John Lithgow

Lithgow in 2016, photo by DFree/

Birth Name: John Arthur Lithgow

Place of Birth: Rochester, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: October 19, 1945

Ethnicity: English, one quarter Welsh, as well as distant Irish and Scottish, likely 1/16th French or Spanish

John Lithgow is an American actor, musician, singer, comedian, and author. His many roles include the films Obsession, Blow Out, The World According to Garp, Terms of Endearment, Raising Cain, Cliffhanger, Shrek, Beatriz at Dinner, and Bombshell, as well as the series 3rd Rock from the Sun and Dexter, and considerable, Tony-winning, work on stage.

John is the son of Sarah Jane (Price), an actress, and Arthur Washington Lithgow III, a theatrical director, producer, and actor, who ran the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey. He was raised partly in Yellow Springs, Akron, and Lakewood, all in Ohio. John’s father was born on Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, where some of his American family had lived for a few generations. John’s maternal grandfather was of Welsh descent, while most of the rest of his ancestry is Colonial American (English), with deep roots in Massachusetts.

John is married to Mary Yeager. He has a son, actor Ian Lithgow, with his former wife Jean Taynton; and two children with Mary.

John’s paternal grandfather was Arthur Washington Lithgow II (the son of Washington Lithgow and Ellen Prentiss Pierce/Peirce). John’s grandfather Arthur was born in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts. John’s great-grandfather Washington was born on Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, the son of Arthur Lithgow, from Augusta, Kennebec, Maine, and of Anna/Ana Maria de Pelegrin, who was born in Marseilles, France, or in New Orleans, Louisiana, and likely had Spanish and/or French ancestry. John’s great-grandfather was a vice consul and vice commercial agent in the Dominican. John’s great-grandmother Ellen was born in Andover, Essex, Massachusetts, the daughter of William Peirce/Pierce and Ellen Prentiss. Ellen’s grandfathers were Nathaniel Prentiss/Prentice, who participated in the Boston Tea Party, and Amos Whittemore, who invented the Card Machine, used for the manufacture of cotton and wool cards.

John’s paternal grandmother was Ina Berenice Robinson (the daughter of Edwin B. Robinson and Amanda Melvina “Mellie” Knowles). Ina was born in Saylesville, Providence, Rhode Island. Edwin was born in Nantucket, Nantucket Co., Massachusetts, the son of Alexander Bartlett Robinson and Hannah Mitchell Bunker, whose own father was born in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, to American parents. Mellie was born in Andover, Essex, Massachusetts, the daughter of Jonathan Knowles and Amanda Pollard.

John’s maternal grandfather was The Rev. Orlo Josiah Price (the son of Thomas Davis Price and Sarah Jane Jones). The Rev. Orlo was born in Ohio. Thomas was the son of Welsh parents, Edward Price and Mary Pittsford/Pitsford. Sarah was also the daughter of Welsh parents, Maurice Jones and Jane Glynn.

John’s maternal grandmother was Eva Bronson Graves (the daughter of Albert Mattoon Graves and Mary E. Bronson). Eva was born in Illinois. Albert was born in Sunderland, Franklin, Massachusetts, the son of Warren Mattoon Graves and Amanda Root. Mary E. was born in Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut, the daughter of Robert Bronson.

Sources: Genealogies of John Lithgow –

Marriage records of John’s paternal great-grandparents, Washington Lithgow and Ellen Prentiss Pierce/Peirce –

John’s mother on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Marriage announcement of John’s maternal grandparents, The Rev. Orlo Josiah Price and Eva Bronson Graves –

John’s maternal grandfather, Orlo Josiah Price, on the 1880 U.S. Census –

1 Response

  1. Friedrik533 says:

    british isles related mostly

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