‘Yellowstone,’ ‘1923’ Family Tree Guide

Why are Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren in a show together, and how is it connected to the show you and your Dad are obsessed with? 1923 is a prequel to Yellowstone that expands the history of the Dutton family and is a sequel to 1883. Okay, expanded universe! Okay, House of the Cowboys!

While not all of director/producer Taylor Sheridan’s various Western projects connect, these two most certainly do. But unlike a certain prequel about a family set in Westeros, 1923 and Yellowstone are only 100 years apart. So here’s how the Dutton family tree connects 1883 and 1923 to Yellowstone. I promise it’s not really that complicated.

The 1883 Duttons

Let’s start at the very beginning, at least chronologically. In the series that takes place furthest back in time, Tim McGraw plays James Dutton. He has a wife named Margaret, played by Faith Hill. (Try explaining that to someone who doesn’t watch the show. Sounds like CMT fan fiction!) The two will ultimately have three kids, though not all appear in this series. Elsa is a teenager, John is a little kid, and Spencer is not yet born. James and Margaret’s great-great and great-great-great-grandchildren are the main characters on Yellowstone… but we’ll get to them in a minute.

The 1923 Duttons

Harrison Ford plays James’s brother Jacob Dutton, but Jacob and his wife Cara (Helen Mirren) don’t have any children.

harrison ford as jacob dutton and helen mirren as cara dutton in 1923 streaming on paramount 2022 photo credit james minchin iii paramount

James Minchin

You’ve seen a younger version of Spencer, played by Charlie Stover, in flashbacks on Yellowstone that were set between the two prequel series. Elsa is played on 1883 and 1923 by Isabel May. (She also narrates the prequels.) But that is about as complicated as it gets. The family tree itself is straightforward. It’s just when we have and have not seen various members on screen that’s tricky.

John, the eldest, has a son named Jack with his wife Elizabeth. Jack, played by Darren Mann on the show, has a son named John Dutton II, who grows up to be the late patriarch of Yellowstone played by Dabney Coleman.

The Yellowstone Duttons

John Dutton II died in the year 2000, leaving his son John Dutton III (Kevin Costner) and his kids Kayce, Beth, Lee, and Jamie to run the ranch. That’s the premise of the series Yellowstone, as you know, so now we’re all caught up!

So that means that Harrison Ford’s character is great-great-uncle to Kevin Costner’s character. Pretty simple, right? Some family trees can be normal *clears throat* Targaryens, without a lot of weird incest and complications.

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