Ryan is a fifth-generation Wisconsin native. He is of German and Irish ancestry.
His great-great-great grandfather from the maternal side, John Baptist Hutter (1812-1896), hails from Wiesbach, Germany, a town located along the French border in the west. Hutter, and wife Barbara Bindl (1813-1891), arrived in Wisconsin in 1874.
The grandfather (Dennis McCarthy, 1820-1910) of Ryan’s paternal grandmother, Edith Irene McCarthy (1897 - 1983), is a native of County Cork, Ireland.