In the pages of this family history you will find details about the births, deaths, marriages, children, occupations, and other aspects related to the lives of my eight great grandparents – Richard W. Robertson; Mary A. Eubank; Dale Delafield Luke; Martha F. Shepherd; George Torian; Amelia Blanche Crawley; Charles Augustus Jenkins; and Lillie Shepherd Cocke. These details are based on my extensive searching and analysis of any and all relevant documentations I could find with information about the individuals – documentation I found at state libraries, county and city historical societies, university special collection libraries, the National Archives, the Library of Congress, the Daughters of the American Revolution Library, state and city vital statistics and records departments, and the Internet. I also corresponded with any and all who I came across who had, or might have had, information on my great grandparents, and their ancestors and descendants.
Each great grandparent has his/her own section. In addition, I have sections on my four grandparents – William Robertson; Eva Luke; Melvin Crider Torian; and Carey Jenkins. Each of the twelve sections follows generally a standard format. After declaring the name of the great grandparent (or grandparent), I provide the evidence that supports the declaration along with what I have found about the great grandparent (or grandparent). Then, I identify and provide information on the children of the marriages but only in detail in the great grandmother (or grandmother) sections. Then, for each great grandparent, I provide information about what I know about their parents, then their grandparents, and then further back for as long as I can up to those ancestors who first settled on American soil.
I have tried to include all the recorded information that I found that I feel is relevant to the who, where, when, what, and how concerning the great grandparents (and grandparents). I feel this was important in order to consolidate what might be discovered about these individuals and better understand their lives, a major objective of this family history. I have tried to use qualifying comments where the information provided is not based on primary sources, but rather on less certain indications.
Interspersed throughout the twelve sections are comments, analysis, and conclusions about the times and places, the occupations, the migrations, and other aspects that were part of the great grandparents (and grandparents) lives. Trying to achieve such relevant comments, analysis, and conclusions and reaching such achievement became an important reward of this family history project. The process of doing this, I believe, has helped me grow in many ways in historical knowledge and sensitivity, not only with respect to the lives of these ancestors of mine but also with respect to the times and places in which they lived.. Hopefully, what I have written about the times and places, the occupations, the migrations, and other aspects related to my great grandparents (and grandparents) will be of interested and useful to the reader.
I believe a focus on researching and studying each great grandparent is how a family history is best conducted. Believing that one’s family only relates to a father’s family is a mistake. One needs to spread out further, to all those who influenced parents and grandparents, in order to more completely understand those influences that might have come down to one’s own life. Parents are offspring's of four people who in turn are offspring's of eight people. All of these twelve might have played a role in determining the historical influences for a person.