Wayne Gretzky

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Gretzky in 2007, photo by Prphotos.com

Birth Name: Wayne Douglas Gretzky

Place of Birth: Brantford, Ontario, Canada

Date of Birth: January 26, 1961

*father – Belarusian, Ukrainian
*mother – English, some Cornish and Irish

Wayne Gretzky is a Canadian professional ice hockey player and head coach. Widely considered one of the greatest hockey players ever, he played for the Indianapolis Racers, the Edmonton Oilers, the Los Angeles Kings, the St. Louis Blues, and the New York Rangers, for a total of twenty seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL); and is in the NHL Hall of Fame. He was a coach for the Phoenix Coyotes. He is nicknamed “The Great One.”

Wayne is the son of Phyllis Leone and Walter Gretzky. His father was raised on a cucumber farm. Wayne’s father’s family were said to have been landowners in the Russian Empire. It appears that his father was of Belarusian and Ukrainian descent, though he has also been said to have had Polish and/or Russian ancestry; the family evidently spoke Ukrainian. His mother was of English, and some Cornish and Irish, descent.

Among his siblings are professional hockey players Keith Gretzky and Brent Gretzky. Wayne is married to American actress Janet Jones, with whom he has five children, including model and singer Paulina Gretzky and actor Trevor Gretzky.

Wayne’s paternal grandfather was named Terentiy/Anton/Tony Lavrentievich Gritzko/Gretzky/Gretcki (the son of Lavrentiy Gritzko/Gretcki and Nastasia). Terentiy was born in Ogdlmar, Grodno/Hrodna, Russian Empire (now Belarus), and was likely of ethnic Belarusian descent. The surname was pronounced hretski.

Wayne’s paternal grandmother was named Pauline Maria/Mary Khodenetsky. Pauline was born in Panovychi/Podhajce, interwar Poland, now Ukraine, and was likely of ethnic Ukrainian descent.

Wayne’s maternal grandfather was Harold Seymour Hockin (the son of Harold Herbert Hockin and Mabel Ellen Brock). Wayne’s grandfather Harold was born in Brantford, Brant County, Ontario. Wayne’s great-grandfather Harold was the son of Herbert Samuel Hockin, whose father was from Fowey, Cornwall, England; and of Elizabeth/Eliza Agnes Eagles/Eagle. Mabel was the daughter of Willard William Brock and Mary Catherine Howey.

Wayne’s maternal grandmother was Betty Leone Cook (the daughter of Adam Edward “Ed” Cook and Muriel Leona Biggs/Briggs). Edward was the son of Harry/Henry Cook and Margaret/Mary Currie/Curry. Muriel was the daughter of Frederick/Frederic Biggs/Briggs and Ida/Adeline/Addie May Moore.

Sources: http://www.waltergretzky.com

Information about Wayne’s Belarusian relatives – http://www.network54.com

Genealogy of Wayne Gretzky – https://www.geni.com

Obituary of Wayne’s maternal grandmother, Betty Leone (Cook) Hockin – http://yourlifemoments.ca

Marriage record of Wayne’s maternal great-grandparents, Adam Edward “Ed” Cook and Muriel Leona Biggs/Briggs – https://www.familysearch.org

9 Responses

  1. andrew says:


    so what was Wayne’s father background?

  2. andrew says:

    *Belarusian, Ukrainian, possibly Polish (father)
    *English, distant Irish (mother)

  3. andrew says:

    no Ukrainian/Belarusian?

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