John C. Reilly

Reilly in 2009, image via Joe Seer/

Birth Name: John Christopher Reilly

Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.

Date of Birth: May 24, 1965

*50% Lithuanian
*37.5% Irish
*6.25% German
*3.125% French-Canadian
*3.125% Scottish

John C. Reilly is an American actor, comedian, writer, producer, and singer.

John’s father was of approximately three quarters Irish ancestry, with his other roots being one eighth German, one sixteenth French-Canadian, and one sixteenth Scottish. John’s mother was born in the U.S., to Lithuanian parents.

John is married to independent film producer Alison Dickey, with whom he has two children.

John’s paternal grandfather was Thomas J. Reilly (the son of John Reilly and Anne/Annie Prendergast). Thomas was born in Illinois, to Irish parents. John’s great-grandfather John Reilly was the son of Thomas Reilly and Sarah Young. Anne was the daughter of Patrick T. Prendergast and Ellen King.

John’s paternal grandmother was Cecilia/Celia McLean/MacLean (the daughter of Frank Oscar McClean and Catherine/Katherine Fleming/Flemming). Cecilia was born in Illinois. Frank was the son of Alexander John McClean, who was of Scottish and French-Canadian descent, and of Emma S. Hefter, who was born in Illinois, to German parents. Catherine was the daughter of James Fleming, and was almost certainly of Irish origin.

John’s maternal grandfather was named Clemens/Klemens Petronis. Clemens was Lithuanian, and was born in Kaunas.

John’s maternal grandmother was Veronica/Veronika Strelciunas/Steroncuso (the daughter of Kasmicrz Strelciunas and Ursula Dalenkiewicz/Dalenikiewicz). Veronica was Lithuanian.

Sources: Notation on John’s father’s ancestry –

John’s paternal great-great-grandmother, Emma S. Hefter, on the 1880 U.S. Census –

John’s maternal grandparents, Clemens/Klemens Petronis and Veronica/Veronika Strelciunas/Steroncuso, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

19 Responses

  1. phaedra says:

    Thought he was Jewish.

  2. ethnicitiies says:

    Was his mother born in Lithuania or the US?

  3. ethnicitiies says:

    Isn’t the surname ‘Fleming’ of Belgian heritage? I am just wondering.

  4. andrew says:

    I would have never thought he is half Lithuanian

      • Check7t says:

        He’s got the classic curly hair Celtic trait.

        • Alice says:

          Nothing to do with being Celtic or not. Celts are a bit of a mystery. There might have been some Celts arrived in the British Isles but like most invaders it is usually the male line. All the British Isles clusters genetically with other Northern European countries like Norway, Holland etc so it is a yet unknown whether the Celtic languages and customs were mainly adopted. You get curly hair in lots of populations but that type of hair is a minority in most countries in Europe.

          • J.J. says:

            genetically the british isles are no more norwegian and dutch than they are french and spanish, their genetics vary

          • Alice says:

            J.J. I’ve had my genetics done and also 3 members of my family and have been looking at the subject for years. Here is a European dna cluster map. All the British Isles clusters with Northern Europe. Every dna study shows this. The Spanish cluster on their own but their closest populations are French and Northern Italian.

            Different areas of the British Isles are slightly different with the Irish, Scots and Orcadians together and the southern English a bit closer to Belgians, Northern French etc.

            Here’s a few for you to peruse.


            This one has a lot of populations including some Middle Eastern. You will have to zoom in to look.


          • PB1897 says:

            Two great posts. People assign traits to being ‘Celtic’ and ‘Germanic’ when they shouldn’t, strictly speaking they’re linguistic/cultural terms only. The Celts were everywhere from Spain to Germany to Turkey and curly hair like John’s is found in any European country. Like you said all of the British Isles cluster with North Western Europe.

          • athelya says:

            ah i see what you mean now but still england is highly mixed with other european countries while places like norway have only one ethnicity. If you look at a british and a norwegian guy you will notice differences in the stature, nose, eyes and height.

          • Alice says:

            @ athelya – England is not highly mixed and Norway is not one ethnicity. All these populations have similar contibutions e.g. Neolithic Farmer, Early European Hunter Gatherer, Steppe ancestry etc. There was a big movement from the Steppes in the Bronze Age which has affected northern Europe more than Southern Europe but most European populations have had contributions from different groups.


        • phaedra says:

          Celts now have curly hair?

      • andrew says:

        @ follers

        to be honest I am not an expert about Lithuanian phenotypes but if they told me this guy was fully Irish I would have believed that. (non Jewish) Lithuanian ancestry is also rare in US.

        • Alice says:

          Lithuanian is most likely the biggest contribution to his ancestry. John C Reilly has some similarities to some Irish but there are some differences in his features as well especially the eye area and bridge of his nose.

  5. justjustin says:

    John C. Reilly was doing some research last year and discovered that his grandmother on his father’s side, maiden name McLean, was of Scottish heritage.

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