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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