Shane West

West in 2010, photo by DFree /

Birth Name: Shannon Bruce Snaith

Place of Birth: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.

Date of Birth: June 10, 1978

*father – Jamaican [English, Sephardi Jewish, African, distant Scottish]
*mother – Cajun [French], distant Spanish, English, and Irish

Shane West is an American actor, punk rock musician, and songwriter. His roles include the films Whatever It Takes, A Walk to Remember, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and What We Do Is Secret, and television’s Once and Again, ER, Nikita, and Salem. He has performed with the bands the Germs, Jonny Was, and the Twilight Creeps.

Shane’s father, Don Snaith, was born in Jamaica, of English, about one quarter Sephardi Jewish [Spanish Jewish and Portuguese Jewish], African, and distant Scottish, ancestry. Shane’s Sephardi Jewish ancestry can be traced to Eliau López, who was born, c. 1648, in Málaga, Spain, and to Eliau’s wife, Rachel de David Nunes da Fonseca, who was born, c. 1656, in Seville, Andalusia, Spain.

Shane’s mother, Leah, is from a Cajun [French] family, and also has distant Spanish, English, and Irish ancestry.

Shane’s patrilineal line can be traced to John Snaith, who was born, c. 1730, in Wolsingham, County Durham, England, and to John’s wife, Jane Griffin.

Shane’s paternal grandfather was Walter Arthur Parcell Snaith (the son of Walter Herbert Snaith and Annie Marjorie/Margaret/Marguerite Parcell/Parcells). Shane’s grandfather Walter was born in Morant Bay, St. Thomas, Jamaica. Shane’s great-grandfather Walter was the son of George Burrell Snaith and Laura Eliza Jane Kirkland. Annie was the daughter of Arthur Parcells and Margaret Miller Senior.

Shane’s paternal grandmother was Marjorie Isobel/Isabel Ruth DeFonseca/Fonseca (the daughter of Rupert Everton/Ederlan Fonseca/DeFonseca and Bertha Ann Katherine/Catherine England). Marjorie was born in Port Maria, Saint Mary, Jamaica. Shane’s great-grandfather Rupert was of mostly Sephardi Jewish background; he was the son of John Wesley/Westly Fonseca/DeFonseca and Mildred Levay/Levy; John was the son of John Fonseca/DeFonseca and Louisa Deleon/DeLeon, and Mildred was the daughter of Isaac/Isaak Levay/Levy and Mary Ann Grant. Shane’s great-grandmother Bertha was the daughter of Edmund Deville England and Anna Helena Mason. Her brother was listed as black on various records.

Shane’s maternal grandfather was John Glynn/Glenn Launey (the son of Aloysius Launey and Bertha/Berthe DuBois). John was born in Louisiana. Aloysius was the son of Aristide Hector Launey and Marie Elia Brignac. Bertha was the daughter of Bernard Dorcini Dubois and Marie Ermina/Hermina Lanoux.

Shane’s maternal grandmother is Leah Jacqueline “Jackie” Ardoin (the daughter of Charles Burkman/Berchman Ardoin and Bessie Marie Guillory). Charles was the son of Didier Ardoin and Isabella/Isabelle Quirk. Bessie was the daughter of Jules Dolze/Dolsey Guillory and Leah Fruge.

Sources: Genealogy of Shane West (focusing on his mother’s side) –

Obituary of Shane’s maternal grandfather, John Glynn/Glenn Launey –

Shane’s maternal great-grandparents, Charles Burkman/Berchman Ardoin and Bessie Marie Guillory, on the 1930 U.S. Census –


Curious about ethnicity

14 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    His paternal grand-uncle (Donald Everton Fonseca) was quite exotic-looking. I dont rule out some SSA via Jamaica.

    • transemacabre says:

      He does indeed have some SSA. Shane’s great-granduncle, Stuart Mason England, was listed as ‘Negro’ when he visited the US in 1944.

      • follers says:

        Stuart’s father is listed as Edmund England. Did you see his mother listed in records? Was she Anna Mason?

        • transemacabre says:

          Yes, parents are Edmund Deville England and Anna Helena Mason.

 New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S., Passenger Lists, 1813-1963 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2006.

 Jamaica, Civil Registration Birth, Marriage, and Death Records, 1878-1995 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014.

    • GeneologyFan says:

      By exotic do you mean “light-skinned Black guy”?

  2. Dar says:

    Add Spanish-Jamaican Tag

  3. andrew says:

    his maternal “Quirk” line traces to a man born in Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland, and it’s all heavily mixed with Colonial American (English) ancestors who moved southward.

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