Ryan Gosling

Gosling in 2011, s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

Birth Name: Ryan Thomas Gosling

Place of Birth: London, Ontario, Canada

Date of Birth: November 12, 1980

Ethnicity: French-Canadian (half), English, Scottish, Irish, as well as more distant German, likely 1/128th African-American

Ryan Gosling is a Canadian actor, writer, director, musician, and producer. His roles include the films Remember the Titans, The Believer, Murder by Numbers, The Slaughter Rule, The United States of Leland, The Notebook, Stay (2005), Half Nelson, Fracture, Lars and the Real Girl, Blue Valentine, All Good Things, Crazy, Stupid, Love; Drive, The Ides of March, Gangster Squad, The Place Beyond the Pines, Only God Forgives, The Big Short, The Nice Guys, La La Land, Song to Song, Blade Runner 2049, First Man, The Gray Man, Barbie, and, as the narrator, ReGeneration; and the shows The Mickey Mouse Club, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Goosebumps, Breaker High, and Young Hercules. He directed and wrote the film Lost River. He is also a member of rock duo Dead Man’s Bones. Ryan is a co-owner of Moroccan restaurant Tagine. He is an endorser of PETA, humanitarian organization Enough Project, and peace promotion efforts in Africa; including supporting the group Invisible Children and traveling to conflict-torn areas in Chad, Uganda, and eastern Congo.

He is the son of Donna, a secretary, and Thomas Gosling, a traveling salesman for a paper mill. Ryan was raised in a Mormon (LDS) family. He grew up in Cornwall and Burlington in Ontario. Ryan has two children with his partner, American actress Eva Mendes.

Ryan is the first person born in the 1980s to have been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor (for Half Nelson, 2006), and thus could be considered the first millennial to have done so.

Ryan is of approximately half French-Canadian ancestry; his father is of roughly three eighths French-Canadian descent, and his mother is of roughly five eighths French-Canadian ancestry. Ryan’s other roots include English, Scottish, Irish, and more distant German. Ryan and singers Justin Bieber and Avril Lavigne are distant cousins, connected through Québec’s earliest French settlers.

Ryan’s five times paternal great-grandfather, James-Jacques Robinson/Robertson, was described as “Negro” (black) in contemporaneous records, and may have been from the United States. He married Ryan’s five times great-grandmother, Marie Trottier, who was French-Canadian. This likely makes Ryan of approximately 1/128th African-American ancestry.

Ryan’s paternal grandfather was George Bigelow Gosling (the son of George Percy Gosling and Bessie Rae/Ray Bigelow). Ryan’s grandfather George was born in Cornwall, Stormont, Ontario. Ryan’s great-grandfather George was the son of George Edward Gosling, who was born in Kensington, London, England, and of Caroline Minerva Snetsinger, who was of mostly German and Scottish descent. Bessie was the daughter of William Stone/Stern Bigelow, whose mother was born in County Wexford, Ireland, and of Mary Miller, who was Scottish, from Perthshire.

Ryan’s paternal grandmother was Mary Yvette Brown (the daughter of Joseph Brown and Mary Ann/Marie-Anne Bélaire). Ryan’s grandmother Mary was born in North Glengarry, Stormont, Ontario. Joseph was the son of Frederick/Frederic/Fred Brown, an English immigrant, and of Rosanna/Rosie/Rose Anna Proulx, who was born in St. Eugene, Prescott and Russell, Ontario, of mostly French-Canadian ancestry. Ryan’s great-grandmother Mary Ann was the daughter of Julien/Julian/Jules Olivier Bélaire/Belair and Matilda/Mathilda/Mathilde/Exelda Séguin, and also had French-Canadian ancestry.

Ryan’s maternal grandfather was Robert Thomas “Bob” Wilson (the son of Henry/Harry Thomas Wilson and Marie Georgina Victoria Dextras/Dextraze). Henry was the son of James Thomas Wilson, who was English, and of Bertha Louisa Hacker/Hackett, whose parents were from Wiltshire, England. Marie Georgina was of French-Canadian descent, the daughter of Joseph Dextras/Dextraze and Marie Célina Elizabeth Quenneville.

Ryan’s maternal grandmother is Ruby Kitts (the daughter of Gérald/Gerrold Kitts and Rose Emma Lalonde). Ruby is of mostly French-Canadian, and some Irish, descent. Gérald was the son of Henry John Kitts and Helen/Hélène Françoise “Ellen” Massia. Rose was the daughter of Alexandre/Alexander Lalonde and Catherine Harriet Piché/Picher.

Ryan’s matrilineal line can be traced to Catherine Guyard, who was born, c. 1639, in Paris, France, and to Catherine’s mother, Madeleine Venne.

Sources: Genealogies of Ryan Gosling – http://www.nosorigines.qc.ca

Genealogy of Ryan Gosling (focusing on his father’s side) – http://famouskin.com

Marriage record of Ryan’s paternal great-great-grandparents, George Edward Gosling and Caroline Minerva Snetsinger – https://www.familysearch.org

Genealogy of Ryan’s paternal great-great-great-great-great-grandmother, Marie Trottier – https://www.geni.com

Genealogy of Ryan’s maternal great-grandfather, Gérald/Gerrold Kitts – https://www.findagrave.com

Report on Ryan’s distant relatives – http://www.torontosun.com

Family tree showing the relation between Ryan Gosling, Avril Lavigne, and Justin Bieber – http://www.aceshowbiz.com


Curious about ethnicity

31 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    He played a Jewish in denial character in The Believer

  2. follers says:

    He’s black.

  3. madman says:

    Henry John Kitts was of Irish, not English, descent.


    His own father was born in England, but was likely of Irish descent. He was a Roman Catholic from Lancashire, and his mother’s maiden name was “Kearns” which is Irish.

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