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.

    1. Thank you! Those are fun photos to create of Janis and her ancestors. It’s amazing the similarities she has with them!