The Whites – Charlotte and George

The Robertson Family Cemetery seems to have become a critical resource for neighbors in need as well as a family cemetery. Of the 32 interees, 9 are neighbors and friends. The last of these to be buried here are Charlotte White and her son, George.

We don’t know very much about the Whites. The 1880 census lists a family of three living in Tyaskin: Alexander, 47 years old, his wife Charlotte, age 38 and their 2 year old son, George H. Alexander’s profession is listed as sailor.

By 1900 we think Alexander has passed away. Charlotte is listed as Charlotte Kirwin (back to her maiden name?) living with her son, George H. This and the 1910 census make it clear the Whites, Robertsons and Evanses are all neighbors and friends, living in the Nanticoke area of Wicomico County.

The 1910 census has George, at 32, living with his mother, who is now 65. George’s occupation is sailor. One curious thing – in this census Charlotte’s first name appears to be recorded as something else (beginning with an “A” but basically unreadable), with a middle initial of C. Could be Charlotte was her middle name – but on her gravestone her name is engraved as Charlotte A.

Charlotte passes away in 1919, at the age of 71, and the 1920 census shows that George is living alone – still in Nanticoke – on Muddy Hole Road – and working as an oysterman. The census also says he owns his home – so maybe he inherited from his Mom? We can’t find him in any later census reports.

Grave marker of Charlotte White and George White

George, passes away in 1958, at the age of 80. Charlotte and George are buried, side by side, in the Robertson Family Cemetery.

The Evans Family – Neighbors and Friends

The Robertson Family Cemetery was founded in 1876, when Esther Adeline, wife of James W.T. and mother of Carrie Roberta, Eva Blanche, and Alice Talmage, died and was buried in a small plot of land set aside on the family farm.

The next person to be buried there was William F. Evans, in 1895. We think he was 8 years old at the time of his death, having found no birth record for him. He and his family were neighbors of the Robertson’s. I imagine the death of the 8-year-old was unexpected and the Evans family needed a burial site for their son. Also, the cemetery would be close by and his Mom and Dad could visit if they wanted to. And so the first non-family member was given a place to rest in our family cemetery.

Walter’s parents were Francis Jerome, born on 14 October 1851 and Lucy (Willing) Evans, born on 6 May 1861. It looks like Jerome was born in Salisbury to William F. and Sally Evans, but the family soon moved to Baltimore where William was a tanner and Jerome himself was apprenticed to a blacksmith.

William Evans grave marker

Lucy and the Willing family lived in the Tyaskin District in Wicomico County. Her dad was John Littleton Willing (actually called Littleton, we think), and his wife was Hester. He seems to have had various jobs both on and off a farm. We don’t have a marriage date for Francis Jerome and Lucy, but by the 1880 census they are indeed married, and have moved in with her (Lucy’s) family in Tyaskin. Jerome is listed as an oysterman.

It is this census that clearly demonstrates that the Willings, the Evans couple, and Robertsons were neighbors.

Sometime between the 1880 and 1900 census is when we think William Evans was born, and 8 years later, passes away. By 1900 the Evans family is large and seemingly growing. Jerome (at 49) and Lucy (at 39) have 5 children – Blanche (18), Charles (15), Walter (13), Florence (9), and Esther (3).

Tragedy once again strikes the family, as Charles Edward dies at the age of 17. He is the second Evans family member to be buried at the Robertson Cemetery.

Charles Edward Evans grave marker
Aug. 4, 1884
July 19, 1901

In 1910 the Evans family is still in Tyaskin, but Jerome has become a blacksmith. Walter is listed as a laborer at odd jobs. He is 23 and Florence, at 19, is a clerk at a millinery store. Esther is 13. Marion Francis (9 years) and Lucille (7 years) have joined the family.

On 31 January 1918, the son Walter J. passes away at age 31 and becomes the third Evans family member to be buried in the Robertson Family Cemetery.

By now, Jerome seems to own his own blacksmith shop and the children, Florence, Marion Francis, and Lucille are all living at home.

Walter Jerome Evans grave marker
Sept. 8, 1886
Jan 31, 1918

On 16 September 1929, Francis Jerome – the head of the family – dies in Clara, MD. He is also buried at the Robertson Cemetery.

It looks like after that Lucy – goes to live with her son, Marion, his wife, Alice and their son Wayne (6 years old) in Salisbury.

Francis Jerome Evans grave marker

Lucy passes away on 24 January 1935. She is buried beside her husband and three sons – all at the Robertson Family Cemetery.

Lucy Willing Evans grave marker

Grant Elmer Hewitt

(1886 – 1912)

Grant Hewitt was born on 17 Feb 1886 in Somerset County, Maryland. His father was William James Bell Hewitt; his mother was Sarah “Sallie” Elizabeth Meredith. William was born in 1848; Sallie was born in 1850. They married on 8 June 1870. William was 22 years old; Sallie was 20.

Ten years later, according to the 1880 census, the couple has had 4 children, all daughters, ranging in age from 7 years to 6 months. The census was taken in Fairmont, Somerset County, MD. Grant’s father’s occupation is listed as a sailor.

Grant was born 17 Feb 1886. His brother, Leonard, was two years older, and a younger brother, William Ellis, was born in 1888. After having 7 children, Sallie passes away in 1892.

William marries Sarah Virginia Jennie James (called Jennie) in (approx.) 1893. (The 1900 census says they had been married for 7 years.) Their first child, Theodore, was born in 1896; Esther was born in 1898.

The 1900 census, which was taken in the Tangier District of Somerset County, MD, lists the family as James (William’s second name, of course), Jennie (Sarah’s 3rd name), and 5 children – Theodore, Esther, Leonard, Grant and Willie. Grant is 14 years old and already listed as an “oysterman,” as was his Dad.

The “Tangier District” is a peninsula surrounded by the Bay of Tangier and the Chesapeake Bay – so sailor or oysterman, it is clear that the Harris family, at this point, was earning their living on the bay.

By the time of the 1910 census, Grant, who is 24, has already moved out of the house, and William and Jennie have had 3 more children: Rodger (1901), Russell (1903) and Catherine (1906). They are still living in Maryland’s Tangier District.

1) Tangier Disctict; 2) Robertson Cemetery in Clara

The couple go on to have one more child, Jennie, who dies shortly after birth. Also, Rodger dies at the age of 3.

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By the 1920 census the family has moved to Baltimore. William James (Dad) is working as a watchman; Russell is still living at home. Catherine, her husband James, and their daughter, Esther, are living there, too, as well as 2 lodgers.

The Nanticoke Bivalve Church register has a record of a marriage between Grant Hewitt and May Roberts, of Clara, on 30 June 1910. Grant died 30 Dec 1912, at the age of 26. We cannot find a death certificate or information about why, where or how he died. He and May seem to have had no children. The 1920 census has May back home living with her mother, Zipporah. Both women are recorded as widows.

Grant’s final resting place is the Robertson Family Cemetery, in Clara, MD. No other member of his family is buried there.

The engraving on the tombstone reads ~
He passed beyond
Life’s long provision
For years
We know that
And it is well.

Laura Francis (Frank) Robertson and William H. Harris

(1852 – 1912) and (1840 – 1910), respectively

Laura F. (Frank) Robertson was the first daughter of George Washington Henry Robertson and Leah M. Wainwright – our great, great grandparents.

She makes her first “official” appearance in the 1860 census, living with a large and varied household. (The census taker might have recorded her as “Louisa” – it’s hard to decipher the writing. But it is definitely our Laura, or Frank, as she called herself).

Father and mother, George W.H. and Leah were there, along with siblings George Henry (14 years), William E. (12), James W. T. (10), Charlotte T. (age 6) and a 1-month-old infant, later named Martha. Laura was 8 at this time.

Also in the household were William Sermon (60) and James Conway (18) listed as laborers, and Mary T. Winwright, Leah’s daughter by her first marriage. Mary is 17 years old and listed as a “house girl.”

The wedding date we have for Laura and William H. Harris, Jr. is 18 May 1869. But the 1870 census shows Laura Robinson [sic] living at her home with Mom and Dad and two sisters, Charlotte and Martha. William Harris is living there, too, and is listed as a farm laborer. Laura is 19; William is 26. Laura’s last name is still listed as Robertson.

William H. Harris, born 8 Nov 1840, is the son of William Harris and Mary L. Mezick.

Whenever they did get married, by the 1880 census “Frank” and William were living on their own in Tyaskin, MD. They have one child, Minnie Leah (or Leah Minnie, depending on what document you are looking at), age 8 years. Also part of the household are Alvina Dodson (servant) and Mary J. Williams (aunt).

By 1900, at the age of 16, Minnie Leah has married William Catlin and has moved out. Laura (age 47) and William (age 59) are there, and have another daughter who they named Laura Robertson. She is 11. Aunt Mary is still living with them, along with a servant – Fannie Conaway.

One document we have lists 2 more children for our couple: George and Edward. But there are no dates listed, and no census document mentions them. All we have at this point is speculation.

Laura F. (57) and William H. (69) are still together in 1910, and their second daughter, Laura R. at 31 resides with her parents as well.

Now they have a “niece-in-law,” Mildred J. Byrd (13) living with them, as well as a boarder, Clyde Truit (21). [Mildred is the daughter of Nora Robertson and William Byrd, both of whom passed away in 1898, when Mildred was one. Nora was the daughter of George Washington Henry Robertson and his second wife, Ellen Larmore, making her a half-sister of Frank albeit with a 22 year age difference.]

Daughter Laura R. marries Glenn Catlin on April 28, 1910. They got married in the Harris homestead, and the marriage is recorded in the Nanticoke Bivalve Church marriage record. [Glenn is a cousin of Caroline Catlin, our great-grandmother, making him also a cousin.]

William passes away on 29 Dec 1910 at the age of 70. Laura passes away 2 years later in 1912 – at the age of 60.

Laura and William are buried side by side in the Robertson Family Cemetery.