Thursday, August 30, 2012

30 Aug 2012 ~ Solving the Robb Mystery ~

Iowa State Flag
After a lifetime of genealogy (and working on families easier to follow) ~ I hadn't gotten past my 2nd great grandfather in the Robb family.  Robb being my mother’s maiden name it is a key line.  A few days ago I caught a break and the Robb family now goes back to my 3rd great grandfather (4th for my children, etc.) and  I’ve been able to take allied lines back much farther – in one case to 1420.  The Robb information isn’t deep but carries an interesting immigrant tale with a tragic twist. . .

 A word about lucky breaks – they are a boon to family historians. I knew that the Robb’s came from Marshall County, Iowa and before that from Cadiz, Harrison, Ohio  It was information obtained from my great grandfather, George Fulton Robb's death certificate.  And, I knew that he had brothers named John and Edmund. 

Ohio State Flag
 Although George died when my mother was a baby, I remember Uncle Ed. The Robb’s were a good looking people and Edmund had a full head of snowy white hair that complimented his good looks even into old age. He would come to visit neatly dressed in a suit and with a gentlemanly manner. My grandmother said that Ed's brothers looked very much like him.

I had the name of George, John, and Ed's parents – John Clarence and Susanna (Cristadden) Robb – given to me by my grandmother, Margaret Lane Robb when I interviewed her about her husband's family.  I found that John Clarence’s mother was Mary Ann Robb in the census records but I couldn’t find the name of his father. It seemed odd, but I assumed that the father died young.

Clarence and Margaret Lane Robb
 John Clarence Robb and his wife Susannah moved from Cadiz, Ohio to Marshall County, Iowa with a couple of his brothers to farm and raise their families.  Many years later, during the Great Depression, my grandparents, Clarence and Margaret (Lane) Robb also moved to Marshalltown, my grandfather finding work in a battery factory in a terrible job market possibly with the help of his cousin, John Clarence Robb, Jr. That is where my mother was born. They moved back to Des Moines when she was still small but she knew her cousins, aunts and uncles from Marshalltown.

Cadiz Union Cemetery
 Mary Ann Robb, whom I found in several Federal Census Records, was a widow raising twelve children. Who was the father? The break came from the name of the last child – Craig.  It is not a common name.  Craig disappeared early so I was pretty sure he died before he was ten. How difficult it must be to lose a child so young and so many did back then! I was able to find his grave in Cadiz Union Cemetery. And, what luck! On his tombstone it says – “1857 - 1865 ~ Son of Joseph and Mary.” Now I had the father’s name thanks to a wonderful volunteer website called Find A Grave.

 What happened to Joseph Robb?  And, what was Mary Ann Robb’s maiden name? And where did they come from before Ohio?

 To be continued. . .

Photo credits: 
Iowa and Ohio flags from
Clarence and Margaret, Sandra Shaffer Barber collection.
Union cannon at Cadiz Union Cemetery from added by R. Bowles-Meentzen in 2009.

1 comment:

  1. 12 Sep 2013 Your blog is WONDERFUL and what a gift to your children.


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