Humanities › History & Culture J. K. Rowling Family Tree Share Flipboard Email Print Danny E. Martindale/Stringer/Getty Images History & Culture Genealogy Genealogy Fun Basics Surnames Vital Records Around the World American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Kimberly Powell Genealogy Expert Certificate in Genealogical Research, Boston University B.A., Carnegie Mellon University Kimberly Powell is a professional genealogist and the author of The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy. She teaches at the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. our editorial process Kimberly Powell Updated January 30, 2019 Joanne (J.K.) Rowling was born in Chipping Sodbury near Bristol, England, on 31 July 1965. This is also the birthday of her famous wizard character Harry Potter. She attended school in Gloucestershire until the age of 9 when her family moved to Chepstow, South Wales. From an early age, J.K. Rowling aspired to be a writer. She studied at the University of Exeter before moving to London to work for Amnesty International. While in London, J.K. Rowling began her first novel. Her long road to the publication of the first Harry Potter book, however, was shadowed by the loss of her mother in 1990 and over a year of rejections by various agents and publishers. J. K. Rowling has since written seven books in the Harry Potter series and was named "the greatest living British writer" by The Book Magazine in June 2006 and Person of the Year in 2007. Her books have sold hundreds of millions of copies around the world. J.K. Rowling Joanne (J.K.) Rowling was born on 31 July 1965 in Yate, Gloucestershire, England. She first married television journalist Jorge Arantes in Portugal on 16 October 1992. The couple had one child, Jessica Rowling Arantes, born in 1993 and the couple divorced a few months later. J.K. Rowling later married again, to Dr. Neil Murray (b. 30 June 1971) on 26 December 2001 in their home in Perthshire, Scotland. The couple has had two children: David Gordon Rowling Murray, born in Edinburgh, Scotland on 23 March 2003 and Mackenzie Jean Rowling Murray, born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 23 January 2005. J.K. Rowling's Parents Peter John Rowling was born in 1945. Anne Volant was born on 6 Feb 1945 in Luton, Bedfordshire, England. She died from complications of multiple sclerosis on 30 Dec 1990. Peter James Rowling married Anne Volant on 14 Mar 1965 in All Saints Parish Church, London, England. The couple had the following children: Joanne (J.K.) Rowling.Dianne (Di) Rowling, who was born on 28 Jun 1967 in Yate, Gloucestershire, England. Rowling's Grandparents Ernest Arthur Rowling was born on 9 July 1916 in Walthamstow, Essex, England and died about 1980 in Newport, Wales. Kathleen Ada Bulgen was born on 12 January 1923 in Enfield, Middlesex, England and died on 1 Mar 1972. Ernest Rowling and Kathleen Ada Bulgen were married on 25 Dec 1943 in Enfield, Middlesex, England. The couple had the following children: Jeffrey Ernest Rowling, born on 2 Oct 1943 in Enfield, Middlesex, England and died of bladder cancer on 20 Jul 1998 in Juno Beach, Palm Becah County, Florida.Peter John Rowling. Stanley George Volant was born on 23 June 1909 in St. Marylebone, London, England. Louisa Caroline Watts (Freda) Smith was born on 6 May 1916 in Islington, Middlesex, England. According to a 2005 article "Plot twist shows Rowling is true Scot" in the London Times, based on research by genealogist Anthony Adolph, Louisa Caroline Watts Smith is thought to have been the daughter of Dr. Dugald Campbell, who is said to have had an affair with a young bookkeeper named Mary Smith. According to the article, Mary Smith disappeared soon after giving birth, and the girl was raised by the Watts family who owned the nursing home where the girl was born. She was called Freda and told only that her father was a Dr. Campbell. The birth certificate for Louisa Caroline Watts Smith lists no father and identifies the mother only as Mary Smith, bookkeeper of 42 Belleville Rd. The birth took place at 6 Fairmead Road, which is confirmed in the London Directory of 1915 to be the residence of Mrs. Louisa Watts, midwife. Mrs. Louisa C. Watts later appears as a witness to Freda's marriage to Stanley Volant in 1938. Louisa Caroline Watts (Freda) Smith died about April 1997 in Hendon, Middlesex, England. Stanley George Volant and Louisa Caroline Watts (Freda) Smith were married on 12 March 1938 in All Saints Church, London, England. The couple had the following children: Anne Volant.Marian Volant.