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Robert Rankin

Robert Rankin was born in Virginia in 1753. At the age of 23, he joined the Continental Army as a private in the Virginia line. He fought in four battles of the American Revolution:
  • Germantown (4 Oct 1777)
  • Brandywine (11 Sep 1777)
  • Stony Point (15-16 Jul 1779)
  • Charleston (12 May 1780)

Robert was captured with the rest of the Americans when Carleston fell and remained a prisoner of war until exchanged. Upon his release he was promoted to Lieutenant. At this time, he went on a short furlough and returned home to Frederick County, Virginia. There he married Margaret "Peggy" Berry (whom he was already engaged to) on 1 Oct 1781. Robert Rankin served in the Continental Army until late 1782 or early 1783.

Robert Rankin lived in Louisiana for a time and eventually came to Texas and settled in Joseph Vehlein's colony. He applied to enter the colony in the Town of Nacogdoches on 14 Nov 1834. He was granted one league of land which was placed in what would become San Jacinto County.

Robert and Margaret had 7 sons and 3 daughters, but only the identities of 8 of the 10 are known:
  1. Thomas B. Rankin (17 May 1783 - 1813): Died in the Battle of Fort Mims in the Creek Indian War (Alabama)
  2. Elizabeth Rankin (27 Jan 1785 - )
  3. William Marshall Rankin, Sr. (24 Aug 1786 - 17 Apr 1857)
  4. Joseph Rankin (04 Nov 1788 - )
  5. John K. Rankin (05 Jan 1791 - )
  6. James Rankin (27 Jun 1792 - )
  7. Frederick Rankin (15 Feb 1794 - )
  8. Henry Rankin (07 Feb 1796 - )

Robert Rankin returned to Louisiana late in life and died on 13 Nov 1837 in St. Landrys Parish, Louisiana. His body was returned to Texas and he was buried in Butler Cemetery, Coldspring, Texas. On 11 Jun 1936, his body was reinterred in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin where it resides today.

In the early 1840's, widow Peggy Rankin is living in Montgomery County with her son William Marshall Rankin. In 1846-1847, General Sam Houston himself is involved in trying to secure pension benefits for Peggy. He is sent a pension certificate on 09 Jul 1846 which he confirms he personally delivered to her in a signed letter on 20 Feb 1847. In the letter he also speaks of her blindness and dependence on her children.

For the Thompson family, Robert Rankin is an ancestor through the Anders family line: Robert's third child was William Marshall Rankin whose daughter Sarah married James A. Anders, Jr.