Jonathan Groff

2009 Rosie's Broadway Extravaganza - Arrivals

Groff in 2009, photo by Prphotos

Birth Name: Jonathan Drew Groff

Place of Birth: Lancaster, Pennsylvania, U.S.

Date of Birth: March 26, 1985

Ethnicity: German, some Swiss-German, and a smaller amount of English and Scottish

Jonathan Groff is an American actor and singer.

He is the son of Julie, a physical education teacher, and Jim Groff, a harness horse trainer and driver. He is a first cousin of singer James Wolpert, a semi-finalist on the fifth season of The Voice. Jonathan’s mother and James’s mother are sisters.

Most of Jonathan’s ancestry is German, with some Swiss-German, and smaller amounts of English and Scottish. Most of his family were from the Pennsylvania Dutch [ethnic Germans in Pennsylvania] community, and Jonathan thus has deep roots in Pennsylvania. He descends largely from Mennonite ancestors, although he himself was raised Methodist.

Jonathan’s paternal grandfather was J. Wade Groff (the son of Earl Leroy Groff and Helen Eby Garber). Jonathan’s grandfather J. Wade was born in Pennsylvania, and was a Mennonite minister. Earl was the son of Enos H. Groff and Martha E. Brubaker. Helen was the daughter of Simon Erb Garber and Fannie Frank Eby.

Jonathan’s paternal grandmother was Evelyn Herr Metzler (the daughter of Harvey Metzler and Bertha Mae Herr). Evelyn was born in Pennsylvania. Harvey was the daughter of Henry Burkholder Metzler and Amanda Rife/Reiff Myer. Bertha was the daughter of Newton Groff Herr and Amanda L. Heller.

Jonathan’s maternal grandfather was John B. Witmer (the son of John Huber Witmer and Emma Barbara Kreider). Jonathan’s grandfather John was born in Pennsylvania. Jonathan’s great-grandfather John was the son of John Huber Witney/Witmer and Barbara Ervin. Emma was the daughter of Benjamin F. Kreider and Cecelia H. Kauffman.

Jonathan’s maternal grandmother was Dolores Taylor (the daughter of John P. Taylor and Viola M. Cunningham). Dolores was born in Oklahoma. John was the son of Goldie.

Sources: Obituary of Jonathan’s paternal grandmother, Evelyn Herr (Metzler) Groff –

Jonathan’s maternal grandmother, Dolores Taylor, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Obituary of Jonathan’s maternal grandmother, Dolores (Taylor) Witmer –

3 Responses

  1. LizzieLana says:

    Viola was the son of Saml. M. Cunningham, whose mother was Irish, and of Sallie.

  2. andrew says:

    It can be Swiss, German, perhaps Austrian, even Italian:

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