Claire Danes

19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Press Room

Danes in 2013, photo by PrPhotos

Birth Name: Claire Catherine Danes

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

Date of Birth: April 12, 1979

Ethnicity: German, English, Northern Irish, Scottish, Irish, 1/32 Croatian-Italian-Austrian

Claire Danes is an American actress. She has starred on the shows My So-Called Life and Homeland, and in the films Little Women (1994), William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Brokedown Palace, The Hours, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Shopgirl, The Family Stone, Stardust, and Temple Grandin.

Claire is the daughter of Carla and Chris Danes. She is married to English actor Hugh Dancy, with whom she has three children.

A DNA test whose results were displayed on the show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2023) stated that Claire’s genetic ancestry consists of:

*31% England + Northwest Europe
*27% Ireland
*19% Scotland
*18% Germanic Europe
*3% Sweden and Denmark
*2% Baltics

Genetically, she was found to have a common ancestor with singer, songwriter, and actress Alanis Morissette, through Alanis’s father.

Claire’s paternal grandfather was Gibson Andrew Danes (the son of Bert Allen Danes and Ruth F. Davison). Gibson was born in Starbuck, Columbia, Washington, and had English, Northern Irish, and Scottish ancestry. He was dean of the Yale School of Art and Architecture. He re-married to German Jewish painter and collagist Ilse Getz. Bert was born in Suamico, Brown, Wisconsin, to a father from Vermont, Andrew Burr Danes, and a mother from Maine, Elizabeth Elner “Lizzie” Decker. Bert had English ancestry, and many of his family lines had lived in the United States, and especially New England, since the 1600s. Claire’s great-grandmother Ruth was born in Westcliffe, Custer, Colorado, to a father from Northern Ireland, William S. Davison, whose own father was from Ireland and whose own mother was from Scotland; and a mother from Illinois, Jane M. Brown, whose own father was from Scotland.

Claire’s paternal grandmother was Claire Natalie Tomowske (the daughter of Ernest Tomowske and Elva May/Mae Bittner). Claire’s grandmother Claire was born in Spokane, Spokane Co., Washington. Ernest and Elva ran a national advertising business together. Ernest was born in New York, to German parents, Frederick M. Tomowske and Johanna/Johanne Warner; one census describes Frederick and Johanna as born in Poland-Russia, and it appears that they were ethnic Germans. Claire’s great-grandmother Elva was born in Oregon. Elva’s father, Henry I. Bittner, was born in Michigan or Canada, to German parents, from Darmstadt, Hesse; and Elva’s mother, Mary Elisabeth Kapser, was born in Illinois, to German parents.

Claire’s maternal grandfather was named John Stuart Hall (the son of Joseph R. Hall and Elizabeth). John was born in Paterson, Passaic, New Jersey. Joseph was born in England. Elizabeth was born in New Jersey, to Irish parents.

Claire’s maternal grandmother was Catherine Agnes Ebbert (the daughter of Peter William Ebbert and Marion H. Bradicich). Catherine was born in Glen Rock, Bergen, New Jersey. Peter was killed fighting in WWI in France, while his wife was pregnant with Claire’s grandmother; he had a distinguished military record. He was the son of Peter Shaefer Ebbert, who was born in Illinois, and had German ancestry, and of Julia A. Foy/Riley/Reiley, who was born in New York, to English parents. Claire’s great-grandmother Marion was born in New York. Marion’s father, Henry J. Bradicich, was born in New York, the son of Frances/Francis Bradicich, who was born in Fiume, Austro-Hungarian Empire, now Rijeka, Croatia, and likely had Croatian-Italian ancestry; and of Mary Francis Rahl, who was Irish. Claire’s great-grandmother Marion’s mother was Theresa Emelia Daisy Nestle, who was the daughter of Sebastian William Nestel and Elizabeth Louisa Dicker. Theresa had German ancestry.

Sources: Genealogies of Claire Danes –

Genealogy of Claire Danes (focusing on her father’s side) –

Claire’s paternal grandfather, Gibson Andrew Danes, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Claire’s paternal great-grandmother, Ruth F. Davison, on the 1900 U.S. Census –

Claire’s paternal grandmother, Claire Natalie Tomowske, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Claire’s paternal great-grandfather, Ernest Tomowske, on the 1900 U.S. Census –

Claire’s paternal great-great-grandparents, Frederick M. Tomowske and Johanna/Johanne Warner, on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Claire’s paternal great-grandmother, Elva May/Mae Bittner, on the 1900 U.S. Census –

Claire’s maternal grandmother, Catherine Agnes Ebbert, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Claire’s maternal great-grandmother, Marion H. Bradicich, on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Claire’s maternal great-great-grandfather, Henry J. Bradicich, on the 1880 U.S. Census –

Death record of Claire’s maternal great-great-great-grandfather, Frances/Francis Bradicich –

22 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    Frances/Francis Bradicich was born in Fiume, Austrian Empire (now Rijeka, Croatia) (

    Havent found any record of language spoken yet

  2. madman says:

    Francis was the son of Leopold Bradicish and Christine Bernardis, if that helps someone understand what his background was.

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