You ever have one of those ancestors where the timeline doesn’t add up to the history he/she claims & the family stories are so bizarre and far-fetched laced with little to no details?
That is my Robert Edwin Buckingham (REB)… great great grandfather. He is one of those ancestors where we may have never questioned his “story” had no one put forth the effort to “document” his claims. (Another clear example of why documentation is so very important in family history!) Since REB… for a few generations later, a lot of bizarre events take place in the branches down our family tree.
REB claims that his parents are Joseph George Buckingham & Henrietta (Etta) Wood…. This is our biggest brick wall. Here’s why:
Robert Edwin Buckingham started his marriage to Rosa P. Ogden with Joseph George Buckingham in his corner in 1904. This marriage record is the earliest confirmed record we can find on Robert Edwin Buckingham.
Having died in 1926, Rosa, his wife, continued to pass on those claimed parents, as she was always told, on his death record & in her family Bible (having been passed down to her son Howard).
Having been born in late 1885, REB missed the Nebraska State Census. The 1890 Census, as most of us should know, was lost in a federal building fire. But the 1900 census remains in tact! So why isn’t REB on the 1900 census with Joseph G. & Etta Buckingham, the acclaimed parents?
In 1900, REB would only be 14 going on 15 years of age. According to this death certificate he arrived in California around 1888, when he was about 12-13 years of age, semi-consistent with the travels of Joseph G. & Etta Buckingham’s family.
A family story that has been passed around is that somehow REB was in prison for evading the Royal Army. He served his sentence in either Nebraska or Nevada.
That’s the whole story!
However, as you can you see form above, then he must have either 1) lied about his age, or 2) he was fresh off the boat & married before he was imprisoned. However, the birth of his children clearly say he wasn’t “imprisoned” until he was right after he was married. So when did he serve a “imprisonment”?
Also to evade the Royal Army would imply that he was also an immigrant, no? So when did he immigrate? If he was in California since about 1888 (according to his death certificate) then he would have only been 3 when he immigrated. Since we can’t find a “Buckingham” listing that fits our REB… was he not a Buckingham at all? Or again, has he lied about something?