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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. madman says:

    Serbian AND Croatian? Why are both listed? Lorde’s great-grandfather Branko was Orthodox, thus he was Serbian. Why Croatian has been left up there I don’t understand.

    • follers says:

      Lorde said she’s Croatian.

      You also don’t have to sound so indignant about it. While we can all agree that, yes, Indignation is a pretty good movie, you don’t have to live it.

      • jackson9 says:

        It appears we share the same taste in movies! We should get together for movie night ;) BTW Logan Lerman is my favorite actor in that movie

      • madman says:

        I’m sorry, I just thought it was clear from Blaise Perry’s comments that her great-grandfather was Orthodox, and thus Serbian, not Croatian. While, as bablah said, there’s always a possibility of Croatian ancestry from other grandparents, what we know now is that she is of Serbian descent.

        The article about her being Serbian are more recent. And it mentions previous comments about Croatian ancestry, appearing to correct them. Also, Chris Zylka said he’s Russian, yet that’s rightfully not included in his ethnicity.

        • follers says:

          I can’t tell the genealogical difference between Serbians and Croatians. And I’m not sure many others can, either.

          So I’ll let Lorde decide.

          • madman says:

            When you know their religion, it’s actually very easy. And in this case, we do know it.

          • Oaken05 says:

            I don’t get why madman is so adamant about this argument. Just look at this article:


            Apparently, there are over 16,000 current Orthodox Croats – ethnic Croats who identify with the Serbian Orthodox Church – and of course the number was higher before the break-up of Yugoslavia and ethnic and religion lines hardening and sorting themselves out.

            It is very likely if her relative was Orthodox that that person was a Serb. But there are enough Orthodox Croats that it’s ridiculous to say with certainty that that relative was a Serb unless you can find some solid proof one way or the other. Absent that, we go with what the celebrity says.

          • bablah says:


            Also from wikipedia:

            “There were 11,400 Croatian citizens who identified themselves as ethnic Croats of the Orthodox Christian persuasion in the 2001 census, but since they didn’t identify themselves as members of the Croatian Orthodox Church the foundation of the new organisation is still not possible.[2] Those 11,400 Croats aren’t members of any Orthodox Church currently in existence.”

            So your assertion that they identify with Serbian Orthodox Church was wrong.

    • bablah says:

      She also said her Croatian family was from Dalmatia, but Branko was from Syrmia. Maybe her grandmother was Croatian.

    • Oaken05 says:

      This is a weird post. While Croatians are predominantly Catholic, are you really here to argue that you know that Croatian great-grandfather wasn’t Orthodox? It’d be rare for a Croatian to adhere to that church, yes, but certainly not impossible.

      • bablah says:

        There’s a reason it’s called “Serbian Orthodox Church”. Are you really arguing that the 0,000001% chance that her grandfather was an Orthodox Croat?

      • madman says:

        I’m not sure I understand your comment. What part of “Lorde’s great-grandfather Branko was Orthodox” do you interpret as me saying her “Croatian great-grandfather wasn’t Orthodox”? I would say that’s the opposite of what I said.

        I think you’re getting ethnicity and nationality mixed up here. Serbia and Croatia are both separate countries, but there are Croats in Serbia and Serbs in Croatia. What separates them is religion, not borders. So to say that someone is an Orthodox Croatian, for example, will almost always be incorrect (since they by definition will be either one or the other, except for when it comes to conversions, one could argue).

  2. andrew says:

    why should she necessarily have English ancestry? why not Scottish?

  3. Blaise Perry says:

    I actually have some more information. I went through some City of Vukovar and NZ Immigration records and found some info about her ancestors.

    Based on NZ immigration records – Ella’s grandfather – (George) Branko Yelich – came to New Zealand with his mother Radmilla Yelich (Anrath) via Trieste in June of 1949. Radmilla – a shoemaker from Vukovar – is stated as a widow.

    Here is where it becomes interesting – Radmilla Yelich birth date is listed as April 16, 1915 – born in Vukovar. On this immigration record, both Radmilla and (George) Branko are listed as of Orthodox faith. Radmilla’s birth is actually registered in City of Vukovar Catholic records, under the name of Terezija Anrat. In City of Vukovar Marriage Index – her marriage is recorded under her new name – Radmilla. It appears that she changed her Catholic first name some time before her marriage – to a more Orthodox one. She married an Orthodox – Branko Jelić (born c. 1910) in 1940.

    A year later, on September 23, 1941 – her son – (George) Branko Jelić was born – also in Vukovar.

    P.S. – Sonja’s middle name is Marija.

    • Blaise Perry says:

      I don’t know where the rumors about her possible Serbian or Dalmatian descent came from, but both seem to be untrue. Her Croatian ancestors came from Slavonia.

      I think that I may have found Branko Jelić’s parents’ marriage record, but until I don’t know it for sure, I can’t reveal anything.

      Ella’s father full name is Victor Peter Gerrard Andrew O’Connor.

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