Matthew Broderick

Broderick in 2010, Featureflash /

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

Date of Birth: March 21, 1962

*Irish, one quarter English (father)
*Ashkenazi Jewish (mother)

Matthew Broderick is an American actor and singer. He is famous for playing the title character in the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. He is married to actress Sarah Jessica Parker, with whom he has three children.

Matthew’s father, James Broderick, was a stage and screen actor. James’s most famous role was probably the father in the 1970s drama series, Family. He was also in the films Alice’s Restaurant and Dog Day Afternoon, and was a prolific stage actor. Matthew’s mother, Patricia (Biow), was a playwright.

His father was of three quarters Irish and one quarter English descent. His mother was of German Jewish and Polish Jewish descent. Matthew has stated that he was not brought up in a religious home, but considers himself Jewish. He also regularly visits Ireland and owns a house near the ocean there.

Matthew’s paternal grandfather was James Joseph Broderick (the son of James Joseph Broderick and Ellen Maria Shanley). Matthew’s grandfather James was born in Massachusetts, to Irish parents. Ellen was the daughter of Michael Shanley and Ellen Gilmore.

Matthew’s paternal grandmother was Mary Elizabeth “May” Martindale (the daughter of William H. Martindale and Mary Ellen Jane Hickey). Matthew’s grandmother Mary Elizabeth was born in New York. William was of English descent, the son of Robert Martindale and Charlotte Proctor. Matthew’s great-grandmother Mary Ellen was Irish.

Matthew’s maternal grandfather was Milton Harry Biow (the son of Harry Louis Biow and Lena Deckinger). Milton was born in New York. Harry was born in New York, the son of German Jewish parents, Gabriel Louis Biow and Marianna Neiderthal, whose families had roots in Neukyhna and Lissa, respectively. Lena was born in New York, the daughter of German Jewish parents, Moses Deckinger, whose family was from Dinkelsbühl and Thalmässing, and Julia Taubert/Tanbert.

Matthew’s maternal grandmother was Sofie/Sophia/Sophie Taub (the daughter of Max Taub and Millie Schneider). Sofie was born in New York, to Polish Jewish parents.

Sources: Genealogy of Matthew Broderick –

Genealogy of Matthew Broderick (focusing on his father’s side) –

Matthew’s father on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Matthew’s paternal grandfather, James Joseph Broderick, on the 1900 U.S. Census –

Genealogy of Matthew’s father (focusing on his own mother’s side) –

Matthew’s maternal grandfather, Milton Harry Biow, on the 1900 U.S. Census –

Matthew’s maternal grandmother, Sofie/Sophia/Sophie Taub, on the 1910 U.S. Census –


Curious about ethnicity

12 Responses

  1. bearboy says:

    I think Mathew Broderick should be listed as 50% Ashkenazi Jewish, 37.5% Irish, 12.5% English.

  2. pookerella says:

    Matthew’s father was James Broderick, stage and screen actor. His most famous role was probably the father in the 1970s drama, “Family.” He was also in “Alice’s Restaurant” and “Dog Day Afternoon” and was a prolific stage actor.

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