BENJAMIN ROBERTSON of Polk County, Missouri

Benjamin Robertson first appeared on the 1819 tax list of Roane County, Tennessee, but while still living there he purchased two tracts of land in Knox County, Tennessee. He remained there in 1830, p. 315 listed next to his sons-in-law James Paul and John Courtney. However, he moved with some of his children to Meigs County before his migration to Missouri.  He is shown serving on a jury in Meigs County and on 2 October 1837, an orphan boy Ezekiel Milton Obediah Daneal, age 8 years next December, was bound to Benjamin Robertson and Ann Daneal.[1]

        Even though the Polk County, Missouri, census reads “B.M. Robison” in 1840, the land ownership of the neighbors Rueben Hill, Tandy Lane and A.N. Foley indicate this is the man listed on p. 153 of the census. He lived in Jackson Twp. with 2 males 5-10, 1 male 10-15, 1 male 30-40, 1 male 40-50; 1 female 10-15, 2 females 15-20, 1 female 20-30.  He was not on the 1837 tax list for Polk Co. and probably did not arrive in Missouri until shortly before his purchase on  Benjamin W. Robertson paid taxes in Polk Co. in 1841 paying a poll, for one horse and 3 cows.        

        His land holdings had increased by 1844 when he paid taxes for a poll, 2 horses, 7 cows, 250 acres in 17-32-23 and 75 acres in 18-32-23. In 1848, his name is mangled to B.W. "Robason" and three new tax payers of the name appeared. B.W. controls the same land as before; he still paying a poll and for two horses, and 6 cows. He is over 45 years of age; T.A. paid a military assessment but was under age; John paid a poll, for 1 horse and 2 cows. He was relieved of a military assessment as he was crippled. {This ailment may have led to his premature death.} Harvey paid a poll, for one horse, one cow and a military assessment.

        By 1854, Harvey Robertson was taxed as Administrator of Benjamin Robertson's estate. Over 236 acres belonged to the estate (all in township 32, range 23) and Harvey held 179 acres of his own in Polk Co. Others who paid taxes were another Benjamin, Thomas A., Harvey, John L. and Mary, the widow.  The October 1858 term of the Circuit Court partitioned the land held by Benjamin Robertson at his death. The heirs named were his widow Mary Robertson, his daughter Mary A. and her husband William H. Redman entitled to an undivided 1/8; Harvey Robertson 1/8; James Robertson 1/8; John Robertson departed this life prior to Benjamin's death leaving as his heirs his widow Mary and children Samuel, Louisa, Mary, John, Holeman, Charles, Thomas, Rufus, Harvey and Sarah Robertson, minors; Nancy Courtney and her husband John 1/8; Elizabeth Paul and her husband James 1/8; Filey Ann Griffin and her husband Samuel 1/8 and the unknown heirs of Arthur Robertson, deceased 1/8.

        Children of Benjamin W. and Mary [Logan-?-] Robertson:[2]

        i.      James Robertson b. ca. 1800 in Virginia m. Sarah [-?-].  They were living in Murray County,             Georgia in 1850.

        ii.      John L. Robertson b. ca. 1805 in Virginia d. 4 April 1853 in Polk County, Missouri m. Mary [-?-] b. ca. 1809 in Virginia. They were living in Polk County in 1850.

        iii.     Nancy Robertson b. ca. 1805 in Virginia d. before April 1858 m. ca. 1828 in Tennessee John Courtney b. ca. 1798 in Tennessee He d. 1860—location not specified. Her heirs were Harry and John Courtney.

        iv.     Elizabeth Robertson m. ca. 1808 in Virginia m. ca. 1830 James S. Paul. She was living in Meigs County, Tennessee in 1850.

        v.     Thomas Arthur Robertson b. ca. 1814 in Virginia d. 3 April 1851 m. Carolyn [-?-] b. ca. 1827. They were living in Sarcoxie Twp., Jasper County, Missouri in 1850.

        vi.     Harvey Robertson b. 10 February 1816 in Virginia d. 4 February 1895 Polk County, Missouri m. ca. 1836 Frances “Fannie” Ann Henson b. 22 March 1820 in Tennessee and d. 24 October 1887 in Polk County. They are buried in Enon Cemetery, Polk County.

        vii.    Mary A. Robertson b. ca. 1818 Virginia b. ca. 1837 William H. Redman b. 1816 in Tennessee.  They were living in Polk Co. in 1850.

        viii.   Fila Ann Robertson b. 1 May 1822 in Tennessee d. 9 February 1863 in Polk County, Missouri m. ca. 1838 in Meigs County, Samuel Griffin b. 11 April 1815 d. 30 April 1901. bd. Enon Cemetery.


[1] Meigs County, Tennesseee Court Minutes p. 63-65.

[2] “Family Histories, Biographies and Write-ups - Benjamin Robertson of Virginia, Tennessee and Missouri” by Elizabeth A. Thompson, 3006 Park Court, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008. Robertson Newsletter II (Spring 1988) 4-5.