James Stewart

studio publicity still of James Stewart for “Call Northside 777,” 1948

Birth Name: James Maitland Stewart

Date of Birth: May 20, 1908

Place of Birth: Indiana, Pennsylvania, U.S.

Date of Death: July 2, 1997

Place of Death: Beverly Hills, California, U.S.

Ethnicity: Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, Scottish, with some Irish, English

James Stewart, also known as Jimmy Stewart, was an American actor, and military officer. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for The Philadelphia Story (1940). Known for his moral “every man” persona, he also starred in the films It’s a Wonderful Life, his first postwar film, as well as The Murder Man, You Can’t Take It with You, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Rope, Harvey, Winchester ’73, The Greatest Show on Earth, The Naked Spur, The Glenn Miller Story, Rear Window, The Man Who Knew Too Much, The Spirit of St. Louis, Vertigo, Anatomy of a Murder, How the West Was Won, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Cheyenne Autumn, and The Flight of the Phoenix. He was the first American movie star to enlist in WWII; he served in the U.S. Army Air Forces as deputy commander of the 2nd Bombardment Wing and commander of the 703d Bombardment Squadron. Later transferring to the Air Force Reserves, he had held command positions until his retirement in 1968, as a brigadier general.

James was the son of Elizabeth/Bessie Ruth (Jackson) and Alexander Maitland Stewart. Most of his family roots were Scots-Irish/Northern Irish and Scottish, with a small amount of Irish and English ancestry. He had deep roots in Pennsylvania. His family was Presbyterian. James was married to actress and model Gloria Hatrick McLean, until her death, with whom he had four children. He had been dubbed “The Great American Bachelor” by the press before his marriage in 1949.

James’s paternal grandfather was James Maitland Stewart (the son of John Kerr Stewart and Elizabeth Hindman Armstrong). James’s grandfather James was born in West Mahoning Township, Indiana, Pennsylvania. John was the son of William Stewart, from Ireland, and of Margaret Getty. Elizabeth was the daughter of Alexander Armstrong, whose father was born in Ireland, and of Lena Ann Hindman.

James’s paternal grandmother was Virginia/Jennie Kelly (the daughter of James M. Kelly and Eliza/Elizabeth Taylor). Virginia was born in Pennsylvania. James was the son of Meek Kelly and Jane Moorhead, whose mother was Scottish. Elizabeth was the daughter of Robert Taylor, whose father was Scottish, and of Margaret Payton.

James’s maternal grandfather was Samuel McCartney Jackson (the son of John Jackson and Elizabeth McCartney). Samuel was born in Apollo, Armstrong, Pennsylvania. John was the son of James Jackson, who was born in Carrickfergus, County Antrim, Ulster, Ireland, and of Sarah/Sara Thompson, whose grandparents were from Ireland. Elizabeth was the daughter of Samuel McCartney, whose father was from County Armagh, Ireland, and whose mother was from England; and of Nancy Penelope Young. James’s great-great-grandfather Samuel fought in the Revolutionary War, as did James Jackson’s father and Nancy’s father and paternal grandfather.

James’s maternal grandmother was Mary Easton Wilson (the daughter of John McConnell Wilson and Ruth Goheen). Mary was born in Clarion, Clarion Co., Pennsylvania. John was the son of Robert Wilson, from County Tyrone, Ulster, and of Sarah McConnell. Ruth was the daughter of James Miller Goheen and Elizabeth Davis.

Sources: Genealogies of James Stewart – https://www.geni.com

15 Responses

  1. dexred says:

    I hear he was part Chinese is that true?

  2. Dannon says:

    Related! 3rd cousin 4x removed via Andrew Armstrong and Lena Hindman Armstrong! :D

  3. drzaius21 says:

    Not really shocked that nearly all his ancestry is from the British Isles, but I think that Nancy Bellune (maternal lineage, in his family tree Wilson Goheen, Davis, Nancy Bellune, https://www.familysearch.org/tree/pedigree/landscape/KZSP-SKR), is French Huguenot. I found this out with reference to this person (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Bellune-1) and it makes sense from the last name, year date and location. This would make him 1/32nd (3.125%) French Huguenot if this lineage is legitimate and accurate, which it does look like.

    • andrew says:

      Good find.

    • follers says:

      This Familysearch thing lists a woman named Nancy who was born in 1752 and died in 1777. The Wikitree page lists a woman named Elizabeth, with only one, different, child, who was born in 1757 and died in 1850. The Wikitree genealogy for James Stewart lists his great-great-great-grandmother as named Ann, so whether Familysearch is correct in its identification is in question.

  1. September 15, 2023

    […] famous film actor Jimmy Stewart — Scots-Irish by extraction — after a short detour in the glitz of youthful acting and stardom followed in the […]

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