Joel Kinnaman

Kinnaman in 2012, image via kathclick/

Birth Name: Charles Joel Nordström Kinnaman

Place of Birth: Stockholm, Sweden

Date of Birth: 25 November, 1979

*German, English, Scottish, Irish (father)
*Swedish Jewish (mother)

Joel Kinnaman is a Swedish-born actor, with dual Swedish and American citizenship.

Joel’s father, Steve Kinnaman (born David Kinnaman), is an American, of German, English, Scottish, and Irish descent. Joel’s mother, Brittmari Paulin Nordström, is a Swedish Jew. She is descended from Jewish emigrants from the Ukraine. His half-sister is actress Melinda Kinnaman. Joel spent a year in Del Valle, Texas, as a high school exchange student.

He has said:

I speak English with my dad and Swedish with my mom; it’s quite schizophrenic… I always identified myself as non-Swedish. I was never discriminated against, because I looked Swedish and speak without an accent. But I had an outsider’s perspective.

Joel’s paternal grandfather was David H. Kinnaman (the son of Porter Kinnaman and Lillian Shute). David was born in Perry Township, Marion County, Indiana, to a father from Indiana and a mother from Illinois. Porter was the son of Joseph Kinnaman and Ruth P. McCoy. Lillian was the daughter of Hezekiah Shute and Laura R. McQueen.

Joel’s paternal grandmother was Rosalie Louise Mitchell (the daughter of Joseph R. Mitchell and Theoda Louise Royer). Rosalie was born in Kansas City, Kansas, to a father from Missouri and a mother from Michigan. Joseph was the son of William Wiley Mitchell and Julia Maude/Maud Finn. Theoda was the daughter of James Calvin Royer and Ida Dell Andrus.

Sources: Joel mentions his Jewish background –

Genealogies of Joel’s paternal grandparents, David H. Kinnaman and Rosalie Louise (Mitchell) Kinnaman Kreger –

Genealogy of Joel’s paternal grandfather, David H. Kinnaman (focusing on his own father’s side) –

Genealogy of Joel’s paternal great-great-grandmother, Ida Dell Andrus (focusing on her mother’s side) –

Genealogy of Joel’s paternal great-great-great-great-grandmother, Elizabeth Welch (focusing on her mother’s side) –

13 Responses

  1. madman says:

    “Nordström” is a very Swedish surname. Maybe only Joel’s maternal grandmother was Jewish. I’d write:
    *Ashkenazi Jewish, possibly Swedish (mother)

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