Birth Name: Renée Kathleen Zellweger
Place of Birth: Katy, Harris, Texas, U.S.
Date of Birth: April 25, 1969
*father – Swiss
*mother – Norwegian, as well as Finnish/Kven, Swedish, Tornedalian, remote Danish, German, and Scottish
Renée Zellweger is an American actress and producer. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Cold Mountain (2003), and the Academy Award for Best Actress for Judy (2019). Her roles also include Chicago, Jerry Maguire, One True Thing, Nurse Betty, Bridget Jones’s Diary and its sequels, Cinderella Man, Appaloosa, What/If, Miss Potter, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation.
Renée’s father, Emil Erich Zellweger, was born in Au, a town in the canton of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and has Swiss-German ancestry. He is said to descend from an Appenzell noble family. Renée’s mother, Kjellfrid Irene (Andreassen), was born in Norway, of Norwegian, as well as Finnish/Kven, Swedish, Tornedalian, and remote Danish, German, and Scottish, ancestry. She grew up in Ekkerøy near Vadsø, and in Kirkenes, and came to the U.S. to work for a Norwegian family.
Some of Renée’s mother’s ancestors were from Sodankylä in northern Finland. During the 19th century, many Finns emigrated to Finnmark, in northern Norway; they are known as Kven, and both of Renée’s maternal grandparents were of part Kven descent.
Several internet sources state that Renée has Sami ancestry. It is not clear if this ancestry has been verified/documented. None of Renée’s recent or relatively recent ancestors are listed as Sami on Norwegian census records. Sami are Indigenous people who inhabit Norway, Finland, and Sweden.
Renée’s paternal grandfather may have been named Emil Zellweger.
Renée’s paternal grandmother may have been named Dorothy.
Renée’s maternal grandfather was Ove Magnar Ingolf Andreassen (the son of Johan Edvard/Edvart Charles Andreassen and Emma Ovidia/Ovidie Hansen). Ove was born in Ekkerøy, Finnmark, Norway. Johan was the son of Oluf Martin/Marthin/Moll-oluf Andreassen and Fredrikke Mathilde Strand. Emma was the daughter of Oluf Bernhof/Bernhoft Hansen/Hanssen and Ingeborg Marta/Marthe Eriksdatter Jørstad.
Renée’s maternal grandmother was Bjørga Johanna/Johanne Hildonen (the daughter of Isak Wilhelm Johansen Hildonen and Kathrine Jensdatter Hedlund). Bjørga was born in Tana, Norway. Isak was the son of Johan Daniel/Danielpoika/Danielsen/Danielinpoika Hiltuen/Hiltunen/Hildonen, who was born in Kairala, Pelkosenniemi, Finland, and of Johanne Kathrine Johannestyttär/Johansdatter Kylmänen/Kullmann, who was born in Kvalsund, Finnmark, Norway, and had Finnish and Tornedalian ancestry. Renée’s great-grandmother Kathrine was born in Vefsn, Norway, the daughter of Swedish parents, Jens Paulsen Hedlund, from Härjedalen, Jämtland, and Brita Isaksdatter Bergstrøm, from Åre, Jämtland.
Sources: Genealogy of Renée Zellweger – http://www.geni.com
Genealogy of Renée Zellweger (focusing on her mother’s side) – http://www.valerius.org.uk
Genealogy of Renée’s maternal grandfather, Ove Magnar Ingolf Andreassen – http://www.gareva.com
Renée’s maternal great-great-grandparents, Oluf Martin/Marthin/Moll-oluf Andreassen and Fredrikke Mathilde Strand, on the 1891 Norway Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Renée’s maternal great-great-grandparents, Oluf Bernhof/Bernhoft Hansen/Hanssen and Ingeborg Marta/Marthe Eriksdatter Jørstad, on the 1891 Norway Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Renée’s maternal great-grandfather, Isak Wilhelm Johansen Hildonen, on the 1900 Norway Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Renée’s maternal great-grandmother, Kathrine Jensdatter Hedlund, on the 1891 Norway Census – https://www.familysearch.org