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Nicholas Robbins Family


FREDERICK W. ROBBINS (A biographical sketch compiled from Robbins family records, Plymouth, Massachusetts Town Records and from an obituary appearing in Biographical Reviews for Plymouth County, Massachusetts, compiled and published by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Boston, MA, 1897) Re: The Nicholas Robbins Family, No. 7.53.9 


Frederick W. Robbins, son of Josiah and Rebecca (Jackson) Robbins, was born December 25, 1826 at Plymouth, Massachusetts. His early years were spent in Plymouth, where his father was proprietor of the Robbins Cordage Company and Deacon of the Congregational Church. Following completion of his education at an academy in Marlboro, Massachusetts, Frederick found employment at a retail grocery store in Boston.


On August 21, 1850, Frederick married Mary D. Wade, daughter of John Wade, a Charlestown boat-builder, and Mary (Dolbear) Wade. Mary's formative years were spent in Charlestown, where she attended public schools prior to completion of her studies at the Charlestown Female Seminary. The couple settled at Boston and began their family. Sadly, their first three children died in infancy. After the birth of their fourth, son George J. Robbins, the family returned to Plymouth, where Frederick assumed control of the general store at Robbins Wharf.

Soon after the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, Frederick enlisted in a Plymouth company commanded by Capt. Callingwood, a part of the 18th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers. Frederick was assigned to the post of Commissary and served with distinction over the following three years until he contracted a debilitating fever during a campaign in Virginia. Thereafter he was discharged and returned to Plymouth for convalescence.


The war having ended, Frederick and one of his brothers set off for the South to explore business opportunities. They established a successful grocery business at New Berne, North Carolina and later had an interest in cotton ginning and trading in Texas. His obituary notes that Frederick never fully recovered from the illnesses he contracted during his Civil War service and that he was finally forced to retire from his enterprises in Texas and return to Plymouth, "where he passed his last days among his kindred and friends, dying at the age of fifty-seven years." Further from his obituary… "Frederick W. Robbins, formerly a well known merchant of Plymouth and a veteran of the Civil War, died at his home in this town on January 20, 1884…Mr. Robbins was an exceedingly upright and conscientious businessman, whose many sterling qualities endeared him to all with whom he came in contact. He possessed a natural desire for progress and the development of business enterprises…"


Frederick was survived by wife Mary, daughter Abbie J. and her husband, George M. Gifford, and son George J. Robbins and his wife, Nettie H. (Thomas) Robbins.


Submitted by Lawrence G. Robbins, January, 2009. Mr. Robbins may be contacted by email at

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