Sunday, June 28, 2009

Robisons of Illinois and beyond

Not all Robinsons stayed in the South. Like a lot of families in Itawamba County - far more than I ever realized - there were strong feelings and divisions over the Civil War. The Robinsons were no exception, and the William R. Robinson family was one such family that apparently sympathized with the Union. It appears that way, at least, because the last record we have of them in Itawamba County is the 1860 census and then we find a couple of William's sons in Massac County of southern Illinois. At least one son, Marion, who is pictured to the left, is believed to have served in the Union Army, in Company D, 20th Regiment, Illinois Volunteers.

I have yet to figure out just how Marion's father, William, fits into the larger Itawamba Robinson family but that statement is true for several of the Robinsons in early Itawamba County and Marion County of Alabama. I think I know which Robinsons are not connected, but I can't determine exactly how the others are connected to each other. At least not yet, but I'm working on it. Based on his age, William was probably the son of the Revolutionary War soldier Matthew Robinson of Abbeville District, South Carolina.

Anyway, back to Marion. I was scanning the message boards a couple of years ago and came across a post about Marion Robison. Some of his descendants were seeking information as to his parents and siblings. All they knew was that both of Marion's parents were born in South Carolina and that he likely had a brother named Ellis. After checking my records, I determined that Marion and Ellis were very likely sons of William R. and Lindsey/Linna Robinson, late of Itawamba County. An e-mail or two later, descendants of Marion were connected back to their roots in Itawamba County and I had some new cousins and some old photos.

Here is the last census found for William and his family in Itawamba County:

1860 Census
Itawamba County, Mississippi
Bexar post office (indicates family was living along state line)
Wm. R. Robertson, 60 SC, farmer
Linna, 50 SC
Roda C. 30 AL
George L. 28 AL
John R. 18 AL
Sarah A. 16 AL
Wm. W. 15 AL
Elizabeth J. 14 AL
Marion G. 12 AL
Ellis N. 9 AL

next door was son:
James J. Robertson, 22, born MS
wife Elizabeth, 22 born AL
Jno W. 1, MS

I've been unable to locate this family in the 1870 census, but there are marriage records in Massac County, Illinois for both Marion and Ellis who apparently married sisters of the Faughn family in 1872 and 1873, respectively. Both Marion and Ellis are found in the 1880 census living in southern Illinois. Other than their brother, Matthew, I've been unable to find anything on the rest of the family so I have no idea what happened to them. Hopefully, some information will turn up in the future.

Massac County is located in the extreme southern tip of Illinois, just across the Ohio River from Kentucky.

Marion died in Wichita, Kansas in 1912 while brother Ellis died after 1920 in probably Oregon and Matthew died after 1900 in probably Missouri. Note that this family spelled their surname as 'Robison'.

I'll post more on William R. Robinson later.

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