It is because of this fire, and another fire at the courthouse in Abbeville County, South Carolina, that I have a brick wall with my Robinson ancestors. Land records do not exist to examine and extrapolate family relationships dating back to Marion County's formation in 1818. Because of the dearth of genealogical records, any historical information or document for those counties (Lamar - originally known as Sanford -- was formed out of parts of Marion and Fayette counties in 1867) can be an exciting find.
Recently I spent some time going through online transcriptions of Marion County newspapers dating from 1893. These old newspapers were transcribed from their microfilmed images by a volunteer, Veneta McKinney, who has also placed online transcriptions of newspapers from 1875 in Lamar County. Many thanks to Ms. McKinney for her tireless efforts!
Below is just one example of information I found in the online transcriptions. You might get lucky too!
The Hamilton Free Press
Marion County, Alabama
Thursday, April 26, 1894
From Detroit:Messrs. Gid and Gaines Robinson of Bexar were in town Sunday.
Gid was my great-grandfather. He married Arthusa "Thusie" Evans on November 25, 1894 in Tremont, just a few months after the above "news" was published in the Hamilton newspaper. Bexar and Tremont were just a few miles apart, with most families of Bexar (including the Evans and Robinson families) claiming kinfolks over the stateline in and around Tremont. In 1894, Bexar was a thriving little town with several businesses, doctors, a post office and even a hotel at one time. If the above news article is correct, Gid must have been living in Bexar in 1894, or at the very least he was visiting relatives. Gid and Gaines apparently were visiting over in the Detroit community in April.
Lucian Gaines Robinson was married to Theodoria Agnes Jane Bishop, who was Thusie's aunt, although Gaines and Agnes didn't marry until 1904. Gaines was the son of Henry Johnson Robinson and Susan Florence "Sukey" Evans. Sukey was also Thusie's aunt, on her father's side. Gaines and Gid were first cousins, and it is easy to speculate that perhaps Gid was visiting his cousin Gaines in Bexar in order to court Thusie who was possibly visiting her Bexar relatives. Courting was a lot easier away from the prying eyes of parents who were back in Itawamba County!