Michelle Pfeiffer

Pfeiffer in 2007, Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com

Birth Name: Michelle Marie Pfeiffer

Place of Birth: Santa Ana, Orange, California, United States

Date of Birth: April 29, 1958

Ethnicity: Swiss-German (one quarter), Swedish (one quarter), German, as well as distant English, Welsh, French, Dutch, and Irish

Michelle Pfeiffer is an American actress, singer, and producer. Her sister is actress Dedee Pfeiffer.

Michelle is the daughter of Donna Jean (Taverna) and Richard Pfeiffer. Her family is from North Dakota, and Minnesota. Her paternal grandfather was of German descent, and her paternal grandmother had German, and smaller amounts of English, Welsh, French, Dutch, and Irish, ancestry. Her mother is of half Swiss-German and half Swedish descent.

Michelle is married to writer and producer David E. Kelley, with whom she has two children, an adopted daughter, Claudia Rose Pfeiffer, and a biological son, John Henry.

Michelle’s patrilineal line can be traced to her great-great-great-grandparents, Christopher Henry Pfeiffer, who was born, c. 1815, and Mary Magdalene, who was born, c. 1817, both in Cölbe, Giessen, Hesse, Germany.

Michelle’s paternal grandfather was William J. Pfeiffer, Jr. (the son of Wilhelm/William Frederick John Pfeiffer and Susanna/Susan A. Mueller). Deedee’s grandfather William was born in Minnesota. Michelle’s great-grandfather Wilhelm was born in Cölbe, Giessen, Hesse, Germany, and was the son of Ernst Pfeiffer and Henrietta Borchert. Susanna was born in Minnesota, the daughter of John Henry Mueller, who was born in Germany, and of Catherine Myers/Meyer, who had roots in Prussia.

Michelle’s paternal grandmother was Dorothy Straley/Stanley (the daughter of James Bert/Burton Straley/Straly/Stanley and Blanche Hulda Griffith). Dorothy was born in North Dakota. Her parents and all of her grandparents were from Pennsylvania. Dorothy had German, and smaller amounts of English, Welsh, French, Dutch, and Irish, ancestry. James was the son of David Straley/Staley and Leah Stineman/Stinmass. Blanche was the daughter of Abner Messenheimer Griffith and Rachel Penrose; Rachel was the daughter of William Penrose and Rebecca Wright.

Michelle’s maternal grandfather was Jacob Bernhard/Bernard/Bernhardt “Jake” Taverna (the son of Jacob Taverna and Dorethea/Dorothea “Dorothy” Bernhard/Bernhardt). Michelle’s grandfather Jacob was born in New Rockford, Eddy Co, North Dakota, to Swiss parents. He was of Swiss-German descent. Jacob may have been related to the Von Taverna family of Switzerland. Michelle’s great-grandfather Jacob was born in Davos, Prättigau/Davos District, Grisons, the son of Hans Jory Taverna and Anna Engel, who were from Kublis and Frauenkirch, respectively, in Graubünden, Switzerland.

Michelle’s maternal grandmother was Delma Lillian/Lilian Hill (the daughter of John Sigurd Hill and Amanda Karolina/C. Olson). Delma was born in North Dakota. John was born in Minnesota, to Swedish parents, Johan Gustaf Peterson, from Lessebo, Kronoberg County, and Martha Kristina Jonsdotter, who was born in Tolg, Kronoberg County. Amanda was born in Klackhult Södergård, Hornaryd, Kronoberg County, Sweden, the daughter of Sven Johan Olsson/Olson and Sara Katarina Petersdotter.

Claudia Rose Pfeiffer, David E. Kelley and Michelle Pfeiffer

Michelle (right) with daughter Claudia Rose and husband David E. Kelley in 2012, photo by kathclick/ Bigstock

Sources: Genealogy of Michelle Pfeiffer – https://www.geni.com

Genealogy of Michelle Pfeiffer (focusing on her father’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Michelle’s paternal grandmother, Dorothy Straley/Stanley, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Marriage record of Michelle’s paternal great-grandparents, James Bert/Burton Straley/Straly/Stanley and Blanche Hulda Griffith – https://www.familysearch.org

Michelle’s paternal great-grandfather, James Bert/Burton Straley/Straly/Stanley, on the 1880 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Genealogy of Michelle’s paternal great-grandmother, Blanche Hulda Griffith – http://blackburn-tree.org

Genealogy of Michelle’s paternal great-great-great-great-grandfather, Thomas Penrose (through Thomas’s sister) – https://www.wikitree.com

Genealogy of Michelle Pfeiffer (focusing on her mother’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Michelle’s maternal grandfather, Jacob Bernhard/Bernard/Bernhardt “Jake” Taverna, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Genealogy of Michelle’s maternal grandfather, Jacob Bernhard/Bernard/Bernhardt “Jake” Taverna – http://records.ancestry.com

Michelle’s maternal grandmother, Delma Lillian/Lilian Hill, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org


Curious about ethnicity

33 Responses

  1. E M says:

    To Kim J:

    Germans and Irish are ethinicities, not separate races. They both belong to the European (Caucasian) race.

  2. ?? says:

    mutts are mixed cultures and ethnicities, not just race.

  3. sharlene says:

    mutts are mixed race arent tehy?
    michelle is just european… im highly confused

    • KimJ says:

      *face palm* Europe is a continent. That is like saying all peoples in the Americas are one in the same. A German is not the same culturally or racially as an Irish person and so on. They each have different customs, history, language, culture, etc. etc. I am really surprised that this would be needed to be explained to anyone to be quite honest….

      I am mixed racially as well. Most Americans are. I am also a European mutt.

  4. ethnic says:

    I didnt notice Swedes looking like they were keeping a secret. lol.

  5. Anonymous says:

    ha very interesting.

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