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Lorde in 2013, photo by PrPhotos

Birth Name: Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor

Place of Birth: Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand

Date of Birth: 7 November, 1996

Ethnicity: Irish, Serbian, Croatian, German, possibly English

Lorde is a Kiwi singer, songwriter, and record producer. She is the daughter of Vic O’Connor (Victor Peter Gerrard Andrew O’Connor) and poet Sonja Yelich (Sonja Marija Yelich). She stated in an interview on Vevo Lift that she is “a little bit Irish and a little bit Croatian.” She has also said that her maternal ancestry is Serbian. Lorde may also have some other ancestry, possibly English.

Her father was one of eight children in a religious Catholic family.

Lorde’s maternal grandfather is George Branko Yelich (the son of Branko Jelić/Jelik/Yelich and Radmilla/Radmila Anrath, born Terezija Anrat). George was born in Wukovar/Vukovar, Općina Vukovar, Vukovar-Syrmia County, Croatia. George and his mother came to New Zealand, through Trieste, in June of 1949. Radmila was the daughter of Dragutin “Karl” Anrat and Wilhelmina “Vilma.” Lorde’s grandfather George was of the Orthodox Christian faith. Radmilla likely converted from Catholicism to Orthodoxy. She may have had German ancestry.

Lorde’s maternal grandmother is named Lana/Leilani Carol.

Sources: Article about some of Lorde’s background – http://www.fasterlouder.com.au

Genealogy of Lorde (focusing on her mother’s side) – https://www.geni.com


Curious about ethnicity

52 Responses

  1. Fatmonkey says:

    This Serbian article on the “Blic” newspaper site conveys the latest interview with Lorde (from 08/25/2017) in which she clarifies that her maternal ancestry is Serbian (she’s descended from the Serbs in Croatia). I gather most of the readers here would need assistance from Google Translate to read the article, though.


    • bablah says:

      Je l’ možeš naći taj intervju za Metro? jesu to neke naše novine ili novozelandske?

    • happening says:

      New Zealand, Archives New Zealand, Passenger Lists, 1839-1973 is a stronger proof for Jelic/Jelik/Yelich family origin and religion upon arrival. Based on that, Lorde paternal line is of Serbian descent.

      • bablah says:

        Her gradfather was half Serbian, half German. Karl and Wilhelmina are German names, and Anrath is a German surname. I find it funny that someone claimed that her great-grandfather was Croatian, becaise he was baptized in a SERBIAN Orthodox church (which is the only orthodox church in Vukovar) in Croatia.

  2. neiltennant says:

    wow slavic people are so good looking

  3. bablah says:

    This is her uncle’s grave:

    The inscription says:
    Loving son of George Branko and son of Lana

    Sooooo, Lana does sound Croatian, unlike Leilani, but I’m still not sure if she’s really Croatian.

  4. andrew says:

    this site states Lorde’s mother comes from a Dalmatian immigrant family. Vukovar is not in Dalmatia, though.


    • bablah says:

      I agree. Her mother’s parents are said to be both immigrants from Croatia. The Leilani person is definitely not Croatian, so I think someone made a mistake somewhere.

    • happening says:

      Radmila and Branko Jelic/Jelik were listed to arrive in Wellington, New Zeland on ship Dundalk Bay from Trieste, Italy in 1949. New Zeland Archives lists them to be of Christian Orthodox religion and from Wukovar/Vukovar, Yugoslavia. The fact that they are listed of Orthodox religion and in Vukovar, strongly implies they are of Serbian descent. I did not find any other New Zeland emigration records of Jelic, Jelik or Yelich with names Radmila and Branko that are connected to Sonja Yelich, meaning to her daughter, singer Lorde.

      Looking at the photo of a gravestone, it all ties together correctly. You clearly see these same names (Radmila, Branko, Sonja) on the gravestone photo, link provided by “andrew”.

      So, looks like this post is accurate. That means Sonja Yelich ancestry following paternal line is of Serbian nationality from Vukovar. Vukovar is today in Croatia very close to the border with Serbia and very painful history. Many Serbian people left Croatia in this period of history, as it was the case with ancestors actress Stana Katic (ancestors from Knin, Dalmatia) and baseball player Jeff Samardzija (most likely Dalmatia too). Maybe that is why some distant Dalmatia origin is listed for this family with Christina Orthodox roots.

  5. neiltennant says:

    I SWEAR THE FIRST TIME I SAW ROYALS on TV i thought that she is bosniak, croat or serbian

    and i joked to a friend and said ”THERE IS MY BEST FRIEND CIRCIC”

    circic is a good friend of mine who is bosniak

    same look

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