Three Ancestors Ago–John Ed Robertson (52 Ancestors)

This post is a part of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge by Amy Johnson Crow at www.nostorytoosmall.com.

I chose John Ed today because it’s the anniversary of the Spanish Flu epidemic.  Whenever I think of a flu epidemic, I think of John Ed.  Our families were lucky in that we didn’t have a lot of deaths caused by the flu, at least not during the epidemic years.  John Ed Robertson isn’t exactly my husband’s ancestor.  He was married to my husband’s great-grandmother.  Mary Thomas was my husband’s great-grandmother via:

  • her daughter, Ruby Robertson
  • her daughter

John Ed was born June 19, 1888 in Pulaski County, Virginia.  The best I can tell, he lived all of his years in Pulaski county.  He was 30 when he died.  According to my mother-in-law, it was the flu that brought his demise.

According to his WWI draft record, as of June 5, 1917, he worked for H.W. Bird as a farm laborer.  He was tall, with a medium build, with brown hair and blue eyes.  Also, according to the draft record, he was born on June 19, 1888.

Interestingly enough, his tombstone lists he was born in 1885 and died in 1919 but he appears on the 1920 census as a 34-year-old farm laborer.

Did someone put the tombstone up later?  Someone whose memory was perhaps off a year?  I haven’t been successful in finding any more information about John Ed.

John and Mary had no children together in the few years they were married.  They were married some time after 1920, if census data is to be believed.

Sources:

  • Robertson, John E.  US Federal Census, 1900, 1910, 1920
  • Personal Stories
  • Robertson, John E.  World War I Draft Registration Card

Three Ancestors Ago…A Picture doesn’t always tell the whole story (52 Ancestors #3)

For this photo, Grandmother Allen (Rosa Caudle Allen) took little Virginia and Margie to Troy. It may be hard to tell from the photo, but this was no simple feat. She had to get them up early and get a ride to the train station in Norwood (a couple miles away). Then, they took the train from Norwood to Troy, a distance of about 15-18 miles as the crow flies. It was coal powered, so they wore their old clothes for the trip. Once they were in Troy, Grandmother picked up their new dresses and got them all gussied up. The pair was finally ready for their picture! After the picture, it was time to undo everything! They changed back into their old clothes and carefully packed up the new dresses. They rode the train back to Norwood and an uncle was there to pick them up. What a long day! But also, what a beautiful picture.

Virginia Allen is my great grandmother.

Picture of the Allen Sisters ~1910

Allen Sisters, ~1910