Michelle Williams

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Williams in 2013, image via Prphotos.com

Birth Name: Michelle Ingrid Williams

Place of Birth: Kalispell, Montana, U.S.

Date of Birth: September 9, 1980

Ethnicity: Norwegian (43.75%), as well as English, German, Danish, Swiss-German, Swedish, Scottish, and Welsh

Michelle Williams is an American actress. She has had leading roles in Brokeback Mountain, Blue Valentine, My Week with Marilyn, Manchester by the Sea, and The Fabelmans, all of which she has been nominated for an Oscar for; and has also appeared in the films Lassie, Species, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, Dick, But I’m a Cheerleader, Me Without You, Prozac Nation, The Station Agent, The Hottest State, I’m Not There, Deception, Synecdoche, New York; Wendy and Lucy, Shutter Island, Meek’s Cutoff, Oz the Great and Powerful, Certain Women, Wonderstruck, The Greatest Showman, All the Money in the World, I Feel Pretty, Venom, and its sequel; and After the Wedding, and on television’s Dawson’s Creek and Fosse/Verdon.

Michelle is the daughter of Carla Ingrid (Swenson) and Larry Richard Williams, an author, stock and commodity trader, and politician, who was the Republican Party’s nominee for the U.S. Senate from Montana, in 1978 and 1982. Michelle’s father is of one half Norwegian, one quarter German, and approximately one quarter English, ancestry, along with distant Scottish roots. Michelle’s mother is of three eighths Norwegian, one eighth Swedish, one eighth Swiss-German, one eighth Danish, possibly one eighth English, one sixteenth Welsh, and one sixteenth Scottish, ancestry. Thus, Michelle is of 43.75% Norwegian ancestry.

Her family moved to San Diego, California, when she was nine.

Michelle is married to film and theatre director Thomas Kail. She has a daughter with her former partner, late actor Heath Ledger; and two children with Thomas.

Michelle’s patrilineal line traces to Stephen Williams, who was born, c. 1584, in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England. Stephen’s son, Robert Williams, immigrated to the United States.

Michelle’s paternal grandfather was Richard Sigwart Williams (the son of Lloyd Garfield Williams and Mae/May Elizabeth Sigwart). Richard was born in Miles City, Custer, Montana. Lloyd was born in Loraine, Polk, Wisconsin, the son of Frank Thomas Williams, from New York, and of Mary Adelaide Thurston, from Maine; and had English, and distant Scottish, ancestry. Michelle’s great-grandmother Mae was born in Laramie, Albany, Wyoming, the daughter of Gustav/Gus/Guy N./W. Sigwart and Augusta/Gussie Boehme, and had German ancestry.

Michelle’s paternal grandmother was Sylva Berthea Brurs (the daughter of John Bertin Tobiasson Brørs/Brurs and Thea Nelson). Sylva was born in Lewistown, Fergus, Montana. John was born in Namdalseid, Nord-Trøndelag, Norway, the son of Tobias Olson Brørs/Brurs and Sanna/Sana Olsdatter/Olson Kaldalbakken. Thea was born in Fosston, Polk, Minnesota. Her father, Martin Nelson, was born in Wisconsin, to Norwegian parents. Thea’s mother, Margaret/Margit/Maggie O. Tollefson/Tollofson, was born in Austin, Mower, Minnesota, also to Norwegian parents, Ole Tollefson/Tollefsen and Gunvor Svendsdatter, with roots in Espeset, Nes, Buskerud.

Michelle’s maternal grandfather was Floyd Dulane Swenson (the son of Fred Reid/Reed Swenson and Lula/Lulu Schenk). Floyd was born in Bynum, Teton, Montana. Fred was born in Spanish Fork, Utah Co., Utah. Fred’s father, John Oluf Swenson, was born in Utah, to Swedish parents, August Swenson, from Stafsinge, Halland, and Bertha Olson Peterson/Persson, from (Valby) Kyrkheddinge, Malmohus. Fred’s mother, Priscilla/Priscella M. Lewis, was born in Utah, to a Welsh emigrant father, Frederick Lewis, from Glamorgan, and a Scottish emigrant mother, Agnes R. Ferguson, from Lanarkshire. Michelle’s great-grandmother Lula was born in Lund, Caribou, Idaho. Lula’s father, Karl “Charles” Schenk, was born in Eggiwil, Signau, Canton of Bern, Switzerland, the son of Samuel Schenk and Magdalena Aebersold, and had Swiss-German ancestry. Lula’s mother, Michelle’s great-great-grandmother, Martine/Martina Larsen, was born in Denmark, the daughter of Poul/Paul Christian Larsen and Johanna Maria/Marie Poulson/Polson.

Michelle’s maternal grandmother was Doris Ingrid Reiquam (the daughter of William Daniel Reiquam and Bessie Perry Crane). Doris was born in Choteau, Teton, Montana. William was born in Belgrade, Stearns, Minnesota, the son of Norwegian parents, Kristoffer/Christopher Andreas Reiakvam/Reiquam and Anna/Annie/Anne Sophie Danielson, who were from Naustdal, Sogn og Fjordane. Michelle’s great-grandmother Bessie was born in Choteau, the daughter of Charles Perry Crane, who was born in Indiana, and of Elizabeth Inge/Inga Balstad, who was Norwegian, with parents from Rendalen, Hedmark.

Michelle is a fourth cousin, once removed, of actor Aidan Gallagher, and a fourth cousin of filmmaker Jerusha Hess. Michelle’s maternal great-great-great-grandparents, Samuel Schenk and Magdalena Aebersold, were also Aidan’s paternal great-great-great-great-grandparents, and Jerusha’s maternal great-great-great-grandparents.

Sources: Genealogies of Michelle Williams – https://www.geni.com

Genealogy of Michelle Williams (focusing on her father’s side) – http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com

Michelle’s paternal grandfather, Richard Sigwart Williams, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Michelle’s paternal grandmother, Sylva Berthea Brurs, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Michelle’s paternal great-grandmother, Thea Nelson, on the 1900 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Michelle’s maternal great-grandmother, Lula/Lulu Schenk, on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

6 Responses

  1. Deutschland9France says:

    Strange how so many of these celebs are marked as having Welsh ancestry but according to statistics, only .6% of Americans can trace back to Wales

  2. Deutschland9France says:

    She looks almost identical to Jennifer Lawerence

  3. bablah says:

    Michelle’s 3rd great-grandparents, Samuel Schenk and Magdalena Aebersold, were also 4th great-grandparents of Aidan Gallagher and 3rd great-grandparents of Jerusha Hess.
    That makes Michelle and Jerusha 4th cousins, and both of them 4th cousins once removed of Aidan.


  4. hesh123 says:

    Hipster I hate her

  5. follers says:

    BTW, just like Matthew Gray Gubler, Michelle has a good chunk of ancestors who were in the LDS (Mormon) church, as all those Scandinavian and Swiss immigrant ancestors to Utah suggest.

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