Sister Wives: Why Did the Late Garrison Brown Change His Name?

Garrison Brown

Earlier this month, Sister Wives fans were shocked to learn that Garrison Brown had passed away by his own hand. The 25-year-old was found dead in his Arizona home, by his brother, after Janelle Brown, asked for him to be checked on. TLC viewers who have watched the show since 2010 saw Garrison and his older siblings grow up on TV and grew to love the large polygamous family. Sadly as Garrison got older, he butted heads with his father, Kody Brown, which culminated in a big family feud. 

The last few years showed Garrison extremely upset with his father. He felt Kody chose his fourth and favorite wife, Robyn Brown over the rest of the family. In the last season, Garrison appeared to be upset as he was shown talking to his mother about how he didn’t need a father figure anymore. The conversation was sad to hear, but fans could see that Garrison was hurt. Now that Garrison has been laid to rest, fans are looking back at his Sister Wives life and remembering the better times. 

What’s in a name?

For those who have been with the Browns since day one, it isn’t a surprise to learn that Garrison’s real name is, Robert. But why the change of John Hancock? On his Instagram, he had the name Robert under his handle for the last five years. The swap came subtly as he started to refer to himself as Bob or Robert, but his family still seemed to call him Garrison. Thankfully, I have a pretty good memory when it comes to my Sister Wives history.

In an earlier season, Janelle once noted that the family had always called Garrison. It’s because his first name was in memory of her late father. He was named Robert. The name was meant as a tribute, but I wonder why Kody and Janelle didn’t just use Robert as the middle name. However, when he started school, the teachers called him by his first name when doing attendance. Being only a young child, he failed to correct them, hence why most of his friends know Garrison as Robert. 

Fans have also wondered why his social media handle once read “Robert the Brown.” Historically, Robert the Bruce was the eighth descendant of a Norman knight. He was thought to have been the first king of independent Scotland. Could it be that Garrison, who we know liked history, thought himself the king of his household and a fighter for independence from his father’s strict COVID-19 rules? I wouldn’t put it past Garrison to come up with a witty and coded nickname for himself. 

Garrison also changed his religion

Kody and his four wives raised their children as Mormon fundamentalists in a group called the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB.) “The Principle,” as they call themselves, have over 10,000 members. They’re mostly spread throughout Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, Montana, and Mexico. The AUB is a sect that is known to practice polygamy like the Browns do. Christine Brown was also considered royalty with the Apostolic United Brethren as well since her grandfather, Rulon C. Allred, was the founder of the AUB. But a lot of the older children didn’t feel the same way or want plural marriage for themselves. 

Garrison was one of them, and four years ago, he was baptized into the LDS Mormon Church. As a follower of the LDS church, Garrison now believed that there are many gods. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three separate gods, and humans could ascend to godhood. What is really interesting is Garrison’s older sister, Maddie Brown, also wanted to be baptized, but the LDS church wouldn’t allow her to be. It turns out that since she wouldn’t disassociate herself from her very public family, she wasn’t going to be allowed to be a part of the church. But Garrison did pull away, especially from his father making the transition a bit easier.