Gordon Lightfoot

Birth Name: Gordon Meredith Lightfoot, Jr.

Date of Birth: November 17, 1938

Place of Birth: Orillia, Ontario, Canada

Date of Death: May 1, 2023

Place of Death: Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Ethnicity: English, some Cornish, distant German and Irish

Gordon Lightfoot was a Canadian singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He was considered one of the greatest figures in folk, folk-rock, and country music. He was a member of the Order of Ontario and a Companion of the Order of Canada.

Gordon was the son of Jessie Vick and Gordon Meredith Lightfoot, Sr. He was of predominantly English ancestry, as well as one eighth Cornish, distant German, and possibly a small amount of Irish. He had deep lines in Canada and the U.S. through his paternal great-grandfather David George Swartz, with the rest of his lines being mostly recent English immigrants.

Gordon was married to Kim Hasse, until his death. He had six children, including two with his former wife, Swedish-born Brita Ingegerd Olaisson; and two with his former wife Elizabeth Moon.

Gordon’s paternal grandfather was George Lightfoot (the son of Joseph Lightfoot and Elizabeth Ann Inch). George was born in Lambton, Ontario. Joseph was born in Yorkshire, England, the son of Henry Lightfoot and Jane Calvert. Elizabeth was born in Boyton, Cornwall, the daughter of Richard/Joseph Inch and Mary Hawken, who were of Cornish ancestry.

Gordon’s paternal grandmother was Emma Jane Swartz (the daughter of David George Swartz and Emma Jane Joyes). Gordon’s grandmother Emma was born in Houghton, Norfolk, Ontario. David was the son of Jacob Swartz, Jr. and Luema/Luemma Smith, who were from Ontario. Gordon’s great-grandmother Emma was the daughter of Solomon “Sol” Joyes, who was born in Canada, to English parents, from West Sussex; and of Emma Lois Anscomb, whose parents were also English, her father from Northumberland and her mother from Climping, Sussex.

Gordon’s maternal grandfather was John Trill (the son of Walter Trill and Sarah Maria Wilkes). John was born in Simcoe, Ontario, to English parents. Walter was the son of John Trill and Martha Catt. Sarah was the daughter of James Wilkes and Elizabeth Ann.

Gordon’s maternal grandmother was Ethel Kate Woods (the daughter of John Austin Woods and Mary Ann Vick). Ethel was born in Simcoe, Ontario. John was English, from the Isle of Wight, and was the son of Thomas Woods and Selah Wheeler. Mary Ann was born in Monroe, New York, U.S., the daughter of an English father, George Vick, and of a mother born in Canada, Eliza Emily Beiley.

Sources: Genealogy of Gordon Lightfoot – https://www.familysearch.org

Genealogy of Gordon Lightfoot (focusing on his father’s side) – https://www.geni.com

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