I have always had a love of great comedians. As a child it started very young with watching Red Skelton with my grandparents. It continued with Danny Kaye and ended tragically with Robin Williams. I have yet to recover from the loss of Robin Wiliams, so I have no one to admire for their comedic greatness. Shortly after Robin's death, colleague Chris Child, genealogist with the New England Historic Genealogical Society did a short genealogy article on Robin's southern roots.
I did my own preliminary research on Robin a while ago and was surprised to discover his genealogy, both lines, are deeply southern. His father was born in Evansville, IN (with this lineage going through KY, NC, and then VA) where I spent much time as a youth growing up (about 30 miles away), and attending my undergrad at the University of Evansville. I was born in Kentucky. His mother's family was from Jackson, MS. I also spent two years living in Hattiesburg, MS while pursuing a doctorate in music, spending much time in New Orleans, playing in an Orchestra in Meridian, MS and touring with the faculty of USM's brass quintet all over the south.
Tobias Williams Grave site
This is only his father's line. Personally, I find researching the female side more intriguing as you discover new surnames and open new families this way. I will delve more deeply into his mothers line in a future post!
One of my Rev War patriots was from NJ, served in PA, received a land grant in NC, moved there with his extended family only to find NC too "occupied" with little resources, sold his land, and moved to Hendersonville, TN where he died. This was about 50 miles from Defeated Creek, TN where Robin Williams 3rd great grandfather, also a Rev War patriot, died.
Next up, Red Skelton! Red was born and raised in Vincennes, IN where my 5th great grandfather was the land registrar for the entire Indiana Territory starting in 1804 after our country acquired the Louisiana Purchase.