Nigella Lawson

Birth Name: Nigella Lucy Lawson

Place of Birth: Wandsworth, London, England, U.K.

Date of Birth: 6 January, 1960

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

Nigella Lawson is a British celebrity chef, journalist, broadcaster, gourmet, television personality, and writer.

Nigella is the daughter of Vanessa Mary Addison (Salmon) and Nigel Lawson, Baron Lawson of Blaby. Her father, a Conservative Party politician, was a Member of Parliament for Blaby, from 28 February, 1974 to 9 April, 1992, and Chancellor of the Exchequer, from 11 June, 1983 to 26 October, 1989, among other duties. Her mother was an heiress to the J. Lyons and Co. restaurant chain. Among Nigella’s siblings is journalist Dominic Lawson. Nigella was married to journalist and broadcaster John Diamond, until his death, with whom she has two children.

Nigella’s parents were/are both Jewish. Her ancestors were Jewish emigrants from Latvia, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, and more distantly, France. She appeared on the show Who Do You Think You Are?, 2006, where she traced some of her ancestry. She had believed that she had Sephardi Jewish roots, but the show discovered only Ashkenazi Jewish recent ancestors.

Nigella’s paternal grandfather was Ralph Lawson (the son of Gustav Leibson and Fanny/Fannie Englander). Ralph was born in St Georges E., London. Gustav was born in Latvia. Fanny was born in Austria, the daughter of Louis Englander and Rosie.

Nigella’s paternal grandmother was Joan Elisa Davis (the daughter of Bernard David Davis and Alice Irene Hess). Joan was born in West Hampstead, London. Bernard was the son of Charles Isaac Davis and Sarah Isabella Engel. Alice was the daughter of Frederick Solomon Hess and Elizabeth Jacobs.

Nigella’s maternal grandfather was Felix Addison Salmon (the son of Alfred Salmon and Frances Abrahams). Felix was born in Kensington, London, England. Alfred was born in London, and was chairman of J. Lyons and Co., from 1923 to 1928. Alfred’s father, Barnett Solomons/Salmon, was a British tobacco manufacturer, and co-founder of Salmon & Gluckstein; he was born in Rheinberg, Düsseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Alfred’s mother, Helena Gluckstein, was born in London, to a father from Rheinberg, businessperson Samuel Gluckstein, who founded Salmon & Gluckstein tobacco merchants, and to a mother from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Nigella’s great-grandmother Frances was the daughter of Abraham Abrahams/Abraham and Julia Gluckstein.

Nigella’s maternal grandmother was Rosemary Estella/Estelle Levy/Lever (the daughter of Frederick Levy and Julia Gluckstein). Rosemary was born in Hampstead, London. Frederick was the son of Isaac Louis/Lewis Levy and Henrietta Rachel Moses, who was born in Glamorgan, Wales. Julia was the daughter of Isidore/Isidor Gluckstein, who was director of the Salmon & Gluckstein tobacco merchants, which had been founded by his father, and of Rose Cohen.

Lawson at a book signing, 2004, photo credit: Phil Guest

Sources: Write-up of Nigella’s appearance on Who Do You Think You Are? (2006) –

Genealogy of Nigella Lawson –

Genealogy of Nigella Lawson (incorrectly identifies Nigella’s maternal grandmother and her genealogy) –


Curious about ethnicity

8 Responses

  1. Devotion says:

    You forgot 30% MILF.

  2. lisa says:

    I always thought she was Italian

  3. theropod says:

    Eastern European? That’s an ethnicity or you don’t know the specific country there.

    • Vik27 says:

      She is Jewish.we Ashkenazim are genetically half Italian and half middle eastern. Before Germany we came from Italy and before that Judea . Ashkenazim are ITALIAN Jews who are genetically levantines and Graeco-Roman from southern italy central italy and Greece who migrated to Germany from Italy and then moved eastwards to Eastern Europe.

  4. Jennifer says:

    Her father is also Ashkenazi Jewish, with roots from Latvia.

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