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The Dutton Family Tree, Explained


After months of anticipation, the Duttons are returning to our screen, and soon we’ll be in for a double dose, with the premiere of the fifth season of Yellowstone on November 13, and the new prequel series 1923 coming in December. Combined with the characters from the previous prequel, 1883, that’s a lot of Duttons to keep track of, so T&C has put together a family tree to make understanding all of those dramatic familial connections easier. Scroll on for everything we know so far about the lineage of Yellowstone’s first family. Spoilers ahead!

dutton family tree

Michael Stillwell

James Dutton

The patriarch of 1883, James (Tim McGraw) was a farmer from Tennessee. Haunted by his experiences in the Civil War, where he served in the Confederate army during the Battle of Antietam and was later held as a prisoner of war, James chose to strike out for a new life out west with his family in 1883. Along with his wife, Margaret, their children, Elsa and John, James’s sister Claire, and Claire’s daughter Mary Abel, James set out with a wagon train from Fort Worth, Texas, but the journey was dogged by tragedy. Following the death of Elsa on the trail, John and his remaining family decided to settle in Montana, on what would one day become the famous Yellowstone Dutton Ranch.

Margaret Dutton

The confident and uncompromising wife of James, Margaret (Faith Hill) was the Dutton family matriarch in 1883. A strong leader and fiercely protective of her family, she set out with James and their family on the trail westward, only to settle on a homestead in Montana after the death of their daughter Elsa.

 

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Elsa Dutton

Spirited Elsa (Isabel May) was the eldest child of James and Margaret Dutton and served as the narrator of 1883. Passionate and willful, Elsa was a skilled horseback rider and cowgirl, much to her mother’s chagrin. At the age of seventeen, she set out on a wagon train with her family in search of a new start in the west. Along the trail, she fell in love with a cowboy, Ennis, and the two planned to marry before Ennis was shot by a group of bandits. Later, Elsa becomes entangled with Sam, a Comanche warrior who saves her life on the trail. Though she and Sam acknowledged that she was his wife, he felt he could not leave his lands and people, and Elsa agreed to return to him after her family had completed their journey and found a homestead. However, not long after, Elsa was shot by an arrow during a retaliatory attack on the wagon train and ultimately died of her wounds. In her honor, James settled their remaining family on the spot in Montana where Elsa took her last breath.

Sam

A Comanche warrior who the Duttons met along the wagon trail in 1883, Sam professed to have taken his name from the man who killed his wife. He later began a romance with Elsa Dutton, and the two married without official ceremony. Feeling he belonged to the land and could not leave it, Sam remained behind as Elsa traveled on with her family, with the promise that she would return to him.

John Dutton Sr.

The son of James and Margaret Dutton, John was only a child when his family founded their homestead in Montana—the land that would ultimately become the Yellowstone Dutton ranch. As an adult, he worked with his uncle, Jacob Dutton, on the family land and have a family of his own, his wife Emma and son Jack. John Sr. is also presumed to be the father of John Dutton Jr., who would in turn father John Dutton III, the patriarch of Yellowstone.

Emma Dutton

The wife of John Dutton Sr. and the mother of Jack Dutton. She is also presumed to be the mother of John Dutton Jr. and the eventual grandmother of Yellowstone’s John Dutton III.

Jack Dutton

Carrying on his family’s heritage, Jack worked with his father, John Dutton Sr. and great-uncle, Jacob Dutton on the family’s Montana ranch.

John Dutton Jr/II

Presumed to be the son of John Dutton Sr. and Emma Dutton, he would later go on to become the father of John Dutton III, and grandfather to his four children, Lee, Jamie, Beth, and Kayce Dutton.

Spencer Dutton

The second son of James and Margaret Dutton, Spencer was born some time after the family settled in Montana. Spencer was also involved in WWI.

Claire nee Dutton

James Dutton’s stern sister was less than enthused about joining James and his family on their excursion out west, but joined them under protest, along with her teenage daughter Mary Abel, after she was left widowed and without options by the death of her husband Henry. Claire didn’t make it far along the trial, though. After a gang of ne’er-do-wells retaliated to Claire’s scorn by shooting several members of the wagon train, including Mary Abel, Claire died by suicide beside her daughter’s grave.

Henry

The husband of Claire—sister of James Dutton. He died sometime shortly before the events of 1883, leading his wife and daughter, Mary Abel, to travel with the Duttons.

Mary Abel

The only of Claire and Henry’s seven children to survive until 1883, Mary Abel was briefly on the trail to Oregon with her uncle James Dutton and his family. Not far outside of Fort Worth, Texas, their group was harassed by a local gang and in the midst of the altercation, Mary Abel was shot dead.

Jacob Dutton

The brother of James Dutton, Jacob (Harrison Ford) became the family patriarch in his brother’s stead in the early 1900s. Married to Cara, he worked the Dutton homestead alongside his nephews, John Sr. and Spencer, and great-nephew Jack.

Cara Dutton

The wife of Jacob Dutton, Cara (Helen Mirren) is the matriarch of the Dutton family in 1923.

John Dutton III

No one in the Dutton family takes their obligation to the land more seriously than John (Kevin Costner), owner of the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch—the largest contiguous ranch in the United States. A wealthy, powerful, uncompromising man, John lives by his own moral code, sometimes skirting the law, and sometimes outright flouting it to achieve his ends—a prospect made all the trickier when he becomes governor of Montana. John has a complicated relationship with his children, the now-deceased Lee, Jamie, Beth, and Kacey, but dotes on his grandson, Tate.

Evelyn Dutton

Perhaps the great love of John Dutton’s life, his wife Evelyn (Gretchen Mol) died in a horseback riding accident when her children were young. Both Beth and Kayce were with her at the time of her accident, and each carried their own trauma around the event, with Beth in particular feeling at fault for her mother’s death.

Lee Dutton

The world of Yellowstone could have been much different if not for the death of John and Evelyn’s eldest son, Lee. As the first born, it was Lee who John had planned to leave the ranch to, but in a skirmish over stolen cattle, Lee was killed, kicking off a complicated issue of inheritance for his remaining siblings.

Jamie Dutton

The black sheep of the Dutton family, Jamie struggles with both resentment and respect for his father, John. Having spent much of his life desperately searching for approval, lawyer Jamie has intermittently sided with and betrayed his family’s goals, and maintains a deeply adversarial relationship with his sister, Beth. As an adult, he accidentally discovers that he is not a biological member of the Dutton family, having been adopted by John and Evelyn when his biological father was imprisoned for murdering Jamie’s mother when Jamie was an infant.

Christina

The mother of Jamie’s son, Christina met Jamie while working on his campaign for state attorney general, later she joins up with Jamie’s biological father, Garrett Randall, to encourage Jamie to work against the Duttons.

Jamie and Christina’s son

Some time after Christina ended her relationship with Jamie, she gave birth to a baby boy. Their son has yet to be named on the show.

Beth Dutton

The only daughter of John Dutton, Beth has a reputation for being relentless and cutthroat—both in business and her personal life. Nonetheless, Beth does have a secret softer side, one that’s only revealed in her unwavering dedication to her father, and her decades-long love for her husband, Rip. Beth is the family’s corporate shark, going head-to-head with business interests that threaten the Dutton land, though she herself feels no special connection to the ranch. She has particular hatred for Jamie and has vowed to ruin any semblance of happiness in his life.

Rip Wheeler

John Dutton’s longtime righthand man, Rip came to the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch as a wayward teenager. On the run after killing the man who had murdered his family, Rip was taken under John’s wing and became fiercely dedicated to him, taking on even the most unsavory and secretive jobs. Perhaps the only competition with John for Rip’s loyalty is his devotion to Beth. Though they fell in love as teenagers, it took decades before they shared a real relationship, battling through their mutual demons and ultimately getting married.

Kayce Dutton

The youngest of the Dutton siblings, former Navy SEAL Kayce inherited his family’s fiery temperament. He has a contentious relationship with his father, John, though they share a love of ranching and the land. They were estranged for many years, in part because of Kayce’s relationship with his wife, Monica, and his decision not to let his son Tate get close to the rest of the family. Though he has returned to the Dutton fold, Kayce has remained uneasy in his position working for his father in various capacities, governmental and otherwise.

Monica Dutton

Independent and justice-minded Monica is never one to back down from what she thinks is right, even if it means going against the grain. Raised on the Broken Rock Reservation, Monica has served as a teacher both on the reservation and at the state university. She is often distrustful of the Dutton family, whom she views as a potentially dangerous influence on her and Kayce’s son, Tate.

Tate Dutton

The son of Kayce and Monica, enthusiastic Tate has less hesitation about his Dutton relatives than his parents do. Though he’s experienced trauma due to his connection with the family, having once been kidnapped because of them, he nonetheless seems to love the ranch, and especially horses. He gets along well with his grandfather, John, who views Tate as the ranch’s future.



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