William is a bit of an enigma in this family tree equation. Not much is known about him. It’s commonly accepted that he lived from 1761-1835. He settled in what is now the Garrett County, Maryland area on bounty land for Revolutionary War service. (While it is plausible that he served at the young age of 15/16 in the war, it’s also just as likely that he bought the tract of land from someone who did serve.)

History of Garrett County, page 297. William McRobie is listed as one of the earliest settles of the Glades region.

Someone, somewhere, once sent me a map outlying exactly the tract of land that William originally settled.  In my efforts to organize my research, of course I misplaced it.  So if anyone out there has a copy, I would really appreciate it if you could send it my way!

Details on William’s life are very scarce.  We still don’t know the name of his wife, or if he had other children besides John William, Elisha Dewitt, Elizabeth, and William Jr.  We still don’t know if he was born in Virginia or Scotland.  (Although it is extremely likely that if he was born in Scotland, he emigrated to Virginia, as that’s where most Scots ended up.)

Records before 1800 are hard to come by for most countries online, but every once in awhile I check out all the usual sites to see if they’ve added any new information.  My most recent search of FamilySearch; yielded some interesting and potentially plausible results.  Here are a few entries for William McRobie (or variations on the surname) in Scotland Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950, around the year 1761.

Name: William Mc Robie
Gender: Male
Baptism/Christening Date: 24 Mar 1761
Baptism/Christening Place: ABERLOUR, BANFF, SCOTLAND
Father’s Name: William Mc Robie Or Grant
Mother’s Name: Margaret Grant

Name: William Mcrobie
Gender: Male
Baptism/Christening Date: Aug 1761
Father’s Name: William Mcrobie

Name: William Mcrobbie
Gender: Male
Birth Date: 08 Sep 1759
Father’s Name: James Mcrobbie
Mother’s Name: Isobel Mcaunsh

Name: Wil. Mcrobie
Gender: Male
Baptism/Christening Date: 01 Jan 1756
Father’s Name: Alexr. Mcrobie

This is where the first of many assumptions starts. It has been family legend that our branch of the McRobie tree hails from Aberdeen. So assuming that William was born in Scotland, his would seem to disqualify all but the second and fourth option. Except for the fact that the town of Banff actually resides in the county of Aberdeenshire, so I’m still keeping it in contention. For now, I’m semi-disqualifying the third option from Perth. I say semi, because I don’t want to rule it out completely.

Obviously, the two most likely choices are the first two, since they are from the correct year. For the time being, I’m actually leaning towards the first option instead of the second. No particular reason other than a gut feeling.

If anyone has any further information that can confirm or deny any facts in any way, please email me at McRobieFamilyTree@gmail.com.