Is Madison Bumgarner Related to James Garner? The Surprising Truth

If you are a fan of baseball or classic movies, you might have wondered if there is any connection between Madison Bumgarner, the star pitcher of the San Francisco Giants, and James Garner, the legendary actor of Maverick and The Rockford Files. After all, they share a distinctive last name and a remarkable talent in their respective fields. Could they be distant cousins or even closer relatives? The answer might surprise you.

The Bumgarner Family History

According to, the surname Bumgarner is of German origin and has several variations, such as Baumgardner, Baumgartner, and Bumgardner. The name means “tree gardener” or “orchardist” and was probably given to people who worked in or owned fruit orchards. The first Bumgarners arrived in America in the early 18th century and settled in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina.

Madison Bumgarner grew up in a place in North Carolina nicknamed “Bumtown,” due to the high number of people also with the surname Bumgarner. He has several lines tracing back to the same Bumgarner ancestors, from which James Garner was also descended. James Garner was born James Scott Bumgarner in Norman, Oklahoma, in 1928. His father, Weldon Warren Bumgarner, was a carpet layer who moved his family to Los Angeles in the 1930s. James later changed his last name to Garner to avoid confusion with another actor.

The Common Ancestor

According to, both Madison and James are descended from John Bumgarner Sr., who was born in 1754 in Pennsylvania and died in 1836 in North Carolina. He married Nancy Rockett and had at least nine children, including John Jr., Thomas, George, and Phillip. John Jr. was the great-great-great-grandfather of James Garner, while Phillip was the great-great-great-grandfather of Madison Bumgarner. This means that James and Madison are sixth cousins once removed.

The Family Legacy

Both Madison and James have made their mark in their chosen professions and have earned respect and admiration from fans and peers alike. Madison Bumgarner is a four-time All-Star, a three-time World Series champion, a World Series MVP, an NLCS MVP, and a two-time Silver Slugger Award winner. He holds several MLB records, such as the lowest World Series ERA (minimum 20 innings pitched), the most innings pitched in a single postseason, and the most grand slams by a pitcher in a single season (tied).

James Garner was an Emmy Award winner, a Golden Globe Award winner, an Academy Award nominee, and a Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. He starred in more than 50 films and several TV series, such as The Great Escape, The Americanization of Emily, Victor/Victoria, Murphy’s Romance, Maverick, The Rockford Files, 8 Simple Rules, and The Notebook. He was known for his charm, humor, versatility, and integrity.

The Conclusion

So there you have it: Madison Bumgarner and James Garner are indeed related by blood, albeit distantly. They share a common ancestor who lived more than two centuries ago and whose descendants spread across the country. They also share a common passion for excellence and entertainment that has made them household names. Whether you prefer watching baseball or movies, you can appreciate the talent and legacy of these two remarkable men.

Doms Desk

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