Jonathan Taylor Thomas

Spring 2003 WB Winter Press Tour Party

Thomas in 2003, photo by

Birth Name: Jonathan Taylor Weiss

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

Date of Birth: September 8, 1981

Ethnicity: German, Swiss-German, Portuguese, distant Irish and French, possibly English

Jonathan Taylor Thomas is an American actor and director. His father is of Pennsylvania Dutch (German) descent, with some Swiss-German roots, and distant Irish and French ancestry. His mother is of Portuguese and possibly English ancestry. His uncle is actor and playwright Jeff Weiss.

Jonathan’s paternal Weiss line traces back to a Johannes “John” Weiss, who was born, c. 1756, in Wies, Lorrach, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany.

Jonathan’s paternal grandfather was Benjamin Laucks Weiss (the son of George Jacob Weiss and Emma A. Laucks). Benjamin was born in Pennsylvania, and was from a Lutheran family that had lived in Pennsylvania for many generations, of Pennsylvania Dutch (German) descent, with some Swiss-German roots. Benjamin also had remote French ancestry. George’s parents were The Rev. Benjamin J. Weiss and Emma Rahn Merkel. Jonathan’s great-great-grandfather The Rev. Benjamin was a minister in the Reformed Church (also known as the German Reformed Church), who preached in both German and English. Jonathan’s great-grandmother Emma was the daughter of Henry R. Laucks and Emma R. Raser/Raezer.

Jonathan’s paternal grandmother was Helen E. Eagle (the daughter of Charles R. Eagle and Nora Hetty Boerkert/Borkert). Helen was born in Pennsylvania, and was also from a Lutheran family of Pennsylvania Dutch (German) descent, with distant Irish roots. Charles was the son of Richard L. Eagle and Ellen Reifschneider. Nora was the daughter of Albert G. Borkert and Malinda Wentzel.

Jonathan’s maternal grandparents’ surnames were Gonsalves and White. Jonathan’s maternal grandfather was of Portuguese descent. It is not clear of Jonathan’s maternal grandmother was of Portuguese descent as well. The surname White could have been changed from a Portuguese surname, or it could imply English ancestry.

Sources: Genealogy of Jonathan Taylor Thomas –

Engagement announcement of Jonathan’s paternal grandparents, Benjamin Laucks Weiss and Helen E. Eagle, 1925 –

Jonathan’s paternal grandfather, Benjamin Laucks Weiss, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Marriage record of Jonathan’s paternal great-grandparents, George Jacob Weiss and Emma A. Laucks –

Genealogy of Jonathan’s paternal great-grandfather, George Jacob Weiss –

Another genealogy of Jonathan’s paternal great-grandfather, George Jacob Weiss (focusing on his own mother’s side) –

Biography of Jonathan’s paternal great-great-grandfather, The Rev. Benjamin J. Weiss –

More of Jonathan’s patrilineal Weiss genealogy –

Genealogy of Jonathan’s paternal grandmother, Helen E. Eagle (focusing on her own father’s side) –

Obituary of Jonathan’s paternal grandmother, Helen E. (Eagle) Weiss –


Curious about ethnicity

13 Responses

  1. JRose says:

    Honestly he looks very German…he has that golden skin that tans well in the summer and his eyes…. I have a lot of family from there and they have eyes this shape. He is a handsome guy, I used to have a major crush on him!

  2. Dstmnstr says:


    I might’ve found his profile on,

    Thank you,
    Dustin Schrull

  3. Dstmnstr says:


    I’ve tried to find some more information on John’s mother’s side and I found this on, this might be John’s maternal grandmother since she married a Gonsalves and White was her maiden name too:

    Thank you,
    Dustin Schrull

    • follers says:

      It’s possible, but this woman was born in Mexico. I think Thomas would have mentioned it if he is of part Mexican descent?

      • Dstmnstr says:

        It would be surprising, I wouldn’t have thought that he’s also Mexican descent too. I’ve tried to research more about his mother’s side by using and typing in Gonsalves and White and found that death record and thought that would be Johnathan’s grandmother.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.