The Waugh family consists of three generations of artists including portraitist Samuel Bell Waugh (1814-1885), landscape artist Frederick Judd Waugh (1861-1940), and cartoonist, painter, and writer Coulton Waugh (1896-1973). The family lived and worked in Provincetown, New York City, Cape Cod, and England.
Born in Pennsylvania in 1814, Samuel Bell Waugh's developed a reputation for being a portraitist in Philadelphia. He travelled to Italy in the 1840s where he spent seven years painting large panoramas. Samuel and his wife Ida had one daughter, also named Ida. Waugh's second wife Eliza studied art under her husband and produced miniture portraits. In 1861, Eliza and Samuel had one son named Frederick Judd. Samuel Bell Waugh died in 1885.
Frederick Judd Waugh attended military school but ultimately enrolled in to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. With his wife Eugenie (Gene), Frederick went to Europe where he settled on Sark in the Channel Islands. He painted landscape and marine scenes during his time in England. Eugenie and Frederick's son Frederick Coulton was born in Cornwall, England in 1896. Also, the couple had a daughter named Gwenyth. The family returned to the United States and settled in Cape Cod, the Maine coast, and New Jersey.
Coulton Waugh studied at the Art Students League in New York City where he sketched portraits of people he encountered on the streets. Ultimately, Coulton settled in Cape Cod with his first wife Elizabeth Jenkinson who was a writer and artist. Together, they owned a shop for model ships and hooked rugs. In the 1940s, Coulton wrote daily comic strips and in 1947 wrote a history of the medium entitled The Comics. He wrote and illustrated Dickie Dare, Hank, and Sam of the Seven C's, among others. Coulton Waugh's second wife, Odin, was an artist who illustrated some of her husband's comic strips.