Piper Perabo

Perabo in 2012, photo by PR Photos

Birth Name: Piper Lisa Perabo

Place of Birth: Dallas, Texas, U.S.

Date of Birth: October 31, 1976

*50% Norwegian
*37.5% German
*12.5% mix of Irish and English

Piper Perabo is an American actress. Her roles include Coyote Ugly, Cheaper by the Dozen, Angel Has Fallen, and Covert Affairs.

Piper is the daughter of Mary and George Perabo. Her father is of German, and some Irish and English, descent. Her mother is of Norwegian descent. Her brother is actor Noah Perabo. She was named after actress Piper Laurie. Piper is married to New Zealand actor, director, and writer Stephen Kay.

There are frequent statements in biographies of Piper Perabo that Perabo is a Portuguese surname, and/or that Piper Perabo’s father is of Portuguese ancestry. Piper herself has re-iterated these statements.

The surname Perabo is not Portuguese, nor are there any people of Portuguese ancestry with the surname Perabo, whose Portuguese ancestry originates from that surname. In fact, Piper’s Perabo line originates in Germany.

Piper’s paternal grandfather was Frederick William “Fred” Perabo (the son of Frederick/Fred Joseph Perabo and Edna Bertha Hammerstein). Piper’s grandfather Frederick was born in Missouri. Piper’s great-grandfather Frederick was German. He was born in Lorch, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, on December 26, 1878, the son of Valentine Perabo and Caroline Mohr. Valentine’s parents were Jacob Perabo, born c. 1807 in Lorch, and Caroline Diel.

Piper’s great-grandmother Edna was American-born, born in Missouri, and was the daughter of William Hammerstein and Mary Louisa/Lou Kleissle.

Piper’s paternal grandmother was Victoria Mabel Hernan (the daughter of Horace Smith Hernan and Theresa Hoehn). Victoria was born in Missouri. Horace was born in Maine, and had Irish and English ancestry. He was the son of Maurice Charles Hernan and Mabel Maria Smith. Theresa was of German descent, and was the daughter of George Leonard Hoehn and Victoria Mary Merstetter.

Piper’s maternal grandfather was Oscar Selmer Ulland (the son of Olans Ulland and Maria “Mary” P. Swenson). Olans was born in Minnesota, to Norwegian parents. Maria was born in Iowa, also to Norwegian parents.

Piper’s maternal grandmother was Charlotte O. Mattson (the daughter of Edward “Ed” Mattson and Elisa/Lisa Lovold/Louvauld). Charlotte was born in Minnesota. Edward and Elisa were both Norwegian immigrants.

Sources: A discussion of the Perabo family origins – http://www.perabo.info

Piper’s paternal grandfather, Frederick William “Fred” Perabo, on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Frederick William “Fred” Perabo on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org
Frederick William “Fred” Perabo on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Piper’s paternal grandmother, Victoria Mabel Hernan, on the 1930 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Piper’s maternal grandfather, Oscar Selmer Ulland, on the 1900 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org

Piper’s maternal grandmother, Charlotte O. Mattson (“Carlotte Matson”), on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org


Curious about ethnicity

35 Responses

  1. jonasbttencourt says:

    Perabo does not sound like a portuguese surname at all, at best sound french, but i have seen germans with similar surnames to that, so this variant is really not absurd and sounds perfectly fine in german. So the people who think it’s a portuguese surname really don’t know anything about the portuguese, they must think it’s a variant of Pêra or Pereira, even if these names sound WILDLY different from Perabo.

  2. danishcookie7 says:

    She’s so beautiful. Surely there were more flattering photos available to use.

  3. andrew says:

    Lorch is in Baden-Württemberg

  4. crunty says:

    North Americans have such great names.

  5. White18 says:

    May be that pic, but reminds me of a skinny Ursula from The Little Mermaid. Not trying to be mean just what I see.

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