Nikki Reed

Reed in 2010, Featureflash /

Birth Name: Nicole Houston Reed

Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Birth: May 17, 1988

*father – three fourths Ashkenazi Jewish, one fourth German
*mother – English, one fourth Italian, as well as Scottish, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, German, Swiss-German, distant Welsh and French

Nikki Reed is an American actress, musician, model, and writer. She starred in and co-wrote the film Thirteen (2003), based on her life, and is also known for her roles in the Twilight saga, Lords of Dogtown, Mini’s First Time, In Your Eyes, and Chain Letter, and the show Sleepy Hollow, among other works.

Nikki is married to actor, model, and director Ian Somerhalder, with whom she has two children.

Nikki’s father, Seth Reed, a production designer, is of three quarters Ashkenazi Jewish, from the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Russia, and one quarter German, descent. Nikki’s mother, Cheryl Houston, a beautician, is of one quarter Italian descent, with her other roots being English, Scottish, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, German, Swiss-German, and distant Welsh and French. While she is not religious, Nikki has described herself as Jewish. Her brother was Bar Mitzvah.

Nikki has stated that her mother has Cherokee Native American ancestry. It is not clear if this Cherokee Native American ancestry has been verified/documented. No Native American ancestors appear on family trees of Nikki Reed, and Nikki’s maternal grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents are all listed as “White” on United States Censuses.

Nikki’s paternal grandfather is John August Reed (the son of Orrel Phillipius/Philip Reed and Frieda/Freida Kristina Biehle). John was born in Ohio. Orrel was born in Ohio, to David Fredrick Reed and Molly/Mollie Sampliner, who were Jewish emigrants from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Freida was also born in Ohio, the daughter of August Frederick Biehle and Christina Fredricka Mussler, emigrants from Alsace and Germany, who were of non-Jewish background. Freida’s brother, Nikki’s great-great-uncle, was modernist painter August Biehle (August Frederick Biehle, Jr.).

Nikki’s paternal grandmother was Laurel Rose “Laurie” Mattlin (the daughter of Moses Oscar Mattlin and Fayette Yelsky). Laurel was born in Ohio. Moses and Fayette was Russian Jewish immigrants. Moses was the son of Harris Mattlin and Ida Malinoff. Fayette was the daughter of Jacob Yelsky and Anna Getzlovitz.

Nikki’s maternal grandfather was Newton Stewart Houston, Jr. (the son of Newton Stewart Houston, Sr. and Lilian/Lilyan/Lillyan M. Sellarole). Nikki’s grandfather Newton was born in Maryland. Nikki’s great-grandfather Newton was the son of Newton Franklin Houston and Josephine May Forsythe. Lilian was born in New Jersey, the daughter of Italian parents, Domenicol Sellarole and Assunta Mary Sanzari, who was born in Benevento, Campania.

Nikki’s maternal grandmother was Jacqueline Lee Wilcox (the daughter of William Mitchell Wilcox and Merle Mildred Hall). Jacqueline was born in California. William was the son of George William Wilcox and Lessie Gay Foster. Merle was the daughter of Irvine Bertie Hall and Della Margaret Clodfelter.

Sources: Genealogy of Nikki Reed (focusing on her father’s side) –

Nikki’s paternal grandfather, John August Reed, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Nikki’s paternal great-grandfather, Orrel Phillipius/Philip Reed, on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Nikki’s paternal grandmother, Laurel Rose “Laurie” Mattlin, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Nikki’s maternal great-grandfather, Newton Stewart Houston, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Nikki’s maternal great-great-grandparents, Newton Franklin Houston and Josephine May Forsythe, on the 1900 U.S. Census –

Nikki’s maternal great-grandmother, Lilian/Lilyan/Lillyan M. Sellarole, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Nikki’s maternal grandmother, Jacqueline Lee Wilcox, on the 1940 U.S. Census –

Nikki’s maternal great-grandfather, William Mitchell Wilcox, on the 1910 U.S. Census –
William Mitchell Wilcox on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Nikki’s maternal great-grandmother, Merle Mildred Hall, on the 1920 U.S. Census –
Merle Mildred Hall on the 1930 U.S. Census –


Curious about ethnicity

16 Responses

  1. lelo4 says:

    Mediterranean/Jewish indeed.

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