Robbins

The following is taken from the records of Elma Louise Thursby [Maltsberger] and have been updated and edited by Steven J. Davis from information uncovered by him.  Elma Maltzberger's notes, written in 1964 from notes gathered for several decades before, were provided to all family members upon her death.  Her findings are the basis of most of the information contained herein.

The Robbins family who came to Wayne County, Indiana, had its American roots in North Carolina.  However, to trace the beginning of this pioneer family, we must go back to Monmouthshire in Wales.  Robbins is an English name, and no doubt the earliest of our ancestors came out of Gloucesterdshire, and migrated a short few miles over into Monmouthshire.  In Wales, our line goes back to Isaac Robbins whom we estimate was born around 1670.  He no doubt had a number of children, but we have only been able to learn about the two who came to North Carolina, Elisha and Richard.

The Baptist movement which gained impetus in England in the 1600's claimed our group of Robbins as converts to that faith.  However, religious tolerance and economic conditions of the day were not what they should have been, so some of our family decided to make a new beginning in America.

Our family tradition has it that there were actually three sons who came to America as adults in about 1751; one to Virginia, one to North Carolina, and one to New York.  Richard (b. circa 1712 in Wales) [who is the progenitor of all the Robbins who came to Wayne County, Indiana in 1816] is the son who went to North Carolina. 

Elisha's (b. circa 1704 in Wales) exact movements are unknown past 1759, but since most of his children went to Virginia after the Revolutionary War, we believe it was Elisha who went to Virginia, then later joined Richard in North Carolina.  Of the brother who supposedly went to New York, we have no record.  One early searcher from North Carolina suggested his name was Job, but no-one has found any evidence of him.

Richard (and later Elisha) settled in the northern part of what is now Randolph County, but which at that time was Rowan County.  Rowan County at that time covered the entire northwest quarter of present day North Carolina.  Richard appears on early Rowan County documents as early as 1754, and Richard ansd Elisha appear together on land surveys taken in 1757 and 1758.  The earliest existing Rowan County tax list is a fragmented on in 1758 where we find Richard's name, but not Elisha's.  Both appear again in 1759, but this is the last record of Elisha.  Perhaps he died around that time, but we have been unable to track him beyond 1759.

As Richard's 6 sons grew up, we find them with him in America, although each was born in Wales before Richard came to America.  There is no mention of any daughters, although they might have stayed in Wales.   

Our line continues through Richard's son John Robbins, who was born in Wales in 1741.  From what we have been able to gather, it appears they joined him in North Carolina at a later date, but we have no proof of this.  Since records were lacking , but it is possible they came with him as children. 

Perhaps no other family more accurately depicts the triumphs and tragedies of the American pioneer more than the Robbins family. 

 

    
The following are updated notes by Steven J. Davis.  His research into the Robbins family tree revealed additional information about the family heritage.

William Thursby Jr, at the time of his marriage June 22, 1869,  ...