Matt Damon

Birth Name: Matthew Paige Damon

Place of Birth: Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.

Date of Birth: October 8, 1970

*father – English, some Scottish, distant Welsh
*mother – Finnish, Swedish, distant Norwegian

Matt Damon is an American actor, screenwriter, producer, filmmaker, and philanthropist. He is known for his roles in the films Mystic Pizza, School Ties, Good Will Hunting, Saving Private Ryan, Dogma, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Ocean’s Eleven (2001), and its sequels; The Bourne Identity, and its sequels; Syriana, The Departed, The Informant!, Invictus, True Grit (2010), Contagion, The Martian, Ford v Ferrari, Stillwater, The Last Duel, Air, and Oppenheimer, and the made-for-tv movie Behind the Candelabra. He won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Good Will Hunting, with childhood friend, actor and filmmaker Ben Affleck; they appeared together in the film, and in others, including The Last Duel, which they also co-wrote. The two co-founded production companies LivePlanet, Pearl Street Films, and Artists Equity. Matt has also co-written the films Gerry and Promised Land (2012). His involvement with charitable works includes the One Campaign, fighting extreme poverty; Feeding America, H2O Africa Foundation, and, the latter two of which he co-founded.

Matt is the son of Nancy June Carlsson-Paige, an early childhood education professor, and Kent Telfer Damon, a stockbroker. He was raised partly in Newton and Cambridge, in Massachusetts. His brother, Kyle Damon, is a sculptor and artist. Matt is married to Luciana Bozán Barroso, an Argentinian-born former bartender, with whom he has four children.

His father was of approximately three quarters English and one quarter Scottish ancestry, along with distant Welsh roots. Many of Matt’s paternal English lines have been in the U.S. for many generations, particularly New England; they trace back to Massachusetts in the 1600s. Matt’s mother is of approximately half Finnish and half Swedish descent. On his mother’s side, Matt also has distant Norwegian ancestry. Matt was selected People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” in 2007. He is thus far the only individual of Finnish heritage to have been given this title by the magazine, and also the individual with the most Scandinavian ancestry, at roughly one quarter.

Matt is a tenth cousin, once removed, of his friend Ben Affleck. Matt’s paternal ten times great-grandparents, Elizabeth and William Knowlton, of England, were also Ben’s nine times great-grandparents. It appears that, until 2014, Matt and Ben were not aware of this genealogical relationship, common for two people of New England, English, ancestry. Actor Matthew Maher has also often worked with Ben and Matt. Their parents all knew each other in Cambridge in the 1960s.

Matt’s patrilineal line can be traced to Thomas Damon, who was born, c. 1627, in Faversham, Kent, England.

Matt’s paternal grandfather was Albert Howe Damon, Jr. (the son of Albert Howe Damon and Grace Henrietta Telfer). Matt’s grandfather Albert was born in White Plains, Westchester, New York. Matt’s great-grandfather Albert was the son of The Rev. Albert Nelson Damon and Hattie Salisbury. Grace was the daughter of Andrew Telfer and Anna Maria/Marie Turnbull, who were born in Scotland, with Andrew being from Jedburgh, Roxburgh.

Matt’s paternal grandmother was Roberta M. Fay (the daughter of Clarence Farwell Fay and Mabelle/Maybelle E. Kent). Roberta was born in Roselle, Union, New Jersey. Clarence was the son of Adoniram Judson Fay and Altemirah A. “Altie” Smith. Mabelle was born in Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire, the daughter of Charles Henry/Alvin Kent, whose father was born in Canada, and of Evelyn Maria Hammond.

Matt’s maternal grandfather was John Walter Paige (originally Nils Johan Pajari; the son of John Pajari, originally Nils Johan Olafsson Pajari, and of Impi Maria Neimenen/Nieminen/Niemelä). Matt’s grandfather John was born in Virginia, St. Louis, Minnesota, to Finnish immigrant parents. John’s surname was changed from Pajari to Page. Matt’s great-grandfather John was born in Kemi, the son of Olli/Olaf Johansson/Juhonpoika Pajari/Bajar/Bajard and Kaisa-Greta Kreeta Nilsdotter/Vanhakartano. Matt’s great-grandmother Impi was born in Yltiä Niemelän talo, Pihlajavesi, Keuruu, the daughter of Matti Aleksanterinpoika Kaijanmäki/Niemelä and Maija/Maja Liisa/Lisa Kustaantytär Ryönänkoski/Kankaanpää/Gustafsdotter.

Matt’s maternal grandmother was Margaret Cecilia “Peg” Carlsdotter Johnson (the daughter of Carl Emil Johnson and Cecelia/Cecilia/Celia Anna Charlesdotter Carlsson/Carlson). Margaret was born in Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota. Carl’s parents, August Johnson and Ida, were Swedish. Matt’s great-grandmother Cecelia was born in Wisconsin, the daughter of Charles/Karl Fridolf Carlsson, who was born in åmål, Åmål, Västra Götalands län, Sweden, and of Catherine Mattsdotter Forsman, who was born in Jepua, Finland, and was of at least part Swedish descent.

Damon with wife Luciana Bozán Barroso, 2010, photo by Featureflash /

Sources: Genealogies of Matt Damon –

Genealogies of Matt’s paternal grandparents, Albert Howe Damon, Jr. and Roberta M. Fay –

Genealogies of Matt Damon (focusing on his father’s side) –

Matt’s maternal grandfather, Nils Johan Pajari (later John Walter Paige), on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Matt’s maternal great-grandmother, Cecelia/Cecilia/Celia Anna Charlesdotter Carlsson/Carlson, on the 1910 U.S. Census –


Curious about ethnicity

41 Responses

  1. Preservationist says:

    Matt was raised a DEVOUT PROTESTANT. Christ. Anyone you critique who was raised as a Roman Catholic you make sure you make note of it front and center. Well Mr. Damon was raised a DEVOUT PROTESTANT. He descends from several Mayflower Pilgrims.

  2. gudrun says:

    very attractive in “stillwater”. looking better now than in the good will hunting/ripley days.

  3. madman says:

    Matt’s maternal grandmother was only of Swedish descent. This census has Catherine’s birth place as “Fin.-Swedish”.

  4. andrew says:

    genealogy of Matt’s “Damon” line:

    Matt’s patrilineal line can be traced back to Thomas Damon Sr., born c. 1627, in Faversham, Kent, England.

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