Sarah Jessica Parker was born in Nelsonville, Ohio, the daughter of Barbara Parker (née Keck), a nursery school operator and teacher, and Stephen Parker, an entrepreneur and journalist. She was one of a total of eight children from her parents' marriage and her mother's second marriage (her full siblings include actors Timothy Britten Parker and Pippin Parker). Her parents divorced when Parker was 3 1/2 years old, and her mother married Paul Forste, a truck driver and account executive. Parker's father, a native of Brooklyn, is Jewish (from a family from Eastern Europe); his family's original surname was "Bar-Kahn" ("son of Kohen"). Parker's mother is of German, and some English, descent; through her mother, Parker is descended from Esther Elwell, one of the accused during the Salem witch trials. Parker has identified culturally with her father's religion, Judaism, although she has had no religious training. She has said that even while her family lived in Cincinnati, her mother emulated a New York lifestyle. Parker's parents struggled to support their large family - often times the electricity could be shut off, or the family would have to forgo Christmases and birthdays for lack of money. Nonetheless she has stated that "I wouldn't change any of it, for anything. . . for the most part, we had everything we needed. Not always, but for the most part. " Parker's mother immersed her children in culture and extracurricular activities; she often took them to free public institutions like the ballet and the theatre in Cincinnati, so that they lived "full, rich lives. "