Matthew McConaughey

McConaughey in 2008, image via Entertainment Press /

Birth Name: Matthew David McConaughey

Place of Birth: Uvalde, Texas, U.S.

Date of Birth: November 4, 1969

Ethnicity: Irish, Scottish, one eighth German, English, 1/16th Swedish, remote Welsh

Matthew McConaughey is an American actor, producer, model, writer, and director. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for Dallas Buyers Club (2013). His many roles also include Dazed and Confused, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, Boys on the Side, Lone Star, A Time to Kill, Contact, Amistad, EDtv, The Wedding Planner, Frailty, Thirteen Conversations About One Thing, Reign of Fire, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Sahara, Two for the Money, We Are Marshall, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, The Lincoln Lawyer, Bernie, Killer Joe, Mud, Magic Mike, The Paperboy, The Wolf of Wall Street, Interstellar, Free State of Jones, Sing, Gold, The Dark Tower, White Boy Rick, Serenity, The Beach Bum, and True Detective. Matthew was selected People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” in 2005.

Matthew is the son of Mary Kathlene (McCabe) and James Donald McConaughey, who played college football, for the Kentucky Wildcats and the Houston Cougars. His father was born in Mississippi. His mother is from New Jersey. He is married to Brazilian-born model Camilla Alves, with whom he has three children. His brother is television personality Mike ‘Rooster’ McConaughey. His ancestry is Irish, Scottish, one eighth German, English, 1/16th Swedish, and remote Welsh. He has Irish roots in the Cavan/Monaghan area. Matthew’s family moved to Longview, Texas, in 1980.

Matthew’s paternal grandfather was Hugh Richard/Donald McConaughey (the son of James Donald McConaughey and Frances Louise King). Hugh was born in New Mexico, and had Scottish and English ancestry. James was the son of James W. McConaughey and Albina Dandridge McRae. Albina’s brother was Dandridge McRae, a lawyer, court official, and Inspector General of Arkansas State Troops, who was a brigadier general in the C.S.A. during the American Civil War. Albina was a cousin of Democratic politicians Colin J. McRae and John J. McRae, who was Governor of Mississippi. Matthew’s great-grandmother Frances was the daughter of John Patrick King and Sarah H. Hazlett/Harlat.

Matthew’s paternal grandmother was Barbara Claire Maitland (the daughter of Robert Smith Maitland and Julia Barbara Westerling). Matthew’s grandmother Barbara was born in Louisiana. Robert was a Scottish emigrant, born in Aberdeen, the son of Robert Maitland and Jane McDonald. Julia was the daughter of Charles Westerling, a Swedish emigrant, from Gottinbourg, and of Anna Maria Nugent/DeNugent, an Irish immigrant.

Matthew’s maternal grandfather was Walter John McCabe (the son of Walter McCabe and Adele/Adela Selma Pack). Matthew’s grandfather Walter was born in New Jersey. Matthew’s great-grandfather Walter was the son of Charles McCabe and Elizabeth McClure. The surname McCabe can be both Irish and Scottish. Adele was a German emigrant; she was born in Elberfeld, Westphalia, Prussia, the daughter of Wilhelm Gustav Pack and Johanne Friederike Wilhelmine Fasbender.

Matthew’s maternal grandmother was Gertrude M. Maher (the daughter of William Maher and Julia Catherine O’Brien). Gertrude was born in New York, to Irish parents. William was the son of Jeremiah Maher and Mary Condon. Julia was the daughter of William O’Brien, from Cork, and of Mary Hennessy/Hennessey/Henrich, from Tipperary.

Sources: Family history of Matthew McConaughey –

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

The following genealogy incorrectly identifies Matthew’s maternal grandparents as George Glynn McCabe and Maxine Corrick –

Genealogy of Matthew McConaughey (though only his paternal grandfather is correctly identified) –

Marriage record of Matthew’s parents –

Genealogy of Matthew’s father –

Matthew’s paternal grandfather, Hugh Richard/Donald McConaughey, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Biography of Matthew’s paternal great-great-great-uncle, Dandridge McRae –

Matthew’s paternal grandmother, Barbara Claire Maitland, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Matthew’s paternal great-grandparents, Robert Smith Maitland and Julia Barbara Westerling, on the 1900 U.S. Census –

Death record of Matthew’s paternal great-grandfather, Robert Smith Maitland –

Death record of Matthew’s paternal great-grandmother, Julia Barbara Westerling –

Matthew’s aunt (his mother’s sister), Barbara I. McCabe, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Matthew’s maternal grandfather, Walter John McCabe, on the 1900 U.S. Census –

Birth record of Matthew’s maternal grandmother, Gertrude M. Maher –

Matthew’s maternal grandmother, Gertrude M. Maher, on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Marriage record of Matthew’s maternal great-grandparents, William Maher and Julia Catherine O’Brien –

Matthew mentions his Irish ancestry –


Curious about ethnicity

28 Responses

  1. Hadnodiner says:

    yes ladies and gentlemen the swedish plays an important role

  2. River9 says:

    He looks like he has Italian somehow. I’m not saying he must be part Italian but his looks just gives off that vibe, you know.

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