From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Joplin, Giles

(born: 1842) 

Giles (or Jiles) Joplin was a slave who may have passed through Kentucky on the way to Texas with his master. They had come from North Carolina, where it is speculated that Giles was born around 1842. Giles Joplin, a fiddler, was the father of composer Scott Joplin. Giles left his wife, Florence, and their six children, in 1880 for another woman. For more see In Black and White. A guide to magazine articles, newspaper articles, and books concerning Black individuals and groups, 3rd ed., supp., ed. by M. M. Spradling; and Ragging it: getting Ragtime into history (and some history into Ragtime), by H. L. White.

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Joplin, Giles,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 12, 2024,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 17:51:20