Helena Bonham Carter

Bonham Carter in 2011, Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com

Place of Birth: Islington, London, England, U.K.

Date of Birth: 26 May, 1966

*50% English
*37.5% Ashkenazi Jewish
*6.25% Spanish
*6.25% likely Irish and French

Helena Bonham Carter is a British actress.

She is the daughter of Elena (Propper de Callejón), a psychotherapist, and Raymond Bonham Carter, a banker. Her brother is businessperson Edward Bonham Carter. Helena has two children with her former partner, director, producer, and animator Tim Burton.

Helena’s father was from an English family, and one of Helena’s paternal great-grandfathers, Henry Herbert “H. H.” Asquith, a member of the Liberal Party, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, from 5 April, 1908 to 5 December, 1916; he was thus the longest continuously serving P.M. of the 20th century. Helena is the niece of politician Laura Grimond and publisher and politician Mark Bonham Carter, Baron Bonham-Carter.

Helena’s maternal grandfather was born to a Czech Jewish father and to a Catholic mother who had Spanish, Irish, and French ancestry; he was raised in his own mother’s Catholic faith, and was later honored as one of the Righteous Among the Nations for saving Jews during the Holocaust.

Helena’s maternal grandmother was from a Jewish family, from Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Bohemia, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine, Lithuania, and Poland, among other places. Helena’s maternal grandmother converted to Catholicism after World War II.

Helena’s paternal great-uncle was English film director Anthony Asquith. Her maternal first cousin, once removed, is writer David Pryce-Jones.

Helena’s paternal grandfather was Sir Maurice Bonham-Carter (the son of Henry Bonham Carter and Sibella Charlotte Norman). Sir Maurice was born in Kensington, London, England. He was a Liberal politician, civil servant, and cricketer, who served as Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, “H. H.” Asquith, from 1910 to 1916. Henry was the son of John Bonham-Carter, who added the dash to his name, and who was a politician and Whig MP, and of Joanna Maria Smith; Joanna’s father, William Smith, was a leading independent British politician and MP. Helena’s great-grandmother Sibella was the daughter of George Ward Norman and Sibella Isabella Stone.

Helena’s paternal grandmother was Helen Violet Asquith (the daughter of Henry Herbert “H. H.” Asquith and Helen Kelsall Melland). Helena’s grandmother Helen was born in Hampstead, London, England. She was a politician and diarist, who served as President of the Women’s Liberal Federation, from 1923 to 1925, President of the Liberal Party, from 1945 to 1947, and as a Member of the House of Lords, Lord Temporal, from 21 December, 1964 to 19 February, 1969. Prime Minister Asquith was the son of Joseph Dixon Asquith and Emily Willans. Helena’s great-grandmother Helen was the daughter of Frederick Melland and Ann Heap Kelsall.

Helena’s maternal grandfather was Eduardo Propper de Callejón (the son of Maximilian/Maximillian “Max” Propper and Jeanne “Juana” Isabelle Héloïse Dolorès de Callejón Kennedy). Eduardo was born in Madrid, Spain, and was raised Catholic. Eduardo was a diplomat, and saved many Jews during World War II, by helping their escape from occupied France. Eduardo’s father Maximilian was a Czech Jew, who was born in Mšec, Rakovník District, the son of Aloys/Alois Propper and Jeanne/Johanna Kohn. Eduardo’s mother Jeanne de Callejón was Catholic; Jeanne’s father, S. E. Don Juan Bartolomé de Callejón Villegas, was Spanish, from Berja, Almería, Andalucía, and was the Spanish consul in New Orleans. Jeanne’s mother, Marie Louise/Heloise/Eloisa Kennedy y Massicot, was born in Louisiana, and likely had Irish and French ancestry.

Helena’s maternal grandmother was Hélène Roberte Fould-Springer (the daughter of Baron Eugène Charles Joachim Fould, or Fould-Springer, and of Marie-Cécile von Springer). Helena’s grandmother Hélène was born in Paris, France. Her own sister, Liliane de Rothschild, married Baron Élie de Rothschild, of the prominent Rothschild family. Helena’s great-grandfather Baron Eugène was born in Ville-d’Avray, Ile-de-France, France, and was the son of Léon Fould, from Paris, and of Thérèse Bacha Prascovia/Prascovie Ephrussi, from Odessa, Ukraine. Helena’s great-grandmother Marie-Cécile was born in Paris, the daughter of Gustave/Gustav Freiherr von Springer (originally Gustav Springer), from Vienna, Austria, and of Hélène, baronne de Königswarter, from Paris. Helena’s maternal great-grandparents Baron Eugène and Marie-Cécile were both Jewish.

Sources: Genealogies of Helena Bonham Carter – http://www.geni.com

Genealogy of Helena Bonham Carter (focusing on her father’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Genealogy of Helena’s paternal grandmother, Helen Violet (Asquith) Bonham Carter (focusing on her own father’s side) – http://www.findagrave.com

Genealogy of Helena Bonham Carter (focusing on her mother’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Helena’s maternal great-great-grandmother, Marie Louise/Heloise/Eloisa Kennedy y Massicot, on the 1850 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Interview with The Guardian, 2006 – http://www.guardian.co.uk


Curious about ethnicity

28 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    Juan Callejon (shortened name) was the Spanish consul in New Orleans

  2. madman says:

    Her great-great-grandmother Marie Louise/Heloise/Eloisa Kennedy y Massicot appears on the 1850 census with her family.

    There, she is the only Massicot that is a child. She lived on the plantation of Jacques Massicot, and it is possible that he is her uncle, and that Aimee or Heloise is her mother. Aimee’s husband (or future husband), Francois Reibaud, who was French, is also on the census. But Heloise would’ve been 15 when she had Marie if she is the mother.

    I don’t know why it is assumed she was part Irish. Maybe her father was an African-American (hence why her parents never married).

  3. andrew says:

    * Herbert Henry Asquith had been the longest continuously serving Prime Minister in the 20th century.
    * Joanna Maria Smith’s father, William Smith (1756 – 1835) was a leading independent British politician, and a Member of Parliament

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