Joel Kinnaman

Kinnaman in 2012, image via kathclick/Bigstock.com

Birth Name: Charles Joel Nordström Kinnaman

Place of Birth: Stockholm, Sweden

Date of Birth: 25 November, 1979

Ethnicity:
*father – German, English, Scottish, Irish
*maternal grandfather – Swedish
*maternal grandmother – Ashkenazi Jewish

Joel Kinnaman is a Swedish-born actor, with dual Swedish and American citizenship. He is known for his roles in the films Easy Money, RoboCop, Suicide Squad, and The Informer, among others.

Joel’s father, Steve Kinnaman (born David Kinnaman), is an American, of German, English, Scottish, and Irish descent. Joel’s mother, Brittmari Paulin Nordström, was born in Sweden. Joel has described her as Jewish. Joel’s maternal grandfather was of Swedish (Lutheran) descent. Joel’s maternal grandmother was Ashkenazi Jewish, descended from Jewish emigrants from Poland, Latvia, and 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.

Joel’s maternal grandfather was Charles Joel Arvid Arne Nordström (the son of Bror Karl Nordström and Ellen Elisabet/Elisabeth Jonsson). Charles was born in Stockholm. Ellen was the daughter of Joel Jonsson and Helena Sofia Johansdotter.

Joel’s maternal grandmother was Rhea Rut Seiden (the daughter of Herman Seiden and Pauline Grün). Rhea was born in Stockholm. Herman was the son of Jewish emigrants, David Seiden, from Szczucin, Poland, and Hanna Heyman, from Liepāja, Latvia. Pauline was the daughter of Polish Jewish parents, Ernst Grün and Ernestina Caspar, who were from Gdańsk.

Sources: Joel mentions his Jewish background – http://archive.is
http://blogs.forward.com

Genealogies of Joel’s paternal grandparents, David H. Kinnaman and Rosalie Louise (Mitchell) Kinnaman Kreger – http://www.findagrave.com

Genealogy of Joel’s paternal grandfather, David H. Kinnaman (focusing on his own father’s side) – http://www.birkenhoerdt.net

Genealogy of Joel’s paternal great-great-grandmother, Ida Dell Andrus (focusing on her mother’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Genealogy of Joel’s paternal great-great-great-great-grandmother, Elizabeth Welch (focusing on her mother’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Genealogy of Joel Kinnaman (focusing on his mother’s side) – https://forum.rotter.se

Genealogy of Joel’s maternal grandfather, Charles Joel Arvid Arne Nordström – http://www.anarkiv.se

Genealogies of Joel’s maternal great-grandparents, Herman Seiden and Pauline Grün – https://www.wikitree.com

19 Responses

  1. jonasbttencourt says:

    Well turns out he’s not really that jewish. Always thought he looked mostly British and Scandinavian. And im not sure his jewish side is ashkenazi, since there’s a lot of sephardic jews in Sweden too, who might have change their names, and they tend to have a great deal of non-jewish ancestry, especially Spanish…

  2. madman says:

    As suspected, only his maternal grandmother was Jewish.

    Joel’s maternal grandfather was Charles Joel Arvid Arne Nordström (the son of Bror Karl Nordström and Ellen Elisabet Jonsson). Ellen was the daughter of Joel Jonsson and Helena Sofia Johansdotter.

    Joel’s maternal grandmother was Rhea Rut Seiden (the daughter of Herman Seiden and Pauline Grün). Herman was the son of Jewish parents, David Seiden, from Szczucin, Poland, and Hanna Heyman, from Liepāja, Latvia. Pauline was the daughter of Polish Jewish parents from Gdańsk, Poland, Ernst Grün and Ernestina Caspar.

    • follers says:

      That’s interesting, I thought his mother could have been of fully Jewish descent or had a Jewish great-grandfather like Taika Waititi. But Joel having a Jewish matrilineal grandmother explains his various comments pretty well.

    • Oaken05 says:

      Nice find, madman. But “only” his maternal grandmother being Jewish literally makes him Jewish by their culture.

      • madman says:

        With “only”, I was referring to whether both his maternal grandparents were Jewish or not. He and his mother were Jewish by birth, his grandfather wasn’t.

  3. jonasbttencourt says:

    *Jewish-Swedish

  4. 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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