ronald reagan family tree

Ronald Reagan Family Tree

As a historian specializing in presidential genealogy, my experience with Ronald Reagan's family tree has been deeply enlightening. I believe that understanding his ancestry offers invaluable insight into his character and presidency.

Delving into the lives of his parents, Jack and Nelle, revealed to me the humble beginnings from which he ascended to great heights. The diversity and achievements of his children further highlight the complexities within his lineage.

This exploration has not only enriched my expertise but also connected me to the intricate web of American history that Reagan's family personifies.

Key Takeaways

  • Ronald Reagan's ancestry and origins can be traced back to County Tipperary, Ireland, with his great-grandfather immigrating to Illinois and changing the family name to Reagan.
  • Reagan's immediate family consisted of his parents, Jack and Nelle Reagan, his older brother Neil Moon Reagan, and his five children from two marriages: Maureen, Michael, Patti, Ron P., and Christine (who passed away shortly after birth).
  • Reagan's marriages to Jane Wyman and Nancy Reagan expanded his family tree, with a total of six children.
  • Reagan's legacy and impact are evident through the establishment of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, his influence on American politics and culture, and his advocacy for Alzheimer's research.

Early Ancestors and Origins

Tracing back to the roots of Ronald Reagan's lineage, his great-grandfather Michael O'Regan hailed from County Tipperary, Ireland before immigrating to Illinois and transforming the family name to Reagan. Michael and his wife, Catherine Mulcahey, planted their new American legacy, which flourished into generations that would ultimately shape the nation.

John Michael Reagan, Ronald's grandfather, was the first of the Reagans born in the United States. Their family, with Irish, Scottish, and English heritage, initially resided above a tavern in Tampico, Illinois. Eventually, they moved above a store in Dixon, Illinois.

It was here that Ronald Reagan's father, Edward Jack Reagan, met and married Nelle Clyde Wilson, further entwining the diverse family roots that contributed to the future President's rich ancestral tapestry.

Reagan's Immediate Family

Ronald Reagan's immediate family included his parents, Jack and Nelle Reagan, his older brother Neil, and his five children, among whom were individuals with significant public and political involvement. His first wife, Jane Wyman, was an actress and the mother of Maureen and Michael Reagan. Nancy Reagan, his second wife, was an influential First Lady of the United States. Each member of Reagan's family contributed to his legacy in unique ways.

RelationshipNameNotable Information
ParentsJack and NelleMarried in November 1904
Older BrotherNeil Moon ReaganRonald's only sibling
Children with WymanMaureen, MichaelMaureen was politically active; Michael adopted and had careers in entertainment
Children with NancyPatti, Ron P.Patti, also known as Patricia Ann, held liberal views; Ron P. active in political commentary

Siblings and Close Relatives

While exploring the branches of Ronald Reagan's family tree, his older brother Neil Moon Reagan emerges as a notable figure with a background in entertainment and politics, similar to the paths followed by some of Reagan's children. Ronald Reagan was born to Jack Reagan and Nelle on February 6, 1911, in Tampico, Illinois, as one of two children.

Here's what you should know about Reagan's siblings and close relatives:

  1. Neil Moon Reagan, born in 1908, delved into the entertainment industry and was active in Republican politics before his death in 1996.
  2. Ronald Reagan fathered four children with his two wives, Jane Wyman and Nancy Reagan.
  3. Each of Reagan's children, Maureen, Michael, Patricia, and Ronald, pursued diverse careers, from acting to political commentary.

Marriage to Jane Wyman

Diving into the personal life of the 40th President of the United States, you'll find that Ronald Reagan's first marriage was to actress Jane Wyman in 1940. This union expanded his family tree with three children before ending in divorce in 1949. Ronald, born in 1911, had attended Eureka College, launching a career in acting that eventually led him to Wyman.

Their marriage produced Maureen, Michael, and Christine, although Christine sadly didn't survive long after birth. Despite the dissolution of their marriage, Reagan and Wyman maintained public civility. Post-divorce, Wyman remarried Fred Karger.

Reagan's personal life took another turn when he met Nancy Davis, an actress who'd become his second wife and the future First Lady.

Children With Jane Wyman

During his marriage to Jane Wyman, Ronald Reagan fathered three children: Maureen, born in 1941; Michael, adopted in 1945; and Christine, who was born prematurely in 1947 and tragically passed away shortly after birth.

Here are some facts about Reagan's family with Jane Wyman to deepen your understanding:

  1. Maureen Reagan: Pursued acting and later became active in politics, much like her father. She served as a co-chair of the Republican National Committee.
  2. Michael Reagan: Although adopted, he became fully integrated into the Reagan family. Michael has worked as a radio host and political commentator.
  3. Christine Reagan: Her short life was a sorrowful chapter in Reagan and Wyman's family story, reflecting the personal challenges they faced alongside their professional lives.

Marriage to Nancy Davis

Ronald Reagan tied the knot with actress Nancy Davis on March 4, 1952, marking the start of a partnership that would extend from Hollywood to the White House. As Ronald Reagan's trusted advisor, Nancy played a significant role throughout his political career. They shared a commitment not only to each other but also to public service, which continued even after his presidency.

Married to Nancy DavisMarch 4, 1952
First Child (Patti) BornOctober 21, 1952
Second Child (Ron) BornMay 20, 1958
Ronald Reagan's Presidency1981 – 1989

Their union was celebrated for its strength and devotion, with Nancy Davis continuing to advance various causes following Ronald Reagan's passing in 2004.

Children With Nancy Davis

Together, Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis welcomed two children into their family: Patti Davis, born on October 21, 1952, and Ron Reagan, born on May 20, 1958.

The lives of the Reagan children have been objects of public interest, and here are key facts about them:

  1. Patti Davis: Often recognized as the 'First Daughter' during Reagan's presidency, Patti pursued an acting career and authored several books. She's been known for her political activism, which at times has contrasted sharply with her father's policies.
  2. Ron Reagan: Unlike his sister, Ron didn't pursue an acting career. He became a journalist and a political commentator, contributing to various media outlets and known for his liberal views, which also stood in contrast to his father's conservative legacy.
  3. Public Figures: Both children have lived their lives in the public eye, each carving out their own paths while navigating the legacy of their parents.

Notable Descendants

Beyond the immediate family of Ronald Reagan, several descendants have made their own marks on various professional fields and public spheres. As you delve into the Ronald Reagan family tree, you'll come across notable descendants who have contributed to different sectors, including Alzheimer's research, a cause closely associated with the Reagan legacy due to the former president's battle with the disease.

NameRelationNotable Achievement
Cameron ReaganGrandsonBusiness endeavors
Ashley ReaganGranddaughterAdvocacy in Alzheimer's research
Michael ReaganAdopted sonPolitical commentator
Patti DavisDaughterAuthor and activist

These individuals continue to carry the Reagan name into new areas, honoring their family heritage while forging their own paths.

Reagan's Irish Heritage

While exploring the achievements of Ronald Reagan's descendants, it's also fascinating to look back at his ancestral roots, particularly the Irish lineage originating from County Tipperary. Here are some facts about Reagan's Irish heritage:

  1. Ronald Reagan's great-grandfather, Michael O'Regan, hailed from County Tipperary before immigrating to Illinois, where the Reagans family began their American story.
  2. After the Reagans moved to the United States, they Americanized their surname from O'Regan to Reagan, a common practice among immigrants seeking to assimilate.
  3. Jack Reagan, Ronald Reagan's father, carried this Irish Catholic heritage, directly connecting Ronald Reagan to the emerald hills of Ireland.

Understanding these roots provides insight into the cultural mosaic that shaped Ronald Reagan's identity and values.

Legacy and Preservation Efforts

Ronald Reagan's enduring impact on American politics and culture has spurred various efforts to preserve his legacy, including the establishment of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California. This institution not only commemorates Reagan's presidency but also serves as a resource for Alzheimer's research.

After Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in 1994, the condition and its effects on public figures came into the national spotlight. Your understanding of Reagan's influence wouldn't be complete without acknowledging his family's support for Alzheimer's research and the awareness raised by his diagnosis.

The library contributes to this cause, ensuring that Reagan's battle with Alzheimer's remains a pivotal part of his story and an impetus for ongoing research and education about the disease.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Was Ronald Reagans Ancestry?

You're exploring Reagan's heritage, which includes Irish Catholic from his dad's side and Scottish and English roots through his mom, reflecting a diverse ancestry that influenced his family's history and beliefs.

How Many Biological Children Did Ronald Reagan Have?

Ronald Reagan had four biological children: Maureen, Michael, Patti, and Ron. Their careers spanned politics, entertainment, writing, and activism, each leaving their own mark beyond their father's political legacy.

Who Was Ronald Reagan's Family?

You're inquiring about the family of Ronald Reagan. He was the son of Jack and Nelle Reagan, had a brother Neil, and fathered four children: Maureen, Michael, Patti, and Ron.

Did Ronald Reagan Have Any Siblings?

Yes, you're correct to wonder; Ronald Reagan did have a sibling. His older brother, Neil Moon Reagan, was also engaged in Republican politics and had a career in the entertainment industry.


In conclusion, Ronald Reagan's family tree reflects a rich tapestry of personal histories and cultural heritage.

From his Irish roots to his immediate relatives, each member has contributed to his legacy.

His children, from both marriages, have honored his memory by advancing Alzheimer's research.

The preservation of Reagan's lineage and the celebration of his ancestry underscore the familial bonds and diverse viewpoints that mark the Reagan family's place in history.