The Robertson Family

Jeffery Robertson, will dated 21 October 1734, Henrico County, Virginia, married Elizabeth Bowman, daughter of John Bowman and Elizabeth Elam Bowman. Factual information regarding the origin, immigration and life of Jeffery Robertson is very limited. The first factual information regarding him is his name, which is listed with 79 others who were transported into the colony of Virginia by a group of nine sponsors. The sponsors were granted a total of 4000 acres; 50 acres for each of the 80 persons sponsored.

The Reverend George Robertson, minister of the Bristol Parish, Henrico County, was one of the sponsors. Some say that the Rev. George and Jeffery were brothers, but evidence of this is not available. The date of this immigration is not known exactly, however the land grant was dated 24 April 1703. Some sources state that grants were not made before the expiration of three years after the immigration. This would date the immigration about 1700.

Jeffery married at least once. His eight children were all named in his will recorded November 1734. He accumulated more than 650 acres of land. This much is listed in his will and it indicates there were other lands. He had a "mill", also listed as an asset.

Elizabeth, Jeffery's widow, married Hugh Bragg. His will proved 11 June 1736, listing her as a legatee (Will Book I, p. 1, Amelia County, Virginia). William Robertson and John Robertson were witnesses, and one of his daughters was named as Mary Robertson. Jeffery's son John was apparently a minor. Henrico County Colonial Records, Book 3, p. 56 lists a court order to William Robertson "who is security to Hugh Bragg for the guardianship of John Robertson" to be summoned to appear at the next court and bring the orphan with him (dated May 1739).

Although Jeffery accumulated 650+ acres, no record of the deed or patent, in his name, has been found even after very extensive search of Henrico County land records.

The traditional or "hearsay" information is much more voluminous. There have been many Jeffery Robertson researchers and several different opinions on his origin and his family connections, none of which is proven.

Jeffery married Elizabeth Bowman, daughter of John Bowman and Elizabeth Elam Bowman. John is said, by some, to have been born in Switzerland. Elizabeth Elam was said to be the daughter of Martin Elam and Elizabeth Bolling, who was said to be the daughter of John Bolling and Elizabeth Bowling. Jeffery was literate since he wrote his signature on his will rather than making his mark. This certainly indicates that he had been educated to some degree, probably in Scotland, before he came to America.

Jeffery Robertson (born in 1709/10, son of the original Jeffery Robertson) is established in the autobiography of Norvell Robertson, his grandson, who states that his grandfather, Jeffery Robertson was 75 years old when he died. Since his will was dated 16 December 1784 and proved 14 July 1785, the birthdate is established as 1709/1710. According to Daniel S. Robertson, deceased, a long-time Robertson researcher, Jeffery married first Elizabeth Elam, daughter of Gilbert Elam and Annie Bolling of Virginia. He states she was related to Jeffery's mother, Elizabeth Bowman Robertson.

Jeffery, according to family tradition, is said to have made a trip back to Scotland after the death of his first wife. He married his second wife, Judith Tanner Mills, on his return.

In 1738 he was granted two tracts of land in Henrico County (Book 18, p. 33) 400 acres beginning at Edward Haskin's corner, standing on the north side of Skin Quarter Creek (dated 20 July 1838). The second tract is listed in Book 18, p. 52 and has 384 acres on Skin Quarter Creek, being Thomas Bass's corner in Edward Haskin's line (dated 20 July 1838).

An advertisement in the 17 September 1767 issue of the Virginia Gazette: "Taken up in Chesterfield, a small black cow, about 5 years old, marked with a smooth crop and 2 slits in the right ear, and a slit in the left, posted and appraised at 30 shillings. Jeffery Robertson."

Jeffery Robertson signed the Chesterfield Petition, dated 20 August 1775. Other signers were George Robertson and John Robertson. Public Services Claims Court Booklet, Chesterfield County, Virginia, pp. 39-40 lists Jeffery Robertson as a supplier of beef, corn, and bacon to the Revolutionary War effort (dated 1781).

Jeffrey Robertson (born 15 January 1737, grandson of the first Jeffery Robertson) is listed in the Virginia Historical Magazine, Vol. 37, p. 322 as dying in the home of his daughter, Rhoda Robertson Gannaway. He is listed as Captain Jeffrey Robinson in the William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 22, Series 2, p. 62)

Matthew Robertson (born 1740, grandson of the first Jeffery Robertson and brother of above) had an inventory dated 1798, Amelia County, Virginia. The Amelia County Court Records for 1780-1781 state that Matthew furnished provisions for the army, including 600 pounds of beef.