Family Tree Tuesday – John Wayne

Posted October 18, 2011 by Amanda | 13 Comments

John Wayne

American actor, director and producer John Wayne epitomized rugged masculinity and became an enduring American icon. His career spanned five decades, leaving his most lasting impression in American Westerns. In 1999, the American Film Institute named him one of the greatest screen legends of all time.

He was born Marion Robert Morrison on May 26, 1907 in Winterset, Iowa. His father, Clyde Leonard Morrison, was a pharmacist. In 1906, he married Mary “Molly” Alberta Brown, a telephone operator. Wayne was born just eight months later, causing a stir.

Wayne’s paternal grandfather, Marion Mitchell Morrison, was a veteran of the American Civil War. After the war, he returned to Illinois and became a real estate agent.

When his younger brother was born, his parents changed his middle name so they could name their next son Robert. Robert Emmett Morrison would later enter into the entertainment industry and become a film producer.

Wayne was married three times and had a total of seven children. He married his first wife, Josephine Saenz, in 1933 and together they had four children. Their sons, Michael and Patrick, became film actors and producers as well.

After divorcing this second wife, Mexican actress Esperanza Ceballos, Wayne married Peruvian actress Pilar Pallete and together they had three children. Their son, Ethan, later became an actor and director of the John Wayne Cancer Foundation.

Most recently, Wayne’s actor grandson, Brendan Wayne, appeared on the big screen in the film Cowboys and Aliens. While his granddaughter, Jennifer Wayne, is a member of the country music group Stealing Angels. The group is comprised of the descendants of famous relatives, including a direct descendant of Daniel Boone and the granddaughter of country music star Loretta Lynn.

Check out John Wayne’s family tree on Geni and see how you’re related!

John Wayne's family tree

Post written by Amanda

Amanda is the Social Media Coordinator at Geni. If you need any assistance, she will be happy to help!

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  • Polly

    we are members of the morrison family in n.ireland and we are so proud to be related to such a wonderfull family bethany acton is so so proud to be related to the great man john wayne and would be a lifetime wish to ever meet the rest of the family

    • Erin

      How are you related to John Wayne. He was cousins with my Grandpa, Alexander Johnstone Morrison.

      • pauline acton

        We are the Morrison family from portadown

  • Erin Marium Barnes (Morrison)

    John Wayne is my grandpas cousin. My grandpas name was Alexander Johnstone Morrison.

  • Robert Morrison

    Hi Erin,
    I’m researching a possible link between the Wayne family and our family of Morrisons who came from the village of Tildarg, just outside Ballyclare in county Antrim. My father told me many years ago I was called after Robert Morrison who fought in the 1798 United Irishmen rebellion in Antrim. Was this the same rebel Robert Morrison who fled Ireland in 1799 from the same area and ultimately led to John Wayne? That’s what i’m trying to prove. Which Morrison is your grandfather descended from?
    Rob Morrison

  • jeff david

    Dick parsons, my moms cousin, mother,Ivy Parsons married to Harry Parsons. Wad he related to John Wayne aka Mariom Morrison?

  • Erin

    I would have to ask my aunts more about this. I know that my grandfathers name is Alexander Johnstone Morrison and it is a name that was passed down for generations to the eldest son.

    • pauline acton

      Its still feels good to us all here jn Ireland to be part of your family tree take care and our best wishes go with you xx

    • pauline acton

      If you ever want to come over to Ireland and see all the places and cousins of the big man let us know we will always find room take care and thanks for getting in touch x

  • Robert Michael Morrison

    I am a Morrison From Cherry Fork, Adams county Ohio. I am related to Robert Morrison who came over from Ireland and settled in Cherry Fork.

    • pauline acton

      We are the Morrison family from portadown n.ireland true family from the big man himself when he was over in Ireland he visited these cousins and ill always remember my mother in law telling me about eash and every day of the making of the film the quite man how she used to watch in wonder of it all i would have loved to have been there but with all the family stirys we all lived through the wonderment’s of these i know my family are proud to be a small part of this family tree glad you contacted me fhanks

  • Becca Morrison

    John Wayne is my seventh cousin :D

  • pauline acton

    Hi Becca glad to here your a cousin of the big man,some day it is our family dream that we can meet any connection of this wonderful man,as you know he came back to ireland and the funny thing is my mother in law was watching all this film making from a distance, unbeknowning to her that she would marry into the Morrision family.I know it may sound daft but my husband and my children have a look in their features like the big man we are all so glad that his roots are here,and his family line still goes on thanks again cousin