Kenneth Branagh

Kenneth Branagh

Branagh in 2015, photo by PR Photos

Birth Name: Kenneth Charles Branagh

Place of Birth: Belfast, Northern Ireland

Date of Birth: 10 December, 1960

Ethnicity: Northern Irish/Ulster-Scots, Irish

Kenneth Branagh is a Northern Irish-born actor, writer, director, and producer. He is particularly known for his films Henry V, Dead Again, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, Murder on the Orient Express, and Death on the Nile, all of which he both headlined and directed, for his film Belfast, and for his many other acting roles.

He was born to a Protestant family in Belfast, and was raised in Reading, Berkshire, England. He is the son of Frances (Harper) and William Branagh, who was a plumber and joiner. Kenneth is married to film art director Lindsay Brunnock.

Kenneth’s paternal grandfather was William Robert Branagh (the son of William Branagh and Mary Anne/Annie Ellis). Kenneth’s grandfather William was born in Belfast, Antrim. Kenneth’s great-grandfather William was the son of John Branagh. Mary Anne was the daughter of John Ellis.

Kenneth’s paternal grandmother was Elizabeth Harold Maguire (the daughter of Thomas Maguire and Mary Isabella/Isabelle Craig). Elizabeth was born in Belfast. Thomas was the son of Skelton Maguire, who was Catholic, and of Ellen Hood Hooke. Mary Isabella was the daughter of William Craig and Eliza Thompson.

Kenneth’s maternal grandfather was named Martin “Speedy” Harper.

Kenneth’s maternal grandmother was named Sarah Anne.

Source: Genealogy of Kenneth Branagh –

5 Responses

  1. JackB says:

    Ulster-Scots is somewhat of a misnomer when describing Irish people with Protestant religious backgrounds.
    Firstly the Scots part is not entirely accurate as many of these are of English background, or Anglo Irish.
    Secondly the Ulster part is not entirely correct either as many did not originally, or even ever come through, Ulster. There are many of us in the other 26 counties who have Scottish, English, and/or Welsh blood also, through British conquering and plantation. They are from the exact same group of people as the “Ulster-Scots”, and they may be neither Ulster, nor Scots.
    But all are Irish……just like Kenneth Brannagh considers himself. Irish.

  2. toddandrew says:

    Wonder if he’s Ulster Scots?

    • Oaken05 says:

      With names like “Craig” in his recent family tree, and with his family being Protestant, perhaps the question should be how much non-Ulster Scotts background he has.

      • toddandrew says:

        With names like “Maguire” could he also be descended from Catholics that converted? That’s what it looks like.

        • jackson9 says:

          The “Maguire” line is ethnically Irish/Irish Catholic. Skelton Maguire (2nd-great grandfather) as listed was born in 1829 in Belfast, Ireland. He may have been Protestant. His parents were Thomas Maguire (1799-1864) Belfast, Northern, Ireland and Susan Walsh. From the “Ireland, Catholic Parish Registers, 1655-1915” on this third great-grandfather was Catholic.

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