Born Frances Ethel Gumm on June 10, 1922 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, Garland was the youngest child of Francis Avent "Frank" Gumm (March 20, 1886–November 17, 1935) and Ethel Marion Milne (November 17, 1893–January 5, 1953).

Her father was descended from the Marable family of Virginia, her grandfather a Milne from Aberdeen (as she told an audience on May 29, 1951 in Edinburgh), and her mother from a Patrick Fitzpatrick, who emigrated to America in the 1770s from Smithtown, County Meath, Ireland.

Judy Garland's Family Tree