ASA SHERMAN ROBBINS
Nicholas Robbins Family
ASA SHERMAN ROBBINS (A biographical sketch abstracted from The Haley Genealogies and the Mayflower Connection by Frank B. Haley & J. Lucius Haley, Saint John, New Brunswick: Inspiration Graphics, 2005). Re: The Nicholas Robbins Family, No. 7.83.5
Asa Sherman Robbins was born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia on August 20, 1812, the son of Joseph and Hannah (Raymond) Robbins. Asa was a great-grandson of Benjamin Robbins, one of the original Yarmouth grantees. He was raised to manhood on the family homestead on Chebogue Point. On October 9, 1832 he married Amanda Jane Cook, daughter of John and Wealthy (Trask) Cook. They resided in the Yarmouth area throughout their married life, first at Kelley's Cove and later at Tusket. Asa made his living as a ship builder while Amanda managed the home and supervised the upbringing of the extraordinary family described below. As was the case with his father, Asa was Deacon of his church and is occassionally referred to by that title in local records. He died at Tusket on June 12, 1896. Amanda died there on May 7, 1900. Their children were:
1. Mahala Robbins, b. August 5, 1835; m. Capt. Robert Blauvelt on May 21, 1854.
2. Raymond Robbins, b. November 13, 1836; seaman and master of the barque, "George Bradford", which was lost at sea with all hands and a cargo of coal during a voyage between Cardiff, Wales and Halifax, Nova Scotia. It is believed that the ship foundered in the memorable gale of February 19, 1862.
3. Adelaide Robbins, b. December 9, 1837; m. William Haley on November 25, 1855. William and Adelaide were cousins, William's mother, Ruth (Robbins) Haley, being an older sister of Asa Robbins. Adelaide and William resided in Yarmouth for thirty years before resettling in New Brunswick. Their children, all sons, were Henry E., Rupert G., Francis R. and James L. At the time of her death, Adelaide was noted as a devoted member of the Baptist Church and a woman whose life and service exerted a positive influence for good upon all who knew her.
4. Byron Robbins, b. April 23, 1839; m. Margaret A. Chittick of Saint John, New Brunswick on October 19, 1863. Byron was a Yarmouth sea captain. He died in 1887. Margaret followed in 1919. Two of their children, Harry (1871-1881) and Lillian (1883- 1914), are buried with them in the family plot at Yarmouth's Mountain Cemetery.
5. Amanda Jane Robbins, b. July 25, 1840; m. Alvin Haley on January 9, 1861, the second union between Robbins and Haley cousins, Amanda being the sister of Adelaide and Alvin, a younger brother of Adelaide's husband, William. Their children were William R., Margaret L., Leyland S., Frederick E. and Lena G. Amanda died in 1938.
6. Leonora Robbins, first, b. December 7, 1841, who died in infancy on August 10, 1842.
7. Wellington Cook Robbins, b. February 5, 1843. Wellington went to sea with his older brother, Raymond Robbins, and was serving as Second Mate aboard the barque, "George Bradford", when it was lost at sea in 1862.
8. Leonora Robbins, second, b. June 12, 1844; m. Charles Hemeon on July 5, 1871.
9. Evelyn E. Robbins, b. August 3, 1845. Noted Yarmouth ship captain and master of the "Lillian L. Robbins" in the Oriental trade and later, the "Glenelvan". Evelyn settled in Victoria, British Columbia in later years. In 1916 at age seventy, he enlisted in the Canadian Army for service in WWI, the oldest man in the ranks at that time.
10. Jacob Amos Robbins, b. July 14, 1848; m. Abigail E. Hilton on August 8, 1873. A local history notes him as a Yarmouth sea captain.
11. Asa Sherman Robbins, Jr., b. October 23, 1849. Seaman aboard the barque, "G. W. Jones", which was lost at sea between Liverpool and Sandy Hook in January, 1876.
12. Frances Victoria Robbins, b. May 16, 1851; m. Norman Jeffery in February, 1872.
13. Robert Robertson Robbins, b. September 21, 1852; Seaman aboard the brigantine, "Clarence", which set sail on December 6, 1876 from Yarmouth, bound for the West Indies, and was never heard from again.
14. Hannah Augusta Robbins, b. February 2, 1856; m. Stayley Hatfield in April, 1877.
15. Joseph Nelson Robbins, b. July 31, 1857; m. Harriet Poole of Scotland on September 9, 1885.
Editor's Note: Frank Beckett Haley, author of The Haley Genealogies, passed away in December, 2006 at age 81. He was a twelfth generation descendant of Nicholas Robbins via his great-grandmother, Adelaide (Robbins) Haley. Frank received college degrees in both Chemistry and Forestry and assumed control of the family retail business, Haley Lumber Company, upon the death of his father in 1950. Over the next thirty years he expanded the company, adding four branches to serve customers throughout southwestern New Brunswick. After the company was sold in 1980, Frank served for four years as Controller of Freightmaster Ltd. before retiring. Frank was active in community affairs, serving on the local school board and as a member and president of Kiwanis in St. Andrews, NB. His obituary noted him as an ardent bridge player who had attained the Life Master designation. Survivors include wife Nan, son Kent and daughters Karen and Martha. His first wife, Jane, passed away in 1982. I became acquainted with Frank via correspondence following publication of a review of his book in the Mayflower Quarterly. I very much appreciated his knowledge of our common heritage and of the many ties between the Haley and Robbins families of Nova Scotia. His son Kent has very graciously allowed the use of excerpts from his book which illustrate some of those ties. Lawrence G. Robbins, November, 2007.