Zooey Deschanel

Deschanel in 2011, Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

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. She is the daughter of Mary Jo Deschanel, an actress, and Caleb Deschanel, a cinematographer and director. 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 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 Deschanel (focusing on her father’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Genealogy of Zooey’s paternal grandmother, Anna/Ann Ward (Orr) Deschanel (focusing on her own father’s side) – https://www.findagrave.com


Curious about ethnicity

28 Responses

  1. WTF says:

    probably the only pretty white girl i’ve seen

  2. I saw her on the Qeen latifa an new girl lol

  3. Bjorn says:

    I thought it was SOOO hilarious how she was such a super feminist libtard activist and all about civil rights and when she went on that show to trace her ancestry, she ends up finding out her family owned slaves!! LMFAO!!!!! XD

    • follers says:

      Some of her distant ancestors owned slaves. But, in the show you’re talking about, they also traced some of her ancestors who were Quakers and abolitionists, and were strongly involved in the abolitionist movement of the 1850s.

    • guyinsf says:

      I don’t find anything hilarious about that. No one can control what their ancestors did. What a stupid comment!

  4. J says:

    Why does this website always list Northern Irish followed by (Scots-Irish)? Scots-Irish are an ethnic group of people who live in Ireland with Scottish ancestry.
    So Zooey should be listed as either Scots-Irish or Northern Irish and Scottish. You seem to put these brackets after Northern Irish every time. Scots-Irish does not apply to every single person with Northern Irish ancestry, only those whose ancestors were Scottish and then moved to Northern Ireland.

    • follers says:

      Typically, “Northern Irish” means Irish Protestant, i.e. the Scots you’re talking about. They were only called “Scots-Irish” in the United States, however.

      • J says:

        Scots-Irish means exactly that Scottish people living in Ireland. I’m Irish-Scots meaning of Irish descent living in Scotland.

        There is no mention of religion linked to her Irish ancestry. But if this it is a religious ethnicity they are talking about, why have they made the unlikely assumption that they were protestant? Catholicism is the largest religion in Northern Ireland.

        • J says:

          Also Northern Irish means people that come from Northern Ireland (Ulster), nothing to do with religion.

          • follers says:

            Scots-Irish Americans are generally descended from immigrants from Ulster, Northern Ireland, which is why I usually write “Scots-Irish” along with “Northern Irish”, since I don’t know if they were descended from English Protestants who moved to Ulster, Scottish Protestants who moved to Ulster, or “ethnic” Irish from Ulster who ended up Protestant or married into Protestant families.

  5. J.J. says:

    correction; her eyes are grey (light blue) and her hair is dark brown (brunette) (dyed black)

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