Robert Washington Gregg (1843−1910)

Robert W. Gregg
Robert W. Gregg

My great great grand­fa­ther, Robert Wash­ing­ton Gregg (1843−1910), was known as “Gypsy” Gregg because he trav­eled so widely.

I have been cat­a­loging these trav­els. An account of what I have found so far fol­lows. Each new loca­tion is high­lighted in red.

Accord­ing to his Civil War pen­sion file, Robert W. Gregg was born in Ohio County, VA (now WV) in 1843. He appears in the 1850 cen­sus in that county at the age of 7 with his par­ents William and Mar­garet, five sib­lings, a 75-year-old woman that I sus­pect to be his grand­mother, Sarah Echols, a cou­ple more Echolses, and some­one who was prob­a­bly a ser­vant girl, Isabel Carr.

By 1860, he has moved to Des Moines County, Iowa, where he appears in the cen­sus with his father, five sib­lings, again Isabell Carr. He is 17 and listed as a farmer. His father is listed as hav­ing 15,000 worth of real estate and 2,500 worth of per­sonal property.

On 22 August 1862, at the age of 19, Robert W. Gregg of Par­rish, Iowa, and born in Vir­ginia, enlisted in Com­pany E of the 25th Iowa Vol­un­teers. His pen­sion records indi­cate that he was shot in the hand by the Fed­eral sol­dier next to him as the left a troop trans­port after cross­ing into Ken­tucky. He spent the bulk of the war in hos­pi­tals and was mus­tered out as a Pri­vate in Wash­ing­ton, DC on 6 June 1865. (His brother, William Gregg, aged 31 and resid­ing in Burling­ton, Iowa is also listed in the muster rolls as hav­ing been more in Vir­ginia. He also enlisted into Com­pany E of the 25th Iowa on 22 August 1862 and was later pro­moted quar­ter­mas­ter sergeant.)

Accord­ing to the mar­riage cer­tifi­cate sub­mit­ted with his pen­sion appli­ca­tion, Robert W. Gregg mar­ried Helen Edwina Arnold in Des Moines County, Iowa in 1867. By 1870, he lived in Adams County, Iowa, where he appears in the cen­sus. He’s still there in 1880. By 1883, though, he has moved to Nance County, Nebraska, and appears in the 1883 Fed­eral list­ing of vet­er­ans (“135,512 Gregg, Robert W, Genoa, g. s. wd. r. hand, $4.00″). He also appears in Nance County, Nebraska in the 1885 Nebraska State Census.

In the 1890 Vet­er­ans Sched­ule, he appears in Box Butte County, Nebraska. He prob­a­bly home­steaded here, though I have not yet looked this up. He had a farm, cer­tainly, and served as Post­mas­ter for his por­tion of the county, with his prop­erty being des­ig­nated “Gregg Post Office” between 1890 and 1893. The county was formed in 1886, and suf­fered a drought in the 1890s. He likely arrived with the land fever, and left hav­ing lost his land to the elements.

By 1899, he is at the Old Soldier’s Home in Danville, Ver­mil­lion County, Illi­nois. In 1900, the US Cen­sus finds him in Pope, Fayette County, Illi­nois with his wife Helen and his 24 year old son, Archie C. Gregg. In 1910, this same fam­ily lived in Patoka Town­ship, Mar­ion County, Illi­nois, and appears in the cen­sus as such. Finally, his pro­bate file says he died in Mar­ion County, Illi­nois in 1910.

William Gregg house­hold, Dis­trict 44, Ohio, Vir­ginia, Roll 966, page 46A, house­hold 648, fam­ily 676. Ancestry.com. 1850 United States Fed­eral Cen­sus [data­base on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Oper­a­tions, Inc., 2009. Images repro­duced by FamilySearch.

William Gregg house­hold, Augusta Town­ship, Des Moines, Iowa, Parish Post Office, roll 319, page 247, house­hold 1928, fam­ily 1851. Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Fed­eral Cen­sus [data­base on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Oper­a­tions, Inc., 2009. Images repro­duced by FamilySearch.

US Civil War Pen­sion Appli­ca­tion of Robert W. Gregg, Com­pany E, 25th Iowa Infantry (Wash­ing­ton, DC: National Archives and Records Admin­is­tra­tion), appli­ca­tion num­ber 135,512.

Augus­tine M. Antrobus, His­tory of Des Moines County Iowa and Its Peo­ple (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Pub­lish­ing Com­pany, 1915), p. 239. Inter­net Archive: http://www.archive.org/stream/historyofdesmoin01antr/historyofdesmoin01antr_djvu.txt : Accessed, 7 June 2010.

Ancestry.com. List of pen­sion­ers on the roll, Jan­u­ary 1, 1883, Vols. 1–5 [data­base on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Oper­a­tions Inc, 2009. Orig­i­nal data: List of pen­sion­ers on the roll, Jan­u­ary 1, 1883, giv­ing the name of each pen­sioner, the cause for which pen­sioned, the post-office address, the rate of pen­sion per month, and the date of orig­i­nal allowance, Vol­umes 1–5. Wash­ing­ton, D.C.: Gov­ern­ment Print­ing Office, 1883.

Ancestry.com. Nebraska State Cen­sus, 1885 [data­base on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Oper­a­tions Inc, 2002. Orig­i­nal data: National Archives and Records Admin­is­tra­tion. Sched­ules of the Nebraska State Cen­sus of 1885. M352. RG 29. 56 rolls. National Archives and Records Admin­is­tra­tion, Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

Elton A. Perkey. Perkey’s Nebraska Place-Names. Rev. ed. (Lin­coln, NE: Nebraska State His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety, 1995). p. 13.

Ancestry.com. U.S. National Homes for Dis­abled Vol­un­teer Sol­diers, 1866–1938 [data­base on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Oper­a­tions Inc, 2007. Orig­i­nal data: His­tor­i­cal Reg­is­ter of National Homes for Dis­abled Vol­un­teer Sol­diers, 1866–1938; (National Archives Micro­film Pub­li­ca­tion M1749, 282 rolls); Records of the Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

Robert W. Gregg house­hold, Pope, Fayette, Illi­nois, ED 21, page 3B, house­hold 58, fam­ily 58. Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Fed­eral Cen­sus [data­base on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Oper­a­tions Inc, 2004.

R. W. Gregg house­hold. Patoka Town­ship, Mar­ion County, Illi­nois. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Fed­eral Cen­sus [data­base on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Oper­a­tions Inc, 2006.

Pro­bate file of Robert W. Gregg. Mar­ion County, Illi­nois. Pro­bated 2 Novem­ber 1910.

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