Boris Johnson

Johnson in 2011, image via Featureflash /

Birth Name: Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson

Place of Birth: Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: 19 June, 1964

Ethnicity: English, as well as one eighth Turkish/Circassian, one eighth Ashkenazi Jewish, small amounts of Swiss-German, German, French, European Royal, and Irish, remote Cornish, Dutch, Belgian, Scottish, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, and Welsh

Boris Johnson is a British politician, historian, and journalist. He served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, from 24 July, 2019 to 6 September, 2022. He was previously also a Member of Parliament for Henley, from 9 June, 2001 to 4 June, 2008, Mayor of London, from 4 May, 2008 to 9 May, 2016, a Member of Parliament for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, from 7 May, 2015 to 12 June, 2023, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, from 13 July, 2016 to 9 July, 2018, and Leader of the Conservative Party, from 23 July, 2019 to 5 September, 2022.

Prime Minister Johnson was born in Manhattan, New York City, New York, to British parents. His father, Stanley Johnson (Stanley Patrick Johnson), was born in Penzance, Cornwall, and is a politician and author, who was a Member of the European Parliament for Wight and Hampshire East, from 7 June, 1979 to 14 June, 1984. His mother, Charlotte Johnson Wahl (born Charlotte Offlow Fawcett), was born in Oxford, Oxfordshire, and was an artist. His family returned to England later in 1964. He is the brother of editor, journalist, television presenter, and author Rachel Johnson and Conservative Party politician Jo Johnson.

He is said to have been named Boris after a Russian-born man his parents knew.

Prime Minister Johnson was baptized Catholic. As an adult, he was confirmed as an Anglican.

Prime Minister Johnson’s paternal grandfather was of one half Turkish descent, or possibly one quarter Turkish and one quarter Circassian. The other half of his ancestry was Swiss-German and English. His Turkish family were Muslim. Prime Minister Johnson’s paternal grandmother was of English, German, French, European Royal, and Irish, ancestry, along with more remote Cornish, Dutch, and Belgian lines. Through his paternal grandmother, Prime Minister Johnson descends from many prominent figures, including many European Kings.

Prime Minister Johnson’s maternal grandfather was English, and Prime Minister Johnson’s maternal grandmother was the daughter of an Ashkenazi Jewish emigrant father, with roots in Lithuania and Russia, and of an American-born mother whose ancestry was mostly English, along with Scottish, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, and distant French and Welsh. This side of Prime Minister Johnson’s family has deep Colonial American roots.

Prime Minister Johnson is married to political activist and conservationist Carrie Symonds. He has at least six children, including a daughter with arts consultant Helen MacIntyre; four with his former wife, lawyer, author, and columnist Marina Wheeler; and a son with Carrie. Marina is the daughter of Sir Charles Wheeler, a BBC correspondent, and of a Pakistani Sikh mother. Carrie is the daughter of co-founder of The Independent newspaper, Matthew Symonds.

Prime Minister Johnson’s step-mother, Jennifer Kidd, is the daughter of classical music composer Richard Arnell, and the step-daughter of businessperson Joseph Sieff, who was Chairman of Marks & Spencer.

Prime Minister Johnson’s paternal grandfather was Osman Wilfred Johnson, born Osman Wilfred Kemal (the son of Ali Kemal Bey and Winifred Emma Mary Brun). Prime Minister Johnson’s grandfather Osman was born in Bournemouth, Dorsetshire, England. Prime Minister Johnson’s great-grandfather Ali was Turkish, born in Süleymaniye, Constantinople, Ottoman Empire, and was the son of Haci Ahmet Riza Efendi and Hanife Fered. He was a liberal journalist, newspaper editor, poet, and politician, serving as Minister of the Interior in the Ottoman Empire, from 4 March, 1919 to 20 June, 1919. He was murdered in the Turkish War of Independence. Prime Minister Johnson’s great-grandfather Ali’s mother might have been a slave of Circassian descent. Prime Minister Johnson’s great-grandmother Winifred was born in Warwick, Warwickshire, England. Ali and Winifred met during a visit to Switzerland. Winifred’s father, Francis Julius/Julian “Frank” Brun, was born in Switzerland, of Swiss-German descent, the son of Joseph/Josef Brun and Katherina Amrein. Winifred’s mother, Margaret Hannah Johnson, was born in East Wilton, near Bedale, Yorkshire, England. Prime Minister Johnson’s family’s surname comes from her.

Prime Minister Johnson’s paternal grandmother was Yvonne Eileen Irene Williams (the daughter of Stanley Fred Williams and Marie Louise/Luise Caroline Helene von Pfeffel). Prime Minister Johnson’s grandmother Irene was born in Versailles. Prime Minister Johnson’s great-grandfather Stanley was English, from Upper Norwood, Surrey, and was the son of Frederick George Williams and Blanche/Blanch Annie Dannit. Frederick’s father George Williams was a philanthropist and the founder of the YMCA. Prime Minister Johnson’s great-grandmother Marie Louise was born in Paris, France. Her father, Freiherr Christian Hubert Theodor Marie Karl von Pfeffel, was German, from München, and was an illegitimate grandson of the St. Petersburg-born Prince Paul Heinrich Karl Friedrich August von Württemberg. Her mother, Hélène/Helen Arnous-Rivière/von Rivière, was French, and may have had one fourth Irish ancestry, from Marie Louise’s great-grandmother, Marie Tobin.

Prime Minister Johnson’s maternal grandfather was James Edmund Sandford/Sanford Fawcett, a lawyer (the son of The Rev. Joseph Fawcett and Edith Annie Scattergood). James was English, born in Wallingford, Berkshire, England, with roots in Cumbria and the Midlands. The Rev. Joseph was a Church of England minister, and was the son of William Fawcett and Annis Clark. Edith was the daughter of James Scattergood and Mary Anne Stamps.

Prime Minister Johnson’s maternal grandmother was Frances Beatrice Loew/Lowe (the daughter of E. A. Lowe, Elias Avery Lowe/Loew, and of Helen Tracy Lowe-Porter, born Helen Tracy/Tracey Porter). Prime Minister Johnson’s grandmother Frances was born in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England, to American parents. Prime Minister Johnson’s great-grandfather Elias was born in present day Žemaičių Kalvarija, Lithuania, and was the son of Charles Loew/Lowe and Sarah/Sophie Ragoler; he was of Lithuanian Jewish and Russian Jewish descent, and was a palaeographer at the University of Oxford and Princeton University. Prime Minister Johnson’s great-grandmother Helen Tracy Lowe-Porter was born in Towanda, Bradford County, Pennsylvania, and was of Colonial American descent. She had English, some Scottish and Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, and distant French and Welsh, ancestry. She was a translator and writer, who translated most of Thomas Mann’s work from German to English. Helen was the daughter of Henry Clinton Porter, Jr. and Clara Holcomb/Holcombe. Helen’s aunt, Prime Minister Johnson’s great-great-great-aunt Charlotte Porter, was a prominent American poet, translator, and literary critic.

Prime Minister Johnson’s matrilineal line can be traced to Mary Case, who was born, c. 1738, likely in Southold, Suffolk, New York, the daughter of Benjamin Case and Esther.


Genealogies of Prime Minister Boris Johnson –

Genealogy of Prime Minister Johnson’s paternal great-grandmother, Marie-Louise/Luise Freiin von Pfeffel –


Curious about ethnicity

25 Responses

  1. momof3 says:

    Change 1/8th Turkish to 1/16th Turkish, since Ali’s father was an ethnic Turk, while his mother was an ethnic Circassian, making him 1/16th Circassian.

  2. Gavinboi says:

    Where does his Royal European ancestry come into play? I thought Royals wouldn’t marry regular people until the last century or so?

  3. AutisticApe says:

    Pretty diverse ancestry… didn’t know he was part Turkish

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