Tommy Chong

Chong in 2014, photo by kathclick/

Birth Name: Thomas B. Kin Chong

Place of Birth: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Date of Birth: May 24, 1938

*father – Chinese
*mother – Scottish, English

Tommy Chong is Canadian and American comedian, actor, musician, writer, activist, and director. Known together as Cheech & Chong, he is known for starring with Cheech Marin in a series of comedies, including Up In Smoke (1978).

Tommy is the son of Lorna Jean (Gilchrist) and Stanley Chong. His father was Chinese, and spoke Cantonese. His mother was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and was white. Tommy is married to comedian, producer, and actress Shelby Chong. He has six children: two, actress Rae Dawn Chong and actress and model Robbi Chong, with his former wife Maxine Sneed; and four, including actress Precious Chong, with Shelby.

Tommy’s maternal grandfather was named Samuel Gilchrist (who likely was the son of William Gilchrist and Mary Graham). William was Scottish.

Tommy’s maternal grandmother was named Emma Woodcock.

Sources: Interview with Tommy’s daughter Rae Dawn Chong about the family’s heritage –

Genealogy of Tommy Chong –

Death record of Tommy’s mother –

07/25/2002 – Tommy Chong with daughter Precious Chong, Photo Credit: Lee Roth / RothStock / PR Photos

13 Responses

  1. madman says:

    His father was Canadian, from Vancouver. Geni has his grandparents as Kin Chong and Yanmin Mao, both from Guangzhou. I can’t see who added them so I don’t know if it’s that Boyce asshole or not.

  2. madman says:

    To be clear, his maternal grandfather is confirmed as the man I linked, thus his own parents can be added.

    Tommy’s maternal grandfather was Samuel Duncan Gilchrist (the son of William Gilchrist and Mary Graham). William was Scottish.

    • follers says:

      It’s confirmed? I don’t know. Something weird is going on here. And I don’t think Emma Woodcock and Whatever Dillon sound like similar names. Maybe if it was “Whatemma Dillon.”

      He’s probably the grandfather. But I don’t know.

      • madman says:

        We still don’t know about what’s going on with his grandmother. But unless you think that death record is wrong, then yes, the Samuel I listed is his grandfather (assuming you don’t think his mother is adopted).

        Again, his mother is listed on a census as the daughter of the Samuel in that death record. What I wrote about his grandmother was a separate point, and not related to the question about his grandfather. I have no idea why her death record lists another mother than her siblings’. But Samuel is without a doubt Tommy’s grandfather.

  3. madman says:

    Replace “Scots-Irish” with “Scottish, possibly other”

    Tommy’s maternal grandfather was named Samuel Gilchrist.
    Tommy’s maternal grandfather was Samuel Duncan Gilchrist (the son of William Gilchrist and Mary Graham). William was Scottish.

    Here he is on censuses (with his first wife, Jamima Dillon):

    Their marriage record:

    On a sidenote, it’s likely with Jamima Dillon that the statements about Tommy’s mother’s French ancestry originates, as her ethnicity is listed as French on censuses. But she’s evidently not Tommy’s grandmother.

    Samuel on a census (don’t know if his father’s wife, Nancy, is the same woman as Mary Graham, or a stepmother):

    • follers says:

      Is that his grandfather? He was married to Jemima Dillon from 1899 well past Chong’s mother’s birth on December 18, 1916.

      I did have Chong’s grandfather’s name listed as Samuel Duncan Gilchrist, but I don’t have any proof now that it was anything other than Samuel Gilchrist.

      • madman says:

        I just found Tommy’s mother on a census. She lived with the family I already linked in 1926, it’s just that the page was changed and they ended up on a separate record on the website (you can look at the original document and go back one page to find the parents).

        So yes, now I’m completely sure that’s his grandfather. I’m also starting to suspect that Emma Woodcock and Jamima/Jamina/Whatever Dillon is the same person. Their first names are quite similar, don’t you think? Plus that Jamima was evidently of French descent (though her parents names aren’t very French?), and Tommy’s mother has always been said to have Scots-Irish and French ancestry.

        • madman says:

          Either that or Samuel impregnated the maid or something. Lorna Jean’s one year younger brother had the same mother as the rest of the siblings.

  4. andrew says:

    he does not look half-Chinese at all.

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