‘Yellowstone’: How John and James Dutton Are Connected

by Courtney Blackann

If you’ve been confused about how James and John Dutton are related, you’re not alone. Since “1883” aired, fans of “Yellowstone” are questioning the family ties between the two characters. And while we are pretty sure that James Dutton (Tim McGraw) is the great-great-grandfather of John Dutton (Kevin Costner) some fans are here to break it down.

Debating in a post on Reddit, several people discussed the Dutton origins. One fan poses the question, “On the road west Taylor Sheridan said James Dutton is the great great great grandfather of John Dutton. HOW???”

And several had some answers.

“It makes sense. I knew both my great grandfathers. My grandpa died at 73, his dad, my great grandpa died 6 months before him at 99. We were all alive at the same time. My great grandpa’s grandfather would be my great great great grandfather. That’s not at all unrealistic,” the poster writes.

They continue, saying:

“John’s (Kevin Costner) dad’s (John Sr./Dabney Coleman) great grandpa, is James’ (Tim McGraw) son John (Elsa’s baby brother) from 1883. That makes James, John’s great great great grandfather.”

“Yellowstone” Fans Continue Dutton Debate

Yet another person says they’re just confused about the familial relation.

“I have been pretty confused about how many *great greats grandpas he is. James oldest son John is referred to as John Sr. I wonder what Suffix the current John is IV? I do know that if they don’t use the same middle names, then they are no longer Jr or the 3rd or whatever. For example George W. Bush isn’t technically a Jr. bc his dad had the second middle name that he didn’t have,” they write.

And while Taylor Sheridan hasn’t explicitly clarified who James Dutton is to John Dutton, the timeline would make sense that John is indeed the great-grandchild of James Dutton. As more seasons unfold of “1883” and “Yellowstone,” we may find out more details about the future Duttons.

Either way, the actors are having a blast bringing Sheridan’s stories to life throughout different time periods. And Tim McGraw says he likes to lighten the mood on set by bringing a little music to the cast’s lives.

“Somebody says something, and it reminds me of a song, so I start singing,” McGraw explained in an interview with CBS This Morning earlier this week.

He further adds:

“I’m sure [the cast and crew are] pretty tired of it by now, but you know, there’s going to be a little levity on set. Because everything is so dramatic on this show, and there’s a lotta heavy stuff going on. So, you know, every chance I get to sort of lighten it up a bit, I try to.”