On Who Do You Think You Are?, Liv Tyler was elated to discover that her great-great-great-great-grandfather Robert Elliot was part African-American, or what was then called “mulatto,” according to a newspaper story and census stats. However, she was floored to learn that he was a drummer boy during the Siege of Plattsburgh, a battle that occurred during the War of 1812. Liv’s father, Steven Tyler got his start as a drummer, and she was moved by the musical connection. She went on to learn that the musical skills were passed down to Robert’s son, George, who was a drummer during the Civil War. At the Smithsonian, a drummer played for her one of the rhythms that George Elliot likely played on the battlefield, and it stirred her to tears.
After she found a picture of George, she couldn’t wait to tell her dad about his ancestors. When Steven learned of their African descent he said, “I always felt akin to black people, always.”
Who Do You Think You Are? airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on TLC.
That so COOL! I’d be so proud to learn my family had African blood just because they are such stellar people who have endured so much. I have great respect for them. You must be really proud. I’m proud of you! Absolutely love your father’s talent. xo
I met Steven Tyler when I was a teenager back in the 80’s. He was rehearsing Dream On on the electric piano in the old abandoned pro shop at the county club where I played golf. When he got up and approached me to introduce himself, the first thing I noticed when he spoke was how big his lips were for a white dude. Well this explains that. He definitely has a keen sense of rhythm.
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