|Robert G Hamilton
Another name for Robert was Robert M.6
Noted events in his life were:
• Land: , Marion, Iowa, USA. 2
• Residence, Apr 1836, , Lee, Iowa, USA. 5
• Residence, 1855, Pella, Marion, Iowa, USA. 5
• Obituary, 2 Dec 1895, Pella, Marion, Iowa, USA. 5
• Residence, 1933, Madison, Jefferson, Indiana, USA. 5
• Letter, 1939, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA. 7
Robert married Rebecca Given, daughter of James Given and Elizabeth Graham, on 26 Apr 1848 in , Wapello, Iowa, USA.1 (Rebecca Given was born on 4 Dec 1846 in Virginia Beach, Virginia Beach (city), Virginia, USA,1 died on 28 Dec 1885 in Pella, Marion, Iowa, USA 5 and was buried in Pella, Marion, Iowa, USA 5.)
1 Geralyn W. Barry, e-mail 08182007. Surety: 3.
2 Geralyn W. Barry, e-mail of !7 Aug 2007. Surety: 4.
3 Geralyn W. Barry, D: DB N. Hamilton probate found!.txt. Surety: 3.
Geralyn W. Barry, e:mail Geralyn Barry of 08212007 - (D: DB - Death of Robert G. Hamilton, - VERSION 2 - [transcribed and] annotated by Geralyn Wood Barry, 18-20 August 2007. Surety: 3. source file: D:\\Genealogy\\Legacy DB\\Pictures\\Berry-Hamilton\\Geralyn re Berry-Givin-Hamilton.txt
VERSION 2 - annotated by Geralyn Wood Barry, 18-20 August 2007 ==============================================================
Death of Robert G. Hamilton
Last Monday evening at 9:50 o'clock at his home surrounded by his family and a few near friends, Robert G. Hamilton breathed his last and peacefully entered into rest. Though not wholly unexpected the summons was sudden, unrelenting and heartbreaking to his family. It had been known to this family and friends for several years past that he was afflicted with heart disease and for several months past the nature of the disease indicated a fatty degeneation [sic] of the heart. The malady had gradually increased and though able to be about his business he was frequently obliged to take an extra day of rest to regain his failing strength. Last Monday he did not feel able to go to his work but remained with his family at home. He did not appear to be in any marked degree worse than on previous similar occasions, and chatted pleasantly and cheerfully with his neighbors several of whom called during the day the inquire as to his welfare. Late in the afternoon symptoms of the crisis began to be manifest. He experienced difficulty in breathing. The usual remedies were applied with satisfactory results but the relief was only temporary and the difficulty returned more and more frequently and with greater severity, till the medicines failed to afford relief when the doctor was sent for at about 9 o'clock. His lungs gradually filled with blood caused by the heart's failure to carry it away, and he died of suffocation before the arrival of the physician.
Robert G. Hamilton was born in Bath county, Virginia, Feb. 2nd 1824, son of James N. and Rachel Hamilton .
 Rachel Hamilton nee Berry was the daughter of John Berry and Jennet
His parent [sic], in the fall of 1832, started for Northern Indiana, via Charleston , thence by boat to Madison, Indiana , where they disembarked and were preparing for their journey northward, when the Governor of Indiana, in anticipation of Indian wars in the new purchase, toward which settlers were going in large numbers, issued a proclamation forbidding settlers emigrating into the hostile country .
 This is almost certainly Charleston, WV (today the capital of West Virginia but at that time part of Virginia) in Kanawha County, located about 100 miles WNW of Warm Springs, Bath County, Virginia. They could have traveled by boat down the Kanawha River from Charleston to Henderson / Point Pleasant, located on the Ohio River, and from there, down the Ohio to Madison, Indiana. See the following websites for more about river travel on the Kanawha:
http://www.rootsweb.com/~wvkanawh/local/KanawhaRiver.html and http://www.wvculture.org/HiStory/wvhs1401.html . Another website claims that the "Kanawha River was the first river ever to be improved at government expense in the United States"
 Madison is located on the Ohio River in Jefferson County, Indiana.
On the other side of the river is the town of Milton in Trimble County, Kentucky. There were some Hamiltons and Berrys in Jefferson County, Indiana census records for 1830 and 1840, but I do not know if there is any connection.
 I tried to confirm some of these dates given for Indian hostilities in northern Indiana in online resources, but gave up. It seems to me that we could determine if the dates given here are correct or off by a few years.
The following spring (1833) hostilities with the Indians began and the Hamiltons sojourned in Madison till the fall of 1834, when they started northward again, but being alarmed by the reports of Indian atrocities, they turned aside, and directed their way into Illinois, settling near Peoria where they remained till April 1836, when they removed to Lee county, Iowa, and settled three miles north of West Point .
 Peoria, Illinois is in Peoria County the north central part of the state on the Illinois River; East Peoria is across the river in Tazewell County. In the biographical sketch for George Berry at http://www.beforetime.net/iowagenealogy/lee/HistoryOfLeeCounty1879/P806.html
, it states that Berry went to Peoria in the fall of 1836 and to Lee County, Iowa in the spring of 1837. I found an application of a George Berry for a permit to build a mill in Peoria County in 1836 which supports his story. The first federal land offices opened in Iowa in
1838 at Burlington & Dubuque; that is the earliest year that land could be purchased in Iowa from the federal government. It seems likely that the Hamiltons, Berrys and Givens traveled together from West Virginia.
Later records say George Berry and Isabel Given married on 18 Nov 1834, but I have not found a record of that. Might they have married in Indiana?
The father dying in 1840 , the older sons, John B. and Robert G.
[Hamilton in company with G. T. Clark, Henry McPherson, Dr. J. L. Warren and son Robert, Tyler Overton, and Henry Miller emigrated to Marion County], camp[ing a few miles southeast] of where Pella [is now,] on the 26th day of April 1843, [being] among the earliest settlers in the county .
 James N. Hamilton probably died in 1842.
 Missing narrative due to torn paper was supplied from a very similar account that appeared in a letter to the editor of The Pella Chronicle [Pella, Iowa, Thursday, May 4, 1939] from Robert G. Hamilton's daughter Emma Hamilton, 3515 McClintock Avenue, Los Angeles, California. I believe she also wrote Robert's obituary or contributed substantially to it. G. T. Clark was Green T. Clark, the future brother-in-law of John B.
Hamilton, whose wife-to-be Anna Wilson (married 22 Aug 1843 Lee County,
Iowa) was very likely the sister of Clark's future wife Nancy Wilson (married 5 Nov 1846 in Marion County).
He was united in marriage to Rebecca H. Given, April 27, 1848, and to them were born eight children, seven of whom still live .
 Robert G. Hamilton and Rebecca H. Given were married 26 Apr 1848 in Wapello County, Iowa, where the Given family was living at the time.
Their 7 known children were:
1) James Given Hamilton (born 20 Oct 1849 Marion County, Iowa; d. 6 Feb
1919 Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa, USA; buried 8 Feb 1919 Oakwood Cemetery, Pella, Marion County, Iowa; married 3 July 1889 to Mrs. Mary E. Hayden in Lee County, Iowa, who brought children with her to the marriage; I do not think they had any children together)
2) Charles W. Hamilton (born abt. 1851 Iowa; d. 29 Dec 1913, Waterloo, Douglas County, Nebraska; buried 1 Jan 1914, Oakwood Cemetery, Pella, Marion County, Iowa; married 23 Oct 1872 to Amelia Worth in Marion County, Iowa; 3 known children, including 2 sons, John and Charles Edwin, and a daughter Eleanor)
3) Ancel (or Ansel) W. Hamilton (born abt Feb 1852 Iowa; married abt 1880 to Mary C. [maiden name unknown at present; d. 1920-1930 probably Wyandotte County, Kansas]; two daughters)
4) Elizabeth A. Hamilton (b. abt 1855 Iowa; d. 28 Feb 1932; buried Oakwood Cemetery, Pella, Marion County, Iowa; never married)
5) Emma Hamilton (b. abt 2 Dec 1856 Iowa; d. 3 June 1945, Los Angeles, California, where she lived with the family of her niece Eleanor
(Hamilton) Todd, daughter of Charles W. Hamilton (2) above and wife of Mark Todd; never married)
6) Arthur John Hamilton (b. 27 March 1864 Iowa; d. 14 Feb 1943 Los Angeles, California, USA
7) Mary Louisa Hamilton (b. 7 Sep 1865 Pella, Marion County, Iowa; d. 17 May 1886 Pella, Marion County, Iowa; buried 19 May 1886, Oakwood Cemetery, Pella, Marion County, Iowa)
For nearly 38 years, or till Mrs. Hamilton's death in 1885, they traveled life's rugged pathway hand in hand, one in purpose, one in faith and hope, and one in their loyalty to their duty toward God and their fellow-men.
 Rebecca (Given) Hamilton died 28 Dec 1885 at Pella, Marion County, Iowa and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Pella. We tried to find the Hamilton plot in Oakwood Cemetery. In the publication "Oakwood Cemetery of Pella, Marion Co. IA" (part of "Cemeteries of Marion Co IA"), the Hamilton family is listed in Lot 166, with details that suggest that the information was perhaps taken from gravestones. We thought we had located "Lot 166" in the older section of the cemetery on a map of Oakwood Cemetery that we found at the Pella Historical Society. However, there were no visible gravestones in that area when we went to the cemetery. Either the gravestones are no longer visible or else we had the wrong lot. It is a very large cemetery and it was getting near dark...
He engaged in farming for several years, until an injury disqualified him from following that pursuit, when he moved to Pella in 1855 and engaged in contracting and building and later in the retail lumber business. He had filled various official positions in the city and township, at one time serving as Mayor of Pella.
Throughout the 52 1/2 years of his residence in this vicinity, his life has been an open book, read and known of all men. "He stood four-square to all the winds the blew."
[part of article missing, the line below must be the end of a missing paragraph]
bor, friend or christian undone.
In his family he was all gentleness. As a husband he was kind, constant and true. His beloved wife preceeded [sic] him to the better world ten years ago. True to the faith in which they had walked together for so many years, he sat by her bedside all through the long day preceeding [sic] her death, and quoted to her the blessed promises of God that had cheered and sustained them so long.
As a father, he was a Godly example to his children, demanding no standard of conduct that he was not willing to conform to himself, thus earning and enjoying in full measure the loving loyalty of all his children.
His last day upon earth was spent at home with his family; in cheerful converse with friends who called or in reading the scriptures or the hymns from his Church Hymnal. From the hymnal he read to members of his family a few of his favorites and commented upon their beautiful expression of his faith, and hope, and upon examination of the book after his death it was found that he had marked the hymns that were sung at the funeral services Thursday afternoon.
How beautifully did his life fulfil [sic] the high command of the idealist:
So live, that when Thy summons come to join, The innumerable caravan that moves To the pale shade, where each shall take His chamber in the silent halls of death, Thou go not like the quarry-slave at night, Scourged to his dungeon, but sustained and soothed, By an unfaltering trust: approach thy grave Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
To his children he has left the heritage of an honorable and untarnished name; -- "rather to be chosen, than great riches," -- to all who knew him, the example of an upright, steadfast christian life.
While we can but mourn his death, yet we rejoice that the sum of his life, "Goes not down behind a darkened west, nor hides obscure in the tempest of the sky, But fades away in the light of heaven." So, since he has so fully and so faithfully served the Divine purpose of his Master, how justly might he have said, with Paul:
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness."
The funeral services, held in the M. E. church were very largely attended the church being filled to overflowing with sympathizing neighbors and friends. The city council and old settlers attending in a body. Rev. A. W. Haines, of What Cheer, Rev. W. F. Mair, of Knoxville and Rev. G. E. Farr of the Baptist church in this city, assisting Rev.
C. E. Westfall, the pastor, in the impressive services.
Those from a distance who came to [page torn] funeral: Miss Maggie [tear or fold in paper, but perhaps no loss of text] Hamilton of Council Bluffs ; Mr. and Mrs. James Hamilton , Miss Margaret Given , Miss Jessie Dicks , Mr. and Mrs. S. F. Prouty and Miss Lillie Warren, all of Des Moines.
 I think this Maggie Hamilton is the daughter of Robert G. Hamilton and Rebecca Given; she married Dr. John Green M.D. in about 1898 and died in 1905 in Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County, Iowa (across the Missouri River from Omaha, Nebraska), but was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Pella.
 I think this couple is James Given Hamilton (son of Robert G.
Hamilton and Rebecca Given) and his wife Mary E. (maiden name unknown to me).
 Miss Margaret Given is probably the daughter of James Given and Elizabeth Graham, who was born February 1834 in Virginia. She never married and died in Des Moines in 1914.
 Miss Jessie Dicks was the daughter of Elizabeth Given and her husband Alonzo F. Dicks. Elizabeth was the daughter of James Given and Elizabeth Graham.
In 1900, Margaret Given  was living with the Dicks family in Des Moines.
5 Geralyn W. Barry, e:mail Geralyn Barry of 08212007 - (D: DB - Death of Robert G. Hamilton, - VERSION 2 - [transcribed and] annotated by Geralyn Wood Barry, 18-20 August 2007. Surety: 3.
Geralyn W. Barry, e-mail of !7 Aug 2007. Surety: 4.
I started writing this Friday, 29 Jun 2007, while on the road heading home to Oregon and finally finished it today. I have a lot more research to share with you, but this is a start at least!
We are finally heading home to Oregon (29 Jun 2007) after an absence of about two months. We have a long drive today - nearly 700 miles from Pella, Iowa to Cheyenne, Wyoming. We got a bit of a late start this morning because we stopped to look for Hamilton graves reported to be in a cemetery south of Pella in Marion County, Iowa. I am very glad we decided to visit this cemetery because we made an important discovery - we found the gravestone of Rachel (Berry) Hamilton, widow of James N.
Hamilton! Her name does not even appear on the listing for that cemetery that I had found at the public library in Marion County, so it came as a happy surprise when I found her stone. I had been wondering what happened to Rachel after she probated her husband's estate in Lee County in the 1840s. I never was able to find her in the 1850 census. Now I know she was already dead by then.
It has been a good week for Hamilton-Berry discoveries. I was able to gather more records for many people I had been tracing. (Finding records is easy; getting them organized takes a lot more time. I'm still working on it...) Some of the records we found solidify what we know already knew about the Hamilton-Berry family of Bath County and should help us trace them backward in time. Some of the new information will also help us locate living Hamilton and Berry descendants of these families, if they can still be found. One of my goals on this trip was to trace other lines down to modern times so we could identify descendants and try to locate them. Some of the people I found obits for died in the 1950s, which brings us closer to possible living relatives. More about that and other finds in future emails.
Below are some of the highlights of the Hamilton-Berry research accomplished on this trip.
1) We found the gravestone of Rachel, wife of James N. Hamilton, died 30 Aug 1846, aged 54 yrs, 7 mos, 18 days (photo attached).
This morning (29 Jun 2007), we found the gravestone of Rachel Hamilton (nee Berry) in Portergrove Cemetery, Marion County, Iowa. I can't really say that I found her grave, however, because I found the stone in two pieces leaning against a building at the cemetery, along with several other pieces of mostly Hamilton-related stones. It is not clear where they came from in the cemetery, but I suspect it was in close proximity to the building, since other relatives are buried in that area and there are several empty spots between them. The pieces were well-protected and therefore in good condition, in contrast to some of the other stones that were upright with even later dates but in almost unreadable condition.
Portergrove Cemetery is located in Marion County, Iowa, very near the border with Mahaska County. It is south of the town of Pella (of window
fame) and west of Knoxville, Iowa; we also visited both towns to do research in their genealogical collections. Portergrove was formerly known as Hamilton cemetery because Robert G. Hamilton, son of James N.
Hamilton and Rachel Berry, gave part of his land for the cemetery.
Robert Hamilton is recognized as one of the first settlers of Marion County, Iowa; much has been written about him in the Marion County history books. We already knew that Robert G. and his brother John B.
came to the area in April 1843 and that they bought land in Marion County when it was first opened for purchase in 1846. It seems that brothers Robert G. and John B. went to Marion County from Lee County, Iowa after their father (James N. Hamilton) died in 1842. Now we also know that their mother Rachel must have gone with them, since she is buried there rather than beside her husband in Lee County (we found his grave too - see 2 below).
2) We found the graves of James N. Hamilton and his mother Mary Hamilton, widow of John Hamilton, who died in the War of 1812 at Brownville, NY (nee McGuffin according to online sources). They are buried in a tiny cemetery in rural Pleasant Ridge Township, Lee County, Iowa, a few miles north of the town of West Point, Iowa. This confirms that John Hamilton's widow Mary accompanied her children when they moved from Bath County, Virginia to Lee County, Iowa. In fact, she is probably the woman age 60-70 who was enumerated in the 1840 census in the household of another son, George G. Hamilton, in Lee County, Iowa.
James N. Hamilton and his mother died within about 2 weeks of one another - James on 28 May 1842 and Mary on 11 June 1842. A daughter of James N. and his wife Rachel also died at this time - 6 yr old Nancy A.
Hamilton died on 4 June 1842. It must have been a difficult time for the family, losing so many at once. I am guessing they probably died of some contagious disease. By the way, all the later obituaries I found for the Hamiltons and Berrys give the name of this cemetery as "Pleasant Ridge Cemetery", but the sign on it says "Woolen's Corner Pioneer Cemetery aka Clark's Point or Price, Established 1836." [I will send photo attachments of these graves in another email.]
3) We found direct confirmation that Robert G. Hamilton of Marion County, Iowa was the son of James N. and Rachel Hamilton. He is therefore the same person who was called Robert M. Hamilton (different middle initial) in the guardianship papers filed in Lee County, Iowa after the death of his father James N. Hamilton. I was already pretty certain of this fact (despite the different middle initial) based on a lot of indirect evidence, but confirmation of it comes in plain English from one of his obituaries (information very likely supplied by one of his daughters - Emma or Elizabeth) and also from the overwhelming additional indirect evidence found on this trip (such as the gravestone of Rachel being in the Portergrove Cemetery, which was originally on Robert's land).
Online sources give Robert's middle name as McGuffin, which makes sense in light of the middle initial M used in the guardianship papers.
However, I myself have not found his middle name spelled out in any original document thus far - only middle initials. He appears often in Marion County, Iowa records as Robert G. Hamilton. If his middle name was McGuffin (reputed to be the maiden name of the mother of James N.
Hamilton), then it seems he might have dropped the Mc- because he used the middle initial G most of his adult life. Dropping the Mc- or O'
prefix was a common thing with surnames in Irish records in previous centuries; it can even vary from record to record, with the prefix included in some records and not in others. Or perhaps Robert had two middle names - one starting with M and one with G - perhaps Given and McGuffin for both of his grandmothers? We may never know. What we do know now is that Robert G. Hamilton of Marion County, Iowa and the Robert M. Hamilton mentioned in James N. Hamilton's probate records are one and the same person.
4) We scanned the Civil War pension application of Gowen Hamilton of Lee County Iowa, whose son Andrew died during the Civil War while fighting for the Union. Pension documents contain statements that he (Gowen) and his business partner George G. Hamilton were first cousins. We have evidence that George G. was a son of John Hamilton and Mary McGuffin; therefore George was a brother to James N. Hamilton, the father of your Samuel B. Hamilton. If Gowen was a first cousin of George G. Hamilton, then his father (who so far has not been identified) was probably a brother of John Hamilton. I am assuming here that they were first cousins on the Hamilton side (their fathers' side), since both George and Gowen have the surname Hamilton.
5) We found graves in the Montrose Cemetery (Montrose, Lee County, Iowa) for known members of the Hamilton and Berry families. We also found the graves of some children of a Charles and Sarah Hamilton who do not appear together in any other records of Lee County that I've found so far. This is definitely a clue that needs to be followed up on! There was a Charles D. Hamilton age 29, born Virginia, who was living with G.
G. [George G] Hamilton's family in the 1850 census in Montrose. In 1860, there was no sign of Charles, but a Sarah Hamilton 40 b. Ohio and Charles Hamilton 7 b. Indiana were living with the Kirkpatrick family in Montrose. Were the Charles from 1850 and the Sarah from 1860 married?
Did Charles marry and die between 1850 and 1860? If so, where? I followed Sarah forward in time. Her son Charles is listed as "idiotic"
in census records, which makes them easy to trace. In 1870, they were in Indianapolis and in 1880, in Martinsville, Morgan County, Indiana. That is the last census listing I found for them. Both George G. Hamilton and his cousin Gowen Hamilton had named sons Charles (b. 1855 and 1853) who died young. Robert G. Hamilton also named a son Charles W. (b. 1851).
Gowen's son George also named a son Charles (b. 1881), so it seems to have been an important name in the family. As I said before, I think this is an important clue!
6) We found graves of related Berry family members in Sandusky Cemetery in Lee County, Iowa. It is located just south of Sandusky, Iowa and north of Keokuk on Mississippi River Road. Charles E. Berry (son of George Berry and Isabel Given of Lee County, Iowa) and his wife Stella M. Newman (1859-1941) are buried in Sandusky Cemetery. They had two
sons: Herbert Newman Berry, who died in Hollywood, California in 1937, and Ralph Leslie Berry, who was living in Kansas City, Missouri in 1930. Both men married but appear to have had no children (a dead end there). Herbert N. Berry was a colorful character who managed an apartment building in Hollywood that was the residence of movie stars, including Fatty Arbuckle.
We found many more documents I haven't mentioned, but I will save those stories for another email.
Geralyn W. Barry, e-maile #2 of 22 August 2007. Surety: 3.