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Laura Virginia Robinson


Laura Virginia Robinson has one of the largest monuments in Ellsworth Cemetery.

Ms. Robinson was born on the first of May in 1855. By 1870, she was “working out” with a small family in Westminster, Maryland. She is enumerated as “Mulatto,” however that term was rather loosely applied and should not be read to have any particular meaning, except perhaps that the enumerator thought she had a light complexion. She may have been enslaved prior to 1864, although manumission records have not been found. Her parents have yet to be found as well. 

Throughout her life, she worked as a domestic, in several households in Westminster. In her later years, she lived with and worked for Judge Francis Neal Parke, to whom she must have paid for her board. Near the end of her life, she sought the care of Dr. Henry Fitzhugh.

At the time of her death, on 31 Oct 1931, she had a small amount of money saved, along with personal items. Her will bequeaths $10 to her friend and neighbor, Mrs. Mary Jones. Mrs. Jones’ niece, Ms. Jessie Waller, was granted a picture “which I obtained from Ernest N. Warfield.” There is an Ernest Warfield who lived in Westminster, served in the Army and was killed in action in the Philippine Islands.  One might imagine that Ms. Waller had admired the picture and Ms. Robinson wished her to have possession. 

The residual of her estate, she willed to Mrs. Mary Jane Wilson. Mrs. Wilson’s maiden name was Johnson, so may have been a close friend rather than a relative. 

Ms. Robinson had also asked to have a “suitable gravestone.” Her executor did not skimp on the stone. A ledger — a stone that covers the gravesite completely — was installed at Ellsworth Cemetery, near Westminster, Maryland. 

Will, Maryland County Court records

Maryland State Archives