Monday, June 28, 2010

The Other William DeWitt Robertson (1937-2010)

I have a pretty unGoogleable name—William Robertson. There are too many people with that name for a web search to turn up anything on me. Even a search including my middle initial, D., will only turn me up on the third page, where, when last I checked, the link for Scaly Distractions resides. Before that, one will read about many other William D. Robertsons, such as the one after whom is named the Robertson Tunnel, a light rail tunnel in Oregon.

My full name, for those who do not know, is William DeWitt Robertson. A few years ago I did a Google search for that name and found birth records for a William DeWitt Robertson Jr. and a William DeWitt Robertson III in Texas. Those names imply the existence of a William DeWitt Robertson Sr., meaning that there have been at least three other William Dewitt Robertsons in the history of the world.

Last night I randomly decided to do another search on my full name. I found that William DeWitt Robertson III died in February of this year.

He was a carpet salesman.

He lived in Detroit, Texas. He is survived by four children, fourteen grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

He went by the name Billy. (I always hated that name. At a certain point in my childhood I insisted that all my relatives stop calling me that.)

There is no sign that he had any interest in dinosaurs, synthesizers, pretentious British classic rock, snarky intellectual humor, wildlife photography, science fiction, pond gardening, or committing himself to writing a blog that he generally didn't feel like writing.

Thus, despite sharing a name, it looks as if we shared little else.

A mystery remains. The obituary lists a son named Billy Jack Robertson and a grandson named William Robertson V. Are they new generations of William DeWitt Robertsons, or only William Robertsons with different middle names?

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