughter of Francis Leonard Holtham and Selina Mary Warner). Gladys was born in Kensington, London, England. Benedict’s great-grandfather Francis was the son of Mark Holtham and Emily Battell. Selina was the daughter of William Warner and Emily Pells.

Sources: Genealogies of Benedict Cumberbatch –

36 Responses

  1. michaelthompson says:

    Quite a mix – for someone who is marketed as the quintessential English man. And so many of his ancestors weren’t born in Britain.

  2. andrew says:

    Well you stick with this nonsense of Cornish people being English, when they are actually closer to the other Celtic people from British Isles, their neighbouring Welsh in particular. Cornwall (learn to spell it) is a county, not a country, but it had its own language, that is unfortunately almost dead like all Celtic ones (except the Welsh). And the Cornish have their typical surnames of Celtic origin, which sound totally different by the ones with Norman or Anglo-Saxon roots.

    Are you South American?

    • jonasbttencourt says:

      Oh man, you just take yourself way too seriusly dont you, why you bother so much to prove a point? LOL… You did not read it my last reply, i never said cornish people were not celtic, they or just as celtic as people in southampton or dover, Cornwall is pretty much a simbolic celtic region in England, its perfectly integreated to the rest of the country today, they are not very different at all from normal english people on a regular basis, shove it. And most of their names are english sounding, they have always mixed genetically and culturally with other regions in southern EGL. Its the same thing as trying to say Catalonia is its own country when they have always been a part of Spain. Now i will no longer adress you here since you are clearly just looking for ”got you” moments to amuse yourself, how sad is that lol…

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