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Joy-Anna (Duggar) Forsyth is the ninth of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's nineteen children. She is married to Austin Forsyth; they have two children, Gideon and Evelyn.

Early Life

Joy as a baby

Joy-Anna Duggar was born on October 28, 1997, to Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Ruark. She was the couple's ninth child, and they went on to have ten more children after her.

Being born in the midst of eight boys, Joy-Anna was said to be a tomboy growing up. She was more likely to be found playing outside and roughhousing with her brothers than doing more the typically feminine activities her parents encouraged. She was especially close to her brother Josiah as a child.

Joy working on school with one of her brothers

Joy-Anna was homeschooled growing up. She took the test to get her GED in 2016, at eighteen years old, alongside her brothers Jeremiah and Jedidiah. Her family had a graduation party to celebrate this event.[1]

Like most children, Joy was assigned chores growing up, which the family called "jurisdictions". As of 2004, Joy's jurisdiction was laundry, alongside her sister Jill.[2] As of 2011, Joy's jurisdiction was cleaning the girl's room. It is likely that Joy was relieved of her jurisdictions when she began courting Austin Forsyth in 2016, as her older sisters had been when beginning their courtships.

Joy's buddy team

By 2001, Joy'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. From the earliest implementations of this system, Joy was shown as the younger buddy of her sister Jill.[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] Jill remained with her sister Jill in this system, and their team also consisted of younger siblings James and Jennifer. This team has been shown to still maintain a strong bond today.[5] When Jill got married in 2014, Joy took over as the head of the buddy team.

Joy-Anna took piano lessons as a child, but it is unknown if these lessons were from the family's first piano teacher, Ruth Anita Anderson, or if her older siblings had taken over with the lessons by the time she was old enough to learn. Joy also took violin lessons as a child.[2]

Joy was raised as an active participant in Bill Gothard's Institute for Basic Life Principles. It is assumed that Joy attended a Journey to the Heart at some point, as all of her older siblings did, but this has not been confirmed.

Joy with the family's dog, Jasmine

When Joy was seven years old, the first of her family's television specials, 14 Children and Pregnant Again!, aired on Discovery Health Channel. The special was followed by four more special programs about her family's life before the family became the subject of their own reality show, 17 Kids and Counting, when Joy was eleven years old.

Joy playing the piano

In 2006, as featured on one of the TV specials, Joy 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, Joy was given a dormitory-style room with her sisters.[6]

Joy filming a scene in the 2011 film Courageous

In late 2009, after her sister Josie was born premature, Joy moved with her family into the Cornish house in Little Rock, AR, to be closer to the Arkansas Children's Hospital. Once Josie was healthy enough to leave the NICU, Joy and her family moved back home.

Joy with her sister Johannah and cousin Amy in London, England

In 2010, Joy was an extra in the film Courageous, which was released on September 30, 2011. She is seen in the film attending a young girl's funeral. When the scene was filmed, her family expressed surprise that Joy was able to cry real tears for a fictional death.

Thanks to the reality show, Joy was able to take a number of vacations as a child and teenager. Notable vacation locations include Disneyland, New York City, Niagara Falls, Scotland, Ireland, London, Israel, China, and Japan.

Joy with her best friend Carlin and nephew Israel in Central America

In 2015, a few months before Joy's eighteenth birthday, she and her best friend Carlin Bates took a trip to Central America where Jill lived with her husband and child.


See main article: Josh Duggar molestation scandal

On May 19, 2015, In Touch Weekly published a redacted copy of a police report dated December 7, 2006. The report revealed that Joy's oldest brother, Joshua, had molested five underaged girls, including four of his sisters, in 2002 and 2003.[7]

On May 19, 2017, Joy and three of her sisters sued InTouch Weekly, Springdale, Arkansas, and Washington County, Arkansas for breach of privacy. The four women claim they were promised confidentiality when speaking to investigators in 2006.[8] By doing so, Joy publicly named herself as one of Josh's victims. Joy was five/six years old at the time of the molestations.


Joy and Austin announcing their courtship


On November 15, 2016, Joy announced that she was in a courtship with long-time friend Austin Forsyth. The couple said that they had been friends for almost fifteen years, although Joy later said that she didn't remember him as a child. Austin took Joy out to a special spot in a nearby forest to ask her to court him, and she enthusiastically said yes. The courtship proposal is featured on the Counting On episode "A Honeymoon & a Courtship".


Austin proposing to Joy

On March 3, 2017, the couple announced that they were engaged.[9] Austin took Joy, along with her sisters Johannah and Jennifer, horseback riding before leading her to a cliffside where he proposed to her. He then took her to a clearing where he and a friend had set up a table to eat a special meal he had prepared for her.[10] Joy said that she didn't expect that proposal at the moment because she didn't see any TV cameras there to film, but they were hiding in nearby trees and bushes to help make the moment more special. This proposal is featured on Counting On episode "Joy Gets Engaged".


Joy and Austin's wedding

On May 26, 2017, Joy married Austin Forsyth at Cross Church in Rogers, AR.[11] The couple shared their first kiss in front of nearly 1000 wedding guests. [12] Joy's maid of honor was her sister Jill. She had eleven other bridesmaids, including her sisters Jana, Jessa, Jinger, Johannah, and Jennifer, sister-in-law Anna Duggar, future sister-in-law and friend Kendra Caldwell, Austin's sister Meagan Ballinger, and friends Sierra Jo Dominguez, Carlin Bates, and Heidi Query. Her future niece Alove Tunstill was her flower girl.

Joy and Austin went to Switzerland for their honeymoon, starting in Geneva and later traveling to Iterlaken and Zurmatt. "We chose Switzerland because we knew that it was very beautiful," Joy explained in an interview. "We had seen a lot of pictures and Austin has really wanted to come here for awhile."[13] After their honeymoon, the couple almost immediately went on a mission trip to Israel.[14]


Joy and Austin with Gideon

On August 30, 2017, Joy and Austin announced they were expecting their first child.[15]

On February 26, 2018, Joy and Austin announced that their son, Gideon Martyn Forsyth, had been born at 3:39 pm on February 23, 2018. He weighed 10 pounds and 3 ounces.[16]

On May 1, 2019, Joy and Austin announced that they were expecting their second child, who was due November 2019.[17] On July 3, 2019, Joy and Austin announced that at their 20 week ultrasound a week prior, they discovered that their daughter had no heartbeat. They named her Annabell Elise.[18]

Joy posing for a newborn photo with Evelyn

On March 18, 2020, Joy and Austin announced that they are expecting a baby girl who was due on August 19, 2020.[19] On August 24, 2020, Joy and Austin announced that their daughter had been born at 2:12 pm on August 21, 2020. She weighed 8 pounds and 5 ounces and was 19.5 inches long.[20] On August 27, 2020, they announced that she was named Evelyn Mae.[21]


It is assumed that Joy is currently working at Fort Rock Family Camp, which is owned by her in-laws.

Joy as a political intern

Television Career

After growing up on the Discovery Health and TLC specials and the show 19 Kids and Counting, Joy became a primary focus of the TLC show Counting On when she began her relationship with Austin Forsyth.

Political Career

Joy and Austin at the Arkansas Young Republican's Convention in 2017

On January 24, 2017, Arkansas State Representative Charlene Fite announced in a post on her Facebook page that Joy Duggar was interning at the Arkansas House of Representatives.[22][23] It is unknown how long this internship lasted or if she plans to pursue politics further.

In August of 2017, Joy and her husband Austin attended the Arkansas Young Republican State Convention in Little Rock, AR.[24] It is unknown if their participation went beyond attending.

Joy with Jessica Ballinger promoting Optavia


On December 24, 2018, Jessica Ballinger, the mother-in-law of Austin's sister Meagan, posted a video with Joy on her instagram promoting the weight loss program Optavia. In the video, Joy mentioned that she had just started the program ten days ago and had already lost seven pounds. The caption encouraged followers to email Jessica with their questions or to get started.[25] On January 14, 2019, Joy posted a video in her Instagram story telling her followers that she had found a great new weight loss program, but did not mention the name of the program. She included the link to Jessica Ballinger's Instagram and encouraged people to contact her for more information.[26] On January 17, 2019, Joy shared another video talking about how much weight she had lost, sharing some more details, and giving her email for people to send their questions. One follower commented saying she was anorexic and looking for healthier ways to lose weight, and Joy's response, which started with "Awesome!" resulted in criticism for being tone-deaf.[27] She later deleted the post, with many people speculating that it was becacuse of the criticism or because of the email lists she was being signed up for.[28] On January 18, 2019, Joy shared another video, telling followers she was still trying to keep up with emails/calls.[29] It is unknown if Joy is officially selling this product herself or if she's just trying to help a friend.

Wedding Involvement


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