Property Owners of Truxton Circle- The Robinsons

Corner of R and Florida Ave NW, circa 1919/1921

For the Robinsons, you need to have read my post on the Levitovs because according to the Recorder of Deeds records, this is tied up in the Lot 19 mess.  Washington Robinson, is listed as the owner of Lot 848, but as we discovered with the Levitovs, Lots 846 to 855 are part of old Lot 19.

The thing with land records is that they don’t provide a lot of demographic information. I have no idea how old the people are. I can guess at ethnicity by names. So trying to tie people in with what I can find on Ancestry can be tricky. But sometimes the land records clue you in to other data points. With Washington Robinson, his wife Susie (nee Turner) is mentioned in some of the documents. And a rarity, the documents mentioned the address of their property, 144 R St NW.

In 1910, the census has James H. Smith and his family owning 144 R St NW.  The land records start in 1921, and the address is a rental in 1930.  The land records appear to document the sale of 144 R in 1935 or 1927. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not particularly good at deciphering land records.

Going to Ancestry, in 1930 there is a Washington Robinson living at 615 M St NW with his wife Susie, and his daughter Edith Carson, granddaughters and several roomers.  Then there is 1910 where a Washington Robinson, with his wife Susie and their 2 year old daughter Edith lived at 2017 14th St NW. In 1910 he was a brick mason but in 1930 he was a laborer. He was a renter in both years. Susie was a servant in 1910 for a private family, in 1930, she was a laundress. Around 1930 the census no longer entertained African Americans identifying themselves as mulatto. In 1910 the Robinsons were mulatto, in 1930 they were Negros.

Image not foundThe other Robinson, Nathaniel G. Robinson owned Lot K. According to the land records it appears this was one of those rare properties that stayed in the family for a long while. Nathaniel only appears once in 1924. It looks like he bought the property from Walter G. and Goldie A. Canham. Lot K shows up again in 1971, when Helen T. Latimer acting as the executor of Victoria Robinson’s will, transfers the property to the DC Redevelopment Land Agency (RLA). Looking through Ancestry, knowing Nathaniel was connected to a Victoria (daughter? wife?) could help me single out which Nathaniel Robinson who lived in the DC area sometime in the past was the right man. I found them in the 1920 census living at 36A O St NW. At the time he was 61 and his wife was 50. Now knowing Victoria is is wife, and not some other relative, I found other records confirming other things about him. Nathaniel was born in 1850 in West Virginia, he worked at the Capitol Building as a messenger, and he was an African American. He and Victoria (Victorie L. Bush in Ancestry) were married in 1875 in Hardy County West Virginia. He died October 12, 1929 leaving behind his wife and daughter Nina. There is some hint, related to the obituary, that they lived at 1645 3rd St NW, which appears to be next to Lot K but not Lot K. But then again, the Library of Congress map above could be wrong.

A number of the property owners in this series may be renters at other locations. I own property elsewhere and find myself to be a renter at the moment.

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