The Great Scottish Slave

Robbins Buria Site from
Robbins Burial Site from

I recently began researching my husbands family tree, and discovered a very interesting individual, who’s life story has taught me new aspects of American and Scottish history.  I chose my most unconventional and unorganized method of research for the initial effort of discovering my husband’s roots.  This process begins with the grandparents where I dig up all the genealogical  information that I possibly can. Then, I choose which ever great grandparent intrigue’s me the most.   After discovering all that I can on the chosen great grandparent, I  decide which of that person’s parents intrigues me the most and research them to pieces. This process repeats until I either run out of time or hit a road block.

My husband’s grandmother, who just turned 90, was the grandparent I initially chose. Next was her father, Dean Oscar Broughton, then Dean’s mother, Ella Marie Hollingsworth, then eight more generations of intriguing grandparents later,  I discovered the Scottish warrior, Daniel Robins.  There has been a lot of previous research on  Daniel Robins so it was easy to grasp a quick picture of his adventurous life.

Grandma McCourtney's (Broughton) 90th Birthday Jan 2016
Grandma McCourtney’s (Broughton) 90th Birthday Jan 2016

Daniel Robins was born in Blair Atholl, Perthshire, Scotland as member of Clan Duncan (Donnachaid in Gaelic). There is some question on the data of his birth. Some researchers believe he was born in 1627, but other say it was 1645.  There are records found for both of these birth dates, and there is debate in the research community whether these records are for the same Daniel (and one is an error) or if they are for two different Daniel Robins. Regardless of his actual birth year, we know that Daniel Robbins was a warrior that loyally fought for King Charles II (The Royalists) during the English Civil War (1642 – 1651) against Oliver Cromwell (The Parliamentarians), and that he became a Prisoner of War after Cromwell defeated the Scottish at the Battle of Worcester (1651).

John and Sarah Voyage from the "Exile of Daniel Robbins to America in 1652" by Sara Robbins Hoffman.
John and Sarah Voyage
from the “Exile of Daniel Robbins to America in 1652” by Sara Robbins Hoffman.

As a prisoner, Daniel was exiled from Scotland and sent to New England on the  ship, ‘John and Sarah’.  His travel to America was rough and some of the prisoners did not survive the journey. There were six other ‘Robbins’ or ‘Robertson’ on the ship, but it is unclear on their relation to Daniel. His last name was transcribed by a Englishmen as Robbins, but it is believed that his last name was actually Robinson or Robertson. Daniels could not read or write and the Robbins surname is what was passed to his descendants.

The prisoners became indentured servants and were sentenced to 5 to 8 years of service in America.  Nathanial Foote of New Haven, Connecticut bought Daniel to tend his livestock for his 8 year term.  Daniel married Hope Potter in Connecticut in 1663, 11 years after his arrival. Shortly after their marriage, Daniel and Hope bought land in New Jersey where hey had 11 children.  Writing in an old family bible of John Robbins, the great- grandson of Daniel states that Daniel Robbins is the son of Richard and Mary.  Researchers have claimed that this family traces back to Robert, brother of Duncan, but I have not found evidence of this yet. Click on the image below to see my husband’s ancestral path to Daniel Robbins.

 My Husband's lineage to Daniel Robbins

My Husband’s lineage to Daniel Robbins

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