Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have enjoyed more than a decade as reality TV stars — simply because of the size of their family. (OK, and because of their highly religiously-conservative way of raising them.) But 19 kids is a lot, and viewers have been captivated over how the Duggars logistically make it all work.
Interestingly, neither Michelle nor Jim Bob came from families that were even close to being as large as the one they created. But does Jim Bob Duggar have any siblings? Keep reading to learn all about the Duggar patriarch's original family.
So does Jim Bob Duggar have siblings?
Yes! He has one older sister named Deanna — but that's it. Jim Bob's mother, Mary, and father, James "Jimmy Lee" Duggar (who have both passed), were parents of only two children: Deanna and James Robert (aka Jim Bob).
Through the years, both Deanna and her only daughter, Amy, have been featured on the Duggar family's various TLC series, including:17 Kids & Counting, 18 Kids & Counting, 19 Kids & Counting, and Counting On.
In 2014, Deanna was also a part of a brief special of 19 Kids & Counting called A Duggar Leaves Home, which followed Amy's attempt to "make it" in Nashville as a vocal artist. "I know Amy has the talent, and I know she can do it," Deanna said in support of her daughter.
Spoiler alert: A career in music never became a reality for Amy. But hey, she got to make this cute music video because of the experience. (So it wasn't a complete waste of time.)
Jim Bob's sister, Deanna, had Amy out of wedlock.
This might not seem like a huge deal for most families. But considering Jim Bob and Michelle require their children to have chaperones during courtships, only allow side-hugging before engagement, and encourage to their kids to save their first kiss until their wedding day, it's practically a scandal that Deanna wasn't married when Amy was conceived.
Although Deanna and Amy never made it a point to hide this fact (they reportedly addressed it on 19 Kids & Counting,) the "out of wedlock" headlines hit hard in early 2015. Amy took to Instagram at the time to confirm the "news" — and also to explain.
"The tabloids are telling the truth, my mom and dad did have me out of wedlock," Amy wrote. "Just because we are Christians doesn't make us perfect, it just makes us forgiven. Just because I share the Duggar name doesn't mean my life is perfect!"
Amy went on to say that she was "extremely grateful to my mom for choosing to give me life."
"I'm sure she was scared, young, ridiculed, and felt ashamed," the Duggar cousin wrote. "God's grace covered it though! She's beautiful inside and out. I'm also grateful that I have such an awesome relationship with my dad! Seriously he's the greatest!"
Although Deanna and Amy are essentially the rebels of the Duggar family, they still remain close to Jim Bob, Michelle, and their 19 children. Deanna is the only sibling Jim Bob has, after all. And since Grandma Mary Duggar's unexpected death in 2019, she's also the last remaining member of his original family who is still alive.
Hopefully, viewers will continue to see Deanna and Amy appear on Counting On for major Duggar family events. Be sure to tune into Season 11, which starts airing on Tuesday, July 7 at 8 p.m. (EST) on TLC.