Bill Nye

Bill Nye at the world premiere of "The Astronaut Farmer". Cinera

Nye in 2007, photo by s_bukley/

Birth Name: William Sanford Nye

Place of Birth: Washington, D.C., U.S.

Date of Birth: November 27, 1955

Ethnicity: English, French, Welsh, Irish

Bill Nye, “The Science Guy,” is an American mechanical engineer, science communicator, and television presenter.

Bill is the son of Jacqueline Blanche Jenkins-Nye and Edwin Darby “Ned” Nye. During World War II, his father worked as a contractor on Wake Island in the Pacific, and after defending the island during early Japanese invasions, spent years in a Japanese POW camp. Bill’s mother was a codebreaker, among the “Goucher Girls,” alumnae of Goucher College enlisted to help crack codes used by Japan and Germany. Bill’s maternal grandfather was a U.S. Army Captain who married his French maternal grandmother in Dancevoir in 1919. Bill has deep roots in Washington, D.C., on his father’s side, and in North Carolina on his maternal grandfather’s.

Bill is married to journalist and non-fiction writer Liza Mundy.

Bill’s paternal grandfather was Luther Bertram Nye (the son of Luther Blodgett Nye and Helen Sophie/Sophia Puffer). Bill’s grandfather Luther was born in Washington, D.C. Bill’s great-grandfather Luther was born in Elba, Genesee, New York, the son of Jonas Ward Nye and Mary/Polly Blodgett. Helen was born in Sackets Harbor, Jefferson, New York, the daughter of George Puffer and Mary Smith.

Bill’s paternal grandmother was Minnie Wheatley Farr (the daughter of Walter Plume Farr and Sarah/Sally Marion Coomes). Minnie was born in Washington, D.C. Walter was the son of George W. Farr and Frances Ann Saunders. Sarah was the daughter of William Henry Coomes and Mary Ellen Darby.

Bill’s maternal grandfather was Sanford Swindell Jenkins, Sr. (the son of William Armond Jenkins and Blanch/Blanche E./K. Evans). Sanford was born in Town Creek, Brunswick, North Carolina. Blanche was the daughter of Anchram H. Evans, who owned the Dixie Cafe in Wilmington, and of Elizabeth R. “Lizzie” Kelly.

Bill’s maternal grandmother was named Lucy/Lucie Marie Berta Briot (the daughter of Francois Briot and Blanche). Lucy was from Rennepont, Haute-Marne, France, where her father was mayor.

Sources: Genealogies of Bill Nye –

Oral family history of much of Bill’s family –

1 Response

  1. bablah says:

    *Walter was the son of George W. Farr and Frances Ann Saunders.
    *William Henry Coomes and Mary Ellen Darby.

    *Anchram Harris Evans and Elizabeth Robinson “Lizzie” Kelly.

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