Jack Black

Black in 2011, s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

Birth Name: Thomas Jacob Black

Place of Birth: Santa Monica, Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Birth: August 28, 1969

*father – German, as well as Northern Irish, Scottish, English, remote French and Welsh [converted to Judaism]
*mother – Ashkenazi Jewish

Jack Black is an American actor, comedian, singer, producer, and writer. He has starred in the films Shallow Hal and School of Rock, among many others. He is one half of the comedy rock duo Tenacious D, alongside Kyle Gass.

Jack is the son of Judith Lois/Love Cohen, an aerospace engineer and author, and Thomas William Black. His half-brother is engineer and scientist Neil Siegel. Jack’s paternal grandfather was of Northern Irish, Scottish, English, and extremely remote French and Welsh, ancestry, and Jack’s paternal grandmother was of German descent. Jack’s mother was the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants. Jack’s father converted to Judaism when marrying Jack’s mother, and Jack was raised Jewish.

Jack’s surname may be derived from the Scottish name Blacksmith. He stated this on the The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Jack is married to artist, cellist, and singer Tanya Haden, with whom he has two children. Tanya’s mother was Jewish. Jack and Tanya are raising their children in the Jewish faith.

Jack’s paternal grandfather was Thomas/Tom Walter Black (the son of Thomas William Black and Maud/Maude Mary Hutt). Jack’s grandfather Thomas was born in Spokane, Spokane Co., Washington. Jack’s great-grandfather Thomas was born in Massachusetts, the son of Charles Black, who was born in Ballisodare, Sligo County, Ireland, and of Margaret Roberts, who was born in Forfar, Angus, Scotland. Jack’s great-grandmother Maud was born in Smithville, Ontario, Canada, the daughter of Robert Alexander Hutt and Mary Elizabeth Davis. Maud was of English and Scottish descent.

Jack’s paternal grandmother was Gladys Rose Zachman/Zackman (the daughter of Johann/John Zackmann/Zachmann/Zachman/Zackman and Elizabeth “Lizzie” Werle). Gladys was born in Washington, to a Lutheran family. Johann was an ethnic German, from Thirhrata, Sutrilla, Bukovina, Romania, the son of Johann/John Zachmann/Zachman and Anna/Annie Koenig/König/Konnack. Elizabeth was also an ethnic German, from Brigidau, Galizein, Ukraine, the daughter of Johann Philipp/Philip/Phillip Werle and Phillipena/Philbina/Phillipian Wendle/Wendell.

Jack’s maternal grandfather was Morris Cohen (the son of Jacob Cohen and Celia Newman). Morris was a Russian Jewish immigrant.

Jack’s maternal grandmother was Sarah Roisman (the daughter of Isadore/Isidore/Isaac Roisman and Bella Bookspun/Buchspan). Sarah was a Russian Jewish immigrant. Bella was the daughter of Nissen Buchspan and Sarah Kerestin.

Sources: Genealogies of Jack Black – http://famouskin.com

Genealogies of Jack Black (focusing on his father’s side) – http://humphrysfamilytree.com

Genealogy of Jack’s paternal grandparents, Thomas/Tom Walter Black and Gladys Rose (Zachman/Zackman) Black – https://www.findagrave.com

Jack’s paternal grandmother, Gladys Rose Zachman/Zackman, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Marriage record of Jack’s paternal great-great-grandparents, Johann/John Zachmann/Zachman and Anna/Annie Koenig/König/Konnack – https://www.familysearch.org

Jack’s maternal grandmother, Sarah Roisman, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org


Curious about ethnicity

31 Responses

  1. jackson9 says:

    Maternal grandfather Morris Cohen was born in Illinois NOT Russia (1903-1969). He was the son of Louis Selig Cohen and Sadie D. Mindel. Louis was Russian Jewish, the son of Maurice Cohen and Jennie Yavshich. Sadie was Lithuanian Jewish, the daughter of Fanny Cohn.
    Maternal grandmother’s mother: Bella Buchspan (1883) (Russia), the daughter of Nissen Buchspan and Sarah Kerestin.

  2. jordanft19 says:

    Tell that to Rowan Atkinson or George Clooney.

  3. typepope says:

    Jack Black is lighter or on par with most Welsh.
    Wales is in NW Europe, BTW…

    • follers says:

      Late 1500s? I added it (which I’ll come to regret almost instantly, no doubt), but I just don’t understand the pre-occupation with extremely remote ancestors.

      • passingtime85 says:

        I guess the “one drop rule” has extended past the original scope of African ancestry, at least in the minds of the current amateur genealogist.

        • follers says:

          Not sure if true, but I always thought the one drop rule stopped at 1/32 black! Can you imagine if people stopped submitting ancestors more distant than 1/32? I’d be a lot happier.

          • andrew says:

            follers, aren’t you the one who started submitting ancestors over 1/32?

          • follers says:

            Many distant/remote ancestors of various degrees have been listed here since probably the beginning (before my time), but they usually weren’t qualified with a fraction.

            When I submitted new profiles or added detailed genealogies to an existing page (like I did, for example, for Jack Black, in 2013), I often included these distant lineages if I happened to see them on a family tree that I was linking anyway. I didn’t usually include them if they were before the early 1600s. And I didn’t go looking for them.

            Having said that, back when I couldn’t edit, I never went to the comments section of a page to submit a correction specifically only adding a small fraction (i.e. 1/128th) of ancestry. Never.

          • andrew says:

            The point is that many white Americans have traceable heritage since the 1600s, and it would be a pity to omit these ancestral lines. I personally find more interesting the ones with Colonial ancestry rather than those who descend from recent immigrants

          • follers says:

            They have traceable heritage well before that. You can go often go back more than a thousand years.

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