Lord Voldemort’s Family Tree

Lord Voldemort’s Family Tree

Tom Riddle was born in a muggle orphanage where his mother passed away less than an hour after his birth. 

He lived in this orphanage until it came time for him to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. 

Riddle did not know he was a part of the magical community until Professor Albus Dumbledore visited the orphanage and spoke to Riddle about attending Hogwarts. As a result, he learned nothing of his family history until his years as a Hogwarts student. 

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Tom Marvolo Riddle 

Lord Voldemort, The Dark Lord, the most evil dark wizard to ever practice the dark arts and attempt world domination, was descended on his mother’s side from a long line of pure-blood wizards and witches. 

He was raised in a muggle orphanage until he became a Hogwarts student, where he began recruiting followers who had the same bigoted mindset as he. He called these followers his ‘Death Eaters’. 

He focused on secretly learning dark magic at Hogwarts, and looking into his family tree. After he learned that he was descended from Salazar Slytherin, he put even more effort into hating anyone who was not a pure-blood wizard. Even though he was not a pure-blood wizard… 

At birth, he was named Tom Marvolo Riddle. He was given his muggle father’s name, Tom Riddle, and his wizard grandfather’s name, Marvolo. 


Lord Voldemort

While Riddle attended Hogwarts, he spent time researching his wizarding bloodline. To his shame, he learned that his father was a muggle, and set about discarding his given name and changing it to Lord Voldemort. 

He was insanely proud of his pureblood heritage, even though he was not a pureblood wizard himself, but hypocrisy was one of his lesser failings so we won’t talk about that. 

Incendio Lord Voldemort's family Castle

His Father’s Side - The Riddle Family

The Riddle family of Little Hangleton made up the muggle side of Lord Voldemort's family. There is not a lot of information about the Riddle family tree. 

Thomas and Mary Riddle lived in the ‘big house’ with their only child, their son Tom. They came from an old and wealthy family and owned much of the Little Hangleton area around the Riddle house, but not much more is known about them. 

The Riddle's son, Tom, was Voldemort’s father. Voldemort knew that he had been named after his father, and believed him to be a wizard, but he could find no trace of his name in the wizarding world and was forced to accept that his father was a muggle. 


Tom Riddle Sr

We meet Tom Riddle, Voldemort’s father, in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince when Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore enter the memory of a ministry official named Bob Ogden. Ogden was running for his life when he crashed into a large horse that carried Tom Riddle. 

Tom and the girl he was with Cecilia, laughed loudly at the man, showing us that Tom Riddle Sr was really not a pleasant person. In fact, it is thought that the Riddle family was not well-liked in the Little Hangleton area because of their snobbish ways 

It is believed that Riddle was tricked, by Volemort’s mother, Merope, into drinking a love potion. The two were married and moved to London, but Tom Riddle left his pregnant wife and their unborn child just a few months later, returning to Little Hangleton alone. 

Incendio love potion drink

Years later the bodies of Tom Riddle and his parents (Voldemorts’s paternal grandparents) were discovered by one of their maids. The entire Riddle family had been killed in the drawing room of the Riddle House. 

Their murderer was none other than the son and grandson they had never known. Tom Marvolo Riddle had used Avada Kedavra, the killing curse, to put an end to the Riddle family that he despised.

His Mother’s Side - The House of Gaunt

The House of Gaunt was a pure-blood wizarding family. Lord Voldemort’s mother was Merope Gaunt, descended from at least two well-known pureblood families, the Peverells and the Slytherins. 

Salazar Slytherin is famous for being one of the four founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, along with Helga Hufflepuff, Godric Gryffindor, and Rowena Ravenclaw. The Gaunt family were the last remaining direct descendants of Slytherin. 

The Peverells are known throughout the wizarding world for many reasons, in part because of a story called ‘The Tale of the Three Brothers’. The brothers, from this tale of the Deathly Hallows, are believed to be notable family members Antioch, Cadmus, and Ignotus Peverell. 

You can read more about this story here. Voldemort is descended from Cadmus Peverell, which we learned in the Harry Potter series. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, we met Voldemort’s maternal grandfather and saw him ranting about the ring he wore, which bore the Peverell coat of arms. 

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Marvolo Gaunt

Marvolo was Voldemort’s grandfather. The two never met, but Voldemort was given his grandfather’s name as his middle name, and this was how he traced his family lineage while in Hogwarts. Marvolo lived in a shack outside the village of Little Hangleton, with his son Merfin and his daughter Merope. 

Marvolo despised anyone who was not from a pure-blood magical family, an idea that was passed down through generations of Slytherin descendants. Voldemort’s obsession with pure-blood supremacy probably has much to do with this.

Incendio Marvolo's shack outside of Hangleton

Marvolo was an angry, violent, and arrogant man. The Gaunt family had been so inbred throughout the generations that they were all a little insane too. A pureblood wizard, he had a very high opinion of himself, and believed he was above others, especially muggles and half-blood wizards. The Gaunt family's riches had been squandered generations before, and Marvolo lived in poverty, but he boasted loudly that he was descended from Salazar Slytherin and the Peverell family, showing off his heirlooms from both families.   

Marvolo was a Parselmouth, meaning that he could speak the language of snakes, a gift that he had inherited through his Slytherin lineage. He spoke parseltongue with his son and daughter, who also spoke the language. 

Marvolo was extremely abusive towards his daughter, Merope, both mentally and physically. He was, in fact, of such a violent disposition that he was arrested and locked in Azkaban, the wizarding prison, for assaulting ministry officials. He died shortly after his release. 

Morfin Gaunt

Morfin Gaunt was Lord Voldemort’s maternal uncle and the son of Marvolo. He lived in a run-down shack with his father and sister, and he was known in the area of Little Hangleton as being ‘quite mad’. 

Descended from Salazar Slytherin, Morfin believed strongly in pure-blood supremacy, just like his father. He hated muggles, taking pleasure in terrorizing them. 

He was known to speak in Parseltongue more than English and had a strange habit of nailing snakes to the front door of his home.  

Incendio Image of a snake

Morfin was an extremely violent wizard who enjoyed practicing dark magic and along with his father, was horribly abusive to his sister Merope. 

Morfin was sent to the wizarding prison, Azkaban, at the same time as his father Marvolo after they both attacked ministry officials. He was given a longer prison sentence than his father because he had previous offenses, and when he was released from prison he arrived home to find his father and his sister had both died. 

He was left with the family shack and the Peverell heirloom that Marvolo had been so proud of, the signet ring. 

Some years later, Morfin had a visit from a young man, his teenage nephew, Tom Marvolo Riddle. Morfin told the young dark lord that he looked a lot like the muggle who lived nearby, Tom Riddle, and relayed his version of the tale of Voldemort's mother and father. 

When Voldemort discovered the identity of his father he stunned Morfin and took his wand. He then made his way to the Riddle family home and murdered the entire family, using Morfin’s wand. 

He returned to the Gaunt shack and altered Morfin’s memory, leading his maternal uncle to believe that he had killed the muggle family from the big house. 

Morfin freely admitted to the crime, going so far as to brag about it. His wand showed the last spells it had performed, so Morfin was sent back to Azkaban where he lost what little sanity he had left before he died there. 


Merope Gaunt

Voldemort’s mother was truly a witch to be pitied. Merope was the daughter of Marvolo and the sister of Morfin. The family of three lived together in a run-down shack outside the village of Little Hangleton, and the two men were awful to Merope, abusing her verbally and physically. 

She seemed to be responsible for any cooking and cleaning done in the home. Her father, Marvolo, frequently called her a squib (someone who is born into a wizarding family but does not have magic powers), but her magic was probably suppressed due to the abuse she suffered. 

Merope spoke parseltongue like the rest of her family, and she wore Slytherin’s locket around her neck, but she did not hold the same bigoted ideals as her father and brother. Merope was infatuated with the wealthy and handsome muggle, Tom Riddle, who lived nearby and rode past her shack on his horse from time to time. 

When her father found out that she was in love with a muggle he attacked the girl and tried to strangle her, calling her a blood traitor and a disgusting little squib. 

Riddle showed no interest in Merope while her father and brother lived with her, but after Marvolo and Morfin were arrested and locked away in Azkaban, Merope was free to work her magic (literally) on the handsome muggle. It is believed that she tricked Riddle into drinking a love potion, or maybe bewitched him in some other way. 

The two were married and ran away together to London, causing a huge scandal in the village of Little Hangleton. But some months later Tom Riddle returned without his wife. Merope was left destitute, pregnant, and heartbroken in London. 

Incendio Merope Gaunt from the Harry Potter series

She sold her possessions in order to survive, namely Slytherin’s locket, the heirloom that her father had placed so much importance on. 

When she was about to give birth, Merope made her way to a muggle orphanage in London, Wool’s Orphanage. Here she gave birth to a baby boy, naming him Tom Marvolo Riddle after his father and grandfather, before she passed away an hour later.   


Voldemort’s Offspring

Lord Voldemort never married, he was far too busy with all the evil he needed to do, and it only came to light years after his defeat that he had fathered a secret child. 

The mother of this child was Bellatrix Lestrange, one of Voldemort’s most fanatical and dangerous followers. Bellatrix was married to Rodolphus Lestrange, who didn’t seem to mind the fact that she bore a child for another man. 

Bellatrix Lestrange was a member of the Black family. She was cousin to Sirius Black and maternal aunt to Draco Malfoy and Nymphadora Tonks. 

She seemed to enjoy murdering the relatives who she believed were blood traitors, as she killed Sirius Black in the Battle at the Department of Mysteries, and she killed Nymphadora Tonks at the Battle of Hogwarts.

Bellatrix was finally killed by Molly Weasley at the Battle of Hogwarts. 

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Bellatrix had given birth to Voldemort’s daughter, Delphini, at Malfoy Manor some months before the Battle of Hogwarts. After the deaths of Voldemort and Bellatrix the child was raised by Euphemia Rowle, a witch who was paid a large sum of gold to take the baby in as her ward. 

It is unknown who paid Rowle to raise the girl, but it may have been Narcissa and Lucius Malfoy, or possibly Rodolphus Lestrange. 

When Rodolphus was released (or possibly escaped) from Azkaban years later, he tracked Delphini down and told her of her parentage and the prophecy that he believed was to be fulfilled by her. 


Incendio Delphi from Harry Potter

Delphini had the ability to speak Parseltongue, a rare trait inherited from her father, as she too was a descendant of Salazar Slytherin. In Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Delphini got up to all sorts of skulduggery. 

She used a time-turner to try and change the past to ensure that her father lived. This resulted in the creation of alternate timelines in which Voldemort was victorious. 

She also murdered Hogwarts prefect Craig Bowker Jnr. in cold blood, and confounded Amos Diggory, passing herself off as his niece to try and coax Harry Potter into using a time-turner for her own gain. 

Delphini proved to be calculating, manipulative, intelligent, and cruel, much like her parents had been. It is unclear what happened to Delphini after her nefarious time-traveling plans had been foiled, but we can assume, and hope, that she ended up in Azkaban. 

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