Birth Name: Ronald William Howard
Place of Birth: Duncan, Oklahoma, U.S.
Date of Birth: March 1, 1954
Ethnicity: German, English, Scottish, Irish, remote Dutch
Ron Howard is an American director, producer, and actor. He won the Academy Award for Best Director for A Beautiful Mind (2001). First gaining fame for his roles on The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days, and in the films The Shootist and American Graffiti, among many other performances, he transitioned to directing, including also the films Splash, Cocoon, Parenthood, Far and Away, Apollo 13, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Cinderella Man, Frost/Nixon, and In the Heart of the Sea.
He is the son of actors Rance Howard (born Harold Rance Beckenholdt) and Jean Speegle Howard (born Jean Frances Speegle). He is married to writer Cheryl (Alley) Howard. Among their four children is actresses Bryce Dallas Howard and Paige Howard. Ron’s brother is actor Clint Howard.
Ron’s father changed his surname from Beckenholdt to Howard when he became an actor, before Ron was born. Ron’s paternal grandfather was of German descent, and Ron also has more distant German ancestry from his mother’s Speegle line. Ron’s other roots are English, Scottish, Irish, and remote Dutch.
Ron has also been described as having Cherokee Native American ancestry. It is not clear if this Cherokee ancestry has been verified/documented.
Ron’s paternal grandfather was Engel/Engle E. Beckenholdt (the son of J. Heinrich/Henry Beckenholdt and Caroline Engelking). Engel was born in Kansas, of German descent. J. Heinrich was the son of John W. Beckenholdt and Wilhelmina. Caroline was the daughter of Heinrich/Henry T. F. Engelking and Sophia Cathrina Wulber.
Ron’s paternal grandmother was Ethel Cleo Tomlin (the daughter of Ralph Jedediah Tomlin and Carrie Melissa Freeman). Ethel was born in Kansas. Ralph was the son of Lorenzo Dow Tomlin and Lucinda Knotts. Carrie was the daughter of William Claurdia Freeman and Sarah Elizabeth Ferguson/Fergusen.
Ron’s maternal grandfather was William Allen Speegle (the son of William Tate Speegle and Lela Allen). Ron’s grandfather William was born in Oklahoma. Ron’s great-grandfather William was the son of Noah Speegle and Tempie Saphromia Rector. Lela was the daughter of Jesse Allen and Rebecca Ann Wade.
Ron’s maternal grandmother was Louise Dewey (the daughter of Edward Chancy Dewey and Sallie Ballard Johnston). Louise was born in Oklahoma. Edward was the son of William Spencer Dewey and Sarah W. Stewart. Sallie was the daughter of Pulaski Lafayette Fate Johnston and Sallie E. Ballard.
Sources: Genealogies of Ron Howard – http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com
Genealogies and obituaries of Ron’s parents – https://www.findagrave.com
Obituary of Ron’s father – http://www.legacy.com
Genealogy of Ron’s mother – https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/18421/Jean-Speegle-Howard
Obituary of Ron’s father – http://www.legacy.com/news/celebrity-deaths/notable-deaths/article/rance-howard-1928-2017-director-ron-howards-father-was
He looks old and young at the same time