Robert Farmer Family From
Australia to Georgia
By Amy Hedrick

Index Genealogical Documents Essay by James Gray 2006
Email Correspondence The Forged Documents Descendants
  Timeline Civil War Veterans in Australia and New Zealand:  A Litany of Errors
offsite link

 

In March of 2006 I was contacted by a gentleman from Australia who would like to put a Confederate memorial marker on the gravesite of one Robert Farmer buried in Oak Grove Cemetery here in Glynn Co., Georgia.  While I am excited at the prospect, one very important fact has put a damper on the project, that being proof of Robert Farmer's service during the Civil War.

According to information submitted by Mr. James Gray, Robert Farmer was born 7 December 1841 in Western Australia to parents Charles & Margaret (Spencer) Farmer.  He was one of 10 children reportedly born to this couple.

Mr. Gray has written an essay on Robert Farmer that in my opinion has many mistakes about the ancestors and descendants of Robert and no primary sources to prove the military service other than "family say-so", which was obtained from people who are not directly descended of Robert.  My hopes in creating this page is to prevent mis-information from being spread for future generations who decide to research this family and to hopefully connect with descendants who can add to the history.

It appears that Mr. Gray is also not adverse to claiming research as his own and posting it online.  Since he takes creative license with the works of others, I am going to post his article that he sent to me on Robert Farmer in full hereRemember, this is HIS article that he has put his "efforts" into researching.  I will give him credit for his work even though he doesn't give me the credit for supplying him with most of the public records submitted to him from Glynn County.

The information that I supplied Mr. Gray has been backed up with primary source documents, those being church, court, census, and official death records.  All of which seems like it has been overlooked by Mr. Gray; he claims I never provided sources for my information.

I have pointed out the abundance of mistakes that Mr. Gray has made in his essay over and over again, and each time he re-submits a "new" essay to me and these erroneous facts are still listed.  Not to mention there are so many typos and grammatical errors that I can't believe this article is accepted by members of his organization.  While I understand making note of discrepant dates, like two different marriage dates or birth dates, you can not place children with someone who was physically unable to have them; especially when there is documentation to prove that they are NOT the parents of the said children.

My biggest "problems" with the essay are these children being attached to Robert (children whose mother is listed as Mrs. Rachel Farmer in some places and are found in the census with William & Rachel Farmer), and the lack of proof of the military service of Robert Farmer in the Confederate Forces, or any branch during the Civil War.

In a book titled "The Story of Rock Vale and Malabaine" by Alfred Lawrence & Lorraine Eddy (an excerpt of which was sent to me by another researcher), Robert Farmer's family was researched by Australian researchers who not only found family letters written by Robert and Nora, but also found family photos!  Mr. Gray has been bandying about a photo of a Robert Farmer in uniform that he states is the man who settled in Brunswick.  However, the book mentioned above has a photo of Robert that vastly differs from that of Mr. Gray's photo.  Although there is no firm proof yet of Robert's military service, if any there was, descendants of his siblings state that he came to America in the midst of the war not that he served in a military branch during the war.

 

This is the photo that Mr. Gray states is Robert Farmer from Australia who lived in Brunswick.  It is likely this photo came from a military gazette or other publication; I have no idea as it was sent to me without a source.

 

Do these men look alike to you?

 

This is a family photo published in the book titled "The Story of Rock Vale and Malabaine" that was in the possession of a descendant of one of Robert's siblings in Australia.  The family state that he fought for the Confederacy but they do not state in what capacity.

The problem here in this photo is that Robert was a captain; he was a harbor pilot and boat captain and this is likely the uniform for his job as harbor master and not for military service.

It appears that Mr. Gray is trying to attach the military record of a Robert L. Farmer that was born in Jefferson County, Georgia to the Robert Farmer that was born in Australia.  This other man was born, lived, and died in Jefferson County and nothing in his military record or public record states he was from Australia, nor do any family history records.  It is possible that the photo above left is for the Farmer that lived in Jefferson County.

Personally, I think Robert Farmer was most likely a blockade runner since he had no reason to take sides politically (he did not own or rely on slaves and his writings do not suggest he was an abolitionist), and he most likely saw an opportunity to make money to help him make a life for himself in his new country.

This article sounds like an attack, and unfortunately it is; there's just no nice way to present this case.  I am very upset by recent events that have come to light involving the forging of military records that were sent to the Veteran's Administration to obtain a Confederate Veteran tombstone for Robert Farmer buried in Oak Grove Cemetery here in Brunswick.

I have provided many documents to back up my research so that Mr. Gray would correct his data.  For some reason or another he has chosen to ignore the facts; facts that I did not create out of whimsy.  It is a sad thing to have someone alter known facts to make things fit their needs.  It is unknown by me why Mr. Gray is trying to push his version of history to obtain military markers; I just don't understand the thought process behind making up information or attaching the wrong info to people to obtain military markers.  Is he making some sort of profit from this?  Who knows?

I have been in correspondence with Mr. Gray for a couple of years, my name "signed" on the bottom of every email, yet he can't even manage to spell my name correctly.  In his very first email to me, he is asking about finding info on Robert and that he has a website and wanted a photo of the gravesite and a photo of the town of Pellicanville.  As you know, you can't stand on the ground and take a photo of a town :-)  I answered his questions and his next email is a repeat of the first.  As if he never sent the first email.  His actions makes one think that he is suffering from senility or some other type of dementia.

This second email was sent at 9:06 AM and then five minutes later he sends a third email almost mirroring the second email.  I told him I could provide photos of the gravesite yet he never acknowledged the emails, not only this, but in his responses he seems to have either forgotten that I asked a question, or just doesn't care.  As our conversation progresses I noticed that he is basing most of his knowledge on information supplied to him by an acquaintance of mine.  Her research was in error and when I showed her all of the documentation she corrected her data.  Mr. Gray failed to correct his mistakes.

After many, many emails trying to sort out the facts and untruths, it appears that Mr. Gray just gave up and went ahead with what he wanted to do, truth be damned.  When I asked for Mr. Gray's sources, he just sent me a list of sources, no actual documents.  Mr. Gray continually thinks that I am disputing that Robert Farmer was NOT from Australia.  But that is not the argument.  The argument is that Mr. Gray is attaching a genealogy with numerous inaccuracies and that he is 100% sure that Farmer was a Confederate Civil War veteran.  His genealogy and the claims of military service have no documented evidence to support it.  I have tried over, and over, and over again to show Mr. Gray that his essay has errors and over, and over, and over again he ignores my statements as if I never made them.  There is no talking with this man, you can not convey a point to him and have him acknowledge said point.  He just ignores.

All of this arguing was for naught anyways because a few months after he and I started our discussion, he went ahead and sent an email to our city operations manager stating he had documented evidence about Robert Farmer and his Civil War service and requested permission to have a marker placed.  Unfortunately, a military marker was already made stating our Robert Farmer served in the 27th GA Company B and this is just UNTRUE.  The man who did serve in this unit was an American by birth and is buried in Jefferson County, Georgia with his family and ancestors.

 

Index Genealogical Documents Essay by James Gray 2006
Email Correspondence The Forged Documents Descendants
  Timeline Civil War Veterans in Australia and New Zealand:  A Litany of Errors
offsite link

 

 

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