Martha Mae Robertson

(1909 – 1990)

Martha Mae (or May) was born on 29 December 1909 the third child of Winnie and Rosa (Phillips) Robertson. We have similar issues with her birthplace. The family is listed on the Mt. Vernon census form, but her death certificate lists her place of birth as Whitehaven.

1910 and 1920 census – Nothing much has changed. Mom and Dad and the three siblings  – Brooks, Emil, and Martha May – are living together in Mt. Vernon. Winfield, her dad, is farming.

1930 census – Both brothers have moved out. Emil has married. Martha is 20 and the only sibling still living at home. (We haven’t found Brooks listed anywhere.)

In the 1940 census Martha is listed in the population schedule of the Glenn Dale Sanitorium in Prince George, MD. She is a registered nurse and dietician there, and we are assuming single, since she is using Robertson as her last name.

Glenn Dale Sanitorium was opened in 1934 when tuberculosis was a mysterious and almost always fatal disease. Washington DC was overrun with cases, so they transferred their overflow to Glenn Dale – situated in rural Maryland on 200 acres. Glenn Dale employed over 500 medical and non-medical personnel for 600 patients. (See Glenn Dale Hospital – An Abandoned Sanatorium near Washington DC.)

Glen Dale Hospital

We have two puzzles surrounding Martha.

1 – Did she get married? We have no marriage certificate or indication that she did marry, but her death certificate lists her as “divorced.” There is some indication that she married a Lloyd Tallman, according to some family trees on Ancestry.

2 – Although she was employed at Glenn Dale in MD in 1940, she must have moved to New Jersey at some point after that. The Social Security Death Index has her last residence as 08015 Browns Mills, Burlington, NJ. But the North Carolina Death Index has her place of death as Henderson, NC. So, was she visiting North Carolina? Did she fall ill there? We have been unable to clarify the situation.

Martha died on 18 May 1990 and her body must have been transported back to her home state, Maryland. She is the last person to have been interred at the Robertson Cemetery.

Martha M. Robertson’s grave at the Robertson Cemetery

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