Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Our Robinson Family Matching Irish DNA

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                     

A new fact I have just been introduced to is that the British got rid of their political prisoners by shipping them all over to the new world during the same period my ancestor was reported to have come over.  Our DNA matches a good 20 Irish people on Family Tree DNA.  Our allele #393 is a 12.  This is rare in the R1b grouping.  It seems to be pointing to the Irish, all right.
The history is that the Irish came over as actual slaves!  Some may want to call them indentured servants, but "from the 17th and 18th centuries, Irish slaves were nothing more than human cattle." They were shipped by the hundreds of thousands.  Men, women and tiny children were sent out of Britain to  America.
 When they rebelled or disobeyed an order, they were harshly punished.  Slave owners would hang them by their hands and then set their hands or feet on fire as a punishment.  They were burned alive.  Their heads were stuck on pikes in the marketplace as a warning to other captives.
It was King James II and Charles I that led their people to make slaves out of the Irish.  Oliver Cromwell dehumanized these people who lived right next door to them.  King James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World.  It was his Proclamation of 1625 that required Irish political prisoners to be sent oversees and sold to English settlers in the West Indies.  By the mid 1600's, the Irish were the main slaves sold in Antigua and Montserrat.  Then 70% of their population were Irish slaves.

From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English.  Another 300,000 were sold as slaves.  Ireland's population fell from about 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one decade.   Britain didn't allow the fathers to take their wives and children with them, leaving homeless women and children in Britain so their solution was to auction them off as well.
During the 1650's, over 100,000 Irish children between the ages of 10-14 were taken from their parents and sold not only in the West Indies but also to Virginia and New England.  Pictured here is a British slave ship.  

Black slaves were competitors, meaning the owners selling them were competing with each other.  They were more expensive to buy and so often treated better than the Irish slaves.  In the early 1600's Black slaves cost 50 Sterling.  Irish were no more than 5 Sterling.  It was not a crime to beat one to death..  The Irish masters began breeding the Irish women for both their own pleasure and better profit.  If a woman was able to buy her freedom, her children were still slaves and could not leave with her, so the mothers would remain as slaves.

The next way to get more profits was to breed the Irish women even as young as 12 with the Black men. These mulatto slaves cost more.  This went on for several decades.  In 1681, legislation was passed "forbidding the practice of mating Irish slave women to African slave men to make slaves for sale.  It was passed because this practice was interfering with the profits of a large slave transport company.

England had shipped tens of thousands of Irish slaves for over a century.  After the 1798  Irish Rebellion, thousands were sold to America and Australia and all slaves were being abused.  One British ship dumped 1,302 slaves into the Atlantic Ocean so the crew could have enough food to eat.

Is this the way our Robinson ancestor came over?  Is it possible he, with all the matching Irish genes, was not a British Puritan?

Somehow, Britain in 1839 finally ended transporting slaves.  English pirates did continue as they did as they wanted.

From what I've read, most slaves went to the Islands to slave in the sugar plantations, or to the southern part of the USA in Virginia.  I don't think as many went to New England but some did.

One of the Robinsons in the USA whose ancestor was John, born in South Carolina,   did "Migration to America-England, Scotland, Ireland, America,  from Robinson Roundup which I am reading.  Their ancestors were also Scotch-Irish, but originated in England.  Later, they had migrated to Scotland and then migrated later to northern Ireland in 1610 because King James I of England offered a colony of Scottish Protestant Lowlanders free land in Ulster, Ireland.  It was later confiscated from the native Irish Catholics because of their bitter hostility towards the British Crown.  King James wanted to establish a colony of people with strong loyalty for the English.  The Scottish Lowlanders had intense racial pride and would not intermarry with the Irish.  They also were the most uncompromising of Protestants and would not convert to Catholicism.

Between 1610 and 1620, 40,000 Scotch Presbyterians were settled in Ulster, Ireland.  New laws passed in Ireland caused the Scotch-Irish immigration to America which didn't start until 1718.  My Robinson's, according to my grandfather's oral history,  were supposed to have come over after the Mayflower ship sailed in 1620, which could have been on one of the ships in the 1630 fleet, or even before that between 1620-1630.  It's most possible, though, that they were of English origins that had migrated to Ireland.  He had dropped out of school when he ran away from home at age 16-18, so I don't think he learned this in school.  More likely it had been something he heard in his family.  He was born in 1870.

Robinson has been found in records to be spelled as Roberson, as it was for mine in a few places.  That's easy as the e and r could be miswritten for the i and n in cursive writing.  Also, it's been seen as Robson, Robeson, and Robertson.  In 1790 in the USA there were the 37th most popular surname.  4,652 Robinsons were counted.  Now it's about 22nd with 435,000 adult Robinsons in America.  No wonder I'm having a hard time finding our great great grandfather, the father of Abiathar Smith Robinson born December 1829 possibly in Vermont or New York.

In England, Robinsons had come from Bart, Berks, Cheshire, Oxford, Durham, Middlesex, Stafford, Tottenham, Lincoln, Northcumberland, Kentwall, Hall, Suffolk, York, Leicester and London and of course in Scotland and Ireland as well.  I also found that my DNA match had traced his family to Meppershall, Bedfordshire, England, so they came from where they had last lived.
We belong to the R-L21 and Subclades on FamilyTreeDNA.  I looked at the colored Project Y-DNA results under the group of R-L21 which is a chart of all the alleles of all the people, and I counted 28 people starting with #393 allele as a 12.  There are only two of us with the surname of Robinson, and we have a distance of 5, matching most all our alleles more than with anyone else.  I saw a few others listing Ireland as their origin.


Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


Do you have any Robinson male relatives who could take a Y-DNA test? I just had an analysis done of two cousins' Y-DNA results at the 37 level. Out of numerous matches, they were the only Robinsons. Based on the surnames of their matches, the conclusion of the report was that my Robinson ancestors were Gaellic-Irish, had come from from County Cavan in southern Ireland, and had probably changed their name to Robinson several hundred years ago. To learn more, check out

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?