Mary Lee Brady, Ph.D.










The current generation of Martin descendents of Lewis Marshall Martin ( generation # 64, births 1890-1919) are offspring of Sarah Robinson (generation #63, births 1860-1889) who was offspring of generations that began in the Gambia Region of Africa and Yorkshire, England via the generation of an unknown African woman (perhaps generation #57, births 1680-1709) sold into slavery from Senegal-Gambia in the mid to late 17th century.

Indeed, the possibility & probability exists that she was one of the much desired Mandinga, Wolof or other ethnic group women known for their beauty and grace in the hundreds of villages, towns and cities destroyed by Morocco and England during last decade of the 16th century.  Fall of the Songhey Empire not only destroyed their fabled capital at Timbuktu and vassal cotton kingdoms but opened the flood gates of the Atlantic slave trade to provide skilled and unskilled labor in America and Caribbean. 

It is a certainty the British prior to the early 18th century did not have trade access to territorial waters and ports further south, and the slave trade like all other sea-fearing ventures were tightly controlled and regulated by the European monarchs in Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, France and others of their kith and kind.  As the British conquered more space and places using ambitious young men like the Yorkshire Robinson's as settlers, sailors and soldiers financed by English aristocracy, ... they needed more slaves to work in their colonies such as Virginia.  The significance is that a clear DNA link may very well exist between then and now via the Robinson offspring that may well include America's new first lady, ... Michele Robinson Obama. 

Our argument rejects of past projections by men of means and money that enslaved mothers chose names of their liking for offspring without regards to the biological roots ie fathers, grandfathers, uncles, cousins, etc.  All enslaved mothers were certainly not of the same attitudes or even origins and values; and, for certain many were otherwise intelligent enough to know and care about the lineage of their children beyond simply being slaves.  

Thus, the Martin family DNA trail is surely rooted in three continents, ... Africa, Europe and America including the Native American women that doubtlessly were impregnated by Englishmen of means in the 17th century.  Methods used to transplant this DNA can be speculated but the realities of Martin offspring is a reality that can be specified for any who care to devote the time and expense in doing so. We nominate the Robinson offspring for common DNA links due to the extraordinary common characteristics and traits easily observable, including family beginnings and dispersions in Virginia where the breeding and export of slaves dominated the 19th century Virginia economy.

North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire, county, northern England;  Northallerton is the administrative center. North Yorkshire comprises two separate upland areas:  the Pennine Chain in the west and the Cleveland Hills and Yorkshire Moors (much of which is included in North York Moors National Park) in the east.  Between the upland areas is the lowland Vale of York.  Primarily agricultural, the county produces dairy items and grains. A major coalfield is worked near Selby. North Yorkshire was created in 1974 with the merger of parts of the former North, East, and West Ridings of Yorkshire.

Indications are from preliminary research is the name Robinson came to America in the body of John Robinson  from the Yorkshire region of England sometime before year 1662 when his son William Anthony Robinson was born in the settlement of New Charles, York, Virginia.  The economic history of Yorkshire, England suggest the Robinsons may well have been engaged in the mining of coal that fueled the industrial revolution in England; and, came to America in pursuit of such opportunities.

It is not known whether or not he died in 1688 or 1661 per below inputs are accurately reflecting the English Robinson's but we assume the earliest arrivals in America likely took advantage of the opportunity to use enslaved Africans as laborers.  We know for certain the early coal mines in Virginia were established around 1731 in Midlothian, Virginia (suburb of modern-day Richmond) and were extensively manned by African slaves owned or leased by slave-owners. 

An important issue to keep in mind is that Englishmen in the late 17th century and early 18th century were keenly aware of what they wanted to accomplish, and not all who came into America were farmers.  It must be assumed that some who came were in fields such as coal mining.  And, typical of the British new-comers, they invested time and intellect in finding and selecting the kind of slave manpower and physical attributes needed per their ends be it clearing land, production of tobacco, logging or mining coal. 

Coal Reserves in the United States

And, as was the case with most immigrants to the new world, the Robinson male or males would not have been accompanied by females as wives or daughters; and, in due course would have acquired a concubine among African slaves or Native Americans in the vicinity of their labors. 

Clearly, confirmed by the fact that most African-Americans and a large percentage of otherwise White Americans with 16th, 17th, 18th and even 19th century ancestry in America have DNA ties to both Africa and America.  It is a sensitive issue for most Blacks and Whites but worthy of consideration that from it came  better and more fruitful generations of humanity.

The Robinson story in America is an excellent example of what most scholars have chosen to ignore:  very few, and only on rare occasions between years that Jamestown was first settled and beginning of the 18th century are there any records of European women coming to America, ... and only then and when colonists had earned sufficient wealth for return to England, Scotland or Wales to acquire a bride from within an approving family and return to an established estate in the colonies. 

Young White men without wives was the norm for colonial life during the first fifty years or more, and without exception the men found and loved the women available who just happened to be newly acquired African slave women and mulatto offspring of slave women.  Native American women living in the villages around and about English settlements were to be had for suitable arrangements with tribal/village chieftains and families.


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Last modified: 12/29/16