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Q: the family origin of dale chihuly from seattle ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: the family origin of dale chihuly from seattle
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Visual Arts
Asked by: bigdanny1-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 07 Sep 2005 17:19 PDT
Expires: 07 Oct 2005 17:19 PDT
Question ID: 565437
i was told that dale chiulys origin is jewish and that his real name was shauli
i found out that his mothers name was viola and his fathers name was
george the family is said to come from hungary or slovinia he created
a big exebition in jerusalem and in the sixtys spent a year in kibbutz
lahav in israel.the question is what are the origins of dale chiulys
family@are they jewish
Subject: Re: the family origin of dale chihuly from seattle
Answered By: aceresearcher-ga on 07 Sep 2005 21:09 PDT
Greetings, bigdanny!

According to Mr. Chihuly himself, he is indeed Jewish, and he did
spend some time at Kibbutz Lehav:

Chihuly in the light of Jerusalem 2000, by Dale Chihuly
Published in Chihuly Jerusalem 2000, Portland Press, 2000
Originally published in Ariel:The Israel Review of Arts and Letters, Vol. 111, 1999

"There are many reasons I came to Jerusalem and the Tower of David
Museum to make a major exhibition. First there was my stay at Kibbutz
Lehav in 1962-63. I remember arriving at the Kibbutz as a boy of 21
and leaving a man, just a few short months later. Before Lehav my life
was more about having fun, and after Lehav I wanted to make some sort
of contribution to society ? I discovered there was more to life than
having a good time. It's difficult to explain how this change came
about, but it had a lot to do with going out on border patrol during
the night with guys my own age who had more responsibility and
maturity than adults twice their age in the States. After the Kibbutz
experience my life would never be the same."

Dale's parents were indeed named George and Viola:

Introduction, by Linda Norden:
"Chihuly was born in September of 1941 in Tacoma-a major Washington
seaport and railroad depot in full sight of Mt. Ranier. His father
George Chihuly was a butcher and an international organizer for the
meat cutter's union; his mother, Viola, had an equal facility with
people and gardening. A brother, George, six years older than Dale and
greatly admired by him, completed the Chihuly family.

Within his first two years of high school, Chihuly lost both his
father and his brother. His brother was killed in a Naval aviation
practice flight in Florida when Chihuly was fifteen; little more than
a year later, his father died of a heart attack."

However, if the family surname was Shauli at some point, it was
changed to Chihuly *long* before Dale was born. The 1930 US Census
shows the following listing:

1930 United States Federal Census
Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington

Name             Age Est. birth yr Birthplace    Parents born
George S Chihuly  22   abt 1908    Washington  Czechoslovakia/Czech.

Roll: 2510; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 133; Image: 985.0

The 1920 US Census shows the family listing:

1920 United States Federal Census
South Prairie, Pierce County, Washington

Name           Age  Est. birth yr  Birthplace    Parents born
John Chihuly    57     abt 1863     Austria     Austria/Austria
Elizabeth       41     abt 1879     Austria     Austria/Austria
John            20     abt 1900    Washington   Austria/Austria
Thomas          18     abt 1902    Washington   Austria/Austria
Virginia        14     abt 1906    Washington   Austria/Austria
George          12     abt 1908    Washington   Austria/Austria
Lizzie           9     abt 1911    Washington   Austria/Austria

The "Mother Tongue" for John and Elizabeth is listed as "Slovenian";
the children are all listed as "English".

Roll: T625_1935; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 197; Image: 632

According to the Slovenian website Mat'Kurja:
"The Republic of Slovenia lies at the heart of Europe, where the Alps
and the Mediterranean meet the Pannonian plains and the mysterious
Karst. To the north is Austria; to the east, Hungary; to the south,
Croatia; and to the west, Italy.

Slovenia became an independent state in 1991 and a member of the EU on
May 1, 2004."

History of Slovenia according to Mat'Kurja:
"14th century to 1918: All the Slovenian regions pass into the
possession of the Habsburgs, later the Austro-Hungarian monarchy."

I'm sure that these census listings are for Dale's father, because,
according to the biography above, Dale was approximately 16 when his
father died. The Social Security Death Index shows a listing for a
George Chihuly in the state of Washington, who died in 1958. Since
Dale was born in 1941, that would have made him 16-17 years old at the
time. This George was born in 1907, which would match the Census
record listed above.

Social Security Death Index Search Results
DOB: 12 May 1907
DOD: Oct 1958
SSN issuing state: Washington (input George Chihuly)

Note that the Census location South Prairie, WA, is about 22 miles
from Tacoma, WA city center (Dale's birthplace, according to the
biography above):

Now, here is where it gets a little more interesting. I couldn't find
a listing for John Chihuly in the 1910 Census, so I had to search by
first name, birth year, and Pierce County, WA, and here is what I
found. The Index shows this individual as John Chibely, although the
census taker's writing is discernable as "Chihuly".

1910 United States Federal Census
Carbonado Pct, Pierce County, Washington

Name           Age  Est. birth yr  Birthplace    Parents born
John Chihuly    48     abt 1862     Austria     Austria/Austria
Lizzie          35     abt 1875     Austria     Austria/Austria
Mary            12     abt 1898    Washington   Austria/Austria
John            10     abt 1900    Washington   Austria/Austria
Thomas           7     abt 1903    Washington   Austria/Austria
Virginia         5     abt 1905    Washington   Austria/Austria
George           2     abt 1908    Washington   Austria/Austria

Series: T624, Roll: 1663, Part: 1, Page: 235B

In 1900, the Index incorrectly shows him as "John Chikorly":

1900 United States Federal Census
Carbondale, Pierce County, Washington

Name           Age  Est. birth yr  Birthplace    Parents born
John Chihuly    40     abt 1860     Austria     Austria/Austria
Lizzie          21     abt 1879     Austria     Austria/Austria
Mary             2     abt 1898    Washington   Austria/Austria
John        4 months   abt 1900    Washington   Austria/Austria

Roll: T623 1748; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 149

This record also shows that John immigrated to the United States in
1890, and his wife Elizabeth/Lizzie immigrated in 1896.

NOTE that inconsistencies often appear in Census records due to errors
or unreadability on the part of the individual, the census taker,
and/or the person who entered the Census record into the Computer.

US Census Records, both free and for a fee, can be found on-line:

Census Online

Geneaology Records, both free and for a fee, can be found on-line:


According to RootsWeb, Dale's mother Viola's maiden name was probably Magnusen:
"Name: Chihuly, Dale
Father: George Chihuly  Mother: UNKNOWN Magnuson Chihuly"

So the answer to your question is, yes, Dale Chihuly's family is
Jewish, his grandparents spoke Slovenian, and they came from the
region of Austria later known as Slovenia or Czechoslovakia, his
grandfather John in 1890, and his grandmother Elizabeth in 1896.

You can view an excellent collection of Dale Chihuly's work at

Search Strategy

Dale Chihuly Jewish

Dale Chihuly George

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