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Nicholas Robbins Family


ELIJAH ROBBINS (A biographical sketch compiled from information in History of the Descendants of John Whitman of Weymouth, Massachusetts, compiled by Charles H. Farnam and published by Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor, New Haven, CT, 1889 and an obituary record from the Yale Alumni Archives, Yale University Library, New Haven, CT) Re: The Nicholas Robbins Family, No. 7.122.2


Elijah Robbins, son of Benjamin and Clarissa (Whitman) Robbins, was born March 12, 1828 at Thompson, Connecticut. While he was yet a toddler, his family resettled at Ashford, Connecticut, where he spent his formative years. He attended Yale College from whence he graduated with the Class of 1856, and after three years of training at the East Windsor Theological Seminary, he was ordained as a Congregational minister and appointed as a missionary to the Zulus at the Adams Mission Station in South Africa. On August 17, 1859, shortly after his ordination, he married Miss Adeline Bissell of Bolton, Connecticut and in late September they sailed for Africa.

At the outset Rev. Robbins was engaged in establishing and maintaining a mission school and in translating the New Testament into the Zulu language. In later years he had charge of the Adams Mission training school for native ministers. With the exception of a two year sabbatical (1872-1874), the couple spent the rest of their lives as Christian missionaries among the Zulu in South Africa. Mrs. Robbins died at the Adams Station on October 20, 1888. Rev. Robbins followed on June 30, 1889. The couple had three children, two of whom survived them. The children were:


1. Addie Robbins, born in October, 1860 at Adams Station; died there on April 17, 1869;


2. Whitman C. Robbins, born February 7, 1865 at Adams Station; graduated from Philadelphia Dental College, February, 1886; married Alice M. Baldwin, daughter of Rev. Dr. C. C. Baldwin, a missionary in China, on June 17, 1886; returned to South Africa the following September; engaged in his profession at Durbin, South Africa;


3. Benjamin B. Robbins, born February 8, 1870 at Adams Station


Submitted by Lawrence G. Robbins, January, 2007. Mr. Robbins may be contacted by email at

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