Robert Farmer Essay
by James Gray
|Index||Genealogical Documents||Essay by James Gray 2006|
|Email Correspondence||The Forged Documents||Descendants|
Civil War Veterans in Australia and New Zealand: A Litany of
Mr. Gray's 2006 essay on Robert Farmer is copied here VERBATIM. I have NOT corrected any spelling issues, grammatical errors, etc. However, I have entered my suggestions and arguments in RED by his claimed facts that can be disproved or should be questioned.
Mr. Gray has used this essay to obtain a Civil War Veterans marker along with military documents, that were allegedly forged, to prove his case. I, and others, believed that he had finally found the proof of Robert Farmer's Confederate service. But now it has been confirmed by the state that the military records were altered at the state level.
Here is Mr. Gray's essay located at his OWN website, so that you know I did not make this up:
Some of the images were taken from my website without my permission. I know this for a fact because of the font and format used on the text and also the cemetery map of Oak Grove is one that I created, it is not the original map of record created by the Works Project Administration. I am the only one who has this map because I made it.
Robert Farmer, son of Charles Farmer from England born in 1799 and Margaret Spencer in 1812, was born in Northam, Western Australia on July 12, 1841; according to Western Australia Dictionary of Early Settlers. Other census records give his birth as 1845 and 1848; depending on which source you examine. Charles, his father, and Nora’s children, according to the Bicentennial Dictionary of Western Australia Pre 1829-1888, Vol ll, are recorded as “Charles, born in 1832, died 1854; Jane Elizabeth born in 1834, died 1903; Thomas born in 1835, 1900; William born in 1836, drowned 1839; Mary Ann born in 1838; John born in 1840, died 1903; Robert born 1841, died 1903 (USA); William born in 1843, died 1867; dtr. born and died in 1844; and Eleanor born in 1844, died 1913.” Charles was permitted to select 210 acres of land and owned Sth Perth Swan Loc 41 & 10 acres at Rottnest in addition to Perth Loc 527in Adelaide Terrace. Records reveal he worked as a shipwright, a fish curer and a gardener.
The sentence "Charles, his father, and Nora's children" is obviously incorrect, but I have seen it corrected in a later version of this document. Also in this later essay version, at the very end of this paragraph the sentence was finished with "gardener; and died of tetanus."
Arriving in America aboard a whaling ship in 1861, Robert Farmer’s occupation for the census years listed was that of a bar pilot and/or a seaman, over the 3 census periods and he resided in Brunswick, Georgia. The 1870 US Federal Census Records of Glynn County, Georgia list Robert at age 25, as a seaman, living in the household of John Silvan, age 40, who was also a seaman. Robert eventually married a woman 10 years younger than he was, in 1875, named Algenora "Nora" Chubb who was born in Georgia; the daughter of James Alexander and Matilda Florence (Harris) Clubb. Robert Farmer married into one of the old families of Glynn and Camden counties and may have benefited from his wife's family connection to the maritime trade. Robert Farmer and Algenora Clubb were issued a license on March 10, 1875 by William Berrie and executed that day by N.B. Ousley, M.G. in Book B page 94 of the marriage records; according to Mrs. Amy Hendrick. Other information provided by other individuals says Robert Farmer and Algenora Clubb were issued a license on May 5, 1873 by William A. Berrie and it was executed on May 19, 1873 by H.B. Treadwell M. G.; and yet another source, which may or may not be correct, stated Robert Farmer and Miss Algenora Clubb was issued a license on May 5, 1873, which was executed on March 10, 1875 by Lucas, M.G.Odd; posing several contradictions unless they perhaps had other ceremonies.
I don't have to be the source for the marriage and I'm not a Mrs. :-) and in a later document he does have my name spelled correctly in this instance. The actual marriage record is recorded in our local marriage book which is the source Mr. Gray should be using: http://content.sos.state.ga.us/u?/countyfilm,20681 Notice the typo in Algenora's maiden name. I've pointed this out several times and he still hasn't corrected this.
The Bicentennial Dictionary of Western Australia Pre 1829-1888, Vol 2 by Rica Erikson, lists Robert and Nora’s children as “Robert, Roland, Durward, Algie died infant, Dollie died c.1885 at 2 months, Janie & dtr.”
The St. Marks Episcopal Church records the baptisms of Robert and Algia Nora's children as follows, though some disagree with the recordings;
After the word "children" a later document was worded: "children, and is printed verbatim as follows, though some...". It is printed verbatim from where Mr. Gray? Mr. Gray copied the text below from my website then changed the wording to make it look like his own research. But even here he has proven that he has not done the work himself because the ORIGINAL document isn't even worded this way. So where is this printed verbatim from? This is really sad because I provided him with the original document; he didn't even try.
How can Robert and Nora have children that are only a few years younger than them? Martha would have been born in 1851 when Robert was 10 years old and Algenora wasn't even born yet! Martha, George Washington, and Barnard Newton Farmer are children of William & Rachel Farmer, look at the census records! Just because they have the last name of Farmer and are in the Brunswick church records doesn't make them the children of Robert & Algenora. Click here and look at the documents page to see the VERBATIM records.
Mrs. Amy Hendricks [here my name is misspelled and I'm not a Mrs.] of Brunswick, Georgia states, on the other hand though no sources were provided, that the children of Robert and Algenora Clubb Farmer were;
My original copy of this essay from 2006 did not have the above paragraph, it seems that Mr. Gray is attacking me by stating I didn't provide any sources. When I told him the children, I also sent him my sources. So I don't understand why he says I didn't provide sources. I even created a web page of sources.
Not only that, but an actual letter written by Algenora (Clubb) Farmer states in her owns words: "Robert is the oldest with blue eyes Roland has large black eyes and Durward is the baby boy with black eyes too you know we lost our girls..." This letter was written on 3 June 1885 and sent to Alice Eaton (a niece of Robert's still living in Australia). Also found were photos of only 4 children. In a letter dated 1 June 1885 to Alice from Robert, it was written: "...she took a severe cold lingered six weeks and died Alice my heart is broken our hopes of our little girl was crush and blighted her name was Dollie..." Further in this letter he states that "we have only three children living Robert[,] Roland[, and] Durward[;] Algie and Dollie the little girls are dead..."
Then in a letter dated 15 February 1897 from Nora to Eleanor (Farmer) Hitchcock the sister of Robert, Nora states "...did you ever receive the photos I sent you of Janie our little daughter and one of our boys..." All of these letters and the photos were supplied in the book "The Story of Rock Vale and Malabaine".
In the Record Book HH pages 501 to 503 there is a record of a deed between James S. Blain & John I. Harris of the first part and Robert Farmer of Camden County on the second part. The deed was dated March 20, 1874 and Robert Farmer was buying land next door to the father of the woman he married; Mr. James A. Clubb. James A. Clubb, Robert’s father-in-law, was a rice planter on Cumberland Island in Camden County, Georgia. He was also the lighthouse keeper for Cumberland Island as well as being a bar pilot. James A. Clubb was descended from John Clubb, one of the officers from Oglethorpe's 42nd Regiment of the Foot. John Clubb received a King's Grants to properties on St Simons Island and Cumberland Island as one of the original colonists. Because he was an officer and a gentleman, he paid his own way to the America, had a large household and his grants from King George were substantial in the “new colony”. John Clubb fought in the Revolutionary War, for the Patriots, and is buried in the family cemetery on the north end of Cumberland Island.
A story of interest that pertained to James A. Clubb, Nora’s father, is a notorious case in the area. The famous schooner-yacht “Wanderer”, pride of the New York Yacht Club, put in to Port Jefferson Harbour in April 1858 to be fitted out for the slave trade. Everyone looked the other way, which suggests that kind of thing was not unusual, except that the surveyor of the port reported his suspicions to the federal officials. The ship was seized and towed to New York, but her captain talked and possibly bought his way out and was allowed to sail for Charleston, South Carolina.
Fitting out was completed in South Carolina, the “Wanderer” was cleared by Customs and she sailed to Africa where she took aboard some 600 Africans slaves. On November 28, 1858, the “Wanderer” reached Jekyll Island, Georgia, where she illegally unloaded the 465 survivors of what is generally called the last shipment of slaves to arrive in the United States. There was a long and very public legal battle over the ship and the slaves were brought in. James Clubb turned state's witness against the owners and his journal entries from that event are today in a museum on Jekyll Island.
Robert left Australia on a whaler in 1861, became a Harbour Pilot Master and a boat owner in Brunswick, Georgia and upon the outbreak of the American Civil War, according to oral history and records in Western Australia where he was born, served in the Confederate services in an infantry unit; reportedly the 26th Georgia Infantry, known as the Brunswick Rifles. Though he is said not to be shown on their rosters.. Some records also indicate he may have been a member of the 27th Georgia Regiment; which is where the complication may have arisen. Robert Farmer, in 1866, was joined in Georgia by his brother, Christian Mortimer Farmer, who married one of Nora's sisters. This is noted in Nora's obituary with reference to her sister, Mrs. U.M. Farmer. The "U" however, was a misprint for "C" by the newspaper. Her name was Mrs. C.M. Farmer. The early Brunswick papers were notorious for misstating details and names.
In a later document, the first sentence states "according to family oral history". From the book mentioned above (Rock Vale...) it was stated: "Robert the seventh child left Western Australia on an American Whaling vessel in 1861. On reaching America he got caught up in the Civil War." In NO WAY DOES THIS SAY HE FOUGHT FOR THE CONFEDERACY!
The sentence that starts "Though he is said not to be shown..." was replaced in a later edition with the following: "Unfortunately he is not to be shown on their rosters. There are records, however, that show him as a member of the 27th Georgia Regiment, which is where one of several complications have arisen; but again he is not shown on those rosters under the name of Robert but as Robert L., and on some records he was recorded with the erroneous entry of “ Robert Fanner” instead of Farmer. On the first page of one of his captured Confederate records it gives the city of his enlistment and reads: “Lewisville (Australian Soldier)”. Robert Farmer, in 1866, was joined..." This paragraph was changed because Mr. Gray claims he found the proof that Robert was a Confederate Veteran of the 27th GA. Unfortunately this document was altered and the original never had this statement: "Lewisville (Australian Soldier)". So that puts us back at square one, finding the military document that does confirm his service because this document has been tainted.
In his own words Robert Farmer stated that he had been in the U.S. for 25-30 years and that he was 42 or 3 years old at the time of his writing (this in the letter mentioned above dated 1 June 1885). That would mean that he was in the US as early as 1855 and as late as 1860 and that he was born about 1842-3. So yes, he did get caught up in the war, but did he serve in a military outfit and if so, was it Confederate or Union?
One 1900 census record states that Charles M. Farmer was born in October 1853, which is an error, in Australia and that his parents were born in Scotland. Charles married Mary Clubb Farmer, Nora's sister and with a daughter named Nina Farmer lived in Dublin, Laurens County, Georgia. Robert's parents and siblings, according to the 1866 - 1870 census of Macon, Bibb County, Georgia, arrived in the U.S. during that same period. Robert’s brother John A. Farmer, a Grocer, and his wife Agnes, both were born in Scotland, immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Macon, Bibb County, Georgia.
Charles Farmer mentioned above DID NOT marry Mary Clubb the sister of Algenora. Mary Clubb married Ulysses Mortimer Roberts on 22 July 1872 (license on file in Glynn County Probate Court Book B pg. 27 and can also be found online here: http://content.sos.state.ga.us/u?/countyfilm,20647
As far as is known, they only had two children that lived past 1910: Dallas A. Roberts and Ida Roberts, both girls. And according to family descendants Robert was the only one to come to the U.S. Not only that, but Mr. Gray just stopped in 1900 with Charles. In 1910 CHRISTIAN FARMER and his wife Mary were living in Taylor County, Georgia. The 1900 Laurens County census actually lists him as Chr and the rest is illegible. In 1910 he is 55 and his wife is 48, they aged ten years from the 1900 census. In 1930 they are in Effingham County and they are exactly 20 years older. Mr. Gray has yet again attached the wrong person to Robert Farmer. Not to mention that Robert's brother Charles DIED in 1854 how could he possibly be in the 1900 census let alone 1930? And furthermore, Christian was listed in the 1870 Bibb County census as a child (not necessarily a son mind you) in the home of John & Agnes Farmer. So how could Christian and his possible father John both be brother's of Robert Farmer?
Mr. Gray's own documentation states that Robert's parents died in Australia, why then does he state they came to the US? Not only does he ignore facts that other people show him, but he ignores his own fact finding.
In 1902 it appears as though Robert Farmer, Sr. and Robert Farmer, Jr. may have had a falling out over a loan, as the following was found in the Superior Court files:
“Farmer, Robert Sr. vs. Robert Farmer, Jr. & W.H. Davenport writ of error Mr. Farmer loaned the defendants $300 to buy the Elks Saloon and they still owe him $100. Went from Superior to Justice Court to Supreme Court. Spanned from May 1901 to 29 June 1902; Civil Minutes Vol. 4 folio 689; Final Record Vol. 7 pg. 133”. That same year brought tragedy to the family and an end to the Farmer legend.
This record is from my website, typed in the format I used to record this document. Mr. Gray did not research this himself; that's why he doesn't say anymore on the matter, and really it's not of importance to this essay if you are not going to explore the case further; why mention it at all?
Robert Farmer, Sr. died of tetanus, according to Western Australia Dictionary of Early Settlers, on August 22, 1903, but is listed in the records of the probate court and the St. Marks Episcopal church records as having died on Sunday, August 31, 1902 He died intestate and was buried in Oak Grove Cemetery; his grave is identified as lot B-75. Robert, Algin Louisa who died on April 23, 1880 and Dolly who died on May 28, 1855 are all buried in “Oak Grove Cemetery”. Robert was buried by Wyllys Rede; the other two being buried by Henry E. Lucas. It was related that Algin Louisa and Dolly’s graves are said to be in the family plot, but are not marked by stones and that Robert’s grave, in the center, is flanked by those of his two wives; but this has not been confirmed. They may in fact be the graves of Algin and Dolly.
After the sentence that ends with "B-75" and before the sentence that begins "Robert, Algin Louisa who died..." the following sentences were entered: "Robert Farmer was buried in an unmarked gravesite, but due to continued research a headstone was acquired by James Gray of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Australia from the American Veterans Administration. It was shipped to the Brunswick, Georgia Sons of Confederate Veterans, Thomas Marsh Forman Camp 485, who organised a dedication ceremony for his new headstone; a fitting tribute for an Australian Confederate."
Apparently a headstone was obtained and sent to the local SCV; however, it has not been placed. I sincerely hope that the local SCV does their own research before they place this marker. Since I wasn't hired by the SCV to research Robert Farmer, nor was Mr. Gray hired, the local SCV should have their own researcher do the work, and make their own conclusions.
St. Mark's records show that Robert died 29 August 1902 and was buried 31 August 1902. The Glynn County Mortuary book merely states that he died in August 1902 from a possible heart attack possibly attributed to diabetes and that he was "shipped from Atlanta, GA" meaning he might have died there. Algenora stated that Robert died 30 August 1902 in the estate papers she filed to be appointed administratrix to her husband's estate. She signed this petition on 29 December 1902. None of these records say he died on 31 August 1902 as claimed above by Mr. Gray.
Dolly died in 1885 not 1855. There are no records to confirm who is buried in plot B75, for all we know it may not even be the Farmer family. The records on file at the local cemetery office were re-typed by other researchers. There are no original cemetery books, therefore one can not know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Farmer family is buried here, especially when there aren't even any tombstones for the family located anywhere in the entire cemetery. I'm sure they are buried in this cemetery, but without a tombstone or an original document recorded during the time period they were interred, one can not assume anything.
Nora Clubb Farmer, Robert’s wife, died on Saturday, December 25, 1909 at 55 years of age, also intestate. She was survived by four children; sons, R.L. Farmer and Derwood Farmer, and one daughter, Miss Janie Farmer. Her daughter Janie was named executrix of her estate and with her mother's death also the executrix of her father's remaining estate.
Algenora died on the 24th of December, Mr. Gray is using the obituary date as the death date. Mr. Gray quotes that she was survived by four children but only lists 3 (all four were named in the obit); he is copying the obit information without confirming its accuracy, just as he did with Mary Clubb above. She was listed in Algenora's obit as Mrs. U.M. Farmer; he took that to mean C.M. Farmer. When in fact it is U.M. Roberts.
According to the “South Australia Advertiser” newspaper, Robert Farmer once joined a whaling ship in Western Australia, was later known as Captain Farmer and is the great grand-uncle of Carmen Lawrence; former Premier of Western Australia. Calvin Hart of Jacksonville Florida, whose friend is an avid collector of Civil War memorabilia, has graciously provided us with what is said to be a picture of Robert Farmer.
The photo of Robert Farmer at the beginning of this document does not resemble the one that family members have of him. Carmen Lawrence was the daughter of Ernest Richard Lawrence and Mary Norma Watson, I have no idea how Robert was her great grand uncle since I haven't any information on Robert's siblings, maybe someone out there can go back further and show the connection.
Robert’s brother Charles died in 1854, Jane in 1903, Thomas in 1900, William in 1867, and Eleanor in 1913. Before his death in 1854, Charles in 1849 exchanged his father’s 10 acres at Rottnest for a canning location, made exploration to the north of settled districts in 1854 with an R. Austin; Mt. Magnet and towards Shark Bay. He died of tetanus after a gun accident and was buried 23 miles northeast of Mt. Magnet.
This is just an editorial note, but this paragraph could be omitted.
1860 Census, DeSoto Parish, Mansfield, Georgia
1870 US Federal Census Records, Glynn County, Georgia
Hendrick, Glynn County, Georgia
"The Bicentennial Dictionary of Western Australia" Pre 1829-1888, Vol ll, D-J, Rica Erikson, page 1014
Cemetery Listings of Glynn
"Dictionary of Western Australians; 1829 - 1914", Rica Erikson
G. Cotterell, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages, Perth Western Australia
George Spooner, Busselton FHS
Gerard Foley, Archivist, State Records Office of Western Australia
Glynn County Archives,
Oak Grove cemetery records, Brunswick, Georgia
Obituary, Nora Farmer, Dec., 1909
Probate Court Records, Brunswick, Georgia
Sons of Confederate Veterans, Camp 485
"South Australia Advertiser", newspaper
St. Marks Episcopal
Church, Record Books, Brunswick, Georgia
Superior Court Records, Brunswick, Georgia
Susan Peterson, Seattle, Washington
Tim Daiss, Staff Writer, Savannah Online
Verna Nazzari, Family History Society of Rockingham & Districts Inc.
|Index||Genealogical Documents||Essay by James Gray 2006|
|Email Correspondence||The Forged Documents||Descendants|
Civil War Veterans in Australia and New Zealand: A Litany of
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