The clinical assumption that suicide attempts demonstrate familial aggregation was examined with data from a survey of 2,304 community residents. Approximately 1 in 15 persons (6.6%) in the general population was aware that a parent, sibling, son, or daughter had attempted suicide. Self-reports of suicide attempts were more common among persons with than without a family history of suicide (13.0% vs. 2.8%, p less than .05). Nearly 1 in 4 persons who attempted suicide (24.8%) reported a family history of suicide. In addition to being female and unmarried, respondent mental disorder, parent mental disorder, and parent suicide attempt each exerted independent direct effects on the risk of respondent suicide ideation. Parent attempt was not significantly associated with respondent suicide attempt when a host of risk factors were held constant. Possible mediating factors are discussed, focusing on social isolation as an underlying factor.