Downey Jr and Gyllenhaal Finding Your Roots

Downey Jr and Gyllenhaal

Downey Jr and Gyllenhaal are tonight's celebrity guests on "Finding Your Roots". Mr. Downey is an actor, his father was a director and his mother an actress.

The above photo of Mr. Downey is the result of a Google Search.

Maggie Gyllenhaal is an actress who's father was a director and her mother a screen writer. It seems these two people have much in common.

Robert Downey Jr.

Mr. Downey's father was a director and his mother an actress, so Robert Jr. comes to acting naturally.
Robert Jr. thinks he has sort of a ragamuffin family. He thinks he has Scottish, German and Irish ancestry.
Also possible Russian Jewish ancestors. We will see if these ideas are true.

Mr. Downey Jr's gr-grandmother Gussie Goldberg and her mother Ida Goldberg came to America in 1892. They
came through Castle Garden, now known as Ellis Island, New York. Gussie Goldberg was 18 years old. These ladies came from Pren, Russia. Pren is now in Lithuania, which was formerly part of Russia. Yes they are Russian Jewish people. Ida Goldberg only lived 10 months after coming to America. She died in May 1893,
she died from phitis, we know this as tuberculosis or T.B.

Mr. Downey Jr had an ancestor Rudolph Gutt come to America from Switzerland. Also an ancestor who was born in Pennsylvania in 1747, his name Tobias Schucker. Not a wealthy man per the tax records of Berks County, Pennsylvania. He did serve as a private in the American Revolution. Mr. Schucker was born and lived in Pennsylvania his entire life, then why did he write his will in the German Language.

The video has been removed. You can go to to see if this video is still available to view. Look for "Finding Your Roots"

Maggie Gyllenhaal

Ms Gyllenhall's father was a director and her mother a screen writer, so she to came to acting naturally. Maggie believes her ancestry to be Russian Jewish and Swedish, we find out if these ideas are fact.

Benjamin Silvawiss wants to leave Russia because the Czar conscripted men to serve in the Russian Army and fight against Japan. Many men do not want to do this, they go so far as to cut off some of their toes, to keep them out of the army.

Mr. Silvawiss gets help to go to Germany and then to America. He arrives in New York in 1906. One of his daughters' Ruth Silvawiss, Maggie's grandmother, became a well respected pediatrian at a time when women were home makers and not career women. Ruth raised her daughter Naomi, and was a medical career woman.

We learn about Leonard Gyllenhaal, Maggie's 4th gr-grandfather who was a beetle collector and we learn the true story how the name Gyllenhaal became.
We also learn about another ancestor John Lothrop, born in England in 1584. He comes to American in 1634.

Another ancestor Swain Nelson born January 1828 and he comes to America at age 24 and lands in Defiance, Ohio, then moves to Chicago, Illinois. He is a landscape arcitecht and he created one of Chicago's famous landmarks, Lincoln Park.

Watch the Downey Jr and Gyllenhaal video to learn about the Swedish religion that Ms Gyllenhaal's father ran away from. Also
learn much more including the results of their DNA tests. See if you recognize any cousins.

The Downey Jr and Gyllenhaal video has been removed and archived.  To watch the full video go to and locate "Finding Your Roots."

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