Elon Musk

2012 Environmental Media Awards - Arrivals

Musk in 2012, photo by PrPhotos

Birth Name: Elon Reeve Musk

Place of Birth: Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa

Date of Birth: June 28, 1971

Ethnicity: English (mostly), along with Scottish, German/Swiss-German, and Afrikaner [French Huguenot, Dutch, German, Belgian, remote Swedish, Indonesian, and Malaysian], distant Welsh

Elon Musk is a South African-Canadian-American inventor, businessperson, engineer, investor, and conspiracy theorist. He is the richest person in the world, usually valued at around $250 billion. He is the founder, chairman, CEO, and chief technology officer of spaceflight services company SpaceX; the CEO and product architect of electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla, Inc., of which he has been an angel investor, and chairman; the owner, chairman, and CTO of X Corp./Twitter; the founder of tunnel construction company the Boring Company; a co-founder of neurotechnology company Neuralink, which develops brain–computer interfaces; a co-founder of nonprofit artificial intelligence research company OpenAI; and the president of the Musk Foundation. He also co-founded direct bank X.com, which was later merged to form PayPal, helped create solar-energy company SolarCity, later Tesla Energy, and founded artificial-intelligence company xAI. He was Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2021.

Elon was born in Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa. His father, Errol Graham Musk, is South African-born, and was an electromechanical engineer, pilot, sailor, consultant, property developer, and Zambian emerald mine co-owner. Elon’s father has English, Afrikaner [Dutch, French Huguenot, German, some Belgian, remote Swedish, Indonesian, and Malaysian], a small amount of Scottish, and distant Welsh, ancestry. His mother, Winnefred Maye (nĂ©e Haldeman), a model and dietician, is Canadian-born, from Regina, Saskatchewan, and has English, and smaller amounts of Scottish, German, and Swiss-German, ancestry. Her family traveled around the world during her childhood, including living in South Africa beginning in 1950, and searching Africa for the Lost City of the Kalahari.

His first name, Elon, is likely after the middle name of his own maternal great-grandfather, John Elon Haldeman. While the name Elon is Hebrew for “oak tree,” and is common in Israel, Elon Musk is not of Jewish heritage.

Elon moved to Canada in 1989 for college, which he attended in Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Pennsylvania. He now lives in the U.S. He also attained Canadian citizenship through his mother. His siblings are brother Kimbal Musk, a restaurateur, chef, and businessperson, and sister Tosca Musk, a filmmaker, producer, and director. Elon and Kimbal co-founded online city guide software company Zip2 in the mid 1990s. He is a cousin of South African businessperson Lyndon Rive, who co-founded SolarCity.

Elon has had six children with his former wife, Canadian author Justine Musk; three children with his former partner, Canadian singer and songwriter Grimes; and two children with Canadian venture capitalist Shivon Zilis.

Elon’s Musk line can be traced to Nicholas Muske, who was born, c. 1535, in Suffolk, England.

Elon’s paternal grandfather was Walter Henry James Musk (the son of Harry Musk and Lucy Frances Champion). Walter was born in Cape Province, South Africa. Harry was born in Exning, Suffolk, England, and was the son of William Exning Bridgeman and Eliza Musk. Lucy was born in Caledon, South Africa, the daughter of John Irish Champion, who was of English origin, and of Jacoba Louisa Theron, who was Afrikaner.

Elon’s paternal grandmother was Cora Amelia Robinson (the daughter of John Robinson and Breghie Elizabeth Theron). Cora was born in West Derby, Lancashire, England. John was born in Liverpool, England, the son of Levi Robinson and Matilda Marsh. Breghie was born in Beaufort West, South Africa, the daughter of Johannes Nicolaas Theron and Amelia Elenora Janse van Vuuren. She was of Afrikaner, and some English and Scottish, descent.

Elon’s maternal grandfather was Dr. Joshua Norman Haldeman (the son of John Elon Haldeman and Almeda Jane Norman). Joshua was born in Minnesota, U.S., and was raised in Saskatchewan, Canada. He was a chiropractor and amateur archeologist, who was a national chairman in Canada’s Social Credit Party, as well as a racist/anti-semitic writer. In 1950, Joshua moved his family from Canada to South Africa, where he was a strong supporter of the Apartheid regime. John was born in Illinois, the son of Jeremiah “Jerry” Haldeman, whose mother was Scottish, and of Rowena C. Powers. Almeda was born in Minnesota, the daughter of Joshua Norman, whose parents were English, and of Almeda Melissa Densmore, who was of Colonial American (English) descent. Elon’s great-grandmother Almeda Haldeman became Canada’s first chiropractor.

Elon’s maternal grandmother was Winnifred Josephine “Wyn” Fletcher (the daughter of Harold Fletcher and Edith Reeve Angel). Winnifred was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada, to English parents. Edith was from Clapham, Surrey, now part of Lambeth, Greater London, and was the daughter of Frederick John Reeve Angel and Eliza Parry.

Each of Elon’s grandparents was born in a different country, something that is fairly rare. Actors Remy Auberjonois, Hart Bochner, Raymond Cham, Jr., Noah Emmerich, Lily James, Stephen Lang, Jessica Lange, Logan Lerman, Robert Morley, Brett Pierce, Ben Rosenfield, Andy Samberg, and Wallace Shawn, musicians Tom Cochrane, Paula Cole, and Alex Pall, and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, are others whose grandparents were born in four individual countries.

Sources: Genealogy of Elon Musk – https://www.geni.com

Genealogy of Elon’s father (through his own brother) – http://www.genealogy.com

Genealogy of Elon’s paternal great-grandmother, Lucy Frances Champion – https://www.wikitree.com

Birth record of Elon’s mother – https://www.familysearch.org

Information about Elon’s maternal grandfather, Joshua Norman Haldeman – https://www.theatlantic.com

Elon’s maternal great-great-grandparents, Jeremiah “Jerry” Haldeman and Rowena C. Powers, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Elon’s maternal great-grandmother, Almeda Jane Norman, on the 1880 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Biographical profile of Elon’s maternal great-grandmother, Almeda Jane (Norman) Haldeman – https://www.canadianchiropractor.ca

Elon’s maternal grandmother, Winnifred Josephine “Wyn” Fletcher, on the 1916 Canada, Prairie Provinces Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Winnifred Josephine “Wyn” Fletcher on the 1926 Canada, Prairie Provinces Census – https://www.familysearch.org

19 Responses

  1. Manila says:

    I suggest you to create profiles for his younger siblings Kimbal Musk and Tosca Musk, as well as his mother Maye Musk.

  2. ashash says:

    His ethnicity was updated to include the full extent of his Afrikaner heritage. Cool.

  3. Gavinboi says:

    Are there any full-blooded Hugenots left? It seems like people only have them as remote ancestors.

    • andrew says:

      @Gavinboi

      Nowadays there are about 300.000 Protestants in France according to last data.

      Anyhow those with remote Huguenot ancestors usually are the Americans whose ancestors trace back to Colonial times [last names like Delano, Chastain, Duvall, Reno (Renaud), DuBose etc] and married into families of other backgrounds.

  4. guyinsf says:

    There’s no need to specify “Huguenot” for French. It’s not like Huguenot French is ethnically different than Catholic French, it’s just a religion.

  5. Manila says:

    Edith’s full maiden name is Edith Reeve Angel, and she was from Clapham, Surrey (now part of Lambeth, Greater London). She was the daughter of Frederick John Reeve Angel and Eliza Parry.

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