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.

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