Friday, October 29, 2010


Vermont's Famous Artist and Writer

Rowland Evans Robinson, born 1833 in Ferrisburg, Addison, Vermont to a Quaker family. He not only was a farmer but also a famous artist and prolific writer about Vermont. Artists ran through his family. My great great grandfather was born in 1829 in Vermont but I don't know to who or what city, though he married Julia Ann Tuller of Royalton, Vt. He was very strict about observing the Sabbath and did not allow his son, Frank to rescue a horse out of a field containing a bull on the Sabbath.

His genealogy tree starts with Thomas R. Robinson, a Quaker from Newport, Rhode Island who settled in Vergennes in 1792. He had two children, Abigail and Rowland T (most likely for Thomas) Rowland became a prominent man in Ferrisburg and was an early and uncompromising abolitionist. In 1857 he was appointed town clerk, an office that stayed in the family. He had a son, George G. born 4 March 1825 remained unmarried. who became the clerk. His eldest son, Thomas R. was born in 1823 and died in 1853. Rowland E was born 14 May 1833 and married Anne Stevens of East Montpelier in 1870. He had three children; Rachel, Rowland T and May. Thomas R. Robinson's wife was Charlotte Satterly of Ferrisburgh. They had two children; William G who became a physician in New York, and Sarah.

The home of Rowland Evans Robinson, author, illustrator and naturalist was the family home ever since the 1790's to the 1960's. It looked much like it did at the end of the 19th century and consisted on eight rooms. Now the town has guided tours through it. It's on U.S. routhe 7, near the village. It's called Rokeby which was a station on the Underground Railroad. Rowland had gone blind in his later years and I believe his daughters took over drawing to illustrate his writings.

I found Roland T Robinson b: 1797 on the 1840 census in Addison, Vermont with his wife. There were 12 in the family including a colored person working for the family. This is the first time I've ever found a colored person working in New England. Also on the same census page was Thomas Robinson age 70-80, his father and also his mother of about the same age with a son under 5 and a son from 20-30, and a daughter from 20-30.

I found Rowland Evans Robinson next on the 29 June 1860 Ferrisburg Census listing him as an artist and writer as well as a farmer. He was the author of Danvis Folks, a novel; Vermont: a Study of Independence: Uncle Lisha's shop; and In New England Woods and Fields. He was 27 and had quite a lot of money for this period: $21,600 in land and $4,500 personally. Rachel Robinson age 60 born in Massachusetts lived with him as well as his brother George G, age 35, born in 1825.

Then I found him on the 19 July 1870 Census in Ferrisburgh. He was the youngest of the four children and had begun to draw at an early age. He trained as an engraver and illustrator in N.Y. city in his early 20's. He married Anne Stevens in 1870 and then returned to NY several times looking for work and finallly remained on the family farm which he ran with his brother Geroge. Now he was 37 years old and had $25,000 in land and $5,200 in personal affects.

I found him again on the 1900 census at age 67 and found out that his mother had been born in NY. Anna, his wife was only 58. Daughter Rachel was 21 and listed as an artist, Mary was 16 and her work was unreadable but looked like Amanainsis, Mary S. Putnam age 67 lived with them and was his sister in law, and his son Roland T was 18.

Living next door to them was an Amos B. Robinson age 34 who had been married 5 years to Caroline A 38. They had a daughter Myrtie E, 3 yrs old. Levi Robinson age 67, his uncle and a widower lived with them and helped on the farm.

On the 1910 census of Ferrisburgh, Anna S. Robinson, his wife, was a widow at age 68. She lived with their son, Roland Thomas Robinson age 28, Elizabeth M age 28, Rachel, her daughter age 32 an artist and Molly age 25, also an artist.

By Sept 12, 1918, Rowland Thomas, son, had to register for WWI draft and was 36. He was not only a farmer but also held the post of town clerk like the males in his family. He had married Elizabeth Daroway. He was described as tall and stout with brown hair and eyes.

That brings us to 7 January 1920 census where Rowland was now 37 and listed as a farmer of a general farm. His wife Elizabeth M was now 37. His mother, Anna S lived with them and was now 78.

15 April 1930 census finds Rowland Thomas at age 48 with a dairy farm. His wife, Elizabeth M was also 48 and had taken the position of town clerk in an office.

By 1942 the 2nd World War started and everyone had to register, even Rowland Thomas at age 60. Elizabeth was still alive also.

Rowland Thomas Robinson died on 11 March 1951 in Burlington, Chittenden, Vermont though he still lived in Ferrisburg. He was listed as a farmer and town clerk.

Ferrisburg is on the west border of Central Vermont. Since I haven't found Abiathar Smith Robinson's father, I sort of hoped that we would be connected to this family.

Now I found that most of the Rhode Island familes of Robinson are descended from Rowland Robinson. Records show that an Amos Robinson was an Indian, probably a slave owned by the Robinson family of south Kingston. He served in the Revolution and in 1818 was a pensioner living in Connecticut. It went on to say that this Amos Robinson was born on September 7, 1735 in R.I. Evidently it was his mother that was Indian as his father was thought to be an immigrant or at least his grandfather was. The grandfather moved to Clarendon, Vermont before the revolution. The 1790 census shows that Amos, Amos Jrl, stephen and Stephen Jr were heads of families in Clarendon. They think that Stephen Sr was a brother of Amos. Amos married in 1805 but died August 13, 1809.

Stephen Robinson, Amos's son was born in R.I. on August 24, 1760 and died in Swanton, Vermont on February 29, 1845. He had come to Clarendon, Rutland, Vermont when young and moved to Swanton, Franklin, Vt in 1800. He was a farmer and deacon of the Baptist church for 40 years. His wife was Phebe Butler b: 14 October, 1764 and died 15 March 1840, Her parents were John and Mary Butler.

After checking the many Robinsons I have collected, I find I have Stephen's family! That is very exciting. At one time I thought I was connected but a dna proved me wrong, so I'm still looking for the Robinson connection. However, I know that several of my friends will be very excited about this.
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