The Dutton family tree: from 1883 to Yellowstone

Kevin Costner, Isabel May, Harrison Ford and Kelly Reilly
(Image credit: Future)

TV viewers have really gotten to know the Duttons over the last few years. Whether that's been the modern day Duttons defending their ranch from all challengers on Yellowstone or the original Dutton family that chose to make that land theirs in 1883. And we're meeting even more Duttons with another prequel, 1923.

However, keeping track of just how all of the Duttons are related can be a bit of a challenge (there are a lot of Johns in the family). So to help out, we've put together this Dutton family tree that covers the Duttons (and those closely associated with them) throughout 1883, 1923 and Yellowstone.

Take a look at the complete Dutton family tree right here:

Dutton family tree

(Image credit: Future)

Let's dive into where we meet each member of the Dutton family. Warning some spoilers ahead. 


Isabel May, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Audie Rick in 1883

Isabel May, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Audie Rick in 1883 (Image credit: Emerson Miller/Paramount+)

In 1883, we meet the Duttons who end up settling on the land that becomes the Yellowstone ranch. At the head of the family of four is James Dutton (Tim McGraw), a Civil War veteran who is looking for a life that his family can truly make their own, and Margaret Dutton (Faith Hill), a tough and proud woman who is more than capable of handling the challenges that await them on the trail and in creating their new home.

The Dutton children in 1883 include the 5-year-old John Dutton (Audie Rick) and, more prominently, his older sister Elsa (Isabel May). Elsa is strong-willed and itching for adventure, more comfortable on the back of her horse than in a dress and bonnet. Tragically, Elsa is shot through with an arrow on the trail, which ultimately kills her. Where she dies is where the Duttons decide to make their home.

Other members of the Dutton family featured in 1883 are James' widowed sister Claire Dutton (Dawn Olivieri) and her daughter Mary Abel (Emma Malouff). They also don't survive the journey. Mary Abel dies early on and rather than go on without her, Claire takes her own life (with the assistance of James).


James Badge Dale and Harrison Ford in 1923

James Badge Dale and Harrison Ford in 1923 (Image credit: Emerson Miller/Paramount+)

Forty years later, there are three generations of Duttons at the center of 1923. The new patriarch of the family, taking the reins after James, is James' brother Jacob Dutton (Harrison Ford). Taking Margaret's place on the ranch is James' wife, Cara Dutton (Helen Mirren), who looks to be among the proud tradition of Dutton women ready to do anything to protect their family.

The new show also features a grown up John Dutton Sr. (James Badge Dale). While Jacob has taken over as the head of the ranch, John is his trusted right-hand man. John is married to Emma (Marley Shelton), who is described as a dutiful wife. John also has a brother, born after the events of 1883 (but seen in a Yellowstone flashback), Spencer Dutton (Brandon Sklenar), who is a veteran of World War One.

John and Emma have a son, John "Jack" Dutton Jr. (Darren Mann), who is a proud and dedicated rancher and deeply loyal to his family. He is set to marry Elizabeth Strafford (Michelle Randolph), a feisty but capable young woman.

There has been some debate among fans whether it is actually Jack or Spencer that is father/grandfather of Kevin Costner's John Dutton in Yellowstone. For the moment we're going to stick with Jack, but will update the family tree as needed if new information presents itself.


Yellowstone - Best Western TV Shows

The Duttons on Yellowstone (Image credit: Paramount)

These are the Duttons that we have gotten to know best through Yellowstone's five seasons. The head of the family is, of course, John Dutton III (Kevin Costner), whose main goal in everything he does is to protect the land that his family has been on for 100 years. His wife and mother to his children was Evelyn Dutton (Gretchen Mol), who died when the kids were teenagers.

Speaking of the Dutton kids, John's eldest was Lee Dutton (Dave Annable), though he died in the series premiere. John's only daughter is Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly), who may not have embraced the cowboy way of life like the rest of her family, but she is viciously loyal and will do anything to protect them; she is married to Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser), the trusted ranch foreman. Kayce Dutton (Luke Grimes) is John's other son, who often struggles to balance his relationship to his father and his own family — wife Monica (Kelsey Asbille) and son Tate (Brecken Merrill). Monica is Native American, which brings a different perspective to the Dutton family.

The black sheep of Duttons is Jamie (Wes Bentley), who is actually John's adopted son. Jamie's real father is Garrett Randall (Will Patton), a former convict. This dynamic has driven a wedge between Jamie and the rest of the Duttons, as they aren't able to trust each other. Jamie also has his own son with his former campaign manager, Christina (Katherine Cunningham).

You can watch 1883 and 1923 exclusively on Paramount Plus. Yellowstone season 5 is currently underway, airing new episodes on Paramount Network in the US (past seasons are streaming on Peacock), while streaming on Paramount Plus in the UK.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.