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Mary A. Eubank



Mary A. Eubank, born possibly in Amherst County, Virginia in February 1825, and died in Richmond on May 15, 1916, was one of my great grandparents.


According to the 1855 Chesterfield marriage register, Mary A. (looks almost certainly like) Eubank, marries Richard Robertson in Chesterfield County on April 12, 1855.  Unfortunately, other data, usually provided on the marriage registers of that time, such as parents’ names, were missing from the Robertson/Eubank entry.  Only their names, and date of marriage, appear.


Fortunately, Mary’s last name appears almost certainly on the marriage certificate as Eubank.  Also, on Mary A. Robertson’s’ death certificate, her father’s name is given as George (looks like maybe) Eubank.  Eubank was certainly a last name found in the piedmont region area, around Richmond and west, in census and other records of the early and middle 1800s. 


Census records for Richard W. and Mary A. Robertson indicated that not only Mary A Eubank Robertson was born in Virginia, but also her parents.


Mary A. Robertson indicated, in the Richard W. and Mary A. Robertson 1900 census, that she had given birth to six children, and four were still living.  The four living children are believed to be Mary A., Charles, William (one of my grandfathers), and Virginia.  What had happened to the two children not living in 1900 is not known.  She also indicated her birth to be in 1825, in Virginia.


Mary A. (possibly for Ann, based on my mother’s recollections), one of Mary A. Robertson’s daughters, marries an Owen, and has a son Vernon R., who was 22 in 1910, and a daughter, Gladys, who was 16 in 1910.   In 1910, Mary A. was living with Vernon and Gladys, and apparently was a widower, or maybe divorced.  My mother also remembers two other children belonging to Mary Ann - Jean and Ohma.


The 1900 census shows an Allen D. Owens, age 47, married to a Mary, age 40, living in Richmond.   In the family were:  Clarence, age 15; Vernon, age 12; and Gladys, age 6.   This almost certainly is the Mary Owens who is Mary A. Eubank and Richard W. Robertson’s child.


Allen Owen, born July 1, 1851, died on March 21, 1905, as shown on his grave stone at Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery.  Next to this grave stone is one for Mary Robertson Owen, Allen’s wife, and born January 15, 1856, died March 14, 1939.  These grave stones are in the same area where Richard W. and Mary Eubank Robertson are buried (without head stone).  Clearance Owen, Allen and Mary’s son, also buried in the same area, dies January 8, 1940, from his head stone.  Another grave stone shows Eva F. Wicks, beloved wife of C. Omah Owen.  The C. Omah Owen is probably the Ohma that my mother remembered as a son of Mary A. Robertson Owen (see a paragraph above).

Allen and Mary’s daughter Gladys apparently marries a George W. McCue.  A 1920 Richmond City census record shows a Gladys V. married to a George W.  McCue.  In 1930, they were living in Fairfield, Henrico County, with a daughter, Jean E.   In 1940, they were living in Newport News on Buxton Avenue and Jean was 20.  Gladys had completed the 7th grade and Jean one year of high school.  George was shown as an electrician, making $1,560 a year, which would be about $25,000 in 2012 dollars.  By 1944, George and Gladys were back in Richmond appearing in Richmond city directories as late as 1958, living on Bancroft Avenue.  Perhaps George and Mary had moved to Newport News in the early 1940s to work at the Newport News Shipyard, certainly in need of electricians at that time.  Perhaps, Gladys’ uncle, William, who did work at the shipyard, played a part in Gladys and George’s living in Newport News.


Charles H. Robertson, one of Mary A. Eubank Robertson’s sons, was the informant on both his mother and his father’s death certificates in 1916 and 1918, respectively.  At the time of these deaths, he lived at 2218 Hanover Ave., in Richmond.


In another area of the same section where the Owens’ grave stones are located at Hollywood Cemetery (see above paragraph) is a grave stone for Charles Holman Robertson, born June 15, 1857 and died October 31, 1942.  A head stone for a H. Elizabeth Robertson, likely Charles’ wife, is nearby.  She was born February 22, 1870 and died November 9, 1949.  Another nearby head stone is for Hunter Holman Robertson, born November 6, 1889 and died December 14, 1959.  Hunter is likely Charles and Elizabeth’s son.


Virginia, who if she is the Sissy my mother refers to in her recollections as a sister of her father, married a Charles Brown, and had Richard and Allen.  In the 1889-91 Richmond City Directory, a listing shows that William Robertson, Virginia’s brother, was in partnership with a Charles W. Brown, running a grocery.  This Charles Brown is likely the Charles Brown that Virginia Robertson marries.


Little is known about Mary A. Owens, Charles H. Robertson, and Virginia Brown, some of my Mother’s aunts and uncles.


Mary A. Robertson’s death certificate shows Mary died on May 15, 1916, of natural causes, at age 91.  Her father was listed as George (could be) Eubank, and her mother was given as unknown.  Mary’s father’s name as possibly Eubank agrees with Richard W. and Mary A.'s marriage certificate in 1855, which indicated Mary’s maiden name was Eubank.  Her birth was given as in Virginia.  She lived at 302 S. Laurel St. at the time of death, and the informant for the certificate information was C. H. Robertson, who lived at 2218 Hanover Ave.  Mary was buried at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.   The information provided on the death certificate is very consistent with the census and other data provided here, in the rest of my family history, and with the conclusion that Mary A. Eubank Robertson was the mother of one of my grandfathers, William Robertson, and was one of my great grandmothers.


It would be interesting to know more about how Mary A. Eubank and Richard W. Robertson met.  Whereas many marriages at around this time (including many in my family history) took place between individuals who grew up close to one another, this was not the case for Mary A. and Richard W.   In 1850, five years before Mary and Richard marry, Mary’s family was living in Chesterfield County and Richard’s family was living in Amelia County, although he was not living with them.  A possible scenario is that Richard W. migrated to Chesterfield County for employment, and it was while working there that he met Mary.


More than one George Eubank is found in the 1820 to 1850 census records for central Virginia counties (e.g. Henrico, Chesterfield, Amelia, Cumberland, Albemarle, Nelson, and Amherst).  One of these is very probably Mary’s father.


The 1850 Chesterfield County census (lower district, likely in southern Chesterfield County) lists a George Eubanks, age 52, and laborer.  He has in the family a Mary, 23; Nathan, 22, an operator; Martha, 22; Charles, 16, also listed occupation operator; Caroline, 14; and Amanda, 12.  The location of this George (Chesterfield County, where Mary A. Eubank marries Richard W. Robertson in 1855) and Mary’s age – 23, which is approximately Mary A. Eubank’s age in 1850 (census taking ranges over a period of time), suggests that this George Eubank is Mary A’s father.  No George Eubank (or Eubanks) could be found in later censuses corresponding to George Eubank’s data.  No other information is provided in the 1850 Eubank census.


According to Internet sources, a George Eubank, born December 23, 1796 in Caroline County, Virginia, dies in Manchester, Virginia on March 19, 1851.   This fits well dates for the George Eubank who is Mary A. Eubank’s father, and is likely her father.


In the 1860 Chesterfield County census, in the Manchester district, where Mary A. Eubank marries R.W. Robertson in 1855, is found a Nathan Eubank (here the spelling is Eubank, not Eubanks, as for George Eubanks discussed above).  Data on Nathan in this and a later census closely matches the data on the Nathan Eubank’s entry from the 1850 census record discussed above, and the two Nathans are believed the same.  In 1860, Nathan is listed as age 32, and married to Indiana E., 24, with a daughter, TAF, age 6, female.  In the 1870 Chesterfield County Manchester district census data, Nathan again appears, age 43, carpenter, along with Indiana, age 33, and Mary E. age 15.


The Chesterfield County marriage registers of the 1850s list the marriage of Nathan Eubank, age 27, to Indiana B. Drake, age 17, on May 25, 1854.   Nathan lists his birthplace as Amherst County, Virginia, and his parents as George and Elizabeth Eubank.  Nathan birth date then would be 1827.


That Nathan is living in, or near Manchester, in 1860 and 1870, where Mary A. Eubank marries Richard Robertson in 1855, also suggests that the Mary in the 1850 George Eubanks’ census (Nathan’s sister) is Mary A. Eubank Robertson, one of my great grandmothers.  Also, information about Nathan suggests that George Eubank was from Amherst County, where Nathan was born.


In 1874, a Nathan A. Eubank is on the Manchester City Council.  Nathan dies in 1902.


In the 1840 census, a George Eubank is living in Nelson County, and lists his family members as: two females, less than 5 years; one female, 5 to 10; two females, 10 to 15; one female, 15 to 20; one female, 30 to 40; one male, less than 5; one male, 10 to 15; and one male, 40 to 50.  The ages of these family members agree well with the 1850 George Eubanks census data, assuming that the 1850 Eubank has lost his wife between 1840 and 1850.


There is also a George Eubank in the 1830 Nelson County census having family members listed who agree well in age and gender with the 1840 and 1850 George Eubank(s) censuses data given above.


The Nelson County marriage register of 1823 shows that a George Eubank marries an Elizabeth H. Wingfield on January 20, 1823.  Providing security for the wedding was David W. Terry.


The George Eubank who dies in Manchester in 1851 is with much certainty, the George Eubank who marries Elizabeth H. Wingfield in 1823 in Nelson County.  Internet sources suggest that this George Eubank may have been born in Caroline County (see above for information on this).  If this is correct, how, when, and why George goes from Caroline County to Nelson County is not known.  Caroline county is north of Richmond, about 130 miles from Nelson County, which is west of Richmond.  George’s father, also a George, is believed to have been born and died in Albemarle County (see below).


The Nelson County marriage register of 1819 shows that a Wingfield Eubank marries a P.H. Wingfield.  The bondsman on the marriage certificate is JCB Wingfield, likely P.H.’s father, or at least a relative.


It is interesting that Wingfield Eubank’s first name is Wingfield, his wife’s maiden name.  Does this mean that they might have been related?  That Wingfield is suspected to be an unusual first name increases the chances, it seems to me, that there was a family relationship.   However, no such relationship was found.


A deed appearing in the 1835 Amherst County deed book (page 163) shows that a George Eubank Sr. has died and that his two sons, identified in the deed as Wingfield Eubank and George Eubank Jr. have been left property by George Sr. but that money is owed to a Joseph Eubank.  The deed identifies Wingfield’s wife as named Polly.  This deed, combined with the two Nelson County marriage records for Wingfield and George Eubank, strongly suggests a connection between the Nelson County Wingfield Eubank and George Eubank, as well as identifies who their father was.  Wingfield’s wife’s name Polly in the Amherst deed is consistent with the Nelson County marriage register identification of Wingfield Eubank’s wife as P.H. Wingfield.


Furthermore, an 1828 will recorded in Albemarle County for a George Eubank lists as sons Wingfield and George.  Other children listed included: Joseph, John; James; and Mathew.


Another strong connection is the information (see above) on Nathan Eubank’s marriage certificate that his father and mother’s name are George and Elizabeth Eubank.  The Nelson County 1823 marriage was between George and Elizabeth Eubank, and this suggests a likely connection between the George Eubank in the 1850 Chesterfield County census and the George Eubank in the 1823 Nelson County marriage register.


Although not certain, it seems likely that Mary A. Eubank’s parents were George and Elizabeth  Eubank who were married in Nelson County in 1823.  And, also, it seems likely that one of her grandfathers was George Eubank Sr.  who died before 1835 in Amherst County, leaving property to his sons Wingfield and George Jr.


That brothers Wingfield and George’s wives last names were Wingfield, and that they were married in Nelson County within four years of one another suggests that the wives were related, perhaps as sisters.


Marriage between two (or more) brothers, in one family, to sisters, in another family, was not uncommon in the antebellum south.  An excellent book on many social habits of southerners in the antebellum south is “Southern Honor – Ethics and Behavior in the Old South” by Bertram Wyatt-Brown.


An 1821 Nelson County deed (page 95) identities a Joseph B.  Wingfield as the executor for a recently deceased Josiah Wingfield.  Because the Joseph B. Wingfield initials JB are similar to the bondsman’s initials (JCB) on P.H. Wingfield’s marriage registration to Wingfield Eubank, and because the 1821 deed date is close to the 1819 marriage date, a possibility exists that Joseph B. Wingfield was the bondsman for P.H.'s wedding, and perhaps is her (and Elisabeth’s) father and that Josiah Winfield was their grandfather.  But this is uncertain.


In 1822, a Nelson County court order required that a slave named Dick, who belonged to the late Josiah Wingfield, be held and sold to pay debts owed by Josiah at the time of his death.  In Josiah’s will, Joseph B. Wingfield was to receive Dick upon Josiah’s death.


Other researchers have found that Josiah Wingfield was born about 1738 in Louisa County, Virginia.  Who Josiah was married to is not known.  Apparently, Josiah was the son of a Robert Wingfield, born about 1697 in New Kent County, Virginia and died in 1769 in Louisa County, Virginia.  Josiah’s mother was Ann Bailey, born about 1713 in Hanover, Virginia, died in Louisa County.  Robert’s father is believed to be Thomas, who emigrated from the British Isles, and his mother was a Mary Owens.


Also, research done by others identifies the birth of a George Eubank on December 27, 1764 in Albemarle County, Virginia.  He married a Nancy Wingfield on July 1790 in Albemarle County.  George died in December 1827.  His parents were George Eubank and Mary Melton, both born in Henrico County, Virginia in the 1730s.   Children attributed to George and Nancy are:  Sarah, born 1791; Rhoda, born 1794; Joseph, born 1795; George, born 1796, and married Elizabeth H. Wingfield, January 1823; Wingfield, born 1798, and married P.H. Wingfield; Rebecca, born 1799; Mary, born 1801; Elizabeth, born 1803; Susanna P.G., born 1804; Jane, born 1807, Anne Glen, born 1809; and Matthew, born 1809.


Five marriages took place in this George and Nancy Eubank family between Eubanks and Wingfields.


That George and Wingfield are sons of George and Nancy Eubank and marry Elizabeth H. Wingfield and P.H. Wingfield, respectively, support well with my information, which I have uncovered from other sources, that Mary A. Eubank’s, one of my great grandmothers, father is the George Eubank who married Elizabeth H. Wingfield.


Amherst and Nelson are adjoining counties with Amherst south of Nelson, and Nelson south of Albemarle County.  Amherst and Nelson County territories extend up, to the ridge, of the Appalachian Mountain Range, so both counties are largely hilly, increasingly so as their elevations rise.


Residents named Eubank and Wingfield lived in Amherst and Nelson Counties in the 1700s.  (Amherst County was formed in 1761 from the southern part of Albemarle County.  And, Nelson County was formed out of Amherst County, located between Amherst and Albemarle Counties.)  A John Eubank of Amherst County was in the Revolution War. And, A Thomas Wingfield is a settler in 1761 in Amherst County.   Whether John and Thomas are ancestors of George Eubank and Elizabeth Wingfield Eubank, respectively, is not known.


In 1840, Amherst had about 6400 white, 5600 slave, and 370 free colored.  Nelson had approximately the same number of whites and slaves but fewer free colored.  The counties were mostly agricultural with very low population densities and few communities of any size.  In 1840, most religious people in Nelson County were Methodist, Baptist, or Presbyterian.


Eubank was a relatively very populous name in Amherst County in the early 1800s.  Many Eubanks currently live in Amherst County.  Several George Eubanks could be identified in the Amherst and Nelson County records of the early 1800s, so tracing a connection from Mary A. Eubank back to her grandfather, and beyond, proved difficult.  What was found, provided above, however, does suggest a likely connection.


With changing times and changing economics that goes with those times, it is quite possible that livelihoods provided by Amherst and Nelson Counties were not sufficient for the sons of the large families of the early 1800s.  This would be an explanation for why George Eubank is found in Chesterfield County in 1850 (after being in Nelson County in 1830 and 1840), assuming the 1850 census George Eubank is the same George Eubank in the 1823 Nelson County marriage register.


Chesterfield County and its closeness to Richmond, and Richmond’s generated economies, would offer more employment opportunities than Amherst and Nelson Counties.  Amherst and Nelson Counties are about 100 miles west of Chesterfield County.


Settlers to Amherst and Nelson counties came from three directions.  They came from the east, as part of the westward migration from the falls line at Richmond, where ocean-traversing ships could carry and let off European settlers.  They came from the west, from the Shenandoah Valley, where Scotch-Irish and German settlers migrated into from the north.  And some came down from northern Virginia, east of the Appalachian.  Each group had their own characteristics.


Those moving from the east, into the land west of Richmond and east of the Appalachian did so mostly to cultivate tobacco.  Those coming from the west (many of whom were Scotch-Irish), across the Appalachian, were different – they were farmers, with many crops (rather than being planters, with one crop of tobacco), and they were herders. 


Tobacco cultivation in this area was estimated to go from 5 million pounds in the 1730s to 30 million pounds in the 1770s.  Some of the settlers going into Amherst and Nelson Counties from the east were Huguenots, as part of the 1700s Huguenots migration into Virginia.


From which directions the Eubanks and the Wingfields came is not certain.  The name Eubank was also spelled Ewbank, early on, and the name might be of German origin, suggesting the Eubanks came across the Appalachian from Shenandoah Valley.  There was a George Eubank in Amherst County in 1758.


The name Wingfield was found early in eastern Virginia records, and perhaps Amherst and Nelson County Wingfields came from the east. 


Mary A. Eubank’s ancestors do show characteristics in their interactions with one another which were known characteristics of the Scotch-Irish who migrated from the Ulster area of Ireland to the colonies, with more than 200,000 coming between 1720 and 1775.   Among these Scotch-Irish (the name used in America; Ulster Irish mostly used in Britain) immigrants, there was a strong tendency to keep together as a family, and extended family, settling together, and intermarry.  These characteristics of Scotch-Irish immigrants are seen in the information presented in this section on the Amherst and Nelson County Eubanks and Wingfields, Mary’s ancestors.


That so many Scotch-Irish migrated to the colonies during the 1720 to 1775 period (mostly to Philadelphia), and that some of those eventually coming down Virginia's Shenandoah Valley out of Pennsylvania, crossing over the Appalachians into counties such as Amherst and Nelson to live, also makes more likely that the Eubanks and Wingfields were Scotch-Irish.


The 200,000 strong Scotch-Irish coming into the colonies left mostly from the Ulster area of Ireland.  Many of these were descendants of Scots and English who themselves migrated to Ulster in the 1600s, primarily from the border areas (both sides of the border), between Scotland and England, when Scotland and England had an “official” border between them. (Scotland and England united in the early 1700s.)


Besides the above described characteristics of tending to keep together as family groups and intermarrying (characteristics of a clan, a Scotland historic characteristic), these Scotch-Irish also tended to be independent and exploratory in nature.  And, importantly they had separated off from the Church of England, being followers of John Calvin.   In America, they would be Presbyterian, where there were Presbyterian Churches, or Baptist and Methodist where there were not Presbyterian Churches. 


Because the Presbyterians required clergy to be college educated and the Baptists and Methodists did not, few Presbyterian Churches operated in frontier counties, which Amherst and Nelson were in the 1700s.  Baptist and Methodist Churches, which did not require college educated clergy, would more easily establish and maintain churches in these frontier counties.

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