Danica McKellar

McKellar in 2004, Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com

Birth Name: Danica Mae McKellar

Place of Birth: La Jolla, San Diego, California, United States

Date of Birth: January 3, 1975

*father – English, Scottish, German, Spanish, French, Dutch
*mother – Portuguese

Danica McKellar is an American actress, writer, and education advocate. She is known for starring as Winnie Cooper on the television series The Wonder Years, as well as voice over roles, and for having written six non-fiction books about mathematics.

Danica is the daughter of Mahaila and Christopher McKellar. Her sister, Crystal McKellar, also starred on The Wonder Years, as Becky Slater. Danica is married to Scott Sveslosky. She has a son with her former husband, composer Mike Verta.

Danica has stated:

I’ve been asked if I were Asian, Hawaiian, Greek, etc. The truth is, I’m a big mix of Western Europe. I’m mostly Portuguese (this is my mom’s side), via the Azores and Madeira Islands. These are both groups of islands in the Atlantic ocean settled by the Portuguese in 1418. This means that my mom’s side is probably a fair mix of Portuguese and native Islander! On my dad’s side, I’m part Scottish (hence “McKellar”), and a little each of: German, Spanish, French, and Dutch. No Asian, I’m afraid. Although you should see baby pictures, I really do look Asian!

She added that her name, pronounced like “Monica” or “Erica,” comes from a book called Name Your Baby, and means “Morning Star” in Slavic countries. Danica named her production company Morning Starlight Productions.

Danica’s paternal grandfather was James Angus McKellar (the son of James Henry McKellar and Dorothy Winifred Kellogg). Dorothy was the daughter of Frederick William Kellogg and Florence May Scripps.

Danica’s paternal grandmother was named Suzanne Frances Biven.

Danica’s maternal grandfather named Anthony Tello, Jr. (the son of Anthony Tello, Sr.). Danica’s great-grandfather Anthony was born in Portual.

Danica’s maternal grandmother was named Ermelinda “Emily” Amaral (the daughter of Manuel S. Amaral and Hazel). Ermelinda was born in California, to Portuguese parents.

Sources: Marriage record of Danica’s parents – https://www.familysearch.org

Genealogy of Danica McKellar (focusing on her father’s side) – http://humphrysfamilytree.com

Danica’s maternal great-grandfather, Anthony Tello, on the 1940 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Danica’s maternal grandmother, Ermelinda “Emily” Amaral, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Obituary of Danica’s maternal grandmother, Ermelinda “Emily” (Amaral) Tello – http://www.legacy.com


Curious about ethnicity

10 Responses

  1. jonasbttencourt says:

    I assume her dad is mostly british isles? I also can see the spaniard in her, but overall she looks basically portuguese+british, interesting how this “mixture” forms distinctive traits, Tom Hanks could be her uncle or cousin, as well as Shawn Mendes.

  2. andrew says:

    It appears that both Azores and Madeira Islands had no such thing as a “Native islander” population (unlike the Canary Islands which are under Spanish rule)

  3. stlucas says:

    The daughter of Mahaila Jean (Tello) and Christopher S. McKellar.

    Danica’s maternal grandmother was Ermelinda “Emily” Amaral (the daughter of Manuel S. Amaral and Hazel). Ermelinda was born in California, to parents from Portugal.

    Birth record of Danica McKellar – https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VGJP-9NH

    Birth record of Danica’s mother – https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VLNL-2ZX

    Marriage record of Danica’s parents –

    Danica’s maternal grandmother on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MH4V-H41

    Obituary of Danica’s maternal grandmother, Emily (Amaral) Tello – http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/mercurynews/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=144339014

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