Paul Giamatti

paul giamatti crop

Giamatti in 2011, Featureflash /

Birth Name: Paul Edward Valentine Giamatti

Place of Birth: New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.

Date of Birth: June 6, 1967

Ethnicity: Italian (paternal grandfather), English, German, Dutch, Irish, distant Scottish, remote Welsh, French, Cornish, and Frisian

Paul Giamatti is an American actor, comedian, and film producer. He has starred in the films Private Parts, Saving Private Ryan, Man on the Moon, Big Momma’s House, Planet of the Apes (2001), Big Fat Liar, American Splendor, Sideways, Cinderella Man, The Illusionist, Shoot ‘Em Up, Fred Claus, The Last Station, Win Win, The Ides of March, 12 Years a Slave, Saving Mr. Banks, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, San Andreas, Love & Mercy, Straight Outta Compton, Private Life, and The Holdovers, and television’s John Adams and Billions.

Paul is the son of Toni Marilyn (Smith), an actress and teacher, and A. Bartlett Giamatti (Angelo Bartlett Giamatti), a professor of English literature, who served as President of Yale University, from December 20, 1978 to June 10, 1986, President of the National League (baseball), from June 10, 1986 to April 1, 1989, and Commissioner of Baseball, from April 1, 1989 to September 1, 1989. Actor Marcus Giamatti is his brother. Paul has a son with his former wife Elizabeth Cohen.

Paul’s paternal grandfather was of Italian descent. The remainder of Paul’s ancestry is English, German, Dutch, Irish, distant Scottish, and remote Welsh, French, Cornish, and Frisian.

Paul’s paternal grandfather was Valentine John Giamatti (the son of Angelo Giammattei and Maria Lavorgna). Paul’s grandfather Valentine was born in New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut, to Italian parents. Angelo was from Telese Terme, Province of Benevento, Campania, the son of Pasquale Giamattei and Philomena Procini. Maria was from San Lorenzello, also in Province of Benevento, the daughter of Luigi Lavorgna and Maria Giovanna Sagnella. The surname Giamatti was originally spelled Giammattei.

Paul’s paternal grandmother was Mary/Marion Claybaugh Walton (the daughter of Bartlett Walton and Helen Buffum Davidson). Paul’s grandmother Mary was born in Wakefield, Middlesex, Massachusetts, and was of mainly English descent, with remote Scottish roots. She had considerable Colonial American ancestry. Bartlett was born in Massachusetts, the son of Arthur Gould Walton and Mary Ellen Bartlett. Helen was born in South Berwick, York, Maine, the daughter of James Thomas Davidson and Sarah Elizabeth Burleigh. Sarah’s father, John H. Burleigh, was a Republican Party politician, who was a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Maine, from March 4, 1873 to March 3, 1877. John’s father, William Burleigh, was also a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, from the same Maine district, from March 4, 1823 to July 2, 1827.

Paul’s maternal grandfather was Abram/Abraham/Abe E. Smith (the son of David Thomas Smith and Mary E. Stansfield). Abram was born in Weston, Somerset, New Jersey. David was the son of Abram/Abraham T. Smith and Sarah Jane Voorhees, and was of heavily Dutch descent, along with English, and very remote French, roots. Mary E. was the daughter of James A. Stansfield, an English immigrant, and of Elizabeth Byers, who was likely of English descent.

Paul’s maternal grandmother was Kathryn/Catherine/Catharine E. Brown (the daughter of Commodore Alfred Y. Brown and Nettie Klinck). Kathryn was born in New York. Commodore Alfred was the son of Frank Brown, who was born in Canada, and of Marsala, who was born in Ireland. Nettie was born in New York, to David George Klinck and Nettie Hummel, who were of German descent. Nettie Hummel’s parents, Paul’s great-great-great-grandparents, were Georg R. Hummel and Gertrude Geier.

Sources: Genealogies of Paul Giamatti –

Paul’s paternal grandmother, Mary/Marion Claybaugh Walton, on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Marriage record of Paul’s maternal grandparents, Abram/Abraham/Abe E. Smith and Kathryn/Catherine/Catharine E. Brown –

Paul’s maternal grandfather, Abram/Abraham/Abe E. Smith, on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Paul’s maternal grandmother, Kathryn/Catherine/Catharine E. Brown, on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Baptismal record of Paul’s maternal great-great-grandmother, Nettie Hummel –

Paul’s maternal great-great-grandmother, Nettie Hummel, on the 1880 U.S. Census –


Curious about ethnicity

14 Responses

  1. Smellybert says:

    Despite his 25% Italian ancestry Paul Giamatti can still largely pass as white.
    His Semitic Italian features are still there, though.

  2. drzaius21 says:

    Mainly of English descent and has some Italian, Irish, German, Dutch and some distant Scottish, remote Welsh, French, Cornish, and Frisian

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