Gerald R. Ford
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Gerald R. Ford Genealogical Information


President Gerald R. Ford was born on July 14, 1913 at Omaha, Nebraska and was originally given the name Leslie Lynch King, Jr. His parents, Leslie Lynch King and Dorothy Ayer Gardner, had been married on September 7, 1912 at Harvard, Illinois. Just over two weeks after the birth of their son, Dorothy separated from her husband and took her infant son to her sister's home in Oak Park, Illinois and then to her parents home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. On December 19, 1913 an Omaha court granted her a divorce. In 1917 she married Grand Rapids businessman Gerald R. Ford and they soon began calling her son Gerald R. Ford, Jr., although his name was not legally changed until December 3, 1935.

The King Family

Leslie Lynch King, President Ford's father, was born on July 25, 1884 at Chadron, Nebraska. After his divorce from Dorothy Gardner, he married Margaret Atwood at Reno, Nevada in 1919. Leslie and Margaret King had one son and two daughters (See THE HALF-BROTHERS AND HALF-SISTERS OF PRESIDENT FORD). Leslie L. King, Sr. died on February 18, 1941 at Tucson, Arizona and was buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Glendale, California. Margaret Atwood King remarried in 1949 to Roy Mather.

Charles Henry King, President Ford's grandfather, was a son of Lynch King and Rebecca Shepherd. He was born on March 12, 1853 in Perry Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania; married Martha Alicia Porter; and died at Los Angeles, California on February 27, 1930. Martha was born on November 17, 1854 in Indiana and died on July 14, 1930 at Glendale, California. Charles and Martha are both buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Glendale, California. They had five children, two sons and three daughters.

The King family is of English origin and descends from Philip King, who emigrated from Devonshire to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania around 1730.

The Gardner and Ayer Families

Dorothy Ayer Gardner, President Ford's mother, was born on February 27, 1892 at Harvard, Illinois. After her divorce from Leslie King, she married Gerald R. Ford (a son of George R. Ford and Zana Frances Pixley) on February 1, 1917 at Grand Rapids, Michigan. Three sons were born of this marriage (See THE HALF-BROTHERS AND HALF-SISTERS OF PRESIDENT FORD). Gerald R. Ford, Sr., who was born on Dec. 9, 1889 at Grand Rapids, Michigan, died in Grand Rapids on January 26, 1962. Dorothy Gardner Ford died in Grand Rapids on September 17, 1967. Gerald and Dorothy Ford are buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Tannisse Ayer Gardner, President Ford's aunt, was born on March 4, 1887 at Harvard, Illinois; married Clarence Haskins James on September 5, 1908 at Harvard, Illinois; and died on April 14, 1942. Clarence and Tannisse James had a son, Gardner James (May 15, 1909-August 10, 1960) and a daughter Adele Elizabeth James (born February 14, 1911). Gardner married Mary Ann Farmer on May 26, 1934 and Adele married Joseph Peter Joyce, Jr. on November 28, 1935.

Levi Addison Gardner, President Ford's grandfather, was a son of Alexander Gardner, a Scottish immigrant, and Sarah (or Sally) Miller. He was born on April 24, 1861 at Solon Mills, McHenry County, Illinois; married Adele Augusta Ayer on October 23, 1884 at Harvard, Illinois; and died on May 9, 1916 at Grand Rapids, Michigan. Adele Ayer, a daughter of George Manney Ayer and Amy Gridley Butler, was born on July 2, 1867 at Youngstown, Ohio and died on August 10, 1938 at Los Angeles, California. Levi and Adele Gardner had two daughters, Dorothy and Tannisse.

Most of Adele Augusta Ayer Gardner's ancestors were of English origin and she descended from several families which settled in New England in the seventeenth century. Among the families in her ancestry are: Adams, Ayer, Butler, Chase, Collins, Comstock, Ely, Gove, Gridley, Manney, Rickettson, and Selden. She and her daughter Dorothy belonged to the Daughters of the American Revolution and her grandson, President Gerald R. Ford, was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution.


Burke's Presidential Families of the United States of America. London: Burke's Peerage Limited, 1975.

Folder titled "Vice Presidential Personal and Legal Affairs (Parents Divorce Case)" in box 88 of the Ford Vice Presidential Papers.

Jackson, Ronald V., et. al.
Gerald Rudolph Ford II and Elizabeth Ann Bloomer Ancestry. Bountiful, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems, 1980.

Newspaper clippings and other material in the Ford Library vertical file under the heading "Ford, Gerald R. - Genealogy."

Roberts, Gary Boyd.
Ancestors of American Presidents. Santa Clarita, CA: Carl Boyer, 1995.

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President Ford has no full siblings, but did have a half-brother and two half-sisters by his father's second marriage and three half-brothers by his mother's second marriage.

Half-Siblings On His Father's Side

1. Marjorie B. King; born 1921; married Alton Werner; died April 8, 1993; two children.

2. Leslie ("Bud") Henry King; born March 28, 1923, Glendale,CA; married Virginia H. Hodges on August 14, 1943; died December 2, 1976, Cookeville, TN.

i Leslie ("Buddy") Henry King, Jr.
ii Craig Hodges King
iii Pam King; married Hubie Smith
iv Kyra King
3. Patricia Jane King; born 1925.

Half-Siblings On His Mother's Side

1. Thomas Gerald Ford; born July 15, 1918, Grand Rapids, MI; married Janet Packer, September 12, 1942; died August 28, 1995, St. John's Island, SC.

i Thomas Gardner Ford
ii Julie G. Ford; born March 10, 1947; married Robert Vern Foster, August 7, 1971
2. Richard Addison Ford; born June 3, 1924, Grand Rapids, MI; married Ellen Platte, June 12, 1947.

i Linda Ford; born July 20, 1948; married Theodore Burba, August 9, 1968.
ii Laurie Ford; born June 14, 1953.
iii Richard P. Ford
3. James Francis Ford; born August 11, 1927, Grand Rapids, MI; married (1) Barbara Brunner, May 28, 1949; married (2) Sonya Evenson; died January 23, 2001, Grand Rapids, MI.
i Martha Ford; born March 9, 1950; married Terry Hastings, April 15, 1972.
ii Emily Clare Ford; born September 13, 1951; married James Tremoulis, August 25, 1979.
iii Robert J. Ford
iv John Gregory Ford

Burke's Presidential Families of the United States of America. London: Burke's Peerage Limited, 1975 (and corrections from family members).

Kane, Joseph Nathan. Facts About the Presidents. Supplement to the Third Edition. New York: H.W. Wilson Co., 1977.

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Gerald R. Ford, Jr. married Elizabeth ("Betty") Anne Bloomer Warren on October 15, 1948 at Grace Episcopal Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Betty was the daughter of William Stephenson Bloomer and Hortense Neahr and was born on April 8, 1918 at Chicago, Illinois. She married William G. Warren of Grand Rapids in 1942 and was divorced from him in 1947. Gerald and Betty Ford's children and grandchildren are as follows:

1. Michael Gerald Ford; born March 14, 1950, Washington, DC; married Gayle Ann Brumbaugh, July 5, 1974, Catonsville, MD; Gayle was born in 1951 and is the daughter of Mr.and Mrs. Edward Brumbaugh.

i Sarah Joyce Ford; born April 22, 1979, Pittsburgh, PA
ii Rebekah Elizabeth Ford; born February 26, 1982, Winston-Salem, NC
iii Hannah Gayle Ford; born September 17, 1985, Winston-Salem, NC
2. John ("Jack") Gardner Ford; born March 16, 1952, Washington, DC; married Juliann Felando, April 29, 1989, La Jolla, CA; Juliann is the daughter of August Felando.

i Christian Gerald Ford; born October 14, 1997
ii Jonathan August Ford; born November 29, 1999
3. Steven Meigs Ford; born May 19, 1956, Washington, DC
4. Susan Elizabeth Ford; born July 6, 1957, Washington, DC; married Charles Vance, February 10, 1979, Palm Desert, CA; divorced 1988; she married Vaden Bales, July 25, 1989.

i Tyne Mary Vance; born August 15, 1980, Washington, DC
ii Heather Elizabeth Vance; born January 31, 1983, Washington, DC


Burke's Presidential Families of the United States of America. London: Burke's Peerage Limited, 1975.

Ford, Betty.
The Times of My Life. New York: Harper & Row, 1978.

Newspaper clippings in the Ford Library vertical file.

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