‘Sister Wives’: Are Kody and His Wives Related? How the Brown Family Lines Are Connected

The Brown family, featured for the last 16 seasons of Sister Wives, has a complicated family tree. The family already has an untraditional family tree considering they are practicing polygamists. It becomes even more confusing when all of Kody’s wives’ family lines cross. Let’s unravel the confusing Brown family trees and see how they connect.

Christine Brown, Janelle Brown, Kody Brown, Robyn Brown, and Meri Brown ‘Sister Wives’ standing in front of a red background.
Christine Brown, Janelle Brown, Kody Brown, Robyn Brown, and Meri Brown’ Sister Wives’ | TLC

With the help of Ancestry.com, Radar Online found that the husband and wife, Kody and Christine, are actually distant cousins. According to the report, Christine’s great-great-grandfather, Bryon Allred, was brother to Nelson Allread, Kody’s great-great-grandfather. While it’s a very distant relation, it still feels strange that they share ancestors, William Moore Allred and Orissa Angela Bates — which means that Kody and Christine are fourth cousins.

Christine Brown and Kody Brown sitting on set on a couch on ‘Sister Wives’
Christine Brown and Kody Brown on ‘Sister Wives’ | TLC

Sister Wives fans might find this shocking, but the family once belonged to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) church sect called The Apostolic United Brethren (AUB). When this section of the church was founded, it was a tight-knit group, and it’s not uncommon for the members to share the same ancestor.

Janelle’s mother married Kody’s father

Kody also happens to be stepsiblings with his second wife, Janelle Brown. According to Sister Wives Wiki, Janelle’s mother, Sheryl Usher, remarried after her husband died in 1972. She married Kody’s father, William Winn Brown, and became one of his wives three months before Janelle married Kody.

Janelle Brown and Kody Brown sitting together on a couch on the set of ‘Sister Wives’
Janelle Brown and Kody Brown, ‘Sister Wives’ | TLC

This means that when Janelle and Kody married (spiritually), they were already stepsiblings. While it’s not illegal, it is another example of family lines crossing over.

Janelle was married to Meri’s brother

Yet another strange connection is that Janelle was married to her sister wife’s brother. Janelle was married to Meri’s brother, Adam Barber, in 1988. They divorced for unknown reasons in 1990.

Meri Brown and Kody Brown looking sad during confessional on ‘Sister Wives’
Meri Brown and Kody Brown, ‘Sister Wives’ | TLC

Then, Meri introduced her former sister-in-law, Janelle, to her husband, Kody, and the two began courting. Janelle and Kody married spiritually on January 20, 1993.

There is yet another strange connection between the Brown family and Robyn’s ex-husband, David Jessop. Before Robyn married Kody, she was legally married to David from 1999 to 2007. The name “Jessop” is a well-known name in the polygamist community. Merril Jessop was the de facto head of the FLDS church from December 2007 to February 2011.

Robyn Brown sitting on a couch with Kody Brown talking on ‘Sister Wives’
Robyn Brown and Kody Brown, ‘Sister Wives’ | TLC

So it’s not a surprise that the lineage of the Browns leads back to the Jessops. According to ScreenRant, Robyn’s ex-husband is Christine’s first cousin and Kody’s third cousin. This means that the three children from Robyn’s marriage to David Jessop are somehow blood-related to their adoptive father, Kody Brown.

The Brown family tree is a complicated mess as just trying to untangle it is difficult. Fans can watch more of Sister Wives Season 16 on TLC and discovery+.

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