Steve Carell

Carell in 2007; Joe Seer /

Birth Name: Steven John Carell

Place of Birth: Concord, Massachusetts, U.S.

Date of Birth: August 16, 1962

*Italian, German (father)
*Polish (mother)

Steve Carell is an American actor, comedian, writer, director, and producer. He starred in the movie The 40 Year-Old Virgin and the television series The Office, among many other roles.

Steve is the son of Harriet Theresa (Koch) and Edwin A. Carell. Steve’s father’s original surname, Caroselli, was shortened to Carell. On his father’s side, Steve is of Italian and German ancestry. On his mother’s side, Steve is of Polish descent. He was raised Catholic. Steve is married to actress, comedian, and writer Nancy Carell (born Nancy Ellen Walls), with whom he has two children.

While Steve has played many Jewish characters (including in three consecutive major films, a rarity for a major star), he is not of Jewish heritage.

Steve’s paternal grandfather was Ernest Caroselli (the son of Amanzio Caroselli and Marianna/Marsanina/Marcasciano Ricco). Ernest was an Italian emigrant, born in Bari, Apulia, Italy.

Steve’s paternal grandmother was Marie G. Egle (the daughter of August W. Egle and Mary A. Boullay). Steve’s grandmother Marie was born in New York. August was a German immigrant. Steve’s great-grandmother Mary Boullay was born in New York, the daughter of German immigrant parents, Nicholas Boullay and Jo Hanna.

Steve’s maternal grandfather was Zygmont/Zigmund/Zygmond/Sigmund Koch (the son of Joseph Koch and Mary/Crestene/Custene Porcheskey/Pascoff). Zygmont is listed as born in Russia in one record and in Vilnius, Lithuania in another record, and was possibly of ethnic Polish descent. The name Pascoff may have been misspelled on records.

Steve’s maternal grandmother was Frances Victoria Tolosky (the daughter of Tuffield/Tebfis/Tropin Theophilo/Theophile Tolosky and Mary/Martiana Brunnwyko/Burranaski/Burnak/Burnika). Frances was born in New York, to Polish parents.

Sources: Genealogies of Steve Carell –

Marriage record of Steve’s paternal grandparents, Ernest Caroselli and Marie G. Egle –

Steve’s paternal grandfather, Ernest Caroselli, on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Steve’s paternal grandmother, Marie G. Egle, on the 1900 U.S. Census –

Steve’s mother on the 1930 U.S. Census –

Marriage records of Steve’s maternal grandparents, Zygmont/Zigmund/Zygmond/Sigmund Koch and Frances Victoria Tolosky –

Steve’s maternal grandparents, Zygmont/Zigmund/Zygmond/Sigmund Koch and Frances Victoria Tolosky, on the 1920 U.S. Census –

Death record of Steve’s maternal grandfather, Zygmont/Zigmund/Zygmond/Sigmund Koch –

Steve’s maternal grandmother, Frances Victoria Tolosky, on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Obituary of Steve’s maternal grandmother, Frances Victoria (Tolosky) Koch –


Curious about ethnicity

58 Responses

  1. madman says:

    Steve’s maternal grandmother’s parents were Rusyns (the 1910 census lists their birth places as “Rus Polish”).

    His maternal grandfather was born in Vilnius. He spoke Polish on the 1920 census and Lithuanian on the 1930 census.

    On the 1920 census his birth place was “Russia”, but the crossed out birth place of him and his parents is “Vilna”, which is the Rusyn spelling of Vilnius. So you might consider it evidence for Rusyn ancestry as well. Maybe they were from the same community as Sandra Dee’s grandparents.

    • follers says:

      Bablah? We need your ruling on this.

      • madman says:

        The number of Rusyn Americans seems to be greatly underestimated.

        • follers says:

          Possibly. I myself tend to group in small Eastern European ethnic groups into larger and/or different ones (as the census did). So it is good to have the help of someone who is more of an expert than I am.

          • bablah says:

            I’ll check this out later.
            Rusyns, along with Jews had the smallest percentage of returnees to Europe from America (less than 10%, compare that to almost 50% of Italian emigrants returning to Italy). That’s one of the reasons why their numbers are so low even in Europe (other is assimilation, here in Bosnia the ratio of Ukrainians and Rusyns was 2:1 in 1910, and is 1:0 today).

          • madman says:

            Figuring out how to view people’s mother tongue on familysearch has greatly improved that for me.

            Rusyn for Bronson is, I think, far-fetched. Would Rusyns list their language as Lithuanian? Polish or Russian would be more understandable. And his father was from the Lithuanian countryside, which isn’t the most multiethnic area I can think of. I still think he was predominantly Lithuanian, even if some of his family names may be Polish in origin (some generations back possibly). The -avage suffix (as in “Butsavage”) seems to be Lithuanian as well.

        • follers says:

          Perhaps Charles Bronson was Rusyn.

    • bablah says:

      Rus Polish in the maternal grandparents case meant Polish from Russia.
      See how the enumerator did the same in the other entries with Aust Polish etc.

    • bablah says:

      Damn I’m dumb, haha.
      Ruthenian was the official language of Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
      Why didn’t I know this?

    • madman says:

      His mother seems to be Jewish

      • follers says:

        Many of the names, as well as the location (around Buffalo), and many other details, clearly indicate a non-Jewish Eastern European background. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pre-1917 Eastern European Jewish immigrant to the U.S. named “Zygmont” (or, I think, “Victoria”). And of course, all the obituaries have Catholic services listed.

        This is another case, like Charles Bronson, where some of the census records say Lithuania, but none of the names are Lithuanian. I wrote “Polish”, but it could be some other Eastern European ethnicity, like Belarusian. I’m not sure if Steve has commented on it.

  2. romanticcelt says:

    “Boullay” is definitely French in origin.

  3. Lateralus says:

    ….everybody has some italian into themself ahaha

  4. Capricious says:

    He’s got the most annoying face.

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