Welcome to Gemma Arterton Online, your best and oldest source for the english rose Gemma Arterton. We strive to provide you with news, photos, in-depth information, media, fun stuff and much more on our favorite British star! Gemma is most known for her roles in: St. Trinian's, Quantum of Solace, Prince of Persia and Clash of the Titans. Her upcoming films are Vita & Virginia, My Zoe and Summerland. If you have any questions, concerns or comments, then do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We hope you enjoy the site and come back often!

Gemma Arterton • Ancestry

Gemma Christina Arterton was born on 2 February 1986, in Gravesend, Kent, to Barry J Arterton and Sally-Anne Heap.

Her parents, who divorced shortly after her sixth birthday, had married in 1983, and she was brought up by her single mother, who worked as a cleaner to help support the family. Her father, a welder, nevertheless stayed close to the family, which also included a younger sister Hannah.

Classically trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), showing enough promise that she attended with a full scholarship, Arterton first burst onto the showbiz scene in 2007 with the BBC/HBO production of Stephen Poliakoff’s Capturing Mary. The next year, she appeared in the movie remake of St Trinians, followed hot on the heels by her role as Agent Strawberry Fields in the Bond film Quantum of Solace.

The town of Gravesend in Kent lies on the upper edge of the county boundary, a matter of miles from the metropolis of the city of London, nestled on a low ground which to the North, borders immediately on the incoming rush of the River Thames. The river, from its source, some miles east, winding its way around from the mouth of the estuary, is itself the very lifeblood of the town, and it is a history which reaches back over centuries to the time of 1401, whereas a Royal Grant was given to the men of the town of Gravesend so that they might operate a ferry service between their home and the city of London. Historically, one might disembark at Gravesend for the continued journey into the port of London itself.

Her family, more specifically, her father’s family has had a presence in the town, a residence of at least three generations, is very much true to the tenor of the town.

Gemma’s great-great grandfather, Alfred Pouncett, originally from Salford, Oxfordshire, was a dock labourer, a ‘navvy’, who was doubtless drawn to the cosmopolitan surroundings of Gravesend with its ever-changing bustle of foreign import. We find him as an infant on the 1861 Census in Salford, the illegitimate son of a Hannah Pouncett, resident with his grandmother Maria. Later on, he also seems to have fallen in with a common law wife of foreign persuasion – his wife, although we cannot specifically attest to a legal marriage, is a Christiana Vock, a native of Wurttemberg, Germany.

The surname Vock originates in Bavaria.

Gemma Arterton’s great-great grandmother is German. The birth certificate of her daughter Amy Nellie L Pouncett, born 9th December 1890 at 5 John’s Place, Milton, Kent, names her as Christiana Vock. We find Christiana Pouncett (nee Vock) in Gravesend, Milton, Kent, on the 1901 English Census, a widowed Charwoman, resident with her four surviving children, Louisa, Dorothy, (Amy) Nellie and Thomas. Alfred Pouncett, a labourer at the Tilbury docks, had died in 1898, aged thirty-seven; leaving a young family; Amy Nellie Pouncett likely had few memories of the father who died when she was only seven.

Pouncett is thought to be a derivative of the surname Pauncefoot, a nickname given to a man who displayed a noticeable corpulence and girth – the ‘paunch-face’. The name is of Norman origin.

The direct Arterton line is no less a seafaring community. Gemma Arterton’s great grandfather Ernest is enumerated on the 1911 census aboard the HMS Russell as an able seaman, currently docked at Malta Harbour. A year later, and on his return to the mainland, he was married to Henrietta Louisa Hall, a then twenty-three year old with a infant son named Edward George, born to her as a single mother. Her illegitimate son was named after his own maternal grandfather, her father, George Thomas Hall, a native of Farcet, Hampshire, who had settled in Epping, Essex, and who evidently was a man of varied and ever-changing succession of jobs – in 1891, he is a railway porter and in 1901, a library caretaker.

Ernest and Henrietta had their own son Arthur in 1915. Later on, it is clear that Ernest and Henrietta have migrated to Eastbourne, Sussex, in their retirement, for they are registered as having died there, Ernest in 1956 and Henrietta in 1972.

Ernest Arterton, himself, was a native of Buxton, Norfolk, the son of William Rivett Arterton, a malster, a trade which involved the treating of barley with malt, being someone so engaged in the trade of brewing, of beer-making.

On her mother’s side, Gemma Arterton is the granddaughter of one Helen Sarfas, a lady who sadly died in January 2010.

Helen Sarfas was born in 1940 in London, the daughter of Albert Charles Henry Sarfas and Jean I Lesley. Albert seems to have died fairly young, since Jean Sarfas was later remarried to a Mr Lietchi in 1948 in the Sussex area.

Albert Charles Henry Sarfas was the son of William George Sarfas, a doctor’s coachman in the 1911 Census, a native of Bow, London, and his wife Rosetta “Rose” Maud Edmonds.

William George Sarfas was the son of Charles Sarfas, a tin plate worker, and the namesake of his grandfather. William George Sarfas Sr was the grandson of a Henry Sarfas, a sugar baker; the line originates in Hanover, Germany.

Henry’s great-great-great-great granddaughter Helen Sarfas later married a Ronald S Heap, and they settled in Worthing, which is where Gemma’s mother Sally-Anne was born in 1962.

On both sides of her family, Gemma has close German ancestry.

The close proximity of the waterway, the fluid Thames as it led smoothly into the hub of the seething metropolis, made it easy for the merest strain of foreign influence, more specifically, European to stick and settle amongst the myriad settlements dotted along the shore.

Members of her wider family from Sussex, Norfolk, and the environs of London, were likely also drawn to congregate in Gravesend, and its port, the opportunities brought by the ever-changing loads of boats and people making a momentary stop there.


Ethnicity: English, as well as a Jewish matrilineal great-grandmother, and small amounts of German and Scottish ancestry

Gemma has English ancestry, as well as a Jewish great-grandmother (her maternal grandmother’s mother, who was of Polish Jewish, with more distant Dutch Jewish, Czech Jewish, and Sephardi Jewish, ancestry). Gemma also has a small amount of German and Scottish roots, from other lines of her own family tree.

Gemma’s paternal grandfather is Arthur Ernest Arterton (the son of Ernest Walter/William R. Arterton and Henrietta Louisa Hall). Gemma’s great-grandfather Ernest was the son of William Rivett/Clarke Arterton and Emily Cook. Henrietta was the daughter of George Thomas Hall and Lydia Cocking.

Germma’s paternal grandmother is Nellie Christina Smith (the daughter of Arthur Smith and Amy Nellie L. Pouncett). Amy was the daughter of Alfred Pouncett and Christiana, who was German.

Germma’s maternal grandfather is Ronald S. Heap (the son of Edwin Stanley Heap and Elsie Smith).

Gemma’s maternal grandmother is Helen Marjorie Rosina Sarfas (the daughter of Albert Charles Henry Sarfas and Jean I. Lesley, born Jean I. Specterman). Albert was the son of William George Sarfas.

Gemma’s matrilineal great-grandmother Jean was the daughter of Lazarus/Louis Specterman and Marjorie Elizabeth Spiers, who were both Jewish. Lazarus was the son of Marks Specterman and Rose, who were Polish Jewish immigrants. Marjorie was the daughter of Solomon Spiers, who was of Polish Jewish descent, and of Isabella Phillips; Gemma’s great-great-great-grandmother Isabella was born in Cardiff, Wales, the daughter of Moses/Moss Phillips, who was of Polish Jewish descent, and of Flora Kisch, who was also Jewish; Flora was the daughter of Abraham de Simon Kisch and Isabella Halevi.

Gemma’s matrilineal great-great-great-great-great-grandmother, Beila b Simhah or Isabella HaLevy/Halevi, was born, c. 1799, in Middlesex, England, to Simchal Halevi and Hannah Moses.

Sources: Family history of Gemma Arterton (focusing on her father’s side) – https://roystockdillgenealogy.com

Genealogy of Gemma Arterton (focusing on her father’s side) – http://www.lesliemerchant.me

Genealogy of Gemma Arterton (focusing on her mother’s side) – https://www.geni.com

Genealogy of Gemma’s maternal great-grandfather, Albert Charles Henry Sarfas (focusing on his own father’s side) – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Genealogy of Gemma’s maternal great-great-grandfather, William George Sarfas – http://www.jamesfamilytree.org.uk

— Ancestry written by Gemma Arterton Online — (last updated on December 22, 2016)