Birth Name: Sarah E. Polley
Place of Birth: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Date of Birth: January 8, 1979
*biological father – Ashkenazi Jewish
*mother – Scottish, Northern Irish
Sarah Polley is a Canadian actress, writer, director, producer, and political activist. She is known for her independent film roles, largely Canadian, including The Sweet Hereafter, The Hanging Garden, and Last Night, and for writing and directing the films Away from Her and Women Talking, and the documentary Stories We Tell.
Sarah’s mother, Diane Elizabeth, an actress, was of mainly Scottish ancestry, along with Northern Irish.
Sarah was raised believing that her biological father was Michael Polley, her mother’s husband, who was an English-born actor. As an adult, Sarah discovered that her biological father was Harry Gulkin, a producer, which she confirmed with a DNA test. Harry Gulkin’s parents were Jewish emigrants from Russia. Harry and Diane were working on a play together during Sarah’s conception. This background was recounted in Sarah’s documentary Stories We Tell.
Sarah is married to David Sandomierski, with whom she has three children.
Sarah’s biological paternal grandfather was named Pyotr/Peter Ilyich Gulkin.
Sarah’s biological paternal grandmother was named Clara Raya Shinderman.
Sarah’s maternal grandfather was Ewen Angus “Murray” MacMillan (the son of Bain Donald McBean MacMillan and Margaret Elizabeth McQuade). Ewen was born in Finch, Stormont, Ontario, Canada. Donald was the son of Angus MacMillan, who was born in Fort William, Inverness-shire, Scotland, and of Mary E. Cameron. Margaret was the daughter of James McQuade and Margaret Elizabeth Ingram, whose parents were from Northern Ireland.
Sarah’s maternal grandmother was Eliza McDonald (the daughter of Archibald B. McDonald and Elizabeth Bell). Sarah’s grandmother Eliza was born in Apin, Ontario, Canada. Archibald was the son of David McDonald and Margaret Seaton. Sarah’s great-grandmother Elizabeth was the daughter of Richard Bell and Elma Heavener.
Sources: Genealogy of Sarah Polley – https://www.geni.com
Obituary Sarah’s father, Michael Polley – https://www.canadianobituaries.com
The Forward article about Sarah’s biological father, Harry Gulkin – http://forward.com
Genealogy of Sarah Polley (focusing on her mother’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com
Genealogy of Sarah’s maternal great-grandmother, Margaret Elizabeth McQuade (focusing on her own mother’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com
Birth record of Sarah’s maternal grandmother, Eliza McDonald – https://www.familysearch.org
Marriage record of Sarah’s maternal great-grandparents, Archibald B. McDonald and Elizabeth Bell – https://www.familysearch.org