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Robertson Reed Family Unveiled

Caleb Reed (1818-1903) was my second great-grandfather. He had an older brother named Robertson Reed (1808-1871). The details of Robertson’s family have eluded Reed researchers over the years.

Turns out that the reason for including little of their information in the 1988 The Reeds of Ashmore by my distant cousin Michael Hayden is that Robertson left few, if any, descendants.

Robertson lived in Ashmore Township, Coles County, Illinois. He was married twice and had seven children:

  1. Daniel. The unsourced Reed history calls him Daniel T. Reed (1836-1859) and says he never married. Daniel was listed on the 1850 US census as a 14-year-old in his father’s household. In 1860, a Dan Reed was on the Coles County mortality schedule. Dan P. Reed, 23, of Pleasant Valley Township had died in March (1860?) of lung fever. Were Daniel T. and Dan P. the same person? There is a FindAGrave memorial for Daniel Reed who was buried in the Reed Cemetery, but it claims the child lived only 2 months in 1837. Although these records conflict, it does seen clear that Robertson’s son Daniel had no children.
  2. Nancy Jane. She (1838-1872) and her husband Hezekiah Ashmore remained in the Ashmore area and had seven children. Robertson Reed may have Ashmore descendants.
  3. Caleb Robertson. “R” (1841-1903) inherited his father’s land. He never married.
  4. William Fred. This son (1844-1875) left Ashmore and went to Texas to work. He died there having never married. His body was returned to Ashmore to be buried there.
  5. Mary E. This young woman (1852-1872) never married.
  6. Joseph Van. He (1857-1936) survived the San Francisco earthquake and settled in Eugene, Oregon. He had a step-daughter.
  7. Anna Belle. This daughter (1860-1927) proved tricky to trace. A county history claimed she married Skyler Glassco from a local family. Further research revealed that she had not married a Glassco but instead a Glasgow. Anna Belle and Schuyler Glasgow eventually settled in Texarkana, Texas and had at least three children. One, Clara Glasgow Ellis, is buried near where I live. Anna Belle may have had other descendants as well.

From this, we see that of Robertson Reed’s seven children, only two daughters had families. There were no Reed-surnamed descendants, only Ashmores and Glasgows.

If Robertson has descendants who are living today, they have not turned up as DNA matches to my father or me. I still do not know whether Robertson’s line has just daughtered out or has ended altogether.

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