Sunday, November 02, 2014

Alexander, Motz, and Robertson Families

The Caswell News, 16 Sept 1887.

Mrs. Alexander is Mary Royal Robertson (1830-1896), daughter of Dr. George W. Robertson, M.D. (1807-1855) and Sarah F. Allen (1803-1871). Both parents are buried in the Robertson Family Cemetery (Yanceyville, Caswell County, North Carolina).

In 1850, Mary Royal Robertson married Wallace Henderson Alexander (1824-1872). Two of their six children are mentioned in the article:

1. Mrs. Motz is Ella Alexander (1853-1910) who in 1884 married Charles Hampton Motz (died before 1900).

2. Mr. Frank Alexander (1868-1888).
The Misses Robertsons mentioned are sisters of Mrs. Alexander (Mary Royal Robertson). These six sisters never married and lived their entire lives together in Yanceyville at the Robertson family home, which probably stood at the corner of NC Highway 86 and Fire Tower Road. Of course, then there was no NC Highway 86, and Fire Tower Road was just a short dirt road that quickly turned into a trail that ran to the County Home Road. The Robertson Family Cemetery is adjacent to the home site.

Not mentioned in the article, but nevertheless interesting, is that Mrs. Motz (Ella Alexander who married Charles Hampton Motz) would eventually move to Yanceyville to live with her six aunts after both her husband and parents died. A mentally handicapped brother, George R. Alexander, had already moved to Yanceyville to live with the six spinster Robertson sisters.

While living in Yanceyville, the widow Ella Alexander Motz came to know locally prominent widower Walter Nathaniel Harrelson (1859-1933), whose first wife Fannie Delilah Graves died in 1898. Ella Alexander Motz and Walter Nathaniel Harrelson were married in October 1902. No children are known.

Walter Nathaniel Harrelson was a very prominent Yanceyville merchant. He married Fannie Delilah Graves (1861-1928), a member of the pioneer Caswell County Graves family. His store building became Watlington's On the Square, initially operated by Julius Spencer Watlington.

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