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.