Ginnifer Goodwin

Ginnifer Goodwin

Goodwin in 2011, photo by kathclick/

Birth Name: Jennifer Michelle Goodwin

Place of Birth: Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.

Date of Birth: May 22, 1978

*father – English, some Welsh, distant German
*mother – Ashkenazi Jewish

Ginnifer Goodwin is an American actress. She changed her name from Jennifer to Ginnifer to distinguish it, and to assist in pronunciation of her name in her regional dialect.

Ginnifer is married to actor Josh Dallas, with whom she has two children.

Ginnifer’s father has English, some Welsh, and distant German, ancestry. Ginnifer’s mother is from a Jewish family, of Lithuanian Jewish, Russian Jewish, and German Jewish descent.

During her childhood, Ginnifer attended synagogue on Saturdays and Unitarian church on Sundays (her parents had both joined a Unitarian church before she was born). Ginnifer was both baptized, and had a Bat Mitzvah ceremony. After leaving Memphis for Hollywood, she lapsed in her Jewish faith. In 2013, she stated that she had recently once again become a practicing Jew. She considers herself Jewish and wants to raise her children in the Jewish faith.

Ginnifer’s paternal grandfather was John Barton Goodwin (the son of John Albert “Al” Goodwin and Nellie/Nelle May Haynes). Ginnifer’s grandfather John was born in Batesville, Arkansas. Ginnifer’s great-grandfather John was the son of The Rev. John Wilkinson Goodwin and Margaret Elizabeth “Bettie” Searcy. Nellie was the daughter of Isaac Bart Haynes and Lilly Safley.

Ginnifer’s paternal grandmother was Mary Ann Hall (the daughter of James Riley Hall and Martha Louise Rush).

Ginnifer’s maternal grandfather was Phil/Philip A. Kantor (the son of Harry David Kanterovitch/Kantor and Rose Levinson). Phil was born in Mississippi or Tennessee, to Jewish emigrant parents from Vilnius, Lithuania. Harry was the son of Pesach Kanterovitch and Rachel Leah Shapiro. Rose was the daughter of Morris Levinson and Fanny Reva Sheppolevitch.

Ginnifer’s maternal grandmother is Jaqueline Halperin (the daughter of Hal Halperin and May Torgatsch). Hal was born in Odessa, now in the Ukraine, to a Jewish family, the son of Samuel Halperin and Rebeka Rosa/Rose Malcoe. May was born in Chicago, Illinois, to parents of German Jewish descent, Julius Torgatsch, from Ulm, Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, and Gussie Hart.

Sources: Excerpts from a speech by Ginnifer Goodwin about her Jewish faith, 2013 –

Genealogy of Ginnifer Goodwin –

Genealogy of Ginnifer’s paternal grandfather, John Barton Goodwin –

Ginnifer’s maternal grandfather, Phil/Philip A. Kantor, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

7 Responses

  1. cdonorab says:

    Correction. Could be just a mistake but found the 1950 census for her great grandmother Nellie Haynes Williams Goodwin Wylie and in it she is listed as mulatto. All other censuses list her as white lists her living in Shreveport,La with her son and grandson.

    Here it is:

    • Oaken05 says:

      Definitely a mistake in how its transcribed. A look at the actual document shows the same version of the “W” for everyone else in the household (and in fact, everyone else in the neighborhood), which are transcribed as white.

  2. Adrian1Cram says:

    She’s a lot older then I thought she would be.

  3. cwm85 says:

    Kinda cute…

  4. cdonorab says:

    Correction her great grandmother’s maiden name was not Barton. On Who do you think you are she found out that Nellie was born Nellie Haynes and probably was changed to avoid people finding out about her past.

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