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. Malin Roseen says:

    No,most of us Swedes don’t talk so much.
    Not all of us,but many people think we are not shy,we’re
    not so open.
    But we can be open,if they make us relax or just taking a beer.
    Real swedes can handle alcohol,we have it in our veins..

  2. Nicole says:

    Her mother’s maiden name is Taverna. That is a surname of Italian origin and Switzerland has a lot of people with mixed German, Swiss, Italian backgrounds.

  3. tash says:

    well actually irish are of celtic origins. Swiss, German, Dutch and Swedish are of germanic origins or baltic.

    • alex says:

      Yep Irish, Scottish are of celtic origins. German, Dutch and Swedish are germanic.. Swiss people are mixed.. italians, french, germans etc.

      • Alice says:

        Celtic and Germanic are cultural attributes. If people remember the Celts were supposed to come from Switzerland/Germany area. The German people especially East Germans are mainly Slavic. If anyone looked at dna plots they would see it is a bit silly to get culture and genetics mixed up.

        • Freerk says:

          We always mix up. Celtic and Germanic and so on are ethnic attributes – that twisted a bit between genetic and (mainly) cultural parameters. In Middle Europe the people are a complete mix of genetics, language, and general culture, as a result of 3,000 years of extensive migrations by Celtic, Germanic, Romanic and Slavic peoples (plus Hungarians) and the older original peoples. Nevertheless you can still see regionally typical faces.

          The direction of migrations is mainly from the north to the south, so you can say a northern European is genetically relatively “pure” (with “p” like in “incest”) northern European, while a southern European is more or less a mixture of the indigenous southern European peoples and those Celts and/or Germanics who searched for a better life in the warm south.

          While the cultural influences go from the south to the north – the Germanic tribes were influenced by the Celtic tribes who were influenced by the Romans who were influenced by the Greek. “Influence” may be a bit understatement.

          If you talk about Romance peoples for example, you talk about language, because “Romance” are people who speak a language that is derived from Latin.

          The “Romance” French are mainly the descendants of Celts and Franks (a Germanic tribe), but their culture has deeply been influenced by the Romans and their language is mainly a derivate of the Latin language.

          The northern Germans are Germanic (sounds a bit silly …), in South Germany the people about 500 BC were Celtic (France and South Germany were the core territory of the Celts), then Germanic tribes came from the north and built the dominant group, while the Celts spread over Europe; East Germany and Poland have been under changing dominance between Slavic and Germanic peoples for more than 2,000 years.

          We use to say people are Germanic or Romanic or Celtic or Slavic, but in fact they all are different mixes and we see just the recent dominant linguistic state.

          Except regions like that I come from where nobody wanted to settle down who hasn’t been there for the last 3,000 years … :-(

  4. Sharon says:

    She looks Swedish.

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