Tom Cruise

Cruise in 2011, Helga Esteb /

Birth Name: Thomas Cruise Mapother IV

Place of Birth: Syracuse, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: July 3, 1962

Ethnicity: Irish (at least 43.75%), German (43.75%), with the rest a mix of English, Welsh, Scottish, and Cornish

Tom Cruise is an American actor and filmmaker. His legendary roster of film roles includes Taps, The Outsiders, Risky Business, All the Right Moves, Legend, Top Gun, and its sequel, The Color of Money, Cocktail, Rain Man, Born on the Fourth of July, Days of Thunder, A Few Good Men, The Firm, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, the Mission: Impossible series, Jerry Maguire, Eyes Wide Shut, Magnolia, Vanilla Sky, Minority Report, The Last Samurai, Collateral, War of the Worlds, Lions for Lambs, Knight and Day, Jack Reacher, and its sequel, Edge of Tomorrow, and American Made. Many of his films have been among the biggest movies in the world between the 1980s and the 2020s.

Tom is the son of Mary Lee (Pfeiffer), a special education teacher, and Thomas Cruise Mapother, an electrical engineer. He was raised partly in Beacon Hill, Ottawa, Canada, and Cincinnati, Ohio. His father was of approximately one half German and one quarter Irish ancestry, with his other roots being English, Scottish, Cornish, and Welsh. Tom’s mother was of three eighths German and five eighths Irish ancestry. All four of Tom’s grandparents were born in Kentucky, as were all eight of Tom’s great-grandparents. Some of Tom’s father’s ancestry goes back to Colonial America.

His first cousin is actor William Mapother (their fathers are siblings). Tom has three children: two, including actor Connor Cruise, with his former wife, actress Nicole Kidman; and a daughter with his former wife, actress Katie Holmes.

Tom was selected People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” in 1990.

Tom’s paternal grandfather was Thomas Cruise Mapother II (the son of Thomas O’Mara, whose name was later changed to Thomas Cruise Mapother, and of Anna Stewart Bateman). Tom’s grandfather Thomas was born in Kentucky. Tom’s great-grandfather Thomas O’Mara’s parents, Thomas O’Mara and Mary Paulina Russell Cruise, were both of Irish descent. Tom’s great-grandmother Anna was the daughter of Thomas J. Bateman and Elvira Eva Tompkins/Thompkins, and had English, Welsh, Irish, Scottish, and Cornish ancestry.

Tom’s great-great-grandmother, Mary Cruise, married twice. Her first husband was Dillon Henry Mapother, by whom she had six children. After Dillon’s death, she remarried to Thomas O’Mara. Their son, who was born as Thomas O’Mara, was listed under that name in the 1880 Census. His name was later changed to Thomas Cruise Mapother. The reason(s) for him changing his name are not clear.

Tom’s paternal grandmother was Catherine Louise Reibert (the daughter of William Reibert and Charlotte Louise Voelker). Catherine was born in Kentucky. William and Charlotte were of German descent. William was the son of Adam Andrew Reibert and Francisca/Francis/Frances Boesser. Charlotte was the daughter of John Voelker and Louisa Steadle.

Tom’s maternal grandfather was Charles Conrad Pfeiffer (the son of Lee Norbert Pfeiffer and Anna/Annie M. Shea). Charles was born in Kentucky. Lee was the son of Charles Conrad Pfeiffer, whose parents were from Cölbe, Giessen, Hesse, Germany; and of Mary Roselle/Rosselle Hawkins, who was of Irish ancestry. Anna was the daughter of Dennis Shea and Mary Brown, who were Irish immigrants.

Tom’s maternal grandmother was Comala Rosella Ramser (the daughter of Joseph Charles Ramser and Susan/Sarah A. Mackey). Comala was born in Kentucky. Joseph was the son of George Ramser, a German emigrant, from Alsatia, and of Catherine Merkel, who was of German descent. Susan was the daughter of Gerald Jeremiah Mackey, an Irish immigrant, and of Bridget Quinn, who was of Irish ancestry.

Cruise with then-wife Mimi Rogers in 1989, photo credit: Alan Light

Sources: Family history of Tom Cruise –

Genealogies of Tom Cruise –

Genealogy of Tom’s father –

Tom’s maternal great-grandfather, Lee Norbert Pfeiffer, on the 1870 U.S. Census –
Lee Norbert Pfeiffer on the 1880 U.S. Census –

Other resources about Tom’s family –


Curious about ethnicity

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