The Jackson Family Tree Explained

The Jackson family is one of the most famous sets of relatives to touch down in the music industry. Their introduction into the limelight was all set in motion in the mid-'60s when five brothers from the family came together to form the popular band The Jackson 5. The group was composed of brothers, from youngest to oldest: Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael (via Britannica). Together, the quintet churned out hit after hit, and was one of Motown's best bands at the time (via Motown Museum). Then came the star of the band, Michael Jackson, who would become the standout and most popular member of The Jackson 5.

When Michael recorded his first solo song, he became an even bigger star. And after he left his band of brothers, literally, another brother named Randy would join the mix. But there weren't just boys in this musically talented family. Janet Jackson is the most famous female member from the family, one of three daughters in total, contrasting the six sons the Jackson parents had. Janet made her debut on television shows and went on to become a famous pop singer. As a family of 11, where does this family tree all begin?

The Jackson family patriarch

Hailing from Gary, Indiana, the Jackson family called the former industrial steel city home for most of the '50s and '60s. That is, until The Jackson 5 blew up to be a success, and family patriarch Joe Jackson moved them all to California by the early 1970s (via Coruja Music).

Joe Jackson gave the clan their famous surname. And though there were certainly Jacksons that preceded him, fame-wise, what is known to most as the Jackson family tree essentially began with him. Born as Joseph Jackson on July 26, 1928 in Fountain Hill, Arkansas,to Samuel Jackson (not the actor) and Crystal Lee King, he was the first of five children the couple had (via Biography). He would live in Arkansas and then California before settling in Indiana in his late teens. It was there that he met a young woman named Katherine, his soon-to-be wife. After marrying her, the couple would go on to have 10 children together. He died in 2018 at the age of 89 (via The Hollywood Reporter), but is survived by many, many Jacksons.

The Jackson family matriarch

Katherine Jackson was born in Barbour County, Alabama on May 4, 1930 to Prince Albert Screws and Martha Upshaw. Her given name at birth was actually Kattie B. Screws, which would later be changed to Katherine Scruse when she was a toddler (via Biography). At that stage in her life, she and her family wound up in Indiana. By the time she reached her teens, she met a married man named Joseph (Joe). He would divorce his wife and marry Katherine in 1949.

She would spend 68 years married to Joe, but the couple would be separated for large periods of time (via Entertainment Tonight). They married in 1949, but Katherine filed for divorce on two occasions throughout their marriage, per ShowBizz411, as a result of Joe's infidelity. A result of stepping out of his marriage was Joh'Vonnie Jackson, the half-sister to the Jackson siblings (via DailyMail). It is something Katherine detailed in her 1990 memoir.

In happier times though, the couple had a large brood. Just a few months after Joe and Katherine tied the knot, the pair welcomed their first child in 1950. The Jacksons would have a child nearly every year or so for a decade and a half.

The Jackson children

Just a few weeks after Katherine's 20th birthday, she gave birth to the couple's first child and daughter, Rebbie Jackson, on May 29, 1950 (via MTV). Almost a year later, in 1951, the Jacksons' second child and first son, Jackie, was born. Their son Tito was born in 1952. About a year later, another son, Jermaine, was born. On Rebbie's sixth birthday, her first sister La Toya was born, in 1956. Following that birth came twin boys Marlon and Brandon in 1957, though Brandon died at birth. About a year and a half later Michael was born, in 1958. A few years later came Randy in 1961. A substantial time period would pass by before the couple had another child. Some five years later, their last child was their third daughter, Janet, who was born in 1966.

Though nine survived, the Jacksons had a total of 10 children together. Out of all of their children, the only one who didn't really have much of a spotlight was the eldest, Rebbie. She did, however, have some acting credits (via IMDb) and recorded three albums (via Discogs). Her younger siblings went on to garner names for themselves. First it was the boys with the formation of The Jackson 5, Michael going on to become the King of Pop, Randy also joining the band after Michael's departure, Janet starting out as a child star and eventually having her own successful music career, and La Toya also having a singing career as well as posing for Playboy magazine, per The Chicago Tribune.

The children of the Jackson kids

Naturally, a large family such as the Jacksons would go on to expand the family even more and have children of their own. There came many marriages, divorces, and of course, new marriages. All of the Jackson kids would get married. The first was Rebbie in 1968 (via Biography), who had three children. The first son to get married was Tito, who tied the knot with Delores 'Dee Dee' Jackson in 1972 (via ABC News). Together they had three children. Following him was Jermaine who married Hazel Gordy (pictured), the daughter of Motown boss Berry Gordy, in 1973 (Biography). They, too, would have three children. But he would go on to get married more several times, and has nine children total. 

His older brother Jackie wed in 1974 to Enid Arden Span and had two children with her (via United Press International). He would later remarry, too, and is currently married to the mother of his twin boys (via EurWeb). In 1975, Marlon married his girlfriend Carol Ann Parker and they had three children (I Love Old School Music). He is the only brother who has remained married to his first wife.

Michael famously married Lisa Marie Presley (Biography) and Debbie Rowe. The latter marriage brought him three children. Randy had three children also, stemming from two relationships. La Toya would marry just once and have no children, and Janet married three times, and had her first, and so far only, child with her now-ex-husband, Wissam Al Mana (via People Magazine).

Some Jackson kids' kids have stepped into the spotlight

The elder Jacksons had four grandchildren through their daughters. Their sons, however, gave the couple close to two dozen grandchildren. And of course, their grandchildren would go on to have children. Save for Janet, La Toya, Michael, and Randy, all of the Jackson children are grandparents as well.

Michael Jackson's children have been in the public eye since before their births. Paris Jackson (born in 1998) and Prince Jackson (born in 1997) were both born during Michael's marriage to Debbie Rowe. The third child, Prince Michael Jackson II, was born in 2002 via an unnamed surrogate mother (per Smooth Radio). Then there's members of the band 3T (pictured), who are the sons of Tito Jackson and Rebbie Jackson: Toriano Adaryll Jackson, Jr., Taryll Adren Jackson, Tito Joe Jackson, and Austin Brown. Jermaine Jackson Jr. didn't go into music but has made appearances on reality TV, as his girlfriend was a cast member of the show "Shahs of the Sunset" (via Bravo TV).

A bump in the tree

The Jackson family tree is pretty straightforward, but there's a repeat in the tree that shows up in the name of Alejandra Genevieve Oaziaza (pictured). She first entered the family as the girlfriend of Randy Jackson. Together the pair had two children, but something else would connect their children even closer to their cousins. At some point in their relationship, the pair split and Oaziaza found refuge in Randy's older brother, Jermaine. To further complicate the family situation, Jermaine, too, would have children with Oaziaza. He married her in 1995 and they had three children.

Aside from the beef between brothers the romance created (via New York Post), the two brothers now evidently have some children who are not only cousins, but siblings too. Neither brother today is with Oaziaza, as she and Jermaine divorced in 2003 (via Yahoo). Jermaine has also remarried and divorced after his marriage to her, and in 2018 became engaged to tie the knot once more, per Rolling Out.