John Denver

Birth Name: Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr.

Date of Birth: December 31, 1943

Place of Birth: Roswell, New Mexico, U.S.

Date of Death: October 12, 1997

Place of Death: Monterey Bay, near Pacific Grove, California, U.S.

*father – German
*mother – German, Swiss-German, English, Irish

John Denver was an American guitarist, singer, composer, actor, humanitarian, and environmentalist. He helped popular acoustic folk music in the 1970s.

John was the son of Erma Louise (Swope) and Captain Henry John Deutschendorf, a U.S. Army Air Forces pilot stationed at Roswell Army Air Field. He had two children, who were adopted, with his former wife Annie Martell, for whom he wrote “Annie’s Song;” and a daughter with his former wife, Australian actress Cassandra Delaney.

John’s paternal grandfather was Johann/John Heinrich/Henry Deutschendorf (the son of Georg Deutschendorf and Caroline Dorothea Elizabeth Katt). Johann was born in Friedensfeld, Ekaterinoslav, Russia, to German parents. Georg was born in Hohenwalde, Marienburg, Prussia. Caroline was born in Baarenhof, Ober-Vorwerk, Gross Werder, Prussia.

John’s paternal grandmother was Anna Elizabeth Koop (the daughter of Heinrich/Henry Koop and Elizabeth Janzen/Jantzen). Anna was born in Oklahoma, to ethnic German parents from Russia. Heinrich was born in Tigerweide, Molotschna Colony, South Russia, the son of Thomas Paul Koop and Maria Boese. John’s great-grandmother Elizabeth was born in Alexanderwohl, the daughter of Martin F. Janzen and Anna Reimer.

John’s maternal grandfather was Peter Swope (the son of Charles N. Swope and Catherine “Kate” Bealer). Peter was born in Illinois. Charles was the son of Peter Swope, who was German, and of Sarah Ann Rightmire/Rickmire, who was of German descent. Catherine was the daughter of Samuel Beiler, who was Swiss, of Swiss-German descent, and of Christina Miller, who was German.

John’s maternal grandmother was Martha Matilda “Mattie” Berry (the daughter of William Lafayette Berry and Minnie Lou O’Neal). Martha was born in Texas. William was the son of James Henry Berry and Martha Caroline Triplett. Minnie was the daughter of Jackson O’Neal.

Sources: Genealogies of John Denver –

Genealogy of John Denver (focusing on his father’s side) –


Curious about ethnicity

4 Responses

  1. follers says:

    Ethnic, is there a picture, please?

  2. pookerella says:

    His mother was from Oklahoma, I would be surprised if he wasn’t part Native American.

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