Ian Somerhalder

Somerhalder in 2011, Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

Birth Name: Ian Joseph Somerhalder

Place of Birth: Covington, Louisiana, U.S.

Date of Birth: December 8, 1978

Ethnicity: English, one fourth Cajun [French], as well as smaller amounts of Northern Irish/Scots-Irish, Scottish, Welsh

Ian Somerhalder is an American model, actor, activist, and director. His roles include the films Life as a House, The Rules of Attraction, In Enemy Hands, Pulse (2006), The Sensation of Sight, The Tournament, How to Make Love to a Woman, and The Anomaly, and television’s Young Americans, Anatomy of a Hate Crime, Lost, Smallville, Marco Polo, Lost City Raiders, The Vampire Diaries, and V Wars.

Ian is the son of Edna, a massage therapist, and Robert Somerhalder, an independent building contractor. He is married to actress and writer Nikki Reed, with whom he has two children.

Ian has English, one quarter Cajun French, as well as smaller amounts of Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, Scottish, and Welsh, ancestry. He has said that the surname Somerhalder was that of his grandfather’s stepfather, Jacob Emile Somerhalder. Ian has said that his mother has Choctaw Native American ancestry. It is not clear if this Choctaw Native American ancestry has been verified/documented.

Ian’s paternal grandfather was named Robert Emile Somerhalder (the son of Nancy Eveline Wood, and of a man whose surname was said to be Hull). According to Ian, his grandfather Robert received his surname from Jacob Emile Somerhalder, who was evidently his stepfather and not his biological father.

Ian’s paternal grandmother was Camellite/Carmel Blanchard (the daughter of Augustin/August “Gus” Blanchard and Jeanne Marguerite Guillot). Camellite was born in Louisiana, and was of Cajun (French) descent. Augustin was the son of Arthur Desire Blanchard and Cecile/Cecilia Celiana/Alice Templet. Jeanne was the daughter of Ursin Edouard Guillot and Julie Carmelite Girouard.

Ian’s maternal grandfather was Carlie Barton Israel, Sr. (the son of John Randolph Dowdy “Jack” Israel and Johnnie Victoria Brumfield). Carlie was born in Louisiana. John was the son of John Jacob Dowdy, who had changed his name to John Jacob Israel, while living in Arkansas, and of Rebecca Jane Vaughn. Johnnie was the daughter of James Wesley Brumfield and Mary Jane Allen.

Ian’s maternal grandmother was Ruby Lucille Cooper (the daughter of Ethod Ocie Cooper and Pearline “Pearly” Rushing). Ruby was born in Mississippi. Ethod was the son of William C. Cooper and Pearlie O. Smith. Pearline was the daughter of Jasper Wilber Rushing and Mary Elizabeth Breeland.

Sources: Genealogy of Ian’s paternal great-great-grandmother, Julie Carmelite Girouard – https://www.wikitree.com

Genealogies and obituaries of Ian’s maternal grandparents, Carlie Barton Israel, Sr. and Ruby Lucille (Cooper) Israel – https://old.findagrave.com

Ian’s maternal grandfather, Carlie Barton Israel, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Obituary of Ian’s maternal grandfather, Carlie Barton Israel, Sr. – http://www.obryantokeefe.com

Ian’s maternal great-grandmother, Johnnie Victoria Brumfield, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Ian’s maternal great-grandparents, Ethod Ocie Cooper and Pearline “Pearly” Rushing, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Ian’s maternal great-grandmother, Pearline “Pearly” Rushing, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org


Curious about ethnicity

33 Responses

  1. Candie says:

    This guy is the spitting image of a young Rob Lowe!

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