Posted by Ancestry Team on March 24, 2011 in Website

Famed and world renowned actress Elizabeth Taylor passed away on Wednesday, March 23, 2011. She wasn’t afraid to speak her mind and her words moved many. As we look inside ourselves and remember the gift that Elizabeth gave us, we’re reminded of one of her quotes: “I feel very adventurous. There are so many doors to be opened, and I’m not afraid to look behind them.” allows you to look behind doors all of the time. In the spirit of Elizabeth, we looked behind some of our doors and found quite a few records of Liz. Included was her birth certificate, pictured here.

We also found her on a passenger list from the ship that brought this talented actress to the United States.

Survived by her family of four, Elizabeth’s son said that we lost the last great legendary actress.

Her memory will always be in our hearts and minds.


  1. Margaret McDonald Gruver Tonkinson

    Miss Taylor was a great artist. We will always remember her and her craft. She was one of the great actresses.

  2. Jeanne Hansen

    Dame Elizabeth was one of my idols, as I was growing up. She was an amazing an amazing actress, but most of all, her work in the AIDS community showed that she truely was an outstanding human being. God Bless you.

  3. Dennis

    As a pilot for a film studio I met Ms. Taylor on her 56th birthday flying her from Tucson to Los Angeles.
    When she arrived I met her at the limo and introduced myself. As I excused myself to help with her luggage she reached for my arm and said, “let those boys do that and I’ll tell you about my birthday party.” I’ll never forget her graciousness and the autographed photo will always be a cherished memento.
    Delightful, is how I always describe my meeting with her.
    May she always fly with the angels.

  4. Doug Merchant

    I love Elizabeth Taylor, and I’m pretty obsessed with genealogy. That being said, it somehow doesn’t entirely agree with me that would use her death as an opportunity for an advertisement, even if it is an internal one.

  5. Ann Hill

    I see Ancestry’s blog for Elizabeth Taylor as a reminder to us that records are available. I didn’t meet Elizabeth Taylor, but I think she would be pleased. She was pretty open-minded.

  6. Patricia Higgins

    I have no problem with Ancestry using her genealogy to promote the website. It is good to be reminded that even the public figures are there in the records. When it comes to civil records and such, we are all the same.

  7. Marsha Haeflein

    I’ve always liked Elizabeth Taylor and appreciate seeing her birth certificate. However, I have a question regarding the ship’s passenger list. What is the 21st August 1895 date listed behind her mother’s(?) name? Since Elizabeth was born in 1932, that couldn’t be her mother’s birth date (doesn’t coincide with mother’s age given on the list) or the date that they immigrated. Can someone tell me?

  8. Carole Beeler

    Elizabeth Taylor was of my generation and I have followed the ups and downs of her career and life. Thanks Liz for the memories.

  9. Margaret Loos

    I see some are critical of Ancestry’s use of the death of the legendary Elizabeth Taylor to promote the services and products of Ancestry. However, Miss Taylor was (and remains) a public figure. I think public figures are appropriate to use as examples of records. Not only is there more interest in these people than in, say, my great uncle; but my great uncle’s family might feel their privacy has been invaded for commercial purposes.

  10. Jean Reidy

    She was always a very beautiful and talented actress that lived an exceptional life. She suffered greatly with physical pain, illness, and broken hearts with the men in her life. I loved her taste in men, except for Eddie Fisher, and belived she loved them deeply.

    May she rest in peace.

  11. Carolann Martinez

    Beautiful,talented,kind,concerned,involved,loved,will always be missed.Thank you for everything,Lady Elizabeth. Angels comfort thee in your well deserved rest!

  12. joyce (doss) potter

    I just learn that Elizabeth Taylor was my cousin. I can’t explain how thrilled, since she is and always has been my favorite Actress. She brought truth to her roles. You could always feel her feelings, since she was so willing to share them with the audence. Like many of the Greats, meaning people who cared about people, she was one. Up there with Disney, the joy she has brought her fans can not be beat. I will miss her. The world will also feel her loss. All my love and best wishes to her family.

  13. Donna Hitz

    Doug in comment 5; is a business and it’s the business of business to promote itself. This is hardly an advertisement. With every story Ancestry posts someone who is paying for a membership complains. Cancel your membership. I like it here. It’s a useful and fairly reliable website.

  14. Jan Murphy

    Re: Marsha’s comments in #8: The age in the passenger list is consistent with the birthdate given in the passenger list for Sara W. Taylor (the passenger list is consistent with itself). However, as Marsha points out, a woman born in August 1895 would not have been 35 in February of 1932. In cases like this, you have to look for other evidence to determine which one (if either) is correct. Unfortunately while Ancestry has earlier passport applications for Elizabeth’s father, the collection ends before February of 1929, so we can’t look at the passport applications for the passports listed in Elizabeth’s birth certificate. Those applications might have yielded more information.

  15. Rebecca

    In my lifetime i have watched all her movie’s
    and followed her life story.

    Have always said their are only 2 of the best
    actress’s in the world. Natalie Wood and now
    Elizabeth is with her.

    May God be with her family.

  16. Jan Murphy

    Re: #19 — nice finds, Andy!

    If the birthdate is consistent in all the passenger lists, then the age on Elizabeth’s birth date is the outlier. The next question I would ask (note: it’s possible, perhaps likely, that no one alive could know) is how the birth certificates were created. If, for example, one person took down the information by hand, and a different person typed up the form we see on the computer, transcription errors can creep in.

  17. Jan Murphy

    Oops, speaking of typos —

    That first sentence was supposed to say: if Sara’s age is consistent in all the passenger lists, then her age as reported on her daughter’s birth certificate is the outlier.

  18. BobNY

    Try again, Andy. First of all, her name is Sara. Your own “evidence” proves that she was not consistent in reporting her date of birth.

    The first 2 results of the search show:
    Crossing of 1939: 21 August 1895
    Crossing of 1930: 21 August 1896

  19. Census records seem to indicate that Elizabeth Taylor’s mother, Sara Warmbrodt Taylor, was born in 1897.

    1900 Federal Census – 3 yrs. old=1897

    1905 Kansas Census – 8 yrs old=1897

    1910 Federal Census – 13 yrs old=1897

    1920 Federal Census – 23 yrs. old=1897

    After her marriage to Francis Lenn Taylor in New York in 1926 she and her husband moved to England.

  20. BobNY


    Basic arithmetic would seem to indicate that someone who is 23 years old on January 1, 1920 would have been born in 1896.

    Give it up. This is obviously not your strong suit. BTW, adding new and erroneous information is no response to my prior comment that your own evidence shows her to be inconsistent with stating her age.

  21. Sandi

    When I was a little girl, I had an Elizabeth Taylor coloring book. She was probably about 22 years of age and I think I was 10. I remember how pretty the drawings were of her and I loved coloring her dresses as they were always so beautiful. I wish I still had that coloring book! She was my one favorite actress I had growing up. She will be missed, but we will always have her in the movies.

  22. I am glad Ancestry opened a way for us to express our thought and memories…it helps to have a place to put these thoughts.
    if email and all were available when elvis died, that surely would haave been a good thing.
    i don’t follow movies but i would have to to be in a well not o know about Elizabeth. her beauty was in her not just visible to the eye. i admired her loyalty to her friends and did not waver, no matter what the media and fed by the fans . she did this for so many and Michael is just the last one we remember. she loved her children and children knew that. She had a huge heart for love and that is what i remember.

  23. Phyllis Friesner

    Elizabeth was the most beautiful young woman I ever saw in my life. I did not know her personally but she must have had a lot of conflicts in her life. I am very sad she has passed away as it seems we have seen her forever and I am just a few years younger than she was. I cannot remember in my life that I did not see her pictures, see her on tv on commercials, movies, magazines, You name it, she was there. I think her beauty gave her many opportunities in life, more so than her acting. I feel like we have lost a friend. A friend who did not mind being out there for all of us to see. She had hard times in her love life and ill a lot. God Bless You Elizabeth and God Speed. Phyllis

  24. Florene Kunder

    Elizabeth Taylor was an actress of note and known worldwide. Many loved her. Her birthdate may be of factual interest, but not so relevant an issue in a tribute.

    In my limited 3 years of genealogical research, I discovered two close family members who played with their dates of birth, much to my frustration in doing research, but a delightful flight of fantasy for those responsible. My mother was one. She was born in 1899, but didn’t like the “sound” of that date, so she
    selected 1900 to be the year. She could do that without creating problems for herself…. prior to Social Security, and other date-based official records. Came the day of reckoning when she reached age 65. It was fixed, with the help of her cousin Senator John Sparkman, and all lived happily thereafter.

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