ROBISON Family of South Carolina
I especially have to mention the late Mrs. Ruth Franklin Snelling Linley, of Columbia, SC, and Keith Peebles of Georgia, who provided so much information on our Robison ancestors. Ruth was a dear, sweet woman who generously shared information about our family, and mailed me a copy of the George Robison Black account below, several years ago. Ruth lived with her daughter after the death of her beloved husband, Barnwell “Barney” Rhett Linley, Jr. in 2000. Ruth died July 9, 2006. I miss being able to share things with Ruth, and I send my love to her entire family. I am so glad I got to know such a very special woman.
Also, as you imagine, the name is often misspelled “Robinson!” Virginia (Ginga) Mylius
"THE ROBISONS" by George Robison Black
"About 1750 two brothers named WILLIAM and GEORGE ROBISON traveled south from the Colony of Virginia to South Carolina and settled in what is now known as Barnwell County, near the Savannah River. William Robison married Mary (Sarah) Lark and George married Elizabeth Ann Stewart. George Robison Black, a great-great-grandson of both Robison's, wrote in 1863 as follows of the country and the times:
"In these distant days of British loyalty the young colonies had not passed the bloody ordeal of 1776 and the settlers of the wild forests had nothing to fear but the savage and beasts of America. Across the river in Georgia the Indian reigned with scarce an interruption from the white subjects of his Majesty's loyal colonies of Carolina and the wild bear and wolf preyed upon the fattening lamb and calf. This was a frontier district and the hardy settlers leaving their more comfortable homes in the older Colony of Virginia, or distant Europe, cast their lot amid the danger of the red man's tomahawk and the trackless paths of a frontier county. No villages, no farms, no public highways and few commodities of life, they were thrown upon their own resources and became pioneers in the march of civilization. In those days, the Negroes were employed in penning the cattle in their "cup'ens" and kept away the prowling wolf at nightfall by a large bonfire built around the "cuppens" at convenient distances. A thousand calves would be marked and branded in one season and large droves of beef cattle driven to the Charleston market every year. Cotton had not then become a staple production of the country and the quiet life of the country and the quiet life of the farmer was too tame for the occupation of those sturdy huntsmen of the frontier."
"George Robison and his wife had five daughters and one son, George Stewart Robison. He owned a good many slaves, large tracks of grazing lands and immense stocks of cattle. He moved his abode from place to place with his cattle. According to George Robison Black: "George Robison lived to an advanced age and died in 1805. He last left his home on horseback and apparently in good health and was found dead in a small stream, where it is supposed he fell from his horse and died of some sort of apoplexy. He was a large well-formed man of very sociable dispositions and like the old people of that day was fond of his morning grog.
"George Stewart Robison, son of George Robison, was born 1 Jan 1768 in Barnwell District, S.C. He died 3 Sept 1853, at the age of 85. He married his first cousin, Betsey Robison, youngest daughter of his uncle, William Robison, when he was less than 18. George Robison Black, his great grandson, who knew him as a boy, writes of him as follows:
"George Stewart Robison was a man of fine proportions, over six feet of stature, erect and manly in appearance, of ruddy healthy complexion, brown hair and a calm light colored hazel eye. He was a man of even temper, unmoved by feelings of envy or prejudice, generous, kind hearted, and benevolent. While he was a companion of the rich, he was a friend of the poor; while he was frugal in his own household, he gave gifts generously and freely to the needy. He was a man of an eminently conservative disposition, but was passionately fond of amusements of all kinds. A sportsman upon the turf as well as in the field, he kept and raised a great many fast & thoroughbred race horses, and was always known to ride a good horse himself. He horses, Frances, Amander, Gano and Wonder, and others, ran and won purses on the famous courses of Green Pond, Augusta, Columbia, Charleston, Savannah, Macon and other places. He was never known to win or lose any large amounts of money by betting. Many times in his after years have I, as a boy, listened to his conversations as he would narrate the incidents of this boyhood. How the wild oats grew over the hill in the days of his youth, how far the unobstructed pine lands might be penetrated with the eye, now so thickly grown with blackjack and numerous shrubbery and undergrowth. How abundant were the droves of wild deer and the tall stalking wild cranes, the "gannet" that frequented the sand hills of the pine lands and went about in congregations and walked in their long stalking way, like a tall man seeing in the distance and lifting themselves on their long vari-colored wings as you approached them."
"George Stewart Robison owned large tracts of land, consisting of perhaps eight or ten thousand acres. He had a sawmill, propelled by water, of moderate capacity and with yokes of oxen he would haul the 20 foot round logs and reduce them to merchantable timber. It would be taken from the mill to Little Hell Landing, rafted in the river and floated with the current down the river to Savannah, where old A. A. Sonets would see it and return 200 to 500 dollars for each raft. By this means, George Stewart Robison acquired the ready money with which he was wont to lavishly patronize the country stores which in that day enriched Redfield, Scarborough and Furse. These country stores were places of great resort and the chief point of attraction for peoples for miles around. In them was presented to the longing eyes of country dame, urchin, and freeholder, the various articles of merchantable commodities from a knitting needle to a jack knife, from a spool of thread to the costliest silks, from old Jamaica to sparkling champagne. Couple with temptation seductive of unlimited credit and by the crowds of jolly good fellows who were always there and ready to be treated, a generous whole-souled and liberal man of means would be almost sure to be largely in to it for treats. By these means and for these reasons, George Stewart Robison had many large bills to settle at the end of each running year, and for this reason he exhausted the profit of his handsome property, which, with his family, might have increased ten fold. Pole boats, too, were a source of profit to him. Cotton, he knew nothing about, and even in his old days, when everybody else was planting it, he looked upon it with jealously of his usual conservatism. He was never known to ride but once in a wheeled vehicle. One day, William Dunbar invited his old uncle to ride in his gig with him. Suddenly the horse took a fright and capsized the vehicle. Never afterwards was he known to ride in any sort of vehicle. "
"Betsy Robison Robison, his wife, died about 1830. He died in 1853, and was buried by the side of his wife in his plot selected by himself, amid the remains of his children, close by those of his departed loved ones, in the soil of his own premises. This grave yard situated at the Old Place, is near the river swamp about one and a half miles below the old mill site and about two and a half or three miles above Little Hell Landing, or about four miles above the point which is opposite the dividing line between Burke and Screven counties in Georgia.
“The tombstone of George Stewart Robison is erroneously engraved "George Heyward Robison".
“The BLACK Cemetery is on property now owned by William Morris, III of Augusta, Georgia. It is near Millett off to the right as soon as you cross the railroad tracks near Speedwell Methodist Church. The straight road goes to Little Hell Landing on the Savannah River."
George Heyward Robinson was born about 1730 in Virginia, died 28 Mar 1805 Orangeburg County, South Carolina. George Robison had moved to South Carolina by 15 February 1769 when he received a grant of land. Between that date and 1787, he was granted some 1,171 acres in Granville and Orangeburg districts. He settled first near the Saltketcher River, but later moved to a plantation on the Savannah River in what became Barnwell District. According to an inventory of his estate, he owned thirty-three slaves at death. During the American Revolution, Robison served as a militia captain (ca 1775-1776). The District between Savannah River and North Fork of Edisto River elected him to the First (1775) and Second (1775-1776) Provincial Congresses and the First (1776) and Fourth (1782) General Assemblies. In addition, he was a member of the Second General Assembly (1776-778). Other offices he held included justice of the peace for Orangeburg District; road commissioner (1778, 1795); tax inquirer and collector for the district between Savannah River and North Fork of Edisto River (1779); and commissioner, for dividing Orangeburg District into counties (1783). He was commissioner of election, 1778; inquirer and collector of taxes for York District, South Carolina, 1779.
George Robison married Elizabeth Ann Stewart circa 1760; she died about 1806. They were the parents of six children: Elizabeth (m. William Dunbar); Ann (m 1st [?] Squires, 2nd [?] Odom; Mary (m. Archibald Hatcher), George Stewart (1768-1853); Sarah (m. [?] Mills, and Louisa (m. 1st Daniel Govan, 2nd John Chevilette). Survived by his wife and children, George Robison died 28 March 1805.
HIS WILL: (Note, there has been speculation that George Robison never married Elizabeth Ann Stewart. The unusual wording of his will led to this rumor. This is not true, although the date of their marriage is unknown at this time. All of their children were "Robison's"!)
In the name of God, Amen, I George Robison of Barnwell District and state aforesaid, planter, being of perfect, sound and disposing mind, memory and understanding, blessed by God, therefor, and being desirous to settle my worldly affairs whilst I have strength and capacity so to do, being in mind that it is appointed unto all men once to die, and the uncertainty of the time when, do make and publish and declare this my last will and testament, hereby revoking and declaring void all other and former wills by me at any time heretofore made, and first and principally I commend my soul in the hands of Almighty God, hoping for pardon and remission of all my sins and to enjoy everlasting felicity in his Heavenly Kingdom, through the sole merits of my Saviour Jesus Christ, my body I commend to the Earth to be buried in a decent manner at the direction of my executor hereinafter named. And as to such worldly estate as it hath pleased God to bless me with, I dispose of the same in manner and form following:
First, I will and direct that all my just debts and funeral charges be paid out of the profits of my estate, as soon as possible after my decease, and for this purpose I desire that my estate may be kept together until the said debts and funeral charges be paid.
Secondly, I give and bequeath unto George Stewart, the son of Elizabeth Ann Stewart, all that stock of cattle which I purchased of Thomas Nightingale marked with a crop and overslope in one ear and a crop and underslope in the other ear, and branded this (hand drawn brand), together with their and every of their increase, to hold the same to him, his executors administrators and assigns forever. And I also give and bequeath unto the said George Stewart the following negro slaves, which he has now of mine in his possession. To wit: Humphrey, Okerah, Jo, Tom, Pollow, Cato, Junah, Grace, Monday, Moses, Will, Fred, Harriett, Brance, Antony, Seal, Pompey, Young Melinda, Isaac, Gloster, together with all the increase of the females which they now may have or hereafter may have, to hold the same to him the said George Stewart his executors, administrators and assigns forever, on the condition and under the limitation hereinafter mentioned, and whereas I have given to Mary Hatcher in the State of Georgia, the wife of Archibald Hatcher, sundry negroes now in their possession, and named Serry, Phillis, Claretta, Carter, Merry, Mode, John and Fanny, together with all the increase which the females now or may have, I do now hereby confirm the said gift.
Thirdly, and whereas, I have hertofore given to Ann Squires, Lovisa Chevelette and Sarah Mills sundry cattle, which are marked in the following manner, that is to say, the said Ann Squires with a swallow fork and under keal in one ear and a slit and under keal in the other ear. Lovisa Chevellette with a swallow fork and under keal in one ear and a slit and upper keal in the other, and Sarah Mills with a swallow fork and under keal in one ear and a swallow fork in the other, now I do hereby confirm the same intending however that the husband of the said Ann Squires should have no right in or control over the said cattle given to her, but that they should be holden by my executor hereinafter named in trust for the use of the said Ann Squires.
Fourthly, I give and bequeath unto the said Elizabeth Ann Stewart two hundred (200) head of cattle branded thus (hand drawn brand) and marked with a swallow fork and under keal in one ear and slit in the other to hold the same and exercise any control over them she pleases during her natural life, and after her death to be divided into six equal parts, one part whereof I give and bequeath unto my executor, in trust for the use of the said Ann Squires, with permission for her to receive the profits and to sell and dispose of her said share in any manner she may see fit, free from the control, debts or engagements of her husband, or any other person whomsoever. And one other sixth part unto the said George Stewart, one other sixth part to the said Mary Hatcher, one other sixth part to the said Sarah Mills, one other sixth part to the said Lovisa Chevellette and the remaining sixth part to George Robison Dunbar and Lucy Dunbar, grandchildren of the said Elizabeth Ann Stewart and all the rest and residue of my stock of cattle not hereinbefore bequeathed, I give and bequeath unto the said Ann Squires, Louisa Chevellette, Sarah Mills, Mary Hatcher, George Stewart and George Robison Dunbar and Lucy Dunbar to be divided into six equal parts, the said George Robison Dunbar and Lucy Dunbar taking one part, the last mentioned cattle are given in trust for the same purpose, and in the same names as those in the last preceding clause. And I do also give and bequeath unto the said Elizabeth Ann Stewart the use of the plantation, whereon I now live, and all the household and kitchen furniture, those to belong during her natural life, and also the following negro slaves during her natural life, to wit: Will, Doreas, Abriham, Young, Isaac, Hannah, John, Sarah, Jo, Delah, Bill and Arter, and after the decease of the said Elizabeth Ann Stewart, the said negroes are to be equally divided, together with the increase of the females into six equal lots, one lot whereof I give unto the said George Stewart, his executors, administrators and assigns forever; one sixth part to the said Ann Squires to be vested in my executor in trust for her, as aforesaid, another part or share to the said Mary Hatcher, another share to the said Sarah Mills, another share to be equally divided between Elizabeth Ann Govan and Andrew Govan, (children of Louisa Govan Chevellette, and to the executors, administrators and assigns of each ofthem respectively forever under the instruction and limitation hereinafter mentioned and expressed and the remaining sixth part to the said George Robison Dunbar and Lucy Dunbar and to the executor and assigns or administrators of each of them respectively, forever, under the restriction and limitation hereinafter mentioned and expressed. And it is my Will and desire that all the rest and residue of my personal estate not hereinbefore mentioned and bequeathed be divided into six equal parts by my executor or three persons to be named by him. One part whereof I give unto George Stewart, another share to my executor to hold in trust for Ann Squires free from the debts, control or engagements of her husband, another part or share thereof to Elizabeth Ann Stewart, another share to Sarah Mills, another share to Elizabeth Ann Govan and Andrew Govan, to hold the same to them respectively during the term of their natural lives, and the remaining share to be equally divided between George Robison Dunbar and Lucy Dunbar to hold the same to them respectively during the term of their natural lives. And from and after the decease of the said Elizabeth Ann Stewart then I give and bequeath her share of the said residue of the said personal estate to be equally divided between such of her said children as may be living, and the representations of such as may be dead, including Elizabeth Ann Govan, Andrew Govan, George Robison Dunbar and Lucy Dunbar, so as the representations of any deceased child may take among them the share of their deceased parent.
Fifthly, I give and bequeath unto my executor in trust, as aforesaid for the said Ann Squires, to be free from the debts or control of her husband, the following negro slaves, to wit: Noble, Melinda, Minegard, Sentry, Young Noble, Charlotte, Selah, Grace, Miley, Old Sarah, to hold to her and her executors, administrators and assigns forever, subject nevertheless to the conditions and limitations hereinafter expressed.
Sixthly, I give and bequeath unto the said Sarah Mills the following negro slaves, now in her possession, to wit: Sarah, Setirah, Quarco, together with all the increase which the females now have or may have to hold the same to her and the said Sarah, her executors, administrators and assigns on the following condition, which is to be annexed and applied to all the bequests made in this will to the said Sarah Mills and Ann Squires, that is to say, that if either the said Ann Squires or Sarah Mills should die and leave no child living at her decease than I give her share or part of my estate herein bequeathed to her to be equally divided between the survivor and the child or children of such as may be dead, such child and children taking the share of their respective parents, and in this division I desire that the children of Betsy Dunbar, if living or their children if they or either of them be dead, shall be let in for an equal share with any of the other children of Elizabeth Ann Stewart. I desire that the children of Lovisa Govan, now wife of John Chevellette if living or their children, if they or either of them be dead, shall be let in for an equal share, with any of the children of Elizabeth Ann Stewart. And I do hereby give and bequeath unto the said George Robison Dunbar the following negro slaves, to wit: Romeo, Rose, Young, Claretta, Juliet, Sapplio and Satirah, together with the increase of the females, the said Claretta, Romeo and Rose having been heretofore given him by deed. And I do hereby give unto the said Lucy Dunbar the following negro slaves, to wit: Belinda, Phillis, Mary and Winter and Lucy; the said Belinda having been previously given her by deed. I desire that the said Lucy Dunbar shall have six hundred and eighty (680) acres of land that formerly belonged to Isom Cleton. I give and bequeath unto the said Elizabeth Ann Govan and Andrew Govan, the following negro slaves, to wit: Elsey, Charles, Polleydove, Tom, Jack, David, Casander, Young Steven, Jane, Brants and Young Elsey, to be equally divided between them by my executor, provided nevertheless and it is my intention that all the property herein bequeathed to the said George Robison Dunbar, Lucy Dunbar, Elizabeth Ann Govan and Andrew Govan shall be absolutely vested in their becoming of age respectively or without being married, then the share that is herein given to the person that may die shall go to the survivors and in case they should all die without being married and under age, then I direct that their share shall go among such of the children of Elizabeth Ann Stewart as shall be living and the representatives of such as may be dead, in the same manner and for the same estate and estates, as they will take in the share hereby given unto them. And I do hereby give unto Betsy Robison Squires, daughter of the said Ann Squires, three negro slaves named Ned, Cleo, and Peg, with the increase of the females, and in case the said Betsy Robison Squires should die before she comes of age or be married then I give the negroes herein bequeathed to her to be divided amongst her brothers and sisters if she has any, and if not then give the said negroes to be divided among the children of the said Elizabeth Ann Stewart, who may then be living, and the representatives of such as may then be dead, in the same manner as those bequeathed to the said George Robison Dunbar, Lucy Dunbar, Elizabeth Ann Govan and Andrew Govan, and to be divided on the happening of the same contingency.
As soon as my debts are paid, I desire my executor or the survivor of him to sell at public auction all my lands excepting the plantation whereon I now live, and to divide the money which may arise from such sale into four equal parts, one fourth part of which I give unto the said Elizabeth Ann Stewart, another fourth to my said executor in trust for the sole use of Ann Squires, and the remaining fourth to Sarah Mills, and another fourth part to be equally divided between George Robison Dunbar and Lucy Dunbar to hold the same during the term of their natural lives, and from and after the death of the said Elizabeth Ann Stewart, then I give and bequeath the share heretofore given unto her to be equally divided among such of her children as may then be living, and the representatives of such as may be dead and including George Robison Dunbar and Lucy Dunbar, so that the representatives of any deceased child may take among them the share of their deceased parents. And as touching and concerning the plantation and furniture which I have devised and bequeathed unto Elizabeth Ann Stewart, during her life my will is that immediately after her death, the same be sold by my executor or the survivor of him and the money divided into three equal parts, one of which I give to my executor in trust for the sole use of the said Ann Squires. Another to Sarah Mills, and the remainder to be divided between said George Robison Dunbar and Lucy Dunbar, to hold the same for such time and under such limitations and remainders over, as I have made the money to arise from the other part of my real estate, bequeathed to them in the preceding clause.
I constitute and appoint George Stewart Executor of this my Will this thirty-first day of October 1803.
George Robison / LS /
Signed, noted, published and declared in the presence of us by the testator as his last Will and Testament.
Witnesses: John Duncan, John Bates Jr, John Castellaw
George & Elizabeth had the following children:
1) Elizabeth ROBISON (b.Abt 1762 d.1792-Charleston County,SC)
| sp: William DUNBAR (b.23 Feb 1752-Belfast,Ireland d.17 Nov 1798)
2) Mary Stewart ROBISON ** (b.Abt 1764-Barnwell County,South Carolina d.2 Aug 1833-Richmond County,GA)
| sp: Capt. Jeremiah BUGG (b.1752/1757-Lunenburg County,VA m.Abt 1780 d.27 Aug 1787-Richmond County,GA)
| sp: Henry ARRINGTON (ARINTON) * (b.Abt 1764 m.12 Apr 1792 d.14 Apr 1793-Richmond County,Augusta,GA)
| sp: Capt. Archibald HATCHER (b.Abt 1755-Virginia m.4 May 1795 d.13 Jan 1808-Richmond County,GA)
3) George Stewart ROBISON (b.1 Jan 1768-Barnwell District,SC d.3 Sep 1853-Barnwell District,SC)
| sp: Elizabeth Ann "Betsy" ROBISON (b.Mar 1767-Mecklenburg County,VA d.8 Jul 1830-Barnwell County,South Carolina)
4) Ann ROBISON
| sp: (Mr.) SQUIRE
| sp: George ODOM
5) Louisa ROBISON
| sp: Daniel GOVAN (d.1797)
| sp: John CHEVILETTE
6) Sarah ROBISON
sp: (Mr.) MILLS