George Robinson Jr's death

Updated: Feb 5, 2019


George Robinson, Jr., shown here in this photograph, was the son of George Robinson and Emma (Griffith) Robinson. He was a hard-working man with a successful career, but never married. He died in Pittsburgh at the age of about 56, from several contributing factors: aortic insufficiency, chronic myocarditis, chronic intestinal nephritis and arteriosclerosis (generalized).


George's death certificate is shown below. The informant was his niece, Emma Dickinson - the daughter of his sister, Annie (Robinson) Dickinson. Notice Emma's address is given as Cypress Street and the same address is given for George's "place of death or usual residence". I never knew Emma to live anywhere but with her parents, and they lived on Gross Street when they lived in Pittsburgh. I figured Emma must have been visiting someone there because in 1921, she was living in Newark, New Jersey - which I know for a fact because she wrote her diary there in 1919. I searched to see if that was where George was living when the 1920 census was taken and found him counted on Penn Ave. Sure enough...

...on the 1920 census, we can see a woman by the name of Samuelia Lewis, widow, living at 4911 Cypress Street. Her "stepson", Frank Lewis, was living in the home. Now this raises more questions, in light of these facts:


  1. Emma Dickinson's father, Harry Dickinson, had a sister named Mary Ann Dickinson (see portrait), who married first to John Proctor, with whom she had five or more children. He died abt. 1891, and she married second to Samuel Lewis abt. 1895. It is said that she had three children with Samuel. They were: Lillian, Samuel, and Frank Lewis. Mary Ann's husband, Samuel Lewis, died in 1919, the year before the 1920 census was taken.

  2. George Robinson, the subject of this article, was Emma's mother's brother - a Robinson, not a Dickinson. Was he living with his brother-in-law's sister?

  3. Mary Ann was born abt. 1858, and therefore would have been 62 at the time of the 1920 census - the same age given for "Samuelia Lewis". Samuelia's birthplace is given as England, just like Mary Ann. Mary Ann lived until 1938, so she was definitely still living in 1920 when this census was taken.

  4. "Joseph Procter" is listed as her son. Mary Ann had a son named Joseph Proctor, from her first marriage. He was born abt. July 1886.

  5. Lillian Lewis was Mary Ann's daughter born abt. July 1895. She is known to have married Jack King and had a daughter, Ruth - all found in the same home with Samuelia.

So it appears "Samuelia" was really Mary Ann (Dickinson) Proctor Lewis, but why did she give her name as Samuelia and why does she call Frank her stepson, instead of son? Perhaps she was in the early stages of dementia, as stated on her death certificate when she died at the age of 80 in 1938?

This does solve the Cypress Street mystery, however. Emma frequently visited her family in Pittsburgh and she was known to be the family caretaker. She must have cared a great deal to travel 350 miles to Pittsburgh to help her grieving aunt and help care for her sick uncle. Apparently, Mary Ann (a.k.a. Samuelia?) was also kind enough to let the ill bachelor - her brother's brother-in-law, David Robinson, stay in her home.

You can see Cypress Street in the interactive Google map (street view) below. (I believe it is the narrow house with the gray and white awning).




Click here to see more about this branch of my family.


#GeorgeRobinson #EmmaDickinson #MaryAnnDickinson #Pittsburgh #Pennsylvania #deathrecords #robinson #dickinson #georgerobinson

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