Here are the facts only as we know them, … as they have been shared or revealed to us. If you remember, I had nothing to draw on, so I had to document, document, document to get this far :)
Robert Edwin Buckingham was born 23 October 1885, to Joseph George Buckingham & Henrietta (Etta) Wood in Nebraska.
On 15 August 1903, “Edwin R. Buckingham” of Nebraska, living in Riverside, CA, married “Priscilla R. Ogden” of Missouri, of Los Angeles, CA, in Los Angeles County, CA. Witnessed by Joseph G. Buckingham & Charles E. Walker, both of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.
Their first child was born on 3 March 1904 in Los Angeles, Arthur Ernest Buckingham. (Hmm… so she was pregnant when they got married?) 5 more children followed: Howard Ennis, Maurice Webster, Robert E., Laverne B., & Chester Ivan Buckingham.
In 1918, on his World War I Draft Registration Card, he claims he was born 23 October 1884 in “Lyncoln, NE, USA,” and that his father’s birthplace was also in “NE, USA,” and he was unemployed while he & his family lived in Rendo, CA.
1920 is the first census we find for Robert Edwin Buckingham. He & his family now live in Gardena, Los Angeles, CA. REB is now working as a “printer at a shop for wages.” Rosa is also working with 5 of six children (all the boys) at home as a “saleslady at grocery store on her own account.” His parents are listed as being born in “USA”.
1924 REB is listed on the Los Angeles County, California Index Of Registered Voters as a “R” for Republican, a printer, & residing at 4116 West Avenue 41.
He died on 31 July 1926 at the “County Farm Hospital” in the “Psycho Ward” at 8:30 PM from “Tabes Dorsalis (untreated syphilis infection) with Psychosis and contributing Hypostatic Bronchopneumonia the last 3 days.” He had only been in the County Hospital for 1 month & 21 days, having resided in California for 38 years (abt. 1888). This definitely supported the stories we all heard of him dying in the “crazy house.” Parents listed, by wife Rosa P. Buckingham, are Etta Wood & Joseph George Buckingham.
The dilemma we face is why is he never listed on a census prior to 1920? And why is he never listed on a census with his acclaimed parents, Joseph & Etta Buckingham? With the loss of the 1890 Census, he may well be one of the many just lost in the cracks of time…. But the story of him being British still haunts my research since I can’t directly tie him to Joseph George Buckingham & Etta Wood…