Married more than 30 years ago on July 21, 1984, the Duggar family matriarch and patriarch waited four years to have their first child, Josh. After conceiving again and suffering a miscarriage, which they say occurred because she was taking birth control and didn’t know she was pregnant, they decided to let God “bless them with as many children as he saw fit.” With new babies arriving roughly every year and a half, they’ve worked hard to keep their union on track. “We have a weekly date, even if it is just to take a walk in the park,” Jim Bob, a former Arkansas politician, told PEOPLE in 2009. “We will go out to lunch or dinner and talk together about the kids, upcoming events, what we have coming up.”
Michelle and Jim Bob’s eldest son and his wife have five children – eldest daughter Mackynzie, sons Michael and Marcus, daughter Meredith Grace (born amid Josh’s inappropriate touching scandal in 2015) and a baby boy named Mason Garrett, who they welcomed in September 2017.
The Duggars’ oldest daughter, who plays the piano, violin and harp and has helped homeschool her siblings, has a twin brother who loves fast cars but was born three minutes after his sister.
In June 2018, the Duggar family announced John David is courting Abbie Burnett. “We are so excited to announce the courtship of John David and Abbie! John David brings our hearts so much joy and we’ve watched him faithfully pray, wait, and trust God for the right girl to come along! Now, a beautiful relationship has blossomed between the two of them. We can’t wait to see what the Lord will do in the future,” the parents wrote in a joint statement.
Five Duggar sisters were bridesmaids and two brothers were groomsmen when Michelle and Jim Bob’s second daughter wed in June 2014 in Springdale, Arkansas. “I am the most blessed man to have Jill,” Derick told PEOPLE after their nuptials, which per custom, saved their first kiss for last. In April of 2015, the couple welcomed a baby boy, Israel David, into the clan. The blessings continued in 2017, when son Samuel Scott joined the family.
The Duggars’ third daughter married in November of 2014 before a packed crowd of more than 1,000 at the First Baptist Church in Bentonville, Arkansas. The couple welcomed their first child Spurgeon Elliot a year later after a dramatic two-day labor; baby Henry Wilberforce joined the family in February 2017.
The family is expanding again! PEOPLE exclusively revealed in July that Jinger Duggar and professional soccer player Jeremy Vuolo (another “J” name!) were engaged — and on Nov. 5, 2016, the two said “I do” in front of 1,000 guests at Cathedral of the Ozarks at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, with the groom’s father officiating. In January 2018, the couple announced they are expecting their first child.
The two knew each other for 15 years before entering into a courtship in 2016. “It’s really special that I got to grow up with him and my family knows him really well,” Joy-Anna told PEOPLE before marrying her fiancé of three months in May 2017. “We feel so happy and so excited!” They were even more excited to expand their family in February 2018, welcoming their first child, son Gideon Martyn Forsyth.
The Duggars’ 23-year-old son married his 19-year-old bride on Sept. 8, 2017, at the First Baptist Church in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. “It’s something that I’ve always dreamed of to have a wife and to raise to raise a family in a way that honors the Lord,” he told PEOPLE. “We are to very excited to see what God has in the future for us.”
In June 2018, the newlyweds welcomed their first child, son Garrett. “No matter how many times we’ve experienced the joy of babies born in our families, there’s nothing comparable to the joy in our hearts today! Children truly are a gift from God. We are so thankful for his safe arrival and this new journey as parents,” the parents said in a statement.
At 21 years old, Josiah is the latest Duggar sibling to start a new relationship. In January 2018, the Counting On star announced he and family friend Lauren Swanson have entered a courtship.
“We are overjoyed to begin this new phase of our lives together. Through the years our families’ friendship has allowed us to get to know one another as friends. I can definitely say I have found a great friend … even better than I could have hoped for or imagined,” Duggar told PEOPLE.
Michelle and Jim Bob fell in love with names beginning with “J” after naming their first son Joshua from the Bible – and, after giving their first set of twins “J” names, they continued the tradition so their other children wouldn’t feel left out. Say these names three times fast: twins Jedidiah and Jeremiah, Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah, Jennifer and Jordyn-Grace.
Born premature at 25 weeks in 2010 and weighing just 22 oz., the world watched as the Duggar’s youngest child, their 19th (pictured here with sister Jordyn-Grace), struggled to survive. “She is a miracle baby and all of us we are so lucky to have her,” Michelle said on Today. An attempt to expand their family yet again would prove heartbreaking: In 2011, Michelle suffered a miscarriage of their 20th child, Jubilee.
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