Doris Day

Birth Name: Doris Mary Kappelhoff

Date of Birth: April 3, 1922

Place of Birth: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.

Date of Death: May 13, 2019

Place of Death: Carmel Valley Village, California, U.S.

Ethnicity: German

Doris Day was an American actress, singer, and animal rights activist. She won a Golden Globe and a Grammy Award.

Doris was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Alma Sophia (Welz) and William Joseph Kappelhoff. All of her grandparents were German immigrants.

Doris had a son, music producer and songwriter Terry Melcher, with her first husband, trombonist Al Jorden. Terry was then adopted by her third husband, producer Martin Melcher, to whom she was married until his death.

Doris is sometimes said to have had Dutch ancestry through her paternal grandfather. This is not accurate.

Doris’s paternal grandfather was Franz Joseph Wilhelm “Frank” Kappelhoff (the son of Johann Heinrich Kappelhoff and Maria Elisabeth Pohlmann). Franz was born in Warendorf, Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Johann was born in Fuchtorf, Westfalen, the son of Heinrich Wilhelm Kappelhoff and Maria Christina Maes. Doris’s great-grandmother Maria Elisabeth was born in Glane, Hannover, the daughter of Johann Hermann Pohlmann and Maria Josepha Gertrud Terheiden.

Doris’s paternal grandmother was Juliana Agnes Kreimer/Krimer (the daughter of Johann/Johan Heinrich Kreimer and Maria Theresa Gerding). Juliana was born in Glandorf, Münster, Lower Saxony, Germany. Johann was the son of Johann Caspar Kreymer and Maria Catharina Kleine Brockmann. Doris’s great-grandmother Maria Theresa was the daughter of Johann Caspar Gerding and Maria Christina Schwegmann.

Doris’s maternal grandfather was Wilhelm/William Welz (the son of Ludwig Welz and Louisa Nold). Wilhelm was born in Ötigheim, Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Ludwig was the son of Augustin Welz and Maria Anna Höfle. Louisa was the daughter of Ludwig Nold and Maria Anna Kelmel.

Doris’s maternal grandmother was Anna Christina/Christiana Mann (the daughter of Johann Jacob/Jakob Mann and Margaretha Elisabetha/Elisabeth Nollert). Anna was born in Mückenloch, Neckargemünd, Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Margaretha was the daughter of Anna Elisabetha Nollert.

Sources: Genealogies of Doris Day –

Doris’s father on the 1900 U.S. Census –

Doris’s paternal grandparents, Franz Joseph Wilhelm “Frank” Kappelhoff and Juliana Agnes Kreimer, on the 1880 U.S. Census –


Curious about ethnicity

10 Responses

  1. NextHollywoodartistpredictedbypastor says:

    She’s GERMAN, Day is an American stage surname but it’s not her real surname descent

  2. sadie says:

    Doris Day is GERMAN period. I just loved her and her singing.

  3. John says:

    Day is a STAGE NAME

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