Jon Heder

Heder in 2010, image via Photo Works/

Birth Name: Jonathan Joseph Heder

Place of Birth: Fort Collins, Colorado, U.S.

Date of Birth: October 26, 1977

Ethnicity: Swedish, Danish, English, German, Scottish, Dutch

Jon Heder is an American actor and producer. He is known for starring in the film Napoleon Dynamite.

Jon is the son of Helen and James Heder. He was raised in an LDS (Mormon) family. He is married to Kirsten Bales, with whom he has four children. His uncle by marriage is NFL running back and WCAU sportscaster Vai Sikahema. Jon served an LDS mission in Japan. He speaks fluent Japanese.

He has many American-born ancestors going back to the 1600s, and Swedish, Danish, English, Scottish, German, and Dutch roots.

Jon’s patrilineal line can be traced to his great-great-grandfather, John William Heder, who was born, c. 1856, in Uppegarden, Venesborg, Elfsborg, Sweden, to Johannes Olofsson and Christina Neilsdatter. Jon has stated:

My last name used to be Olafsen. Close to oaf. I guess, I don’t know. I was the son of Olaf, the town idiot. They just thought Heder sounded cool. And I agree. It’s easy. And it’s cooler.

Jon’s paternal grandfather was Guy William Heder (the son of John Earl Heder and Alta Richardson). Guy was born in Los Angeles, California. John was born in Utah, to a Swedish father, John William Heder, and a Danish mother, Anna Jorgene Christina Madsen, who was born in Vejlby, Aarhus, Denmark. Alta was born in Colonia Diaz, Chihuahua, Mexico, to Utah-born parents, Charles Edmund Richardson and Sarah Louisa Adams.

Jon’s paternal grandmother was Joyce K. Knudsen (the daughter of James Clyde Knudsen and Amelia Elizabeth Robbins). Joyce was born in Utah, to Utah-born parents. James was the son of James Christian Knudsen, whose parents were Danish, from Toreby, Maribo and Odense, respectively; and of Emma John. Jon’s great-grandmother Amelia was the daughter of Aaron Rogers Robbins and Elizabeth Swenson, whose parents were Swedish.

Jon’s maternal grandfather was Joseph Smith Brammer (the son of Douglas Brammer and Elsie Hollingsworth). Joseph was born in Utah, to parents who were born in Yorkshire, England. Douglas was the son of William Henry Brammer and Ada Smith. Elsie was the daughter of Thomas Hollingworth and Eliza Mellor.

Jon’s maternal grandmother was Louise/Louiene Heninger (the daughter of Wilford Abijah Heninger and Mabel King). Louise was born in Raymond, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. Wilford was born in Moroni, Sanpete, Utah, the son of John Taylor Heninger and Mary Susannah Ivie. Mabel was born in Kimball, Alberta, Canada, to a father from Utah, Thomas Owen King III, and a mother from Idaho, Margaret Helen Arbon.

He is a third cousin, once removed, of actor Sean Wing. Jon’s maternal great-great-great-grandparents, Thomas Owen King, Jr. and Dorcas Georgina Debenham, were also Sean’s paternal great-great-grandparents.

Sources: Obituary of Jon’s paternal grandmother, Joyce K. (Knudsen) Heder Watkins –

Genealogy of Jon’s maternal grandmother, Louise/Louiene (Heninger) Brammer –

5 Responses

  1. bablah says:

    Third cousin once removed of Sean Wing, through Thomas Owen King, Jr. and Dorcas Georgina Debenham.

  2. Aaron Mcdonnell Zellenburg says:

    Does’s anyone know where his last name, Heder, comes from? One source told me that it was Swiss, but I don’t see Swiss included above…

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