Lena Dunham

"Girls" Season 3 TV Series UK Premiere - Arrivals

Dunham in 2014, photo by PrPhotos

Place of Birth: Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: May 13, 1986

*father – English, with distant Irish, remote Dutch, Scottish, Welsh, and German
*mother – Ashkenazi Jewish

Lena Dunham is an American actress, filmmaker, and writer. She created the shows Delusional Downtown Divas and Girls, both of which she also directed and wrote for, as well as starred in; and co-created, and wrote for, the show Camping. She has also directed and written the films Tiny Furniture, Sharp Stick, both of which she starred in; and Catherine Called Birdy, and co-written the film Nobody Walks. Her roles also include the films The House of the Devil, Gabi on the Roof in July, The Innkeepers, Supporting Characters, This Is 40, Happy Christmas, Sky (2015), My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea, in voice role; Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, The Stand In, and Treasure (2024), and the made-for-tv movie 7 Days in Hell.

Lena is the daughter of Laurie Simmons, an artist, photographer, and filmmaker, from New York, and Carroll Dunham V, a painter, from Old Lyme, Connecticut. Lena’s father has English, a small amount of Irish, and remote Dutch, Scottish, Welsh, and German, ancestry. Lena’s mother is Ashkenazi Jewish, of Russian Jewish, Polish Jewish, and Austrian Jewish descent. Lena has described herself as Jewish.

Lena is married to British-Peruvian musician Luis Felber. She is the sister of writer, actor, and activist Cyrus Grace Dunham. Her paternal four times great-grandfather was businessperson and economist Edward Kellogg.

A DNA test whose results were displayed on the show Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2024) stated that Lena’s genetic ancestry consists of:

*50% Ashkenazi Jewish
*34% England & Northwestern Europe
*8% Wales
*5% Scotland
*3% Sweden & Denmark

Genetically, she was found to have a common ancestor with actor, writer, and comedian Larry David, through shared Ashkenazi ancestry.

Lena’s paternal grandfather was Carroll Dunham IV (the son of Carroll Dunham III and Ruth Harper Pilling). Lena’s grandfather Carroll was born in Massachusetts. Lena’s great-grandfather Carroll was the son of Carroll Dunham II and Margaret Worcester Dows. Ruth was the daughter of James Constantine Pilling and Mary Lois Harper. Among Lena’s grandfather Carroll’s prominent ancestors was Stephanus Van Cortlandt (1643-1700), the first native-born Mayor of New York City.

Lena’s paternal grandmother was Carol Marguerite Reynolds (the daughter of Donald Grant Reynolds and Kathryn D. Harding). Carol was born in New Hampshire. Lena’s great-grandfather Donald was the son of Hayden Lord Reynolds and Hattie Florence Warner. Kathryn was the daughter of Lyman Darius Harding and Nora D. Daniels, whose mother was born in Cork, Ireland.

Lena’s maternal grandfather was Samuel Ira Simmons/Simons (the son of Louis Simonoff/Simons and Lena Rubin). Samuel was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was a dentist and WWII veteran. His parents were Russian Jewish immigrants.

Lena’s maternal grandmother was Dorothy Carol/Carole “Dottie” Trussel (the daughter of Henry Arthur Trussel and Mildred Hyman). Dorothy was born in Manhattan, New York. Henry was a Russian Jewish immigrant. Mildred was the daughter of Polish Jewish parents, Jacob Hyman and Regina Seltenwirth/Seltinworth, who was from Tarnów.

Sources: https://www.jpost.com

Genealogies of Lena Dunham – http://gw.geneanet.org

Genealogies of Lena Dunham (focusing on her father’s side) – http://nagelhistory.com

Obituary of Lena’s paternal grandmother, Carol Marguerite (Reynolds) Dunham – http://articles.courant.com

Obituary of Lena’s maternal grandfather, Samuel Ira Simmons/Simons – http://www.nytimes.com

Lena’s maternal great-grandparents, Louis Simonoff/Simons and Lena Rubin, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

adam driver

Dunham with Adam Driver in 2013, photo by kathclick/Bigstock.com

17 Responses

  1. jackson9 says:

    I believe Lena Dunham’s maternal grandmother is Dorothy Carole Trussel, who married Samuel Ira Simmons sometime in 1943. She is the daughter of Russian Jewish father Henry A. Trussel (1883) and Mildred Hyman, who was born in New York. Mildred was the daughter of Austrian Jewish parents Jacob Hyman and Regina Seltinworth.

  2. jackson9 says:

    Lena Dunham is at least 1/32 Irish. Lena Dunham’s father is Carroll Dunham, mother is Carol M Reynold, mother is Kathryn D. Harding, mother is Nora D. Daniels (as it says) but her mother is Catherine Scanlon (July-1830-1904) born in Cork Ireland and died in Connecticut, USA. She was the daughter of James Scanlon.

  3. Pegzi says:

    Correction: you forgot to add spawn of Satan to her ethnicity

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