Back in the day we established that the 1820 Settler we were interested in was Robert Robinson, who arrived with his family on the Brilliant as part of Erith’s Party. He was, it seemed, James Erith’s cousin and was married to Martha Strutt (or Strout depending on what you read).They left England with four children and arrived with five; William being born on ship. Eventually settling in Cradock, Sir JB Robinson was their 13th child. This seemed promising.
After much digging around and with help from the settler sites, we were able to fill in many of the lines and eventually coming up with a premise that seemed to work. There was a Philip that could be our Philip Joseph; dates and places fitted and while there remained no absolute proof, we pencilled him in – wrongly as it turned out.
At the other end of the line – Robert – we made another time-consuming error. Looking on Family Search, the IGI, there was only one Robert Robinson born at that time in the whole of England (I know, hindsight is wonderful). Again, the known facts appeared to fit; right date, believable places and most helpfully he was traceable back a further three generations. Blinded by this I spent a lot of time fleshing out his past; parish records, land deeds, apprenticeships etc., etc.
By now we had a line back to Eighteenth Century Yorkshire via Surrey and Kent to South Africa that went Jonas – Stephen – Charles – Robert – Philip – Philip – Philip Joseph – Phillip Benjamin – Dad – Me. Great.
Wrong. Very Wrong.