Neil Gaiman’s Family

Neil Gaiman’s family consists of himself and his wife, Amanda Palmer, and four children, three from his first marriage with Mary McGrath and one from his marriage with Amanda Palmer.

Neil Gaiman has a rich family history. While his ancestors are from Belgium, his parents have embraced the United Kingdom as their own. Gaiman was brought up under the religion of Scientology, which he eventually broke from. He has two siblings, Claire and Lizzy.

Gaiman has had two marriages so far – the first with Mary McGrath, with whom he has three children (Michael, Holly, and Madeleine) and the second with singer-songwriter Amanda Palmer, with whom he has a son called Anthony. Gaiman and Amanda Palmer are now separated and are reportedly trying to work on their marriage.

Neil Gaiman's Family


Ancestral Family

Neil Gaiman’s family is of Polish Jewish and Eastern European Jewish origin. Gaiman’s great-grandfather emigrated to the UK in 1914 from Antwerp, Belgium while his grandfather settled down in the Hampshire city of Portsmouth in the south of England. His grandfather changed his family name from Chaiman to Gaiman and set up a chain of grocery stores, which was eventually taken over by Gaiman’s father, David Gaiman.

Parents and Siblings

Neil Gaiman was born to David Bernard Gaiman and Sheila Gaiman. His father is an entrepreneur who runs his family’s chain of grocery stores, while his mother is a pharmacist.

His parents are both Scientologists who studied Dianetics at the Scientology Centre in West Sussex. Because of his father’s activities with the Church of Scientology (David Gaiman was a public relations officer at the church), Gaiman had to shift schools several times during his childhood. His sister, Claire grew up to become a Scientologist herself, and she currently works for the Church of Scientology in Los Angeles. While Gaiman used to call himself a Jewish Scientologist before, he does not identify as a Scientologist anymore.

Partners and Children

When Gaiman was living in East Grinstead in the 1980s, he met Mary McGrath, who was a Scientologist. The two fell in love and welcomed their first child, Michael in 1983. We see glimpses of Michael in Neil Gaiman’s works that have taken inspiration from real life. For instance, Michael’s disdain at his father’s adventurous cooking and his tendency to call his creations “recipes” is reflected in the character of Coraline.

Gaiman and McGrath tied the knot in 1985, the same year they welcomed the birth of their daughter, Holly. A few years later, the couple had their last child together, Madeleine. Gaiman and McGrath did not enjoy a happy marriage, especially towards the end where there was a lot of turbulence. The couple led separate lives for a long time before finally deciding to get divorced in 2007.

Gaiman began dating American singer-songwriter, Amanda Palmer in June 2009. Two years later, the two announced their engagement on Twitter and finally got married in 2011. Once Neil Gaiman was married, he decided to take his wife’s middle name, McKinnon, as one of his names. Gaiman and Palmer welcomed the birth of their son, Anthony in 2015. Gaiman and Palmer have always had an open marriage with each other, but the marriage has recently run into turbulent waters. In 2020, the couple split up and began leading separate lives. However, Neil Gaiman stated in 2021 that he and his wife are currently trying to make their marriage work.

FAQs

Is Neil Gaiman a Scientologist?

No, Neil Gaiman has clarified that he is not a Scientologist. However, he comes from a family of ardent Scientologists. While his parents studied Dianetics at the Scientology center in town, his sister continues to work for the church of Scientology in Los Angeles.

Is Neil Gaiman Christian?

Neil Gaiman was born to a Polish Jewish family that adopted Scientology as their religion. However, he seems to be agnostic himself. When asked about his religion, he commented, “I think we can say that God exists in the DC Universe. I would not stand up and beat the drum for the existence of God in this universe. I don’t know, I think there’s probably a 50/50 chance. It doesn’t really matter to me.”

Is Neil Gaiman British?

Born in Hampshire city of Portsmouth in 1960, Neil Gaiman is of British origin. Although his great-grandfather emigrated from Belgium to the United Kingdom in 1914, Gaiman’s family has been living in the south of England for several decades now.

About Neesha Thunga K
Neesha graduated in 2020 with a degree in MA English. Before that, she has spent several years teaching English and writing for various organizations. As a lover of English literature, she truly believes that crafting stories through words is the greatest achievement of mankind. She is now pursuing her passion for literature as an Expert on the Book Analysis team.
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