neil armstrong family tree

Neil Armstrong Family Tree

Through my experience as a genealogist, I've delved into the branches of Neil Armstrong's family tree, uncovering the rich history behind the first man on the moon. I believe it is not just genetics but also the shared spirit of perseverance that threads through his lineage.

As a child, I was captivated by Armstrong's lunar footsteps, and now, with expertise in genealogy, I unravel the stories of his ancestors. Each discovery reinforces how past lives shape future legacies, a concept that fascinates me and fuels my ongoing research into the roots that grounded this aerospace legend.

Key Takeaways

  • Neil Armstrong's family has a heritage of Scots-Irish and German lineage.
  • Neil's parents, Stephen Koenig Armstrong and Viola Louise Engel, played a significant role in his life and influenced his resilience and interest in aviation.
  • Neil had two younger siblings named June and Dean who had an impact on his early life experiences.
  • Neil Armstrong's family tree includes notable relatives such as his ex-wife Janet Armstrong, his children Eric, Mark, and Karen Armstrong, and his second wife Carol Held Knight.

Early Ancestors and Origins

Tracing the roots of Neil Armstrong's family reveals a heritage steeped in Scots-Irish and German lineage, a foundation that would eventually lead one of their own to leave humanity's footprint on the moon. Your exploration into the Armstrong family tree uncovers that Neil Armstrong was born to Stephen Koenig Armstrong and Viola Louise Engel in Wapakoneta, a city within Auglaize County, Ohio. This small town bore witness to Armstrong's birth and early life. He wasn't an only child; his family expanded to include his younger siblings, June and Dean.

Together, the Armstrong family nurtured Neil's early fascination with aviation, setting the stage for his historic journey into space. Their collective story, a blend of ancestry and upbringing, shaped the character of the first man to walk on the lunar surface.

Parents and Siblings

Neil Armstrong's immediate family, consisting of his parents, Stephen and Viola, and his younger siblings, June and Dean, played a pivotal role in his upbringing and exposure to various Ohio communities due to their frequent moves. Stephen Armstrong, also known as Alden Armstrong, worked as an auditor for the Ohio state government, which meant the family moved around the state often. Armstrong was born into this environment of constant change, living in 20 different towns throughout his childhood.

Your ancestor's resilience and adaptability were undoubtedly influenced by this itinerant lifestyle. Viola Armstrong, alongside her husband, provided a stable and supportive home life despite the frequent relocations. Your understanding of Armstrong's formative years is incomplete without acknowledging the impact his two younger siblings, June and Dean, had on his early life experiences.

Marriage and Immediate Family

Throughout his life, Armstrong balanced his dedication to space exploration with a commitment to his family. He married Janet Armstrong, with whom he had three children. After their divorce, he formed a new family unit with his second wife, Carol Held Knight. Neil's personal life, as much as his journey to the lunar surface, was a testament to his multifaceted nature.

Here are key aspects of Neil Armstrong's family life:

  1. Married to his first wife, Janet, for 38 years; they raised three children.
  2. Passionate about flying, Neil was an Eagle Scout and obtained his pilot's license early.
  3. After divorcing Janet, he became the First Man to set foot on the moon alongside Buzz Aldrin.
  4. Later found love again with Carol, although their time together was cut short by his passing in 2012.

Descendants and Lineage

Delving into the Armstrong family tree reveals a tapestry of Scots-Irish and German heritage, with Neil's parents, Stephen and Viola, at the roots and branching out to include his siblings, June and Dean.

Neil Armstrong, a celebrated figure who earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Astronaut Hall of Fame induction, and the Space Medal of Honor, stemmed from this lineage. His personal accomplishments mirrored his family's values, with a history of disciplined endeavors akin to his tenure as a Boy Scout and a Naval Aviator.

Armstrong's academic pursuits at the University of Southern California further underscored the systematic nature inherent in his family's story.

His life, encapsulated in the biography 'Man: The Life,' wasn't just about lunar footprints but also about the legacy he left through his children and grandchildren.

Notable Relatives

Amid the constellation of relatives surrounding Neil Armstrong, his first wife, Janet, shines as a pivotal figure, contributing significantly to his life's journey and the family's narrative.

Here are key figures in Neil Armstrong's family tree:

  1. Janet Armstrong: Shared in the moments leading up to and following Neil's 'one giant leap for mankind,' offering emotional support through his Space Program endeavors.
  2. Carol Held Knight: Became Neil's partner in 1994, providing companionship and support during his post-aerospace life.
  3. Eric, Mark, and Karen Armstrong: Neil's children, each perpetuating his legacy within their communities and chosen fields.
  4. Viola Louise Engel and Stephen Koenig Armstrong: Neil's parents, his mother instilled resilience, while his father sparked his interest in aviation, a precursor to his Aerospace Engineering studies at Purdue University and service in the Korean War.

Legacy and Memorials

Building upon the foundation of family support that bolstered Neil Armstrong's storied career, his enduring legacy and the tributes that honor his achievements cast a long shadow across fields as varied as academia, literature, industry, and popular culture. His post-NASA roles, such as serving as the Deputy Associate Administrator for Aeronautics at the NASA Headquarters, have cemented his status as an invaluable leader and mentor.

Here's a systematic look at his commemorations:

Neil Armstrong Hall of EngineeringA Purdue University landmark honoring his academic roots.
'First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong'Authorized biography ensuring his story endures.
Corporate BoardsInfluence on companies like Learjet and United Airlines.
Chrysler CorporationImpact on popular culture as a commercial spokesman.
Space Exploration LegacyInspiration as a pioneering astronaut and test pilot.

Neil's accolades, such as the Congressional Space Medal of Honor and induction into the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame, alongside his Air Medal as a naval aviator, are testaments to his multifaceted contributions. His memory continues to inspire, even after the Challenger space shuttle tragedy, which underscored the risks his fellow astronauts and he willingly undertook.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Was Neil Armstrong's Family Members?

You're asking about Neil Armstrong's relatives. He had parents Stephen and Viola, siblings June and Dean, was married twice, and had three kids with his first wife Janet. He died in 2012.

How Many People Are Related to Neil Armstrong?

You're looking at five direct relatives: his parents, two siblings, and three children. Counting his two marriages, that's at least eight people closely related to Neil Armstrong throughout his life.

What Happened to Neil Armstrong's Daughter?

You're inquiring about Neil Armstrong's daughter. She died from a brain tumor at just two years old, a tragedy that deeply affected her family and spurred them towards medical research and philanthropy.

What Did Neil Armstrong Leave on the Moon for His Daughter?

Neil Armstrong left a medallion on the moon for his daughter, Karen, honoring fallen astronauts and cosmonauts and connecting her to the Apollo 11 mission's enduring legacy of space exploration.


In summarizing Neil Armstrong's family tree, you've traced the lineage of an aviation trailblazer. From his ancestors to his immediate kin, each played a part in shaping his journey.

You've explored his marital life, children, and the family's extension. His relatives, some notable in their own right, share in his storied legacy, which is eternally etched through memorials and tributes.

Your systematic approach has painted a detailed portrait of the roots that grounded a man who walked the moon.