The family story is that the surname had always been Robinson. But when William A. Robinson joined the Union forces in the Civil War, his Sergeant pronounced his name, "Robison." Not wanting to be disrespectful to the Sergeant, the young Will Robinson went along with the name change and it was entered as such in his military records. His family asked him much later why he had not changed it back after the war and he declared that, "Everyone was pretty used to the new name and he didn't want to bother them by changing it again."