How do we know that certain families are related, even though we don't know how? Proximity to each other, property transactions between them, witnessing each others' deeds and wills, use of the same given names over and over through generations, common migratory patterns from area to area, intermarriages with the same neighboring families. These are some of the clues that indicate a common ancestry.
Matthew W. Robinson was one of those men that almost certainly one "my" set of Robinsons. He was born about 1802-1810 in South Carolina, married to Anna G. Liddle (or Liddell, which is a significant name back in Abbeville District, South Carolina). It is possible that he is a brother to my GGG grandfather John E. Robinson, who was born 1808 in South Carolina and died near Tremont in 1896. Matthew and John could be sons of John and Elizabeth Robinson who were in Lawrence County, Alabama in 1825. John died 1825-1826, and Elizabeth moved with the rest of the Robinson families to what was then Marion County but is now the Pine Springs area (across the state line from Smithville) in present-day Lamar County (later, most of this group moved to the Tremont-Shottsville area). Another possibility is that Matthew was the son of Matthew M. and Sarah Robinson, a couple born 1780-1790 in South Carolina and found in extreme southeastern Itawamba County adjacent to the area where Matthew W. Robinson lived for several years. If you are interested in a more indepth discussion, please e-mail me. I have a large amount of information to share. My gut feeling is that Matthew W. Robinson was the son of John and Elizabeth, and the nephew of Matthew M. and Sarah.
On our visit to NW Alabama a couple of weeks ago, we stopped at Newburg Cemetery where my GGG grandparents Isham and Rachel Loyd are buried. Had to say hello, you know? (Does anyone else have this affliction?) While at the small cemetery, I snapped pictures of grave markers with intentions of posting them on the Find-A-Grave website. Surprise! There was a nice marker for W. M. Robertson, the only Rob*son marker in the cemetery. Who was this fellow?
The clue to the identity of the person buried in the grave marked W. M. Robertson is the date of death, March 12, 1891. This is the same date of death found in the probate records for Matthew W. Robison (note the different surname spellins), husband of Anna Liddle. Further, there is a newspaper item in the Hamilton Times issue dated March 19, 1891 which states, "Mr. Mat Robinson, aged 91 years, died at his home on Bull Mountain on last week." (Again, a different spelling)
There are other connections. Matthew W. Robinson's daughter, Elizabeth E. "Betsy" Robinson, wife of Royal Newton Clay, has a granddaughter buried in the same small cemetery. Matthew W. and Anna Robinson sold their property in southern Itawamba County in 1867, and in 1868 purchased land in Marion County on a branch of Bull Mountain Creek north of Shottsville near the Newburg Cemetery.
From this evidence, we can safely conclude that W. M. Robertson and Matthew W. Robinson are the same person.
The date of birth on the grave marker for W. M. Robertson is August 16, 1796. The source document for this date is not known to me. Government census records are inconsistent as to the year of birth for Matthew W. Robinson, showing between 1802 and 1810. Even the newspaper account indicates 1899-1900 as year of birth, based on age at death. Age inconsistencies are not that unusual for this generation which grew up without many written records during a period of great growth and transition for our country. Bibles and other documents with significant dates, if they existed at all, were often lost due to fire or frequent moves.
|Nearby grave marked by stone|