Monday, March 18, 2019

Robina (Donaldson) Carson - In the Paper - #52 Ancestors

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to perform a Random Act of Genealogical Kindness from a phone call I took while on docent duty at the Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum.

A woman needed information on her aunt Robina Carson. She wanted verification of Robina's maiden name, husband's name, and where they lived. The family had done some research and thought Robina was from Scotland and she married someone named Carson.

I took the request home with me and hubby and I had a great time learning about Robina. Between the two of us the information was coming so fast I decided to do a timeline to keep it all straight as well as be able to share it with the woman who called.

This past weekend we attended a day long seminar by Dr. Thomas W. Jones. One of his presentations was titled: "Can a Complex Research Problem Be Solved Solely Online?" He did a great job of presenting a case study using online sources, but every so often he would point out that to verify or obtain certain information, a trip to a repository would be necessary. At the end, he answered the question - "Yes, but ... "

In doing research on Robina, we found most of the information online, but . . . to verify her place of birth, find her siblings' names, and residence, we had to reach out to the Manatee public library where microfilm of the local newspapers are held. We needed obituaries on Robina and her husband Ernest.

Hubby and I LOVE librarians. I called the library to ask if they had the microfilm, and yes, they did. If I gave them name and date of death, they would do the research and email the obit to me. Wow - this saved me a trip into town. 

In less than 24 hours, I had the obits for Robina and Ernest, in docx and pdf forms. Those obits provided the information we needed to complete our research on Robina. 

Below is the timeline I developed for Robina M. (Donaldson) Carson

Timeline for: Robina Mosley (Donaldson) Carson

[Middle initial from Findagrave gravestone transcription; full middle name from]

1891, November 25 -  Robina M. Donaldson, Born St Nicholas, Aberdeen, Scotland  [1940 U.S. Federal Census and]
Parents: George and Mary Jane (Mosley) Donaldson (
Brothers: William and George Donaldson of Scotland (Obit)
Sisters: Mrs. William Cheyne and Mrs. John Garden of Scotland (Obit)
Religion: Presbyterian (Obit)

1927 – Immigrated to America (1930 Census, listed as alien); waitress in Pontiac, MI.

1897, August 16  - Ernest J. Carson [Husband] born Yale, Michigan (Obit)

1916, March 4, Ernest J. Carson married Lucie Hess. [] (Parents: Charles and Mary J. (Spring) Carson

1924 – July 16 – Ernest married Gladys Louise Marsh. [Michigan County Marriages []

1935 – Pontiac City Directory not listed; Neva (Ernest’s daughter b: 1916 listed as student living at 77 Wisner)

1937 – Pontiac City Directory – Neva working as clerk at M.D. Hubbard Spring Company. Resident: 153 S. Edith.

1937 – Pontiac City Directory – Ernest J. Carson working as Auto Mechanic. Residence: 156 Palmer.

1938 – Pontiac City Directory – Ernest J. Carson working as mechanic Pontiac Motor Company Retail Store. Residence: 156 Palmer

1938-39Robina M. Donaldson and Ernest J. Carson married.

1939 – Pontiac City Director – Ernest J. Carson mechanic Pontiac Motor Div. Retail Store; Residence 157 Palmer. Robina M. listed

1939 – 1945 – Pontiac, Michigan City Directories – Robina and Ernest listed. Residence: 56 Palmer Street and 73 Augusta Ave.

1940, Census, Robina (Roline) M. and Ernest J. Carson living in Pontiac, Oakland, Michigan; 2 years high school education; Lived same place in 1935, 73 Augusta Avenue, Pontiac, Michigan

1961 – Moved to Bradenton, Florida (Ernest obit)

1967, March 11 – Discharged from hospital [Library of Virginia Newspaper Archives]

1967, April 10  - Robina died, buried in Manasota Memorial Park, Bradenton, Florida

1967, April – Buried Manasota Memorial Memorial Park

1985, February 4 – Ernest J. Carson died. Buried with Robina at Manasota Memorial Park.  [Findagrave]

Research done March 2019 by:

M. E. Maki, author (Docent Anna Maria Historical Society)
Fatal Dose; A Caitlyn Jamison Mystery
An Unexpected Death; A Caitlyn Jamison Mystery
Harry Nunn and His Family
The Hardenbrook Family: Honoring Ancestors in Upstate New York