Jana Marie Duggar is the second of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's nineteen children.

Early Life

Jana with her twin brother John-David as babies

Birth

Jana Marie Duggar was born on January 12, 1990, to Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Ruark. She was soon followed by a twin brother, John-David Duggar. Jana and her twin brother were seen by their parents as a blessing from God in response to their decision to eschew birth control, and her parents then went on to have sixteen more children.[1]

Early Years

Like most children, Jana was assigned chores growing up, which the family called "jurisdictions". In 2003, one of Jana's jurisdictions was to plan and prepare dinner each night along with her brothers Josh and John-David. "They like to do that because they get to choose the menus!" Jana's mother, Michelle, had to say of this jurisdiction.[2] In 2011, Jana's jurisdiction was cleaning the kitchen.

Jana teaching her buddy, Jason, a phonics lesson

By 2001, Jana's parents had implemented a buddy system, where each older child was paired with a younger child to take care of. Typical tasks for an older buddy included dressing, bathing, and feeding their younger buddies.[3] By 2009, the family had switched from individual buddies to buddy teams, with each team being led by one of the oldest four daughters.[4] Jana's buddy team was made up of brothers Jason and Jackson. Although it is often said that Jana's youngest sister, Josie, was a member of this team, the Duggar family typically did not move a buddy into the team until the next child came along. Since Josie is the youngest of Jana's siblings, it is unknown if she was ever truly moved into being a part of the team.[5]

In 2006, Jana and her family moved into a new home in Springdale, AR. The family made a point of doing much of the work on the house themselves, seeing it as a learning opportunity for their children. In this house, Jana was given a dormitory-style room with her sisters, and she still lives in this room today.[6][7]

Jana giving her sister Jinger a perm

As a teenager, Jana kept her hair permed, which she credited to that being her father's preference. Jana and her sisters gave each other perms at home to keep up this style.

Jewelry Box Incident

Jana was said to be a tomboy growing up, being more "rowdy" and "outgoing" than some of her other siblings. She was a natural leader, and would try to pick out outfits and hairstyles for her younger siblings before planning their days. As her sisters got older, Jana's sister Jessa begin to rebel, and the two often clashed heads.[8] In the book Growing Up Duggar, Jana tells a story of a time where Jessa would often kick the bottom of her bed (Jana had a top bunk above Jessa's bottom bunk). When Jana went to her mother about the situation, the advice she was given was "make a point to be nice to her, even when she's mean to you." At her mother's suggestion, Jana gave her favorite jewelry box to Jessa. "It was hard to think of giving away one of the most treasured possessions, especially to someone I wasn't happy with," Jana wrote of the experience. "I told Jessa I had something to give her. I told her I loved her and handed her my gift."[9] As an adult, Jana told this story at a public speaking engagement, and was still brought to tears by the memory over a decade later.

Childhood Education

Jana with her Journey to the Heart group in 2010

Jana was homeschooled growing up. As she grew older, she was given the responsibility of helping her younger siblings with their schoolwork in addition to doing her own.[10] Jana took the test for her GED at sixteen years old.[11]

Jana began taking piano lessons from Ruth Anita Anderson, who she and her siblings referred to as "Nana", as a young child.[3] She also took violin lessons.[12] As an adult, Jana has been seen playing the harp, but it is unknown when she learned to play this instrument.

Jana was raised as an active participant in Bill Gothard's Institute for Basic Life Principles. She has gone on a number of Journeys to the Heart.

Resume

Television Appearances

Jana on 14 Children and Pregnant Again!

On September 6, 2004, Discovery Health Network aired an hour-long special titled "14 Children and Pregnant Again!" This special introduced television viewers to the Duggar family, including fourteen-year-old Jana. This special was followed by four more specials, "Raising 16 Children", "16 Children and Moving In", and "On the Road with 16 Children", which all aired in 2006, and "Duggars' Big Family Album", which aired on September 22, 2007.

Jana with "Uncle" Jim, the soundman for 19 Kids and Counting

On September 29, 2008, the show 17 Kids and Counting premiered on TLC. This show was a weekly half-hour reality show chronicling the lives of the Duggar family. Jana was regularly featured on the show. Later renamed 18 and then 19 Kids and Counting for the births of Jordyn and Josie Duggar, this show aired for 10 seasons. On July 16, 2015, amidst scandals involving Jana's older brother, Josh, TLC announced that they were canceling 19 Kids and Counting.[13][14]

Jana with her sisters in an ad for Counting On

On December 13, 2015, the first installment of a three-part special titled Jill & Jessa: Counting On aired on TLC. These specials focused on the family moving on after the scandals of the previous summer. Although the specials were focused primarily on Jana's sisters Jill and Jessa, who had both recently married and were starting families, Jana and the rest of her adult and older teenage siblings were featured as well. This show was picked up as a regular weekly reality show shortly after, and was renamed Counting On for season 3 when Jana's sister Jinger's courtship became a central focus of the show. Since then, it has focused more on all of the adult Duggar siblings.

Jana was also briefly featured in an episode of United Bates of America, a TLC series that chronicled the lives of the Bates family. On August 27, 2012, the episode "Bates & Duggar Reunion" featured Jana and her family spending time with the Bates family at an ATI homeschool conference.

Home Design

Jana and a friend working on a bathroom

Jana is currently single and living in her parents' home, and is often seen working on projects around the house, some of which are documented on the TLC show Counting On. She has built a large treehouse for her younger siblings and nieces and nephews, has a large organic garden, and enjoys renovations and redecorating. She finds great inspiration in Joanna Gaines of HGTV's Fixer Upper. In 2016 she purchased what used to be a tattoo parlor, but she has not announced what plans she has for the area.[15] She is frequently shown helping her siblings with rennovations and home decor.

Jana working in her garden in June of 2018

Garden

Jana's current focus appears to be on her garden. She is frequently pictured on family members' social media accounts working in her garden, which she regularly adds to.[16]

First Responder

Jana volunteering for her local fire department as a first responder

On November 2, 2010, an episode of 19KaC aired where Anna Duggar made skirts for Jana and her sister to wear when volunteering for the local fire department. It is unknown when Jana began volunteering for the local fire department, or if she still continues to do so today.[17] On February 24, 2011, Jana utilized her skills as a first responder to aid the rescue efforts after a massive tornado destroyed the town of Joplin, MO.[18]

Doula Career

Jana with a baby she helped deliver

In 2013, an episode of 19KaC revealed that Jana was training to be a doula. While she said she wasn't sure if this was something she would pursue for the rest of her life, she felt the skills she was learning would serve her well on the mission field.[19] Venessa Giron, the law midwife Jana was studying under, lost her license to practice midwifery in Arkansas in April of 2015. She has since relocated to Tulsa, Oklahoma.[20] It is unknown if Jana still works as a doula.

Author Career

On March 14, 2014, Jana and her sisters Jill, Jessa, and Jinger, released their first book, GrowingUp Duggar.

Mission Work

Jana on a mission trip in El Salvador in 2010

Jana Duggar often goes on mission trips, usually with her family. The family goes on a yearly trip to El Salvador the week after Christmas to spread the gospel. The family has also gone to Honduras.

In 2010, Jana and her brother John-David went on a mission trip that involved Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. On this trip, they mostly worked with children, teaching them about the Bible. Jana got sick on this trip and had to visit a doctor while she was gone. [21]

Jana in Central America in 2013

Jana's first solo mission trip was to Michigan in 2012. It is unknown what she did on this trip. In July of 2013, Jana and her friend Michaela Bates joined a group from SOS Ministries on a trip to Honduras and El Salvador. While there, they worked for an orphanage, leading Bible studies, teaching classes, and sharing their testimonies.[22]

Courtship Rumors

Tim Tebow in 2014

On April 2, 2019, Jana confirmed that she has had previous courtships with a few guys, but that none of them were serious.[23] When asked by a Counting On producer shortly after to expand on this statement, she responded, "Well, I haven’t been, I guess, in courtships necessarily. Um, there have been - yeah, a number of guys asked, just like, nothing’s worked out."[24]

Tim Tebow

In 2014, internet rumors claimed Jana was courting former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow.[25] He discredited these rumors claiming he had never met Jana.[26]

Jacob Wilson

The group photo that sparked courtship rumors due to both Jana and Jacob Wilson being present

In 2017, there were rumors that Jana was courting family friend Jacob Wilson.[27] Jacob dispelled these rumors on his Facebook page, saying: "So yeah I just wanna say that this is total bunk. WE ARE NOT IN A RELATIONSHIP. Lol we’ve been friends for 21 years and all of a sudden! BAM! we just happen to be in the same picture so of course the media has to make up a story about it to sell. So I’m here to clear the water... it ain’t true! 🙂~~~moral of the story? Don’t believe what you see online." [28]

Caleb Williams

The photo that sparked rumors about Jana and Caleb Williams, despite the fact that they are sitting on opposite ends of the table

In 2017, there were rumors that Jana was courting Caleb Williams.[29] These rumors came after pictures of Caleb with various members of the Duggar family (notably not Jana, except in group photos) began circulating. On December 29, 2017, Caleb denied these rumors in a Facebook post, saying, "Now, to clear the fog and avoid any confusion, “Read my lips...I am not dating Jana Duggar." The extent of our relationship is purely friends and nothing more." [30] On December 18, 2019, many gossip sites reported that Caleb had been arrested for having sex with a minor. Many of the gossip sites linked him to Jana, referring to him as her "alleged ex" and using images of her, even though the two were never an item.[31]

Laura DeMasie

Jana and Laura on Counting On

Jana is rumored to be in a relationship with her good friend Laura DeMasie. The two are frequently featured together on Counting On, and the speculation is largely due to the fact that they are both single at an "older" age for their communities. Some reason that the show presents them the way it presents couples in the family, but the show also presents pairs of siblings in the same way.[32][33][34] When on the show, Laura is referred to as a close friend, or sometimes "a close friend who we consider family".

This rumor has been denied by both women involved. On September 18, 2018, a twitter user asked Jana's brother-in-law Derick Dillard if Jana was dating her friend Laura. Both Derick and Laura responded saying that she was not.[35] On April 2, 2019, an instagram user asked Jana if she was dating Laura, and Jana replied "No. And I would like to stop that rumor. I have no interest in girls that way whatsoever." before going on to say that she has been involved with a few guys.[23]

Lawson Bates

The photo of Jana that Lawson posted then immediately deleted

On January 10, 2019, Jana made an instagram account, starting with a picture of her nephews Spurgeon and Henry Seewald.[36] Due to the fact that her siblings did not join social media until they were courting, this has sparked a new round of instagram rumors that she is courting. One popular rumor is that she is courting Lawson Bates, largely due to "clues" like the fact that he was at the Duggar house for Christmas and that he commented on her first post.[37][38] On January 10, Jessa posted a photo of Jana with their niece Felicity Vuolo. A number of commenters asked if Jana was courting, and Jessa said that Jessa was not "in a relationship".[39] On January 17, Lawson posted a picture on his instagram of him holding a rose. The photo, which was part of a series of posts promoting a new single he was releasing, increased the speculation. One commenter said "Please tell me that rose is for Jana", and gossip increased when the official Bates family instagram account liked the comment. In response, Lawson spoke to InTouch Magazine, saying that his mom didn't know what she was doing when she liked the comment.[40] Despite these denials, speculation continues.

Wedding Involvement

Jana is currently the only member of the Duggar family who has appeared in all of her siblings' weddings.

Jana in her brother Josh's wedding

Jana has been involved in the following weddings:

Bios

2006 2014
favorite pastime babysitting playing piano and violin, enjoying games with family
favorite food chicken noodle soup Italian and Mexican
future goals midwife
favorite Bible verse Col. 3
favorite Bible character Esther, Job, David, Ruth
favorite song To God Be the Glory
favorite quote “Lord, send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me; and sever every tie, but the tie that binds me to Thy service and Thy heart.” - David Livingstone
favorite episode Duggars Explore Central America
jurisdictions kitchen, meal preparation, mailroom
favorite family trip girls' book tour (last family trip with everyone before the girls got married

profile photo credit

References

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