Sunday, December 24, 2006

Research Log - ROBBINS research

Spent some time looking into the life of Eva E. ([--?--]) LYTTLE / LITTLE of Benona Township, Oceana County, Michigan. I am wondering if she is the missing sister of my ancestor, Charles H. ROBBINS, Evaline ROBBINS, who makes only one appearance with her parents in the U.S. Federal Censuses (1860 - listed as "Eveline L."). The family moved from Liberty Township, McKean County, Pennsylvania to Oceana County in the late 1860s. In the 1870 Federal Census, I can account for all of Joseph and Marinda ROBBINS' children except Evaline. I had assumed (yes, a bad word in genealogy!) that Evaline had passed away by 1870. However, a biography of Joseph in The History of Manistee, Mason and Oceana Counties, published in 1882, states that he has (emphasis mine) seven children, and includes "Evaline E." in that list.

I started searching in Federal Censuses for any woman whose name started with "eva" or "eve" who was born c. 1853 (+ or - 2 years) in Pennsylvania who lived in Michigan. I kept coming up with Eva E. LYTTLE (sometimes spelled LITTLE), married to Joseph, b. c. 1840 in Ireland. Her father was born in New York and her mother was born in Pennsylvania (consistent with Evaline ROBBINS' parentage). She lived in Benona Township during the 1870 - 1920 censuses. He disappears after the 1880 census, and she is listed in the 1900 census as a widow. Of course, the 1890 census for that area does not exist. So sometime between 1880 and 1900, Joseph had to have passed away. I double-checked the 1890 Veterans Census, and did not find either one of them, at first concluding that he must not have been a veteran and/or died before 1890.

Then I looked at the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System website and made an interesting discovery. A Joseph LITTLE served in Co. I of the 42nd Pennyslvania Regiment (also called the First Pennsylvania Rifles)...the same company that Evaline's brother Charles and his step-brother-in-law Angelo Crapsey served in! Now neither Joseph nor Eva appear in the 1890 Veterans Census, so I am still in the theoretical stage here...trying to discover what does or does not add up.

Eva LYTTLE had 12 children, 10 of whom were still living in 1900. Although widowed, she stated she had been married for 32 years (she was 48 years old) . If Joseph died right around 1899 - 1900, this means she would have been about 15 or 16 when she married. This is consistent with the family structure of Evaline ROBBINS, who likely would have been married by 1870, when she does not appear with her parents or siblings during that year's census.

If I can obtain a death certificate for Eva LYTTLE, or a marriage record, it may determine if she is my Evaline ROBBINS.

P.S. When I originally published this post on my old blog site, Terri left the following comment on January 18, 2007:
Miriam, Have been enjoying the blog. I decided to take a quick poke around the message boards, in hopes someone else was working on your familiy. Here is a post from the Ancestry / Rootsweb message boards. The person who left this message indicates his ancestor was Joseph Lyttle and Eva Stewart. :-(

If you locate another Eva who might be a candidate, you could also send for death certificates for her children, which should give the mother's maiden name.

Good luck in your quest!

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