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Laura Williams's Geni Profile

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Laura Williams (McLaurin)

Also Known As: "Laurie"
Birthdate: (79)
Birthplace: Mississippi, United States
Death: September 24, 2001 (79)
Belvedere Tiburon, Marin County, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Biological daughter of Robert Armistead Janin and Laura McLaurin Berry
Adopted daughter of Robert Forrest Smith
Wife of Robert Fitzgerald Williams and N.N. Smith
Ex-wife of William J. Musgrove
Mother of Robin Williams and <private> Smith-Williams (Smith)
Sister of Laurie McLaurian Williams

Managed by: Jason Scott Wills
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Laura Williams

Note: daughter of Robert Armistead Janin and Laura McLaurin Berry

Robert Forrest Smith was her adoptive step-father, not her biological father.

See "Notes on Robin Williams' Ancestry" below.


Obituary: Marin Independent Journal, Sunday, September 9, 2001

Born in 1922 in Jackson, Mississippi and raised in New Orleans, Laurie Williams could captivate any listener with stories of her great-grandfather, Anselm Joseph McLaurin, a Governor and then Senator of Mississippi, and share tales of Southern aristocrats when talking about her father, Robert Armistead Janin, and her mother, Laura McLaurin Berry Janin Smith, but she was far more interested in today's news and not yesterday’s exploits. She laughed easily and often. Her vibrant smile was second only to the twinkle of her blue eyes.

Her life mirrored the rhythm of her times and she had an inexhaustible passion for fashion. During World War II she lived and worked in Washington, D.C. In 1945 she studied lithography at the San Francisco Art institute and in the late 1940's she worked in Chicago as a model at Marshall Field's. She believed that "you can go from a bimbo to a countess with a hat" and that "when you put on something wonderful, you feel wonderful. Then you go out and meet the world head on and say - Hey, I think you’re special. I got all dressed up for you." In 1950, she married her second husband, Robert Fitzgerald Williams, and they settled in Bloomfield, Michigan where she "got hooked on tennis" with the help of Jean Hoxie, the tennis great who was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1965. Laurie and Rob retired in Tiburon in 1967. Widowed in 1987, she remained an active member of both the Belvedere Tennis Club and Harbor Point Racquet and Beach Club.

Another favorite saying was: "See you around campus kids." She is survived by sons McLaurin, Todd, and Robin; grandchildren Zachary, Zelda, and Cody; daughters-in-law Pat, Francine, and Marsha; countless loving friends and admirers.

San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Date: September 8, 2001 Author: Steve Rubenstein Edition: FINAL Page: A17


Notes on Robin Williams' Ancestry by Christopher C. Child at _Vita Brevis_

"From most online biographies, one learns that Robin McLaurin Williams’s mother, Laurie McLaurin (Smith) Williams, a native of Jackson, Mississippi, was the great-granddaughter of Mississippi senator and governor Anselm J. McLaurin (1848–1909). However, while most online trees indicated Laurie was the daughter of Laura McLaurin Berry (daughter of Stella Mae McLaurin, daughter of Governor McLaurin), there is disagreement about Laurie’s father, with some identifying him as Robert Forest Smith and others as Robert Armistead Janin.

The obituary of Robin’s mother, there called Laurie McLaurin Janin Williams, identifies her as the daughter of Robert Armistead Janin and Laura McLaurin Berry Janin Smith. The 1930 census shows Robin’s mother, “Laura Smith,” age 7, born in Mississippi, with her father Robert F. Smith, age 41, married at age 33, and her mother Laura Smith, age 26, married at age 18, all living in New Orleans. Mississippi Marriages, 1776-1935, on, shows the marriage of Robert F. Smith and Lana [Laura] M. Berry, on 18 May 1929 in Walthall County.

One online tree indicates Laura Berry married Robert Janin in New Orleans on 6 December 1921 and then married Robert Smith on 2 September 1929 in Jackson, and that Robert Smith adopted his step-daughter. While I could not locate these records online, the data is consistent with Mrs. Williams’s obituary and census information. Robert Janin is living with his cousin in 1930 (listed as single), although in the 1940 census he is listed as divorced and living in New Orleans."

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Laura Williams's Timeline

September 24, 1922
Mississippi, United States
July 21, 1951
Age 28
Chicago, Illinois, United States
September 24, 2001
Age 79
Belvedere Tiburon, Marin County, California, United States