Category Archives: Robertson

Samuel Robertson’s & Elizabeth Harris’s Children and Grandchildren, Part 1

First of all, after the painful process of collecting the 90+ grandchildren of George Washington Baker and his wife, Esther Robertson, I must be out of my mind going through the same process with Esther’s parents. On the positive side, Samuel and Elizabeth only had 50+ grandchildren that I have found.

Second, most of the data on George and Esther’s children was more clear cut than some of what I’ve found on Samuel’s children. While the Bakers had somewhat of a family mob mentality, migrating in swarms from place to place, the Robertsons were more likely to move on with few other Robertsons. Add to that all the ways in which Robertson can be spelled – Robetson, Roberson, Robinson – and how common the name is, there is much more uncertainty about some of these family relationships. I’ve commented in the instances where things get muddled and messy.

Perhaps other Robertson descendants will come across this compilation and will be able to share actual documents and vital records that link these people together.

Here we go!

Children of David Robertson and Ailey Allen, married 25 June 1811, Madison County, Kentucky, are:

  1. Nancy, born c1813, Madison County, Kentucky; died 28 February 1895, Clay County, Kentucky; married Abel Bishop, 23 October 1833, Madison County, Kentucky. Abel was born 20 April 1812, Kentucky; died 26 April 1887, Clay County, Kentucky.
  2. Elizabeth H., born c1815, Madison County, Kentucky; died after 1880, probably Clay County, Kentucky; married Charles Cole, 6 April 1840, Clay County, Kentucky. Charles was born c1810, Lee County, Virginia; died 24 July 1858, Clay County, Kentucky. Death register gives cause of death as “killed.” It is odd that David Robertson gave permission for Elizabeth to marry, even though census records consistently place her year of birth about 1815, except for the 1870 census, which gives 1824 as her year of birth.
  3. Drucilla, born c1819, Madison County, Kentucky; died before 31 July 1865, probably Clay County, Kentucky; married William H. Allen, 27 December 1838, Madison County, Kentucky. William was born April 1821, Kentucky; died after 1900, Clay County, Kentucky. He married (2) Sarah (Herd) Spurlock, 31 July 1865, Clay County, Kentucky. Sarah was born February 1823, Kentucky; died after 1916, probably Clay County, Kentucky.
  4. Allen E., born 25 March 1822, Madison County, Kentucky; died after 1910, when he lived with son George’s family; married (1) Lucinda Allen, 21 January 1848, Clay County, Kentucky. She was born c1830, North Carolina; died after 1880, probably Clay County, Kentucky. There is a birth record for a Nancy J. Robertson, born 17 March 1874, Clay County, Kentucky. Father named is Allen E. Robertson and mother is Emily Clark.
  5. Sarah (Sally), born c1823, Madison County, Kentucky; died after 1880; married William B. Allen, 9 September 1843, Madison County, Kentucky. William B. was born c1811, Kentucky; died 1870-1880, Clay County, Kentucky.
  6. Silas Columbus, born October 1828; Madison County, Kentucky; died after 1900, probably Clay County, Kentucky; married Malinda Reid, 7 July 1864, Clay County, Kentucky.

David and Ailey reportedly also had daughter Mary Ann and sons William B. who married Sallie and James, who perhaps removed to Texas. The 1830 census supports the six children above. The 1840 census accounts for Allen, Silas, Sarah and a daughter (perhaps ?Elizabeth) still at home. However, there are also 2 females, aged 20-29 and 15-19, who can’t be accounted for in the 1830 census and a male 10-14 years old, also not accounted for in 1830. The male is likely William Moberly, David’s nephew and the youngest of the three Moberly brothers, for whom he served as guardian. There may have been some other relatives living with them, too. There are also no Robertson/Robinson marriages to be found in Clay or Madison Counties in the 1840s. I have found no evidence for the existence of James, William B. or Mary Ann.

Children of Esther Robertson and George Washington Baker, who married 14 July 1800, Garrard County, Kentucky, are:

  1. Elizabeth, born c1800, Kentucky; died 1850; married Michael Stufflebean, 25 December 1817, Estill County, Kentucky
  2. Samuel, born 3 December 1803, Kentucky; died c1875, Montgomery County, Iowa; married Rachel, reportedly Davidson, c1827, but no record has been found of the marriage or of her maiden name. Rachel was born c1812, Kentucky; died 1 December 1874, Montgomery County, Iowa.
  3. Susannah, born c1805; died c1846, Linn County, Missouri; married William McCollum, 7 May 1824, Estill County, Kentucky. He also died about 1846 and I think they were both cholera victims.
  4. Jane, born c1806, Kentucky; died c July 1846, Linn County, Missouri; married William Baker, 15 September 1825, Clay County, Kentucky. He died in September 1846, two more victims of the horrible cholera epidemic that struck. It is thought that William Baker was a son of Boling Baker and Elizabeth Bunch.
  5. John R., born c1809, Kentucky; married Susannah Baker, 15 January 1829, Morgan County, Indiana. Susannah was born c1812, Indiana; died between 1850-1860, probably either in Linn County, Missouri or Denton County, Texas, where the family lived at the time. Susannah was reportedly a daughter of Morris Baker and his wife, Rhoda. John R. married (2) Jane (MNU), before 1860. Jane may have been previously married to a Mr. Smith, as there was six year old Mary Smith living with them in 1860. By 1865, the family had moved on to Johnson County, Kansas. They were still there for the 1870 census, but no trace has been found of John, Jane, or children Robert and Melinda at home with them in 1870.
  6. Caroline, born c1811, Kentucky; died after 1880; married Balaam M. Baker, 12 June 1826, Clay County, Kentucky. Balaam was born c1806, North Carolina and died c1868, Linn County, Missouri. Caroline married (2) William Miner, c1869, probably in Missouri. He was born c1800, Virginia; died 2 February 1880, Linn County, Missouri. It is thought that Balaam Baker was the son of Revolutionary War soldier George Baker and Susannah Morris.
  7. Nancy, born c1812, Kentucky; died after 1880, probably in Antelope or Boone County, Iowa; married David W. Nance, 20 May 1831, Morgan County, Indiana. David was born c1793 in Tennessee and also died after 1880, likely in Iowa.
  8. Andrew Jackson, born 1813, Kentucky; died in the fall of 1848, Linn County, Missouri; married Ailey Baker, 15 June 1836, Morgan County, Indiana. She hasn’t been found in the 1850 census and nothing further is known of their family. It is thought that Ailey was a daughter of Morris and Rhoda Baker, as she lived with them in 1860 after Morris died.
  9. Martha; reportedly married George Baker, who died before 1847. No marriage record has been found and no further information on this family. This Martha was declared insane in 1848 by the Linn County, Missouri court and I don’t believe she ever married.
  10. George Robinson (Robertson?), born 13 July 1820, Kentucky; twin to Esther; died 1 May 1892, Linn County, Missouri; married Polly McCollum, 15 December 1842, Linn County, Missouri. Polly was born c1824, Kentucky; died after 1880. Some say that he married Mary Lavina Johnson, but either that information is wrong or else it was a second marriage that I haven’t been able to find.
  11. Esther, twin to George, born 13 July 1820; reportedly married James Baker, but I have found no record of the marriage or of them in 1850 or later. I have found three other Esthers married in Linn County to other men, but none seem to have a time period where they could have been married to James Baker.
  12. Robert, “Surly Bob,” born 24 August 1824, Kentucky; died 3 July 1884, Sullivan County, Missouri; married Elizabeth J. Couch, 2 April 1844, Linn County, Missouri. She was born c1823, Tennessee; died after 7 June 1900, Sullivan County, Missouri, when she lived with her son’s family.

Children of Mary Robertson and William Midkiff, who married on 14 June 1803, Madison County, Kentucky, are:

  1. William Edgeman, born c1806/08, Tennessee; died before 22 August 1863, when Ruth applied for a widow’s pension; married Ruth Goodrich, 4 November 1832, Shelby County, Indiana. Ruth was born c1808, Virginnia; died after 22 August 1863, possibly Jasper County, Illinois.
  2. Daughter, born 1811-1815; died after 1830. No further record and the only Midkiff marriage in the 1830s in Shelby County is for William, above.

Children of Sally Robertson and Robert Gordon, who married on 18 April 1805, Madison County, Kentucky, are:

Allen Robertson stated that his aunt, Sally, and Robert Gordon removed to Mississippi. If they did so, they left soon after their marriage in 1805 and didn’t stay long, as Robert Gordon appears on the 1812 tax list for Warren County, Tennessee, where he lived the rest of his life. Also on the same list are James Gordon, John Gordon and John Gordon, Jr. Unfortunately, marriage records don’t begin there until 1852, long after the children had married. From various sources online, I have pieced together the following family group. Robert married (2) Sally Hayes, 20 January 1848, Cannon County, Missouri. Sarah’s estate inventory was filed on 31 March 1866, but she hasn’t been found in the 1860 census. The 1820 and 1830 censuses indicate there were nine children in the household. Robert Gordon left a will in 1854, leaving all to his wife until she died or married for a third time. Then the estate was to go to “my children,” but none were named!

  1. Daughter, born c1806, (female, born 1806-1810)
  2. Daughter, born c1808, (female, born 1806-1810)
  3. William George, born 10 June 1810, Tennessee (male, born 1806-1810); died 4 April 1894, Lamar County, Texas; married (1) Susan (Sukey) Walling. Susan was born 1 April 1807, Tennessee; died 1 August 1881, probably Lamar County, Texas. (2) Elitha M. Conn or Carr, 4 December 1886, Lamar County, Texas. No further information about Elitha except her marriage record. She likely may be the Elitha M. Carr living in Galveston, Texas in 1880 with her brother-in-law’s family and then found widowed and living with the James Moore household in St. Francis County, Arkansas. Her name is very unusual. She was born between 1836-1844, New York; died after 1900. It appears she had no children.
  4. ?Martha, born c1813, Warren County, Tennessee (female, born 1811-1820); reportedly married James Walling. There is a marriage recorded in White County, Tennessee on 14 November 1843 for James Walling and Martha HOWARD. Given that Martha would have been about 30 at that time, this easily could be a second marriage for her. Some online sources state that she is Martha Mobley, but I haven’t found any documents to support the idea that a Martha Mobley married James Walling. If she was previously married to a Mr. Howard and the 1843 marriage is, indeed, her, then all the children listed in the 1850 family aren’t hers unless they were Howard children instead of Wallings. Because the Wallings have a son named Davidson, born in 1857, and Martha Gordon had a brother, Davidson, I think this family might be correct. I also can’t find death certificates for any of her children, which might name their parents. Furthermore, I can’t find any other marriage for James Walling, either. This family is a mystery.
  5. Isaac, born c1815, Warren County, Tennessee (male, born 1811-1820); died before 15 April 1861, Union County, Illinois, when his brother, William, was the guardian of his two daughters in Clark County, Missouri. The court record noted that Mary Isabelle and Julia were lately of Union County, Illinois. Mary Isabelle married William Clay Trent, 19 October 1868, Scotland Count, Missouri. She was born 19 November 1850, Illinois; died 23 February 1873, Clark County, Missouri. Isaac was enumerated as Isaac “Jorden” in 1860, Union County, Illinois. With him were Isabelle, 10, Edward, 7, Julia, 4, a housekeeper from Virginia and her daughter, Rebecca and Maryte Martin, and two farmers, Franklin and Lewis Rayner, both born in Illinois. Isaac was a carpenter and is in the 22 June 1860 agricultural schedule, so he died between then and 15 April 1861 probably in Union County, Illinois. Julia supposedly married James C. Purciller in 1874, but I can’t find a marriage record and she died before 1880 when he married Julia Whitney on 4 March 1880 in Denton County, Texas. Supposedly, Julia Gordon gave birth to at least a couple of children, but I haven’t found any evidence of them.
  6. Sarah (Sally), born c1816, Warren County, Tennessee (female, born 1811-1820); reportedly married Phillip Smith. There is a marriage record for Philip A. Smith to Mrs. Sarah Walker recorded on 23 June 1854, Cape Girardeau County, Missouri. A marriage for Sarah to a Mr. Walker hasn’t been found and there were no Walker children living with the Smiths in 1860. This family is another mystery.
  7. Anna Jane, born 3 June 1819, Warren County, Tennessee (female, born 1811-1820); died 16 March 1890, New Madrid County, Missouri; married Alexander Daniel Cruchon, 24 March 1841, St. Louis, Missouri. Alexander was born c1791/1800, Switzerland; died between 1870-1880 in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri.
  8. James Madison, born 1828, Warren County, Tennessee (male, born 1826-1830); died 28 November 1892, Scotland County, Missouri; married Jane Byars, 8 January 1853, Warren County, Tennessee. Jane was born 22 February 1835, Tennessee; died 24 January 1901, Scotland County, Missouri.
  9. Davidson, born c1829, Warren County, Tennessee (males, born 1826-1830); died 1907, Houston County, Texas; married Mrs. Martha Moberly, before 1880. They had no children together and it appears that Davidson had no children with anyone else.

Tomorrow, I will share data on the remaining children and grandchildren of Samuel and Elizabeth (Harris) Robertson.

Frontiersman Samuel Robertson, c1755-1826

Samuel Robertson was another of my husband’s ancestors that didn’t stay long in a settled area as he was reportedly born in the highlands of Scotland, living in Caswell County, North Carolina in 1790 and in Madison County, Kentucky before 1800.

Yesterday, I wrote about Allen Robertson’s interview in 1898 in Clay County, Kentucky. Besides talking about the Baker family, he spoke about both is father, David Robertson, and his grandparents, Samuel Robertson and Elizabeth Harris. He thought his grandparents might have been married before arriving in North Carolina, but he wasn’t sure.

I think perhaps Samuel married in either Virginia or North Carolina, as he purchased some land from one Christopher Harris in Madison County, Kentucky. Although Christopher was old enough to be the father of Elizabeth Harris Robertson, he left a will in 1794 naming a boatload of children, but none named Elizabeth or with the married name of Robertson.

It is possible that the Harris surname was just a coincidence or that Christopher was perhaps an uncle or cousin. The Christopher Harris family lived in Albemarle County, Virginia before they removed to Kentucky. Albemarle is a long way from Caswell County, North Carolina, which is said to be Samuel’s home before Kentucky. If they are related, then perhaps a branch of the Harris clan migrated to the area around the Virginia-North Carolina border before heading into Kentucky.

Although Samuel Robertson was likely in his 60s when he died, his death was accidental, per the notice in the Lexington Reporter, published on 28 August 1826:

DIED, In Madison County – Mr Samuel Robertson, by a fall from his horse

The next part of the story is a bit strange. Samuel was purported to have written a will, which was NOT recorded by the Madison County court because one witness had died and the other had removed to “the Missouri.” There is a static webpage with the contact email no longer working that contains the text of the will with the citation that it is from FHL film #183267, Probate Records Madison Co., Kentucky 1787-1959. That film is now available digitally and, for the life of me, I can’t find this will on it. The only Samuel Robertson entry is for the inventory and appraisement of his estate.

In any case, here is the text of the purported will and court commentary:

“In the Name of God amen I Samuel Robinson in the county of Madison and State of Kentucky being in a low state of health but thanks be to God in my proper senses and soundness of memory and knowing the certainty of death and that there is a time for all men once to die . I do constitute and appoint this my last will and testament by justly revoking al other former wills by me made and after all my just debts are paid and funeral charges are paid it is my desire that with what worldly blessings the Lord hath blessed me with be disposed of and in the following manner
To wit. I give my body to the ground from whence it was taken looking for the day of judgement when I must appear before the great tribunal of God almighty to make answer for my sins committed in this world where I hope through the merrits of my blessed redeamer Jesus christ to have pardon and remission? for all my sins and to be buried at the discretion of my executors hereafter mentioned-
Item I give and bequeath to my well beloved wife Elizabeth all my estate real and personal during her life unless she should cause to give any thing away to her children after my death
Item I give and bequeath to my two sons David and John the tract or parcel of land that I purchaised from Christopher Harris being 132 acres more or less to be equaly divided between the two David and John to them and their heirs forever
Item I give and and bequeath to my son James the negro boy named and called Bill to him and his heirs forever
Item I give and bequeath to my son William the negro boy named and called Austin to him and his heirs forever
Item I give and bequeath to my son Alexander all the land with the plantation whereon I now live and likewise fifty acres adjacent to the place over otter creek the deed made by Zacheriah Winburn adjoining Owen Herndon’s line
Item I also give and bequeath to my daughter Jane the negro by name and called Lewis to her and her heirs forever and also one feather bed and furniture and all the rest of my estate real and personal to be divided amoungst my five daughters Ester Baker, Mary Medkiff, Sarah Gorden, Henrietta & Patsy Robinson Only my five sons to have a bed and furniture apeace which is David, John, James, William, and Alexander to wit My three exteste? daughters has had their beds Esther Baker, Mary Medkiff, and Sarah Gorden. Lastly I constitute my wife Elizabeth and my son David & John executors of this my last will and testament

Witness my hand and seal this first day of July 1806
Test Delaney

Joseph S Delaney\t\t\t\t\t\tSamuel Robertson seal

Which purports to be the last will of Samuel Robinson and was produced in court by the exors therein named and it appearing to the court that Joseph Delaney Sr is dead that Joseph S Delaney has removed to the Missouri and that Frances Delaney has intermarried with Patrick Woods and removed to the State of Missouri, It is therefore and the motion of John Robinson, Alexander Robinson and David Robinson and ordered that a commission be issued by the clerk of the court annexed to said will, directed to the presiding judge of any court of law in the State of Missouri and to the County where they reside empowering him to take and certify their attestations.And it is further ordered that John Robinson be and he is hereby appointed curator to collect inventory and preserve the estate of said Samuel Robinson dec’d until probate of said will or administration of said dec’d estate shall be abtained or until the further order of this court whereupon the said John Robinson took the neccesary oath as such and entered into and acknowledged bond in the penalty of $150 with David Robinson and John P Gentry his security conditioned as the law directs.

Notice, too, that this transcription included the date “this first day of July 1806,” not 1826, which means this will was written twenty years previous to Samuel’s death. As the estate of Joseph Delaney was probated in 1814 and the court noted in 1826 that one witness to this will, Joseph Delaney, had since died, that date seems to be accurate.

This other website also has further commentary from court records (which I also have not been able to find on the film cited) that Alexander Robertson came to an agreement with David, John, William, Mary and Jane Robertson whereby they paid him $600 in silver out of the estate to drop his attempts to have the will recorded. Instead, the estate would be divided as if there was no will with Alexander receiving an equal portion on top of the $600 silver payment.

Things seemed to have calmed down some in the family by 29 October 1828 when the following was ordered recorded by the court:

This Indenture Made and entered into this 18th day of October 1828 by and between David Robertson as Commissioner appointed by an interlocutory Decree of the Madison Circuit Court made at their June term 1827 in the suit in chancery therein pending in which John Robertson Guardian was complainant and Samuel Robertson heirs are defendants of the one part and William Goodloe of the County of Madison and State of Kentucky of the other part Wittnessth that the said David Robertson as commissioner aforesaid and by virtue of the power and authority in him vested by the Decree aforesaid and in the consideration of twelve hundred and nine dollars paid to him by the said William Goodloe the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged hath on behalf of David Robertson, John Robertson, Alexander Robertson, William Robertson, James Robertson, Jane Robertson, Robert Gordon and Sally his wife, George Baker and Ester his wife, Kimbell Midkiff and Ritter his wife, Molly Midkiff, William, Thomas and Clifton Moberley infants by John Robertson their Guardian all heirs and legal representatives of Samuel Robertson dec’d bargain and sold aliened and confirmed and by these presents doth bargain and sell alien and confirm unto the said WIlliam Goodloe the tract or parcell of land in the Bill and proceedings mentioned called the homeplace supposed to contain one hundred and fifteen acres. To have and to hold to the said WIlliam Gooloe his hiers and assigns forever and the said David Robertson as commisioner aforesaid and on behalf of the aforementioned heirs and legal representatives of Samuel Robertson dec’d Doth convenant to and with the said Wm Goodloe to warrant and defend the title to the aforesaid tract of land against the claim or claims of all and every person claiming by through or under the said Samuel Robertson dec’d to the said William Goodloe his heirs and assigns forever In Testimony whereof the said David Robertson as Commisioner aforesaid hath hereunto set his hand and seal this day and date above written

David Robertson Commis. Seal
Kentucky Madison Circuit Ct

I David Irvine clerk of the court for the circuit ass’d? do hereby certify that this deed was produced in open court on the 29 day of October 1828 and acknowledged by David Robertson as Commisioner to be his act and deed which was examined and approved of by the court and ordered to entered of record and the same has been duly recorded in my office. Att. David Irvine Cty Clerk

However, from Allen Robertson’s statement naming his grandparents and the non-recorded will and recorded land deed, the family of Samuel Robertson can be pieced together.

Children of Samuel Robertson and Elizabeth Harris:

  1. David, born c1780, near Moraviantown (possibly the Winston-Salem area where the Moravians had established a large community), North Carolina; died 18/20 June 1872, Clay County, Kentucky; married Ailey Allen, c1811. Ailey was born c1790, North Carolina; died after 1860, probably Clay County, Kentucky.
  2. Esther, born 11 December 1781, Caswell County, North Carolina; died after 1850, Linn County, Missouri; married George Washington Baker, 14 July 1800, Garrard County, Kentucky. He as born c1779; died August 1846, Linn County, Missouri of cholera.
  3. Mary, born c1782, North Carolina; died after 1850, probably Shelby County, Indiana, where she was living with her son’s family; married William Midkiff, 14 June 1803, Madison County, Kentucky. He died before 1830, probably Shelby County, Indiana, when Mary was enumerated as head of the household.
  4. Sarah (Sally), born c1786, North Carolina; married Robert Gordon, 18 April 1805, Madison County, Kentucky. Allen Robertson said they removed to Mississippi, but
  5. John, born c1788, North Carolina; died July 1859, Jackson County, Missouri of a fever, per the 1860 mortality schedule; married Nancy Cox, 16 April 1816, Estill County, Kentucky. She was born c1799, Kentucky; died after 1850.
  6. William, born c1790, probably Kentucky; no further record.
  7. James, born c1792, Kentucky; died 10 November 1878, Shelby County, Kentucky; married (1) Nancy Wheeler, 24 July 1817, Madison County, Kentucky. She was born 27 December 1796, Madison County, Kentucky; died 1 September 1841, Shelby County, Indiana. (2) Susan, probably Susannah Myers, 30 June 1842, Decatur County, Indiana. She was born 8 January 1802/05; died 14 October 1885, Shelby County, Indiana.
  8. Martha, born c1794, Kentucky; died c1824, Madison County, Kentucky; married William Moberly, 24 December 1818, Madison County, Kentucky. William was born 1776-1794; also died young as John Robertson became guardian of the Moberly children.
  9. Alexander, born 27 April 1797, Madison County, Kentucky; died 17 October 1834, Morgan County, Indiana; married Nancy Grisham, 14 August 1817, Estill County, Kentucky. Nancy may have married (2) John Dillinger, 12 July 1835, Morgan County, Indiana.
  10. Henrietta, born c1801, Madison County, Kentucky; died between 28 October 1828, when she was named in a land deed filed in Madison County, Kentucky and 31 May 1829, when her husband remarried; married Kimble Edgeman Midkiff, 4 February 1819, Estill County, Kentucky. Kimble was born 10 April 1800; died 10 October 1867, Shelby County, Indiana. Kimble married (2) Ellen Montgomery, 31 May 1829, Shelby County, Indiana.