This post is a part of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge by Amy Johnson Crow at www.nostorytoosmall.com.
I chose John Ed today because it’s the anniversary of the Spanish Flu epidemic. Whenever I think of a flu epidemic, I think of John Ed. Our families were lucky in that we didn’t have a lot of deaths caused by the flu, at least not during the epidemic years. John Ed Robertson isn’t exactly my husband’s ancestor. He was married to my husband’s great-grandmother. Mary Thomas was my husband’s great-grandmother via:
- her daughter, Ruby Robertson
- her daughter
John Ed was born June 19, 1888 in Pulaski County, Virginia. The best I can tell, he lived all of his years in Pulaski county. He was 30 when he died. According to my mother-in-law, it was the flu that brought his demise.
According to his WWI draft record, as of June 5, 1917, he worked for H.W. Bird as a farm laborer. He was tall, with a medium build, with brown hair and blue eyes. Also, according to the draft record, he was born on June 19, 1888.
Interestingly enough, his tombstone lists he was born in 1885 and died in 1919 but he appears on the 1920 census as a 34-year-old farm laborer.
Did someone put the tombstone up later? Someone whose memory was perhaps off a year? I haven’t been successful in finding any more information about John Ed.
John and Mary had no children together in the few years they were married. They were married some time after 1920, if census data is to be believed.
- Robertson, John E. US Federal Census, 1900, 1910, 1920
- Personal Stories
- Robertson, John E. World War I Draft Registration Card
Boston Miller Roberston has turned out to be a much bigger puzzle than I had anticipated. I can’t find any information on him regarding his Civil War activities beyond the Application for Headstone. Evidently, when his son, Roy, applied for the headstone, there was quite a bit of a problem finding him! The application is a mess. The original application was Boston Miller and the updated one was for B.M. which is what is on his headstone. I contacted a fellow genealogist and Civil War buff for some help with Boston as I can’t find anything. He had helped me find William Allen so I was very hopeful. He couldn’t find ANYthing on Boston! His exact statement was,
“How his family got him a CSA marker, I don’t know.”
He did find in the Pulaski Heritage Book that Boston was a nickname for Sebastion. This was indeed news to me. I hope to find out the writer came upon this tidbit of information. I do find Boston on several censuses and each time he’s Boston or Boss, so I’m not inclined to put much merit into it thus far.
According to the headstone application, he served as a Private in Company K of the 23rd Virginia Infantry but that’s as far as I can get. Oh, how I wish these slips of paper would tell all their handlers knew!
Boston is my husband’s 2nd great-grandfather.
- Martha Thomas Robertson
- Robertson, Boston Miller 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920 US Federal Census
- Robertson, Boston Miller, “US Headstone Application”
- “Robertson/Robinson.” Grose, S. Pulaski County Heritage, 2003