Weekly Recap: Janis Joplin Genealogy & Family History

Over on Instagram this past week I began researching Janis Joplin’s Genealogy & Family History. I’m a HUGE Janis Joplin fan and found many surprises researching. It all started when I was on the Find A Grave website poking around the “Famous” Memorials. That’s when I discovered Janis Joplin’s 2nd great grandfather was from Virginia. Well, most of my family is from Virginia so I decided to head down the trail to see if I could find a family connection. 

Janis Joplin Genealogy & Family History weekly recap 01. Read more about Janis’ Genealogy & Family History!

So far no connection YET, but what I did find was some awesome photographs and documents. I started sharing them on Instagram and decided I would write a blog post to recap my last week researching. 

First, I found an awesome picture of Janis’ maternal 2nd great grandmother, Anna Belle Bowman. I was amazed by how much Janis looked like her! What do you think? Can you see the resemblance? 

Janis Joplin & her great grandmother. Read more about Janis’ Genealogy & Family History!

I thought she looked just like her! Well, that was until I found this picture of her paternal 2nd great grandfather, Benjamin Lafette Jopling.

Janis Joplin & her 2nd great grandfather. Read more about Janis’ Genealogy & Family History!

Now, who do you think she looks more like? Join the conversation over on Instagram

While researching, I also found this document on the Library of Virginia’s website while searching Chancery Records. 

Janis Joplin’s 2nd great grandfather’s signature. Read more about Janis’ Genealogy & Family History!

This court document is from a 1873 case and has the signature of Janis’ 2nd great grandfather, Benjamin Lafayette Jopling (1795 - 1875), on it! The original signed document (pictured above) is dated 11 OCT 1830. Whoa! I was too excited! Also, in case you were wondering... its true, the Joplin last name was changed from Jopling.

I also found the headstone of her paternal Great Grandfather, Charles Alexander Joplin (1853 - 1928), and his picture. Click this post to view!

Watch for my next Janis Genealogy post regarding one of her ancestors and a horrible night he encountered!

Follow along on Instagram and check out my #JanisGenealogy hashtag on Instagram for future posts! Because, well, you already know Instagram is my jam! :) 


  1. Great article. Thanks for all the research,

  2. Janis Joplin fans everywhere will appreciate that you have researched some of her roots. Thank you.

    I especially love the side-by-side photo comparisons to see similarities in Janis' face and those of her ancestors.