Birth Name: Zooey Claire Deschanel
Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States
Date of Birth: January 17, 1980
Ethnicity: French, English, German, Irish, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, Swiss, Dutch, distant Cornish
Zooey Deschanel is an American actress and musician. Her roles include the films Mumford, Almost Famous, Manic, The New Guy, The Good Girl, All the Real Girls, Elf, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Winter Passing, Failure to Launch, Bridge to Terabithia, The Happening, Yes Man, (500) Days of Summer, Our Idiot Brother, and The Driftless Area, and the series New Girl. She has been a member of jazz cabaret act If All the Stars Were Pretty Babies, with actress Samantha Shelton, and musical duo She & Him, with M. Ward. She also plays keyboards, percussion, banjo, and ukulele. She co-founded female-focused website HelloGiggles.
Zooey is the daughter of Mary Jo Deschanel, an actress, and Caleb Deschanel, a cinematographer and director. She was named after Zooey Glass, from the novella Franny and Zooey. Her sister is actress Emily Deschanel. Zooey has two children with her former husband, producer Jacob Pechenik.
Her father is of half French ancestry, with his other roots including English, German, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, and distant Cornish. Her mother’s ancestry includes English, Irish, Northern Irish/Scots-Irish, French, Swiss, and Dutch.
Zooey’s father is a Quaker and her mother is Catholic. Zooey was raised in what she has described as a “you can be whatever you want” way. In 2015, US Magazine reported that Zooey has converted to Judaism (her then-husband Jacob’s religion).
Zooey’s paternal grandfather was Paul Jules Deschanel (the son of Joseph Marcelin Eugène Deschanel and Marie Josephine Favre). Paul was born in Oullins, Rhône, France, and moved to the United States in 1930. Joseph was the son of Jean Joseph Deschanel and Eugenie Michelle Amyot.
Zooey’s paternal grandmother was Anna/Ann Ward Orr (the daughter of Adrian Van Bracklin Orr and Mary Beulah E. Lamb). Anna was born in Pennsylvania. Adrian was the son of Joseph Moffitt/Maffett Orr and Martha Elizabeth Pownall. Mary Beulah was the daughter of Caleb W. Lamb and Anna Matilda Ward.
Zooey’s maternal grandfather was Donald Lamar Weir (the son of Ralph Harrison Weir and Helen Mary Ellen Lamar). Donald was born in Ohio. Ralph was the son of Addison Mohallan Weir, whose father was born in Lifford, Donegal, Ireland, and of Elizabeth Emilie Lanie Gurney, whose father was from Belfort, France, and whose mother was from Bern, Switzerland. Helen was the daughter of Henry Anson Lamar, Jr. and Mary B. Sullivan.
Zooey’s maternal grandmother was Elizabeth Ellen Manchester (the daughter of Raymond Earl Manchester and Mary Josephine Kennedy). Elizabeth was born in Wisconsin. Raymond was the son of Frank H. Manchester and Phoebe Carpenter. Mary Josephine was the daughter of William Andrew Kennedy, whose parents were Irish, and of Mary Ellen Kenny, who was born in Limerick, Ireland.
Sources: Family history of Zooey Deschanel – http://genealogy.about.com
Genealogy of Zooey Deschanel – https://www.geni.com
Genealogy of Zooey’s paternal grandmother, Anna/Ann Ward (Orr) Deschanel (focusing on her own father’s side) – https://www.findagrave.com