Jonathan Robbins and Mary Masagee/Massingale
Jonathan Robbins was born about 1785 in Randolph County, North Carolina. It is speculated that he was the son of James Robbins and Martha Beasley. Some researchers say he was the son of James Robbins and Martha Brothers, and others say that there is no evidence even linking Jonathan to James. Most of the information we have on these early Robbins comes from W.T. Robbins, in History of Bell County Kentucky. Some of what he said has been verified by censuses, marriage and other records, but not all. We don't know what his sources were and therefore there is no way for us to judge the accuracy of his account. The Robbins research is complicated by the fact that there are a preponderance of Robbins in Randolph County, and as one Robbins researcher, Sarah Robbins Lehman said, "It was well into the middle of the 19th century before the Robbins learned they could marry anyone but cousins."
James Robbins married Mary Masagee on 23 August 1804 in Randolph County, NC. Some family members say that her name was actually Mary Massingale and that her father was Lemuel. We haven't been able to prove or disprove that. But we do know that somewhere along the way Jonathan and Mary moved to Buncombe or Yancey County. In her CW pension deposition, Abigail, the daughter of Jonathan and Mary, said that her mother lived so close to the line between Buncombe and Yancey she couldn't remember in which county they actually lived at any given time. Mary appeared as the head of the household on the 1840 Yancey County census, so we assume that Jonathan died before that time. Mary moved to Kentucky sometime between 1840 and 1850 with several of her children. In 1850 she was living in Clay County with her daughter Abigail Ball (mis-spelled Baugh on the census.) She was also living next door to the family of her son Jacob Alexander and her daughter Mary Holt. I think she was the Mary A. who appeared in the 1860 census living with Absolam Robbins in Clay County, Kentucky. I am not sure who this Absolam was, perhaps her son Absolam, but the dates are confusing. (See the discussion concerning Absolam, below.). Mary didn't appear on the 1870 census.
Children of Jonathan Robbins and Mary Masagee
1. James M. Robbins was born about 1806 in Randolph, North Carolina. He married Nancy Robbins 19 March 1827 in Randolph County, North Carolina.
James Robbins to Nancy Robbins 19 March 1827 Randolph Co., NC, Marriage Bonds, "Brides Index," The Genealogical Journal of the Randolph County Genealogical Society, Vol VI #2 (Spring 1982), p. 59. bondsman: Green B. Winingham, wit: Hugh McCain.
James and Nancy settled in Harlan County, Kentucky before 1840. They were in Harlan County in 1840 and1850. Nancy Robbins died prior to 1858 when James married Sarah C. Miracle. James and Sarah were in Harlan County in 1860. They were living in Josh Bell County in 1870. Josh Bell County was renamed "Bell" County in 1873. James died about 1878 in Bell County. Sarah Robbins was listed as a widow on the 1880 census of Bell County.
2. Lemuel Robbins was born about 1808 in Randolph County, North Carolina. He married Kiziah Robbins 15 December 1827 in Randolph County, North Carolina. She was the daughter of John Robbins and Elizabeth Towery.
Lemuel Robbins to Kiziah Robbins 15 December 1827 Randolph Co., NC, Marriage Bonds, "Brides Index," The Genealogical Journal of the Randolph County Genealogical Society, Vol. VI #2 (Spring 1982), p. 58. bondsman: Emsley Rollins.
Lemuel and Keziah moved to Harlan County, Kentucky soon after James. They were in Harlan County in 1850 and 1860. They were in Josh Bell County in 1870. Lemuel died about 1878 in Bell County, KY. Keziah was listed as a widow on the 1880 census of Bell County. She was living with her daughter Sarah J. and her son in law James Green and their four children.
3. Michael Robbins was born about 1810 in Randolph County, North Carolina. He moved to Harlan County in about 1840. He married Elisabeth A. Crawford daughter of John Crawford Sr. Michael and Elizabeth were living in Knox County in 1850. Michael was listed as William M. Robins on the 1860 census of Harlan County. In 1870 they were in Josh Bell County, and he was listed as Michael. In 1880 they were in Bell County and Michael was listed as William Robbins. I am not sure if his name was William Michael or Michael William. He died about 1896.
4. Absalom Robbins -- according to the History of Bell County, KY by Henry H. Tuson, Absalom Robbins. was born about 1812 in Randolph County, North Carolina. Mr. Tuson also said that Absalom Robbins came to Kentucky from North Carolina in about 1856. I believe the Absalom Robbins who appeared in Clay County on the 1860 census living with Mary (Masagee) Robbins was probably her son. His age was listed as 23 on the 1860, but he was 45 on the 1870 and 54 on the 1880. Absalom and his wife Nancy and their family were living in Webster County, Missouri in 1880. If the Absalom listed in the 1860 Clay County census was the son of Jonathan and Mary than the age listed for him in the History of Bell County, KY was off by several years. He was probably born about 1826 and that would make him the baby of the family rather than Jacob Alexander.
5. Mary Robbins was born about 1814 in Randolph County, North Carolina. She married Nathaniel Holt about 1835/36 in Buncombe County, North Carolina. They were living in Clay County, KY in 1850, and in Jackson County in 1860, 1870 and 1880.
6. Nellie Robbins was born about 1816 in Randolph County, North Carolina. She died about 1832 in Buncombe County, N.C.
7. Jane Robbins was born about 1818 in Randolph County, North Carolina. She married Thomas Runions in August, 1839 in Yancey County . They were in Yancey County in 1840. I haven't found them in 1850, but they were listed on the census of Cherokee County, North Carolina in 1860, 1870 and 1880. Jane was listed as Martha Jane on the 1880 census.
8. Abigail Robbins was born about 1820 in Randolph County, North Carolina. She married Addison Ball in August 1839 in Yancey County. They appeared in the 1840 Yancey Census. By 1850 they were living in Clay County, KY. Addison Ball (listed incorrectly as Baugh on the 1850 census) was born about 1821 in North Carolina. (CW deposition)
9. Joshua Robbins was born about 1822 in Randolph County, North Carolina. He married Hannah Commons in North Carolina. According to the History of Bell County. Joshua was in KY a short time and returned to North Carolina.
10. Jacob Alexander Robbins was born 28 Nov 1824 in Randolph County, North Carolina. He married Matilda Lucinda Goldsmith on 12 October 1841 in Buncombe County at the home of Matilda's brother, William Goldsmith. In 1850 they were living in Clay County, KY. Jacob Alexander Robbins served as a Private in Co. A, of the 47 KY Infantry Volunteers. According to his Civil War pension papers, Jacob Alexander Robbins died 26 April 1867 at his home in Jackson County.