Robbins Reunion – Group Photo and More

Group Photo

Christina Newby of Milestones Photography has uploaded the group photo taken at the 2022 Robbins Reunion.  The direct link to the photos is:  https://milestonesphotography.pixieset.com/robbinsfamilyreunion/

The “download PIN” is:  2563

The gallery will expire Oct. 6, 2022.

I will include her email message here: 

Hello Robbins Extended Family,

Thank you again for allowing me to capture your family. I always hope these will be treasured for years to come!

Here are your images. These are the high res files that you can download. You can download them individually by clicking on each image, or all together at the same time, by clicking the down arrow button at the very top of the gallery. You can also select the resolution at download – I suggest downloading both the full resolution, and a second set at a lower web resolution, which makes it great for social sharing. Feel free to share this gallery with family and friends. Please note the gallery expiration date [Oct. 6, 2022].

Save time by ordering prints directly from this gallery. When you make a purchase, it is shipped directly to you. Please let me know if you have any questions, or need assistance with ordering.

Cheers,

Christina Newby [christina@milestonesphotostudio.com]

I have downloaded both the large and small resolution sets and that was very easy.  I have also ordered a copy from Christina Newby (Milestones Photography) as well as Costco (where I usually have photos printed) to compare price and quality.  Though I’m sure Milestones archival quality will far surpass Costco many of us may just want a good affordable copy of the photo.  Ordering from Milestones was a little more complicated as it leads you to Paypal – I was able to pay with a credit card and not Paypal – but it took a few extra steps even though I also have a Paypal account.  Be patient with that process.

Feel free to share this post or send copies of the photos to anyone you think might be interested.  I sent out an email to all the attendees and all went through except for one that bounced.

It has been suggested that we identify everyone who appears in the photo.  I’m not sure the best way to do that – perhaps in the comments here – or you can email me at mittge@yahoo.com and I’ll compile a list. Identify by row (there are four) – and the number from either the right or left.

Reunion Demographics

I thought it would be interesting to share where everyone who attended the reunion came from.  This is taken from the reunion sign-in sheets and while I don’t believe everyone signed in we’re pretty close to the total.  The breakdown by state is as follows:

California                    1

Colorado                     2

Florida                         1

Indiana                      37

Michigan                     2

Oregon                       4

Pennsylvania               2

Texas                           1

The specific Indiana locations (where given) included:  Connersville (3), Decatur County (5), Fishers (1), Greenfield (1), Greensburg (10), Indianapolis (4), Morgantown (1), Poland (1), Spencer (2), Westport (3), Winchester (1), and Zionsville (2).

Robbins Reunion – Report

The 2022 Bicentennial Robbins reunion in Westport, Indiana, was a great success!  We had 50 to 60 people attend.  There was meeting of new cousins, reunions of long separated cousins, and friends discovering they were cousins of one another.  During our program William (“Bill”) Hunter Robbins welcomed family to Decatur County, Greg Robbins discussed the importance of DNA to solving Robbins genealogical brickwalls, and I (Kevin) read a very brief family history.  (I had an expanded seven-page history – still quite brief – as a handout; if you weren’t at the reunion and would like a copy, feel free to email me at “mittge @ yahoo.com” – it’s too long to post on here).

The attendees were extremely generous and we collected donations well in excess of the cost of the room rental and photographer, so I will be passing along a donation of $251 to the Decatur County Historical Society in the name of the 2022 Robbins Reunion!

Once it is available I will be sending out the link to the group photo taken by Christina Newby, our photographer.  The photo will be available to have prints ordered or to be downloaded if folks would like to save it or print it elsewhere.

Below are some photos from the reunion.

Westport Community Building

William (“Bill”) Hunter Robbins
Kevin Mittge
Greg Robbins speaking about DNA
The 20-foot “abridge” 4-generation family chart
Historical displays

Robbins Reunion – Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the day!  Hope to see some of you there.  The Westport Community Building has a very nice, large room – and we’ve set some tables and chairs up but we can add more depending on how many folks attend. 

A couple of things to mention:

Museum:

Don’t forget that the Decatur County Historical Society Museum will be open from 9am to 11am tomorrow. It is located at 222 N. Franklin St. in Greensburg.

Getting to Westport:

There is a detour sign as you drive south on Highway 3 from Greensburg to Westport.  I’m not sure what the official detour route is but if you drive down Highway 3 past Letts to almost the road closed sign you can take a right on CR (County Road) 800 South.  Drive west to CR 700 West (you could turn on CR 600 West but it looks smaller and narrower), turn left and take CR 700 West south to CR 1100 South – then turn left and you drive past the Westport Cemetery and into the small community of Westport.  Go straight across Highway 3 and continue into town – the Westport Community Center is on the right.  Here is a map from the Indiana atlas.  (You’re basically driving a rectangle around the closure through beautiful lush corn fields).  It probably adds less than 10 minutes to your drive.

In Westport:

There is parking in the front and along the sides (especially the west side) of the Community Building.

The entrance into the back large room of the community center is on the east side of the building along a short driveway. Unless it is too windy there will be a poster outside.

Having seen several drivers pulled over by police it appears that Westport P.D. takes it’s 20 MPH speed limit seriously!  Drive safely through this tiny town.

Robbins Reunion – One Week Out!

Well – we’re only one week out from the 2022 Robbins Bicentennial Reunion!  We are looking forward to seeing everyone and spending some time getting acquainted and sharing our common family history and experiences.  Some of us (such as myself, Kevin) are beginning our travel to Indiana.  Others will be traveling the reunion weekend.  We wish everyone a safe trip and we will meet up in Decatur County.

We’ve done just about as much publicity as has been possible:  newspaper, radio, flyers, Facebook, and this blog.  But – if you still encounter anyone who might be interested: pass the word!

If you have any questions, you can continue to email “robbinsreunion2022@gmail.com” and will be answered as soon as possible. Also – for a little more detailed information click on the reunion link above.

Again, the reunion will be Sat., July 30th, 11am to 5pm, at the Westport (Indiana) Community Building.  See you there!

Robbins Reunion – Updates

Places to visit:

If you are visiting Greensburg and haven’t been to the Decatur County Historical Society’s museum before, you can visit the morning of the reunion.  The museum will be open on Saturday, July 30th, from 9am to 11am, for any one wanting to stop by before going on the reunion site!  The museum is located at 222 N. Franklin St. in Greensburg.  This is one block north of the courthouse square on the east side.

Decatur County Historical Society

The Greensburg Public Library has a genealogy room with a lot of information.  The hours over the reunion weekend are Friday, 9am to 5pm, and on Saturday, 9am to 1pm.  The library is closed on Sunday but open again on Monday at 9am.  The library is located at 1110 E. Main Street.  Main Street is on the south side of courthouse square and you can just follow that east to the library.

Family History and Photographs:

One of the fun things about family reunions is sharing family history and family photographs.  I would encourage all of you to bring things to share. I am bringing three Robbins photograph albums, three large working notebooks of genealogy, four stand-up trifold historical displays, and more.

Example of Historical Display

I will also have a laptop, portable scanner, and some extra thumb drives for those who want to share or save material to take home (or we can email them from the reunion).  All of the photos in my albums are on my laptop for easy access and sharing.

A small portion of the family chart

I am also bringing a twenty-foot abridged four-generation family chart starting with our common ancestors Jacob and Mary Robbins.  Note that I said abridged!  It’s twenty-feet long and it still doesn’t include everyone down to the fourth generation.  Which by the way, is about our great-great-grandparents’ level.  It will give you a feel for our family’s immense size.  The chart is very simple, see example above, called a working chart, and will probably be outdated with only a little more research.  But it’s fun to ponder!

Robbins Reunion – Updates

We are now less than three weeks away from the 2022 Robbins Bicentennial Reunion!  I thought I’d update some things on this blog and the Facebook page over the next week or so.  Don’t forget that you can also email the reunion at robbinsreunion2022@gmail.com with questions (I usually check it a couple times a day).

Publicity:  An article appeared in the Greensburg Daily News the last week of June announcing the reunion.  I was interviewed live by Greensburg radio station WTRE (AM 1330) last week and hopefully some local listeners caught it.  I have also mailed out a number of flyers to the two libraries in the county, the visitor’s center, the museum, and a number of churches.  If there is any last minute publicity anyone would like to try – go for it!  (I’m attaching a PDF copy below of the flyer which you are welcome to print out, download, or distribute any way you think useful).

Food:  As a reminder, this event will be a potluck.  While a couple of us who are coming some distance are hoping to visit Costco in Indianapolis and pick up some food trays, it would be great if attendees can bring main, side, or dessert dishes.  Coffee will be provided thanks to one of our cousin volunteers!

Expenses:  We only have two dedicated expenses, which is good for a unbudgeted family reunion!  The community center costs $350 and a professional photographer who will be taking a large group photo costs $100.  We have folks who can cover the costs up front but we are hoping they can be shared out among attendees afterward.  We will have a donation jar at the reunion.  Any amount collected in excess of the above expenses will be given to the Decatur County Historical Society.

South Park Cemetery (Decatur County, Indiana)

The South Park Cemetery is the largest cemetery in Decatur County and is located on the southern edge of the city of Greensburg.  The volunteer-run site FindAGrave, South Park lists 14,798 graves, with more being added each day (it listed 14, 797 just a few hours prior to me writing this).  The cemetery is so large that the last time I visited I took about 50 photos and then called it quits – I promised that the next time I visited I would bring a lunch and plenty of water for a day-long visit.

South Park Cemetery on the southern edge of Greensburg

The website for the cemetery, https://southparkgreensburg.com/about/, provides a short history:

The first cemetery in Greensburg was established in 1823 south of the Penn Central right of way and east of highway 421. When the railroad came through in 1853, the bodies in Greensburg Cemetery were moved to two cemeteries: Methodist Cemetery, formed in the 1840’s (west of Vine Street), and Decatur County Cemetery, established in 1850 on the west side of the present South Park Cemetery.  In 1884, the newly established South Park Cemetery Association took over Decatur County Cemetery and enlarged the grounds. A few years later Methodist Cemetery became part of South Park. South Park has been enlarged several times since 1894.

Entrance to South Park Cemetery

The cemetery website also provides the capability to search for a name with an accompanying map so you can find most burials (I think it’s a work in progress since one grave I’ve photographed there isn’t listed).  So it’s not perfect but still it’s one of the best, most user-friendly cemetery websites I’ve ever encountered.

In searching for the grave of John Everman Robbins (1825-1896) it brings up the exact location of the grave and where it is within the cemetery.  If you click elsewhere on the map you can move in or further out to see the location.  How cool is this?

At some point the families who buried their kin in the small Mt. Pleasant Cemetery south of town began to utilize the larger South Park, if they weren’t already using one of the other rural cemeteries I’ve previously discussed in these blog posts (i.e. Burks Chapel, Rockcreek, Mount Aerie, etc.).  So for example, William Robbins Jr. and his wife Elinor are buried in Mt. Pleasant but all four of their children, Sarilda (Robbins) Styers, John Everman Robbins, James Gilman Robbins, and Merritt Holman Robbins, are all buried in South Park.  This follows true for many family groups with the result that almost all branches of the family are represented here.  I’ve also found many cases where a family member moved far away but upon death was brought back to South Park for burial.

Below are just several photos of some of our family members buried in South Park.

There are other cemeteries in Decatur County holding the remains of family members, including Hebron Cemetery near Adams, for example, where members of the Stark family are buried (Stark, Guthrie, Cline, Edrington, and others), but South Park is my last post specifically about cemeteries that we hope to visit on our post-reunion cemetery tour in July. 

To conclude I wanted to mention a cemetery memorial to Anna J. Foley.  Back in the 1980s I had contacted Anna as she did genealogical research in Decatur County and she was able to find a number of old obituaries and give me a list of land records related to my ancestor Nathaniel Robbins.  So it was a surprise (and a delight) that the last time I visited South Park I saw this memorial to a local historian at the entrance to the cemetery.

Westport, Mount Aerie, Mapleton, and Union Baptist Cemeteries (Decatur County, Indiana)

Westport Cemetery

The Westport Cemetery, likely the second largest cemetery in the county after South Park, is located directly west of the small community of Westport.  The earliest Robbins that I’m aware of (and there may be others) buried here is Harvey Robbins (1829-1917), son of George and Nancy (Pruitt) Robbins.  If you’ve been reading this blog you might remember George is buried in the Burks Chapel cemetery.  I don’t know where Harvey’s first wife Xantippe is buried – she died sometime before 1869 – as that year Harvey married Delilah (“Della”) Borden, who is buried with her husband.

Location of Westport Cemetery

Coleman Robbins, the only known child of Harvey and his first wife, is also buried here.  He was struck by a train in 1919, had never married, and has no descendants.  Some years ago I came across the coroner’s report for Coleman.  Among the information on that report was the following statement:  “I was called to Westport Ind. on the above date because of the death of Coleman Robbins who was accidentally killed by a Big Four S. Bound train….Mr. Robbins was crossing the RR with a wheel-barrow load of kindling and being deaf never heard the train whistle….”

It is interesting that Harvey and Coleman share a gravestone, and Della and youngest daughter Brida (Robbins) Bliton (1888-1939) share another.  Among the other related family names here are:  Bake, Dishinger, Hutton, Jessup, Skinner, and Spencer.

Mount Aerie Cemetery

The Mt. Aerie Cemetery is located right along state highway 3, halfway between Greensburg and Westport, surrounding the Mt. Aerie Baptist Church.  While only half the size of the Westport cemetery, it seems to hold many more family members.

Location of Mount Aerie Cemetery

In this cemetery rests Charity (Robbins) (Hanks) Purvis (1811-1892), daughter of Absalom and Mary (Ogle) Robbins, along with three of her children.  Charity’s first husband was James Hanks, who died along with a son in 1843, while out coon hunting.  It is unknown where they are buried.  Charity then married John Purvis and both of them are buried here in Mt. Aerie.

Other related surnames here include:  Davis, House, Knarr, Logan, Myers, Purvis, Skinner, Stout, Taggart, Van Treese, Wasson, Whipple, and more.

Mapleton Cemetery

This small cemetery is situated east of highway 3, along a peaceful farm road.  There are only a handful of relatives here, but one of the most interesting is William Franklin Robbins (1850-1922) who figured so prominently in the 1922 reunion and died tragically only six months later (you can read more about him here).

Location of Mapleton Cemetery

Besides William and his wife Julia, son Henry Cleveland and daughter Mary Cordelia (Robbins) Morgan, are surnames Miller, Scripture, and Skinner.

Union Baptist Cemetery

The Union Baptist Cemetery, just around the corner from the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery (my first cemetery post in this series; Mt. Pleasant is in the woods in the upper right hand corner of the Google Earth view below), has relatives from a wide variety of branches of the family.  Descendants of William Robbins Jr. are buried here including William Gilman Styers and other members of the Styers family; descendants of Marmaduke Robbins, including his granddaughter Jennie Robbins and her husband Tom Vanderbur; Aaron Robbins, a descendant of George; various ubiquitous Skinner descendants of Charity (Robbins) (Hanks) Purvis; and descendants of Thomas Jr. and Matilda Robbins, most of whose family lived in Jennings county.

Location of Union Baptist Cemetery

This completes my posts on some (there are others) of the main rural cemeteries in Decatur County with Robbins relations, but my next post will discuss the huge South Park Cemetery, the largest one in the county, located in the city of Greensburg.

Burks Chapel, Rodney, and Rock Creek Cemeteries (Decatur County, Indiana)

Burks Chapel Cemetery

The Burks Chapel Cemetery is a small plot right next to the road on W. County Road 750 S.  I believe it is privately owned but being near the road the last time I visited it was a simple thing to park and enter. (I guess we’ll find out on our cemetery tour if the owners object to a group of visitors!).

Burks Chapel Cemetery location

In this cemetery rests one of the early progenitors of many descendants of the family:  George Robbins.  George, the son of Absalom and Mary (Ogle) Robbins, was born in 1792 and lived until 1888.  He and his wife Nancy Pruitt were said to be the parents of at least eleven children.

George Robbins
Jonathan and Margaret (Spilman) Robbins

George’s son Jonathan Robbins, with his wife Margaret Spilman, are also buried in this cemetery.  Among the other related family names here are:  Bower, Coleman, Cripe, Flint, Scripture, Skinner, Vanderbur, and Voiles.

Rodney Cemetery (Decatur County, Indiana)

The Rodney Cemetery is located next to the Rodney Friendship Separate Baptist Church in Christ (so reads their sign), in a fairly wooded section of Decatur County, along S. County Road 60 SW.  I have not been able to find any additional information about this church but the cemetery seems old, but with recent burials too.

Rodney Cemetery location

Micajah Robbins (1788-1865), another patriarch of the family and eldest son of Absalom and Mary (Ogle) Robbins, is reportedly buried in the Rodney Cemetery, but his grave seems to be unmarked.  Notes by a grandson, John W. Holcomb, state: “Macajah m. Elizabeth Hanks a cousin of William Hanks.  They were my Grandfather and Grandmother.  They are buried at Rodney Cemetery near their home.”  (Micajah’s wife was actually Elizabeth Vickery).  It’s possible that the grave was marked at one time but the stone was lost over the years, perhaps even buried below the surface of the lawn today.

Levi and Sarah (Lemasters) Robbins

There are other Robbins family members buried at Rodney, including Micajah’s daughter Nancy (Robbins) Evans and family, and descendants of Micajah’s brother George, including Levi W. Robbins (1841-1930) and some of his family line.  Other related family names found in the cemetery include:  Bower, Giddings, Harrison, Martin, Shoemake, and Stone.

Rock Creek Cemetery (Decatur County, Indiana)

Rock Creek Cemetery, which is also spelled Rockcreek, is located towards the southeastern corner of Decatur County, along W. County Road 1100 S, next to the Rock Creek Baptist Church.

Rockcreek Cemetery location

William (“Rock Creek Billy”) Robbins is buried here.  “Rock Creek Billy” being one of those many early Robbins family nicknames to distinguish this William from all the other Williams!  This gentleman was the son of Jacob and Rachel Robbins and brother of the Jacob Robbins who emigrated to Oregon in 1852.

William (“Rock Creek Billy”) Robbins

“Rock Creek Billy” Robbins was married twice, first to Mary Moffett, then following her death, to Elizabeth Ferguson, and altogether he fathered perhaps as many as twelve children.  As happens in the Robbins family, there were intermarriages, so his oldest daughter Eliza Catherine (“Katty”) Robbins was married to her cousin, once-removed, Job Robbins, son of George (see above about Burks Chapel Cem.). 

Besides finding the Robbins surname in the cemetery, you will find many other family names such as:  Deweese, Evans, Ford, Harrison, Hockersmith, Holcomb, Ponsler, Rork, Spencer, Sutton, and Taylor.

Mount Pleasant Cemetery (Decatur County, Indiana)

Sunday, July 31st, the day after the Robbins Bicentennial Reunion this summer in Westport, Indiana, will feature a tour of some of the Decatur County cemeteries where our Robbins ancestors are buried – I’m hoping some of the readers of this blog can join us.  I’m planning to do several posts highlighting some of the cemeteries we hope to visit, focusing on those with the oldest forebears of all the various branches of the family.  But I might add:  every cemetery in Decatur County holds someone of some relation to the Robbins family.

The Mount Pleasant Cemetery is privately owned and accessed through the owner’s property.  So, while the schedule of the tour is yet to be worked out (and it can be done as a group or a “self-tour” once we have a map, directions, and descriptions uploaded to this blog and our reunion Facebook page) it makes sense to have a set time for a single group visit to this private cemetery (arranged for 11am that day).

Mount Pleasant Cemetery (Decatur County, Indiana)

This cemetery holds, I believe, the earliest county burials of the Robbins family and their in-laws.  It is located on the original land tract of John Robbins (1795-1881), son of William and Bethiah (Vickery) Robbins, south of Greensburg on South County Road 60 SW.  John’s land patent for the property was issued in 1823.

Here is a map showing the general location relative to Greensburg:

And a close up courtesy of Google Earth:

The cemetery isn’t limited to Robbins family members and in-laws (Kirkpatricks and Andersons, specifically), but other families with later connections to ours:  Barnes, Cheek, Evans, Ferris, Hunter, Ketchum, Kitchin, Marsteller, Paramore, Snook, Travis, and Vanderbur, among others.

All of the Robbins family buried in the cemetery are descendants of William and Bethiah through five of their children:  Marmaduke Robbins, Mary (Robbins) Kirkpatrick, John Robbins, William Robbins Jr., and Charlotte (Robbins) Anderson.  Note that three of these siblings married Anderson siblings, children of Sarah Anderson (also buried in the cemetery).

I believe the earliest Robbins known to have been buried in the cemetery, and probably the earliest burial of anyone there, was Nathaniel Robbins in 1824, the infant son of John Robbins, original owner of the cemetery property.  Only a year later he was followed by his grandmother and matriarch, Sarah Anderson.  I would not be surprised if the death of young Nathaniel is what spurred John into setting aside a tract of land for the cemetery.

William Robbins, our Revolutionary War ancestor, was laid to rest in 1834, while his wife Bethiah joined him in 1850.  You can read more about William’s war experiences in my blog post here.

William Robbins grave in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Decatur Co., Indiana

Polly (Robbins) Kirkpatrick and her husband John, both of whom died in the 1850s, are buried there, along with two of their grandchildren Burrell and Martha.

John and Ruth (Anderson) Robbins, parents of the aforementioned Nathaniel, lived very long lives, until 1881 and 1871, respectfully.  Several of their Paramore grandchildren are also buried there.   And, while Nathaniel represented the earliest Robbins burial, John and Ruth’s son William Anderson Robbins was one of the later family burials, in 1907.  Long before that point many of the Robbins family members had started being buried in the huge Greensburg cemetery, South Park, as well as in other cemeteries around the county.

William and Elinor (Anderson) Robbins are buried in Mt. Pleasant, along with some grandchildren, as are Abraham and Charlotte (Robbins) Anderson and family.

There is a possibility that Marmaduke Robbins, another son of William and Bethiah, is buried in the cemetery, as he died about 1838 and his grave has not otherwise been found. FindAGrave lists his son Jacob F. Robbins and wife Catherine Myers as both being buried in Mt. Pleasant (with Catherine’s 1899 newspaper death announcement stating:  “Internment at Robbins cemetery, south of Greensburg”).

We are fortunate that the property owners take pride in the cemetery and feel a deep sense of responsibility for its preservation and maintenance and are always warm and welcoming to visitors.  In speaking with one of the owners this week she said she’d make sure it was all “spiffed up” and ready for our visit!