Wednesday, November 05, 2014


Rhode Island Robinsons Could Be Our Ancestors

Nadene Goldfoot     This is dedicated to my mother's brother, Edward Kenneth Robinson born March 15, 1915.  who loved boats and fishing so much that he built his own boat.  I've traced his family back to another Edward Robinson   born in 1615, exactly 300 years earlier,  who was on ships from the time he must have been 15 years old.                                  
 "There was a close relationship in trade in early times between the Barbados and New England, and we find family connections also, and it is quite likely that the Robinsons in both places were related to a greater extent than we now find recorded."
"From the arrival of the first English settlers in 1627–1628 until independence in 1966, Barbados was under uninterrupted English and later British governance and was the only Caribbean island that did not change hands during the colonial period. In the very early years, the majority of the population was white and male, with African slaves providing little of the workforce. Cultivation of tobacco, cotton, ginger and indigo was handled primarily by European indentured labour until the start of the sugar cane industry in the 1640s. As Barbados' economy grew, Barbados developed a large measure of local autonomy through its founding as a proprietary colony. Its House of Assembly began meeting in 1639."

"BARBADOS: From about 1600 the English, French and Dutch began to found colonies in North America and the smaller Caribbean islands. Barbados was the third major English settlement in the Americas (1607: Jamestown, 1620:Plymouth Colony, 1627: Barbados. The British Leeward Islands were occupied at about the same time as Barbados: 1623: St Kitts, 1628: Nevis, 1632: Montserrat, 1632: Antigua.) In the period 1640–60 the West Indies attracted over two thirds of English emigrants to the New World. By 1650 there were 44,000 English in the Caribbean, 12,000 on the Chesapeake and 23,000 in New England. The population of Barbados was estimated at 30,000. Most emigrants arrived as indentured servants. After five years of labor they were given 'freedom dues' of about £10, usually in goods. Before the mid-1630s they also received 5 to 10 acres of land but after that time the island filled up and there was no more free land. Around the time of Cromwell a number of rebels and criminals were also transported. The death rate was very high (Parish registers from the 1650s show, for the white population, four times as many deaths as marriages.) The main export was tobacco, but tobacco prices fell in the 1630s as Chesapeake production expanded."
I have settled the problem of Abiathar Smith Robinson's father, and this leads me to Edward Robinson (Robynson) born 1615 in England  was a yeoman on a ship.  .  who eventually came to Rhode Island.  I find he didn't said directly to the New World of America but that he and many other Robinson went to the island of Barbados and St. Christophers to work, make money, and then go to America.  "
  • Primarily the  Puritans went to Massachusetts  or West Indies, especially sugar rich Barbados, in 1630-40.  Edward Robinson was one of them.  By 1630 he would have been 15 years old, and that was old enough.  
According to my grandfather, Frank Hugh Robinson b: 1870 in Wenona, Illinois, his ancestors didn't come over on the Mayflower but the ship after that.  I checked and a fleet of ships arrived after the Mayflower in 1630.  "The first English ship, the Olive Blossom, arrived in Barbados in 1624. They took possession of it in the name of King James I. In 1627 the first permanent settlers arrived from England, and it became an English and later British colony.

The following Robinsons were on ships working in the Barbados.  I believe this was in 1630.  They were on these ships earlier that went to different places.
David Robinson age 20 and
John Robinson age 19 were on the Bon Aventure on April 3rd. 1623
Thomas Robinson age 31 was on Ann and Elizabeth on April 24th in 1635 to St Christophers and the Barbadoes
William age 16 was on Matthew on April 21
John age 19 was on Expedition on November 20th
Thomas age 15 was on Matthew on November 15th
John age 19 was on Expedition November 20th 1635 to Barbados
Leonard age 20 was on Falcon on December 19th
James age 15 was on Falcon on December 25th

Now the story of Edward and Margaret Hull or Hall.  Margaret was much younger than Edward, born in about 1640, so he was 25 years older than she.  She had been married to a man who had sexually attacked her children, so somehow he had died and she was a widow when she met Edward.  I believe she had had another affair before Edward.  At any rate, she had 2 sons by Edward, Francis Robynson Robinson born in 1672 in Hopkinton, Washington, Rhode Island, and  Edward Robynson Robinson born about 1681.  Both boys were in the arms of the parents when they had to appear in court.  Margaret had to be about 32 to 38 when she had the boys.

People lived a harsher life in those days.  Margaret had a terrible first husband that probably left her destitute with children and she had no way of support.  She had an affair with Edward, an older man who  had property by then and money saved from working on the ships to the sugar plantations of the Bahamas.  All this was recorded in his will as he wanted the boys to inherit all he had.  All this story, or most of it, was found on rootsweb by googling Edward.

I just saw a problem.  Several people on familytreedna Yhaplogroup Robinson project had our Edward Robinson 1615 as their farthest ancestor and they had R1a1a1c as their haplogroup.  Our haplogroup is R1b1a2a1a1b4.  We only match with James Alton Robinson.  I see others had James Alton's ancestor from Meppershall, England and they also had the R1b1 haplogroup, so I think we all may have been mixed up in our following our lines to the first Robinson.

p. 73. "There was a close relationship in trade in early times between the Barbadoes and New England, and we find family connections also, and it is quite likely that the Robinsons in both places were related to a greater extent than we now find recorded." ( ).

Update: Here is a list of Robinsons I found in 1634 and 1635 on a ship.

1. Edward Robinson age 18 on January 1634 on or to St. Christophers to the Barbadoes. b: 1616.
2. Robert Robinson age 45 on 16 March 1634 b: 1589
3. David Robinson age 20 b: 1614
4. Jo Robinson age 26 b: 1608
5. W. Robinson age 26 on May 21, 1635 on Peter Benaventure to Barbados, b: 1609
6. Elizabeth Robinson age 32 on Blessing with Sara age 1/12, Jo 5, Kat 12, Mary 7 on June 17, 1635, b: 1603
7. Thomas Robinson age 24 on Hopewell of London on July 24, 1635, b: 1611
8. James Robinson age 15 on December 25, 1635 on either a Catch to the Downes or the Falcon, b: 1620

I'd like to say, will the REAL Robinson ancestor step forward, please?  Really, though. I do think somehow  that this Edward is the one.


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I came across this article just now (2016) - very interesting. My relatives go back to the same Robinson. Have you done any more work on this line since 2014? Also, have you ever come across a listing of ship passengers from Barbados to the colonies?
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