Julia (McWilliams) Child

Julia Carolyn (McWilliams) Child (1912 - 2004)

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Julia Carolyn Child formerly McWilliams
Born in Pasadena, Los Angeles, California, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Wife of — married (to ) in Lumberville, Bucks, Pennsylvania, USAmap
[children unknown]
Died in Montecito, Santa Barbara, California, U.S.map
Profile manager: Jill Lee private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 4 Dec 2015
This page has been accessed 852 times.

Categories: World War II American Spies | World War II Celebrity Spies.

Julia (McWilliams) Child was a American Spy in World War II.


Julia Child was an American chef, author, and television personality. She is recognized for bringing French cuisine to the American public with her debut cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and her subsequent television programs, the most notable of which was The French Chef, which premiered in 1963. She was also a spy in World War II. [1]

Julia was too tall to enlist in the Women's Army Corps (WACs) or in the U.S. Navy's WAVES so she enlisted in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). She was assistant to developers of a shark repellent needed to ensure that sharks would not explode ordnance targeting German U-boats.[2] In 1944 she was posted to Kandy, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), where her responsibilities included "registering, cataloging and channeling a great volume of highly classified communications" for the OSS's clandestine stations in Asia. She was later posted to China, where she received the Emblem of Meritorious Civilian Service as head of the Registry of the OSS Secretariat. For her service, Child received an award that cited her many virtues, including her "drive and inherent cheerfulness." As with other OSS records, her file was declassified in 2008, however, unlike other files, her complete file is available online. [3]

While in Ceylon, she met Paul Cushing Child, also an OSS employee, and the two were married September 1, 1946, in Lumberville, Pennsylvania, later moving to Washington, D.C. A New Jersey native who had lived in Paris as an artist and poet, Paul was known for his sophisticated palate, and introduced his wife to fine cuisine. He joined the United States Foreign Service, and in 1948 the couple moved to Paris when the US State Department assigned Paul there as an exhibits officer with the United States Information Agency. The couple had no children.


  1. Wikipedia Julia Child
  2. Julia Child Dished Out Spy Secrets
  3. Julia McWilliams, ARC Identifier 2180661, Office of Strategic Services Personnel Files from World War II
  • California Birth Index, 1905-1995," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V257-LV5 : 13 December 2014), Julia C Mcwilliams, 15 Aug 1912; citing Los Angeles, California, United States, Department of Health Services, Vital Statistics Department, Sacramento.

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No known carriers of Julia's ancestors' mitochondrial DNA have taken an mtDNA test and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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Images: 2
Julia Child
Julia Child

Julia Child
Julia Child


On 18 Sep 2017 at 00:13 GMT Lisa (Kelsey) Murphy wrote:

She was not naturally a cook, she failed her finals at France's famed cooking school. She then worked 6 years on her cookbook and her publisher rejected it. She did not let it bother her though, she just kept cooking. A different publishing house had one of their young editors take the book home, that person tried her boeuf bourguignon. The contract was sent to her almost immediately. It started the way for her tv show. It all came from persistence despite failure. She is quoted "Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it."

Meltzer, Brad, Heroes for my Daughter, pgs 32-33, Harper Collins Publishing

On 14 Jan 2016 at 22:30 GMT Paula J wrote:

Have fun!!!

On 14 Jan 2016 at 22:15 GMT Jill (Turkington) Lee wrote:

Hi Paula!!!

I never would have guessed that Julia was a spy!!!

I have three Gary Boyd Roberts books, etc., which link lots of people together, but a lot of them are names without dates. If we can come up with dates, we could link people like Sarah Caldwell, Julia Child, Glenn Close and Brooke Shields together and to the immigrant ancestors. And that's just from one page!!!

Hope that you don't mind if I start trying to add some generations.


Julia is 12 degrees from George Bush, 21 degrees from Rick San Soucie and 19 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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