Ron “Pigpen” McKernan

Birth Name: Ronald Charles McKernan

Date of Birth: September 8, 1945

Place of Birth: San Bruno, San Mateo, California, United States

Date of Death: March 8, 1973

Place of Death: Corte Madera, California, U.S.

Ethnicity: Swedish (maternal grandfather), English, Welsh, Irish, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish

Ron “Pigpen” McKernan was an American, singer, songwriter, and musician. He was a member of the rock band Grateful Dead, in which he sung and played the keyboard. The band’s members also included Jerry Garcia, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, and Bob Weir. He was also nicknamed Blue Ron.

Ron was the son of Esther Elvera and Phillip Charles McKernan, an R&B and blues disc jockey, who had been one of the first white DJs on black radio station KDIA. Ron was raised partly in Palo Alto.

Ron’s paternal grandfather was named Francis Joseph McKernan. Francis was born in Manchester, Greater Manchester, England.

Ron’s paternal grandmother was named Alice Bennett. Alice was born in England.

Ron’s maternal grandfather was named Carl Nelson. Carl was born in Sweden.

Ron’s maternal grandmother was Pearl Sells (the daughter of Albert Sells and Jessie M. Meredith). Pearl was born in South Dakota, and had Welsh, English, and Scots-Irish/Northern Irish ancestry. Jessie was the daughter of John Luff Meredith and Keturah Adelaide Doty.

Sources: Genealogy of Ron McKernan –

Ron’s father on the 1940 U.S. Census –

Birth certificate of Ron’s maternal grandmother, Pearl Sells –

Ron’s maternal grandmother, Pearl Sells, on the 1900 U.S. Census –
Pearl Sells on the 1910 U.S. Census –

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.