Bruce Springsteen

2013 MusiCares Person of the Year Honoring Bruce Springsteen - Arrivals

Springsteen in 2013, photo by Prphotos

Birth Name: Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen

Place of Birth: Long Branch, New Jersey, U.S.

Date of Birth: September 23, 1949

*father – Irish, small amount of Dutch
*mother – Italian/Sicilian

Bruce Springsteen is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, and humanitarian activist. He is a member of E Street Band, along with his wife, singer, songwriter, and guitarist Patti Scialfa, as well as Steven Van Zandt.

He is the son of Adele Ann (Zerilli) and Douglas Frederick Springsteen. His father was of at least three quarters Irish, and some Dutch, descent. Some of his Irish ancestors were from Rathangan, County Kildare. His mother was of Italian/Sicilian ancestry.

He has three children with his wife Patti.

Bruce’s patrilineal line can be traced back to Casper Springsteen, who was born, c. 1620, in Groningen, the Netherlands, and to his wife, Geertje “Catherine” Jans, born, c. 1620, also in Groningen.

Bruce’s paternal grandfather was Frederick H. “Fred” Springsteen (the son of Anthony Springsteen and Martha Ann O’Hagan). Frederick was born in New Jersey. Anthony was the son of Alexander A. Springsteen and Harriet McGinty Smith. Martha was the daughter of Irish parents, William O’Hagan/O’Hagen and Mary McCann.

Bruce’s paternal grandmother was Alice Helena McNicholl/McNicholas/MacNichols (the daughter of John NcNicholas and Jane “Jennie” Farrell). Alice was born in New Jersey. John was the son of Irish parents, Richard McNicholas and Annie Sullivan. Jane was also of Irish descent, and was the daughter of Patrick Farrell and Ann Garrity, who had roots in County Kildare.

Bruce’s maternal grandfather was Antonio A. “Anthony” Zerilli (the son of Raffaele/Raffaela Zerilli and Raffaella Aiello). Antonio, a lawyer, was born in Vico Equense, Province of Naples, Campania, Italy. Raffaele was the son of Andrea Zerilli (1827-1901), who was born in Palma di Montechiaro, Province of Agrigento, Sicily, Italy. In 1852, Andrea married Bruce’s great-great-grandmother Rosa Veniero (1831-1912).

Bruce’s maternal grandmother was named Adelina/Adele Sorrentino. Adelina was Italian.

Sources: Genealogies of Bruce Springsteen –

Article about Bruce’s Irish ancestry, by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak –

Genealogies of Bruce Springsteen (focusing on his father’s side) –

Genealogy of Bruce’s father –

Bruce’s father on the 1940 the U.S. Census –

Bruce’s paternal grandfather, Frederick H. “Fred” Springsteen, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Marriage record of Bruce’s paternal great-grandparents, Anthony Springsteen and Martha Ann O’Hagan –

Bruce’s paternal great-grandfather, Anthony Springsteen, on the 1880 U.S. Census –

Bruce’s mother on the 1930 U.S. Census –

New York passenger arrival record of Bruce’s maternal great-grandfather, Raffaele Zerilli –

Some of Bruce’s family history –


Curious about ethnicity

25 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    Martha Ann O’Hagan’s parents, William O’Hagan/O’Hagen and Mary, were Irish.

  2. andrew says:

    some of Bruce’s Irish ancestors were from Rathangan, County Kildare.

  3. pookerella says:

    His last name is 100% Dutch, his Dutch heritage goes way, way back to Colonial times, possibly a 300+ year history in New Jersey, specifically. He is very proud of his Irish heritage, he does have the soul of an Irish poet,for which he thanks his paternal grandmother.

  4. andrew says:

    some corrections:

    Bruce’s maternal great-great-grandfather Andrea Zerilli (1827-1901) was born in Palma di Montechiaro, Province of Agrigento, Sicily, Italy. In 1852 he married Rosa Veniero (1831-1912).

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