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by Sarah Harwood Robinson
Bennington and Vermont Directory
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Sarah begins her work with the first Samuel Robinson in the United States (page 5). There she establishes the format she uses in the rest of the book. She begins a generation with a marriage (2g records the marriage of Samuel Robinson II and Marcy Leonard). In a marriage, the name of the husband is always placed first; it does not matter whether the husband or the wife is in the Robinson line. in the next paragraph comes a list of the children of the couple along with birth dates (labelled as the next generation), followed in the third paragraph by the deaths of the original couple. Then Sarah takes each of the children of that marriage and follows them down to her day in the same pattern: marriage; children; deaths.
Ten children are listed in that first list on page 5, and these names can be used to help in navigation through the Robinson section.
Leonardpp. 5 - 13
Samuelpp. 13 - 19
Mosespp. 19 - 23
Pauldied young
Silaspp. 23 - 25
Marcypp. 25 - 28
Sarahpp. 28 - 29
Davidpp. 29 - 31
Jonathanpp. 31 - 32
Annapp. 33 - 34
Sarah's marriage to Samuel is found on page 15; her descendants begin on page 16.
The significance of Sarah's work is clearly indicated by Jennings' tribute to her:
"SARAH HARWOOD, daughter of Peter and Margaret Harwood [among the group of first settlers], married Samuel Robinson, son of Col. Sameul Robinson, Jr., and Esther, daughter of Deacon Joseph Safford. She was the mother of Uel M. Robinson, Esq. She compiled the Genealogical History of the Families of Robinsons, Saffords, Harwoods, and Clarks, --a work of immense labor, and great accuracy, and very valuable. It has been constantly consulted in the preparation of portions of this volume. She was born October 3, 1775; married May 5, 1796; united with this church in July, 1803, and died September 20, 1854"--Jennings, page 214..
Sarah's motive in publishing this work is clearly indicated in her preface to the book.
The Authoress or Compiler of the following Genealogical Record commenced it without the intention to present it to the Public or to continue it to its present extent. Solicited, however, by her friends, and encouraged by the interest which many of the Relatives have manifested in the publication or multiplication of copies of the work, she has been induced to continue her enquires and extend her researches and labors as far as her slender means would permit, and existing records and memorials thereof would authorize. In the following pages, there will be found of generations of the Robinson line seven, of the Safford, eight[,] of the Harwood, six, of the Clark, six. There is accredited information that in the Robinson line there has been and is eight Samuel Robinsons in a lineal line, my son the eighth. In the more ancient generations there are no authentic records to justify their insertion here. In respect to the deficiencies of the work, it is deemed proper to remark that a number of relatives, both in the lineal and collateral lines, from a spirit of enterprise and the course of emigration have become scattered, and reside at a distance from the Compiler; this has occasioned the necessity of acquiring information by mail which in some cases has not been entirely satisfactory; in other instances, families have neglected to “keep sacred the memory of their ancestors” by records and memorials, and even traditionary accounts of them are less to be depended upon, and are less minute than this mode of transmission, is presumed to have been, before records were known and in general use. To these causes may be ascribed the deficiencies which perhaps will occur in the following pages. There has been some difficulty in determining the births and ages of persons to extreme old age, owing to the failure of memory: she has in these cases resorted to Town records, where any existed and where none existed and Bible records were missing, has presumed to confide in the general accuracy of the relations given. It is believed no very material error of this character will occur. There may be some defects in the spelling of given names: and this in consequence of the difficulty of deciphering the writing of some kind correspondents, who have, probably been governed by motives of despatch than plainness of writing. The facilities to the making and preserving genealogical records are so multiplied and common as perhaps to furnish a reason why they are so much neglected and neglected too again the statuary advisements and provisions of the land. The abolition of hereditary distinctions, and descent of property to particular heirs in our country has lessened some of the reasons of its importance; still the moral tendencies and utility of preserving memorials of our ancestors in the line, and even in the collateral line remain. There are other tendencies peculiar to this age, which may be set down as calculated to diminish that feeling of respect for our fore fathers which once formed the marked character of our race; all should resist idolatry in this matter but all should rationally honor, remember and revere their ancestors.
There is something revolting in the idea that we shall soon be forgotten, and be to the living of this world as if we had never been: on the contrary, there is much to encourage, console and elevate us in the hope, that we shall be remembered with respect by our kindred friends, acquaintance and posterity, and that we shall not pass in this respect into utter darkness and forgetfulness. All the tendencies of cherishing past humorous remembrance are virtuous. The ”hearts of fathers should be turned to the children, and the hearts of children should be turned to the father.” If this little compilation should have any effect to lead to more care in the making and preserving records of our ancestors and contemporaries, to prolonging the memory of the generations passed, and passing, and of those to come, in all their expanding and multiplyings, and hereby assist to awaken and perpetuate kind and kindred feelings, and more affections, one object will have been gained--that it may be an admonition, that all must pass away and be as those who have gone before us. The following pages are dedicated to the kindred contemporaries and their posterity in the hope that all will remember their progeniators, as they wish to be remembered after they have respectively paid the debt of our nature--that unremitted penalty of disobedience to the statues and commandments of that good and holy Being who is continually making known some fresh memorials of his love and the riches of his grace.
with that in mind, this section is gratefully dedicated to