Ready to meet the ancestors of the Dutton family? Thanks to the Yellowstone prequel‘s teaser, we’ve already met one. But who is he? We’re taking a look at actor Kevin Costner’s own genealogy to figure out who exactly this Dutton ancestor might be.
Friday’s surprise announcement of Y: 1883 means we’re getting the Yellowstone spinoff we’ve always wanted. Y:1883 will be taking us over a century into America’s past to explore the true Western roots of the Dutton family. As such, we’re set to meet a whole new slew of Dutton folk – the ancestors of John Dutton and his children.
Thanks to the ominous teaser, we’ve gotten not only our first glimpse at the show’s tone – but at it’s characters, as well. Who is this mysterious man? A Dutton? Let’s take a look at the evidence.
1883‘s effective teaser begins with his words. Within, a grizzly, baritone voice breaks through the howling winds of winter to mark severe words onto another soul:
“I don’t care if you live or die. But should you live, you tell them about me…”
By the wordage on display here, we can surmise several things. Chief among them being: this is a direct ancestor of John Dutton. Within the same teaser, Paramount touts the directly as Yellowstone’s origin story.
As such, this key piece of dialogue – meant to impress the deliverer’s importance onto another person – would come straight from a (or the) key player in the Yellowstone dynasty. Therefore, we can safely assume that this man is A.) A Patriarchal Dutton, B.) The key ancestor to John, C.) The man settling Yellowstone Ranch.
According to the show’s lore, the Duttons have been in direct “possession” of Yellowstone ranch since the family settled the land during America’s Western Expansion. Friday’s reveal of a plot synopsis cements this as the plot of the show.
Within, we’re told that 1883 will follow the ancestors of John Dutton and his children “as they embark on a journey west through the Great Plains towards the last bastion of untamed America.”
In doing so, Yellowstone mastermind Taylor Sheridan promises “a stark retelling of Western expansion.” Music to any fan’s ears. Moreover, 1883 will serve as “an intense study of one family fleeing poverty to seek a better future in America’s promised land – Montana.”
Yellowstone Genealogy: Using Kevin Costner as a John Dutton Blueprint
Through all of this, we know this ancestral Dutton is a tough SOB, just like his descendants. Furthermore, if we take standard genealogy into account, we can make an educated guess as to which ancestral Dutton this is.
While we don’t know John Dutton’s exact age, we can assume he’s relatively as old as legendary actor Kevin Costner. At 66, Costner – and presumably Dutton – are of the “Baby Boomer” generation. Costner was born January 18, 1955, and most boomers have parents that were born before World War II, and grandparents born after the turn of the 20th century.
A look at Costner’s own genealogy reveals his paternal grandfather, Walter Madison Costner, was born in May 1905 in Oklahoma. Walter’s father, Moses Amariah Costner, was born in July of 1870. This would be Costner’s great-grandfather, who would only be 13 at the time fictional Y:1883 is set.
As a result, we need to go one Costner – and hypothetical Dutton – further back. Moses Costner’s father, Andrew Jackson Costner, was born in 1832 and lived til the age of 59 in 1892. This would make Andrew the correct generation to lead his family across the Western Expansion.
Finally, this would lead us to believe that the man speaking in this trailer is none other than John Dutton’s great-great-grandfather. Whether his name will end up as undeniably American as Andrew Jackson Costner, however, we can only guess.
Hear the ancestral Dutton speak once more below, and get all fired up for Yellowstone: 1883.
Yellowstone brings you its origin story. New series streaming in 2021, only on Paramount+.Paramount Plus
For all the latest on Yellowstone and upcoming prequel series Y:1883, stick with your fellow fans at Outsider.com. Up next: