Rick Danko

Birth Name: Richard Clare Danko

Date of Birth: December 29, 1943

Place of Birth: Blayney, Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada

Date of Death: December 10, 1999

Place of Death: Marbletown, New York, U.S.

*father – Ukrainian
*mother – English, Irish, Scottish, German

Rick Danko was a Canadian musician, bassist, songwriter, and singer. He was the bassist, rhythm guitarist, and co-vocalist of the rock band The Band. Other members of The Band included Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel, and Robbie Robertson.

Rick was the son of Leola Madeline (Smith) and Maurice “Tom” Danko. He was married to Elizabeth, until his death. He had two children with his former wife Grace Seldner.

Rick’s paternal grandparents likely were Joseph Danko and Presvakeviya. Joseph and Presvakeviya were born in Austria-Hungary, likely of Ukrainian descent.

Rick’s maternal grandfather was William Norman Smith (the son of Samuel James Smith and Bethiah/Bethire Algena/Elgena/Elgina Sherman). William was born in Port Dover, Norfolk County, Ontario. Samuel was the son of John L. Smith, who was Irish, and of Sarah Ann Belbeck, who was English. Bethiah was the daughter of Joseph Francis Sherman and Charlotte Bye, whose parents were English.

Rick’s maternal grandmother was Lena Matilda Easton (the daughter of William George Easton and Elizabeth May/Ann Youmans). Lena was born in Charlotteville, Norfolk County, Ontario. William was the son of Daniel William Easton, whose parents were English, and of Elizabeth B. Laing, who was Scottish. Rick’s great-grandmother Elizabeth was the daughter of David Richard Youmans and Hannah Matilda Wilson.

Sources: Likely Rick’s father on the 1916 Canadian Census – https://familysearch.org

Genealogy of Rick Danko (focusing on his mother’s side) – https://wc.rootsweb.com

Marriage record of Rick’s maternal grandparents, William Norman Smith and Lena Matilda Easton – https://www.familysearch.org

Genealogy of Rick’s maternal grandfather, William Norman Smith – https://www.familysearch.org

Genealogy of Rick’s maternal grandmother, Lena Matilda (Easton) Smith – https://www.findagrave.com

Names of some of Rick’s relatives – http://theband.hiof.no

2 Responses

  1. madman says:


    Leola —> Leola Madeline (Smith)

    So her mother is not of Ukrainian descent. Bablah, is his father’s ethnicity correct? I’m pretty sure the census is of Rick’s father.

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