Renée Zellweger

Zellweger in 2008, Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

Birth Name: Renée Kathleen Zellweger

Place of Birth: Katy, Harris, Texas, U.S.

Date of Birth: April 25, 1969

Ethnicity:
*father – Swiss
*mother – Norwegian, Finnish/Kven, Swedish, possible Sami, 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).

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, Finnish/Kven, and Swedish ancestry. She grew up in Ekkerøy near Vadsø, and in Kirkenes, and came to the U.S. to work for a Norwegian family.

Many 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. Sami are Indigenous people who inhabit Norway, Finland, and Sweden.

Some of Renée’s mother’s remote ancestors were Danish, German, and Scottish.

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/Moll-oluf Andreassen and Fredrikke Mathilde Strand. Emma was the daughter of Oluf Bernhof Hansen and Ingeborg Marta 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. 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

ethnic

Curious about ethnicity

36 Responses

  1. Susi says:

    Correction. She has Kveeni-ancestry. Kveeni’s are a group of Finnish descent people who moved to Norway, Finnmark, in 1600-1700. Kjellfrid (her mother) was partly Sami and Kveeni.

    • follers says:

      How do you know she has Sami ancestry?

      • Susi says:

        Yeah, actually that I looked into it (despite all second hand source claims), it seems like there’s no Sami ancestry, at least in the first 5 gens going back on Kjellfrid’s family background. I think it’s still highly likely that there is some – but if it’s relevant to Rénee… I wouldn’t say. Kjellfrid’s father’s side of family are all from Finnmark which is at the very top of Norway and Finland. Kjellfrid’s father’s father’s father’s father is named Andreas Olbeksen, I couldn’t work out where a name “Olbes” or “Olbek” could be from as it is Andreas’ father’s name (Olbeksen = Son of Olbes/k). There’s no info available in the internet any further, so if anyone knows about the origin of the name it could lead to conclusion if there’s some Sami ancestry or not. But in any case Andreassens are most probably Kvens/Kveenis.

        Kjellfrid Andreassen’s mother is named Hiltunen and her paternal grandmother’s last name was Kylmänen, so she definitely is Kven or Finnish in anycase. Kjellfrid’s mother could be half Swede/Norwegian too, since her name is Hedlund. Though it doesn’t tell much since it’s normal for a Finn to have Norwegian or Swedish last name. I’d say Rénee’s mother is possibly something like half Finnish/Kven and other half Norwegian, or mostly Kven.

        [Correction]

        All this info is from Geni.com and Gareva.com

        • Susi says:

          Forgot to add that Kjellfrid’s father’s mother is also from Finnmark. So Kven from father’s side, Finnish/Kven from mother’s father’s side and possibly Norwegian or Swedish from mother’s mother’s side. [correction]

  2. tttyyy says:

    Wish I was scandinavian

  3. bearboy says:

    Wow actually you’re right follers, it’s almost like looking in a mirror! :)

  4. Capricious says:

    She has no Sami ancestry. I mean just because someone has small hooded eyes they’re all of a sudden Sami or “Asiatic”?

    It’s an internet rumour. People saw her eyes that way, made fun of her and then be like “she is probably [insert indigenous group]”.

  5. Hi there, all is going sound here and ofcourse every one is sharing facts, that’s truly fine,
    keep up writing.

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