Sunday, April 16, 2017


Robinson: Scotch Irish Family

Nadene Goldfoot                                              
Being my mother's father's line of Robinson is R=L21, I find that they are of Scotch-Irish descent.  In fact, their dna matches many more Irish than English.  Grandpa Frank Hugh Robinson told us his people were from Wales.  He was off pretty much unless they were Irish or Scotch before moving to Wales. His oral history was that they didn't come on the Mayflower but the ship after that.  That would have been 1630.  Grampa never stressed the Scotch-Irish part of his family.  He just said he was a "blue-bellied Yank!"


Scottish, Scotch-Irish, and English Immigration, 1715-1775

People from the north of England, Scotland, and northern Ireland made up much of the migration to the western frontier regions of the early American colonies, especially to the rugged mountainous areas. The northern Irish migrants were mainly Scotch-Irish, descendants of people from Scotland who had moved to Ireland in earlier centuries. Most of the Irish in America before the nineteenth century were actually Scotch-Irish.
Scots-Irish of Northern Ireland
From 1606 to the end of the seventeenth century, a large number of migrants, mostly from the lowlands of Scotland, settled in the province of Ulster, northern Ireland, where many of them became tenant farmers. Though the lands originated as a private venture for Scottish investors, James I placed them under royal authority, claiming the lands of the defeated Irish rebels for the crown in 1607 and backing the colonial scheme in a royal missive to the Scottish Privy Council in 1609. His aim was to pacify the Scottish borders, relieving the kingdom of "reivers" ("rustlers") and the dispossessed of the borderlands. What is more, he anticipated that the largely Presbyterian emigrants would provide a buffer zone against the Irish Catholics, to be God's bulldogs, as it were. His plan worked and the plantation flourished for much of the century. By 1620, as many as 50,000 lowland Scots had settled in the Ulster province, followed by another 50,000 by the beginning of the English civil wars (1640). Economic, religious, and political conditions in northern Ireland by the end of the century, however, brought the enterprise to a standstill, instigating yet another migration—this time to the New World.

Northern Irish migration peaked between the 1750’s and the early 1770’s, with an estimated 14,200 people from northern Ireland reaching America from 1750 to 1759, 21,200 from 1760 to 1769, and 13,200 in the half-decade leading up to the American Revolution. Most of the Scots migration took place from 1760 to 1775, when about 25,000 new arrivals came to the colonies. The counties of North England, bordering Scotland, experienced a series of crop failures that were especially severe in 1727, 1740, and 1770. Each of these crop failures resulted in famine that sent successive waves of immigrants to America. Together, the Scottish, Scotch-Irish, and North English immigrants probably made up 90 percent of the settlers in the back country of America. Arriving after the lands along the eastern coast had been taken, these hardy individuals made up the original American frontier folk."
Mildred Goldfoot nee Robinson, half Swedish from her immigrant mother and
half "blue-blooded Yankee" -evidently made up of Scotch-Irish.  She would put Martha Stewart to shame.  Cooking-a talent from her mother, painting, wallpapering, gardening, sewing tailoring, house cleaning, laundering, you name it.  She did it.She even danced the can-can in the PTA program.    
Jimmy Stewart left bottom, above is Myrna Loy; 

I have always thought that our first DYS listed, the 393, being a 12, was an impediment to being a Robinson, being so many started with 13.  I see from the FTDNA Robinson study listed below that there were 17 that started with 12, and many more, of course, that started with 13 in our R1b group.

Update: 4/17/17 9:00am
Here's information from the Bennett name study and their DYS393=12.
When viewing the chart, note that DYS numbers in red are the faster mutating markers. Mutations (from the modal) are highlighted with a blue background. SNP testing has confirmed our Haplogroup to be R1b1a2a. Note also that each person in our group has an allele of 12 at DYS#393, an unusual occurrence, happening only about 2% of the time. We are participating in The Border Reivers “DYS393=12” Y-DNA Study to learn more about the possible deep ancestry ramifications of this splinter group. This haplotype, called ht-35, may have originated from individuals who took refuge from the last ice age (about 10,000 years ago) in Anatolia. To view all the Bennett Group results, visit the Bennett Group chart at (See link in sidebar). Our Ipswich Bennetts are listed as Sub-group 8a in the FTDNA chart, and are easily recognized by DYS#393=12.
Update: 4/17/17 8:30am
To come out Scotch-Irish, I've changed our genealogy fathers again.
1. Abiathar Smith Robinson b: 1829 in New York or Vermont
    m: Julia Ann Tuller b: 1834 Royalton, Vermont
2.  Hiram Robinson b: 1806 Strafford, Orange, Vermont.
     m: Zeruiah Tyler, Strafford, Orange, Vermont
3.   Daniel Robinson Jr. b: 1769 Rushville, Yates, NY, d: Strafford, VT.
     m: Betsy Buell b: 1775, CT, d: Straffortd, VT
4. Daniel Robinson, b: 1734, Falmouth, Mass.
    m: Lucretia Pierce b: 1735 Mass.
5. Ebenezer Robinson b: 1697 Mass.
    m: Elizabeth Reed b: 1699 Mass
6. Samuel Robinson b: 1654 Mass
    m: Mehitable Reed b: 1660 Mass
7. George Robinson b: 1626 Glasgow, Scotland or England
   m: Joanna Ingraham b: c1629


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Hi Nadine!
I came across your blog while researching my family and I do believe we may be distant relatives! My mother was a Robinson from Decatur IL the 1855 Amos Robinson is my 3x grandfather decending to Percy Issac and Harry W Robinson. Oddly enough I live just south of your Hillsboro Oregon relatives! I would love to find out if I am correct! Also I just got my DNA results from AncestryDNA and I am 59% Irish, as my father side is also from Wales. Now I know it's from my mothers side too!
Most interesting Nadine! My Robinsons were Scots-Irish (or Ulster Scots if you prefer). They came to Kentucky arounf 1770, having come through Virginia and the Cumberland Gap. The story goes that they were lowland Scots of some reknown. They repeatedly fought the English at every opportunity. Finally, following the Battle of Colloughton, they were stripped of their lands and title and shipped off to Ulster Ireland where they remainded for about one generation. As soon as they learned that Kentucky had opened up, they left and made a beeline for middle Kentucky where the majority still live today. My 2x great grandfather, William Robinson, was the oldest man in America at the time of his death in 1939 and the last Civil War veteran on either side from Kentucky (his son would be the oldest person in the state at the time of his death). They were known for their wicked sense of humor, hard workers, stubborn, short temper, and being very good with a knife. Paul Hosse'
Katrina Sakon,
How interesting. If you tested with ancestry, now transfer your results to It's a free site and has other tools to use for comparisons, triangulations, etc. most interesting. All my relatives' results are there and mine, of course. We could compare and see if we share some DNA.

Another opinion; Shipped off to Ireland from Kentucky! How awful! That says a lot for your male line in that your William was the oldest man in America in 1939. Maybe all that hard work was the secret to longevity, and that sense of humor.

Gosh, when working on my XP, I could answer each person individually and was notified through email when someone wrote a comment. Now on this 10, nothing like that is happening. That's why I'm answering 3 months late.

No.They camt to Kentucky from Ireland
No.They camt to Kentucky from Ireland
Hey guys! I'm a Robinson from Kentucky myself. I've had a lot of trouble getting past certain hurtles in my family tree. My Robinsons were also from Mercer County but I don't know that they came through the Gap. My grandfather's name was Clayton, and then to Samuel Perry, John P., then James Robinson who was married to a Clemmency Beasley. Beyond that it gets tough. My aunt was helping her daughter with a genealogy project for school, and all that they have after that is that James's father was a John Nolan Robinson and his father was Elijah Robinson who came to the States from or through Stockholm. That's all the info I have. I haven't been able to find anyone else who knows anything more about my family than what I have. My aunt has passed on, so I have no idea where she got her info or how reliable it might be. I've wanted to get one of those Family Tree DNA tests done but just haven't had the spare cash for it. My dad did do an Ancestry DNA test and got the highest percentage back as Irish at 35%. If anyone has anything more I welcome it. ~Aaron
it sounds like w may be through the same family. My grandmother was a Robinson from Mercer County. Her father was Robert (his father was James. He was the last Civil War veteran from Kentucky and the oldest man in America at the time of his death). Her mother was Lillie Yeager. My grandmother's grandmother was a Bealsey, and Clemmency sounds familiar. Before that, I believe it was a Colvin. There were also some Reileys too. They had come from Scotland to Ulster Ireland, then to Faquier Co VA and into Kentucky. You should do the FTDNA Y-test. I had excellent results with them. Would like to know the results of your father's Y-DNA test. Supposedly the Robinson's are a "sept" of teh Clan Gunn, which is Norse.
One day, if I get the money, I'll do the y-dna test. The one my dad did was just the basic Ancestry test where it gives you percentages of ethnicities. I met a guy on Ancestry's message boards that's also a Robinson whose family is from Kentucky and he got took the ftdna test and got similar results to yours I think. So you guys are probably related somewhere along the line. As far as where the Scots Robinsons come from, there are actually two possibilities. One is Clan Gunn, as you said, and the other is Clan Robertson. Clan Gunn is far up in northern Scotland, where as Robertson was lower down in Scotland and the Robertsons were staunch supporters of the Stuarts. I think I read once that the Ulster Robinsons came from this group. But I can't be completely sure.
Arron, you said you father took a DNA test. Depending on the test, that gave him his Y-DNA (paternal) and mtDNA (maternal) results. Your YDNA will be a near match with your father's. Your mtDNA will, of course, come from your mother. Can you find out what your father's results were? I'd like to know what haplogroup he belongs (especially since our Robinsons appear to be one and the same). BTW, there's a Murphy-Robinson reunion coming up shortly.
His DNA test was through Ancestry DNA. It's very general. It just says such-and-such percent from this area, such-and-such percent from that area, etc. So his top couple were Ireland at 35% and Britain (England, Scotland, Wales) at like 28%. I know we also have Dutch as well. Ancestry DNA isn't as specific as other tests. My suspicion has become that our Robinsons were Scotch-Irish because Robinson is not a common Irish name. So to have such a high Irish percentage probably means our genetic line mutated while our ancestors were there and they would have come from Scotland or possibly England before that. Sorry I don't have anything more specific. I wish I did.
The Robinsons are Scottish without a doubt. It's generally believed they are part of the Gunn Clan, which descends from a Norse/Celtic lines. However, there are also indications that they may be descended from the Robertson Clan, which is Celt. That's why I'm interested in knowing the particular haplogroup.

The haplogroup doesn't reveal the actual DNA sequence. It only gives the general genetic group that it belongs to. It's part of every genetic test. Typically a male or Y-DNA haplogroup could be something like Rlalalb, or Elb1a1a1a (which is mine) or Rlb2a2b for instance. The majority of the Robertsons are R-M269. The majority of the Robinsons (Gunn) seems to be I-M253. It will be on the test result.

The Dutch is likely from other ancestral elements in your line, perhaps your mother or grandparents, etc. However, the paternal line would remain the same.
I have heard that Robinson was common English name as well and that some English came over for the "Irish plantation." But most were certainly Scottish. From the little I've read, I got the impression that the Scotch-Irish Robinsons came from the Robertsons. That might make some sense since the Robertsons were lowlanders, while Gunn territory was in the far north-east of Scotland.

I sent my dad a text to see if he sees anything like what you described on the results they sent him. I'll let ya know what he responds.

I won't claim certainty yet but it is entirely possible we have common ancestors. Didn't you say one of your great-grandfathers was William Robinson, who fought in the Civil War? And his father was supposed to be James Robinson. If that's right then we should have that James in common.
Yes, my 2x great grandfather (my grandmother's grandfather) was William Robinson. At the time of his death around 1939, he was the last Civil War veteran from Kentucky and the oldest man in America. William served in the 7th Kentucky Calvary (Vols) for Union. I was told that in a local newspaper interview, he was asked why he fought for the North. The newspaper allegedly said "In typical Scots-Irish fashion, he replied,'because the North paid better'".

I have a picture of him with the entire Robinson clan in front of their old house. He looks like a tough old bird, but supposed had a very dry sense of humor. Supposedly, was very good with a knife too, as was Robert (mom tells a lot of funny stories about him). Robert was married to Lillie Yeager (I remember her). Their children were Lone, Francis, Cecil ("Tommy"), Zelma (my grandmother), and Dessie.

His father was James and I believe his wife's maiden name was (Sara) Colvin. There were all from Mercer and Anderson counties. Interesting aside about James. He was married sisters. The first had 10 children and the second had 7 I believe. Obviously they didn't have cable TV! My grandmother's father was Robert Robinson. Some of the other names associated with our family are Merritt, Reilly, Yeager, Colin,and Beasley.

Robinson is listed a sept or sub-clan of the Clann Gunn, and I'm sure that's correct. However, I suspect that "our" Robinsons are part of the Robertson Clan. However, there is no "Robinson" sept listed. The closest is "Robison". That's what I'm interested in trying to determine. Yes, Robinson is a pretty common name throughout the British Isles, which make it even harder.
So the James Robinson in my family wasn't married to a Colvin. He was married to someone named Clemmency Beasley. I don't know how many kids they had but they had a son named John P. Robinson who was my however many great-grandfather. John married a woman named Sarah Lake and they are both buried at Bethel in Mercer Co. I found this obit online for William Robinson and aside from a little misspelling figured they had to be the same family:

"Taps has sounded for the last veteran of the Civil War residing in Mercer county. William Robinson, born November 7, 1844, died July 7, 1939 at his home in the west section of the county. He had reached the ripe age of 94 years and seven months.
Mr. Robinson was a native of Mercer county, the son of James Porter and Comencie Beasley Robinson. He served three years in the Union Army during the War Between the States in the 11th Kentucky Cavalry in which he enlisted in 1861. He had been a member of the Masonic order for 63 years. He was a well known farmer of the section where he resided, and for many years operated a threshing outfit all over Mercer and adjoining counties, which gave him a wide circle of friendships among farmers of the community.
Owing to his advanced years his health had been declining for some time before he was called. He was twice married. His first wife was Sarah Margaret Beasley, and his second, was Mollie Barnett. He is survived by five daughters, three sons, 53 grandchildren, 76 great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren. The daughters surviving are Mrs. James Dorsey, Harrodsburg; Mrs. Howard Shewmaker, Mrs. Clarence McClane, Mrs. Silas Releford, Mrs. Edgar Robinson, all of the Duncan section, and the sons, Bob Robinson, Jefferstown; James Robinson, Duncan and Bert Robinson, of Sinai.
Mr. Robinson joined Bethel Baptist church in September 1938 and his funeral was held there Sunday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock, conducted by the pastor, the Rev. Charles W. Knight, assisted by the Rev. Leroy Tracy of Grapevine church, the Rev. Carmen Savoll, pastor of the Baptist church at Cornishville. Burial in Bethel cemetery with six grandsons, as pallbearers, Callie Barnett, Lonie Robinson, William Releford, Fred Robinson, F. D. Robinson, Lester Satterly. Masonic rites at the grave were by the T. N. Wise Lodge of Dugansville, and the American Legion tendered him full military honors at the grave. It is said that more than a thousand persons attended the funeral.
(“Harrodsburg Herald” Fri Jul 14, 1939)"

I don't know if this is the same William as the one you're talking about. There some similarities but also some differences.

By the way, my dad responded and there was nothing about a haplogroup on his results. I guess Ancestry DNA just doesn't include such detailed info.

I couldn't remember if it was Colvin or Beasley, but I guess it was Beasley. I thought Beasley was one generation forward (I've got several packets of Robinson/Yeager genealogy and other family lines, so it's a little hard to try and keep all the names and dates exactly right). I think she went by Camille. Yes, that's the same William. He was in the 7th Kentucky Calvary. He was transferred to the 11th (along with John and Lea---Leander---Yeager. John was captured at Gettysburg and died of starvation in Andersonville), and then back to the 7th at the end of the war (I have his Civil War record). Bob Robinson is my grandmother's father. He married Lea's sister, Lillie Yeager. The Lonie mentioned is my great uncle Lone, my grandmother's oldest brother. I know he was at the funeral. All of the that line was buried in Bethel. So, it appears we are related at James Robinson. Your line must descend from one of the many children he has. As for Ancestry, I've tested with them, along with FTDNA, 23&Me, and GPS Origins. The haplogroup is there. Guess he is just overlooking. There is a Murphy/Robinson reunion coming up in Simpsonville in about a month. If you'd like to know more, or would like to exchange family data or history/stories, let me know.
I wish I could afford to travel anywhere. :) I've lived in Idaho for almost 5 years now and have yet to make it back to Kentucky to visit my family. My dad lives in California so I can't see his results unfortunately. Maybe one of these days I'll break down and do a test. I'd like to do the Family Tree DNA paternal test. Supposed to be pretty detailed. But it sounds like I could still get some decent info from the Ancestry test as well and it's cheaper. Yeah, I'm all for staying in touch and exchanging any relevant info we have. If you want, just email me: Probably easier than trying to go through the comments here.
Did you ever find any reliable evidence regarding James Robinson's parents? I think I've said before my aunt and cousin did a genealogy project and came up with Jame's dad as John Nolan Robinson. But I don't know where they got the info.
Off the top of my head, I don't recall. I know the genealogist I hired to do the research said she was having some trouble. She know was able to find who came with the Robinsons to Mercer County and when. She found some information indicating where in Virginia they may have come from, but when I followed up with the library there, they weren't able to confirm yes or no die to a fire decades ago. I will dig out my information (buried up in the attic) and see what I can find.
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