Mrs Charity Robins

Mrs Charity Robins, née Lawry 1, was born in St Mewan, Cornwall, England in late 1863/early 1864 2.

She was the daughter of James Lawry (1825-1899), a miner, and Susanna Nancarrow (1824-1891). Her father failed from St Ewe, Cornwall and her mother from St Austell and they were married in 1847. She had eight known siblings: William (b. 1849), Thomas (b. 1850), Hannah (b. 1852), James (b. 1854), Jane (b. 1858), John (b. 1859), Walter (b. 1862) and Mary Ann (b. 1868).

She appears on the 1871 census living at Union Road in St Austell with her family.

In late 1880, aged just 16, she was married to Alexander Robins (b. 1861), a stonemason from St Austell. Their first child, Alice Ann, was born early the following year and the couple were living with Alexander's parents in St Austell by the time of the 1881 census.

The couple would have nine children in total, only two living past infancy. Their firstborn, Alice, died in 1883 and their two surviving children were Beatrice Annie (b. 1886) and Alexander (b. 1890).

The couple later left British shores around 1886 and settled in Yonkers, New York where they would appear on census records from 1900 through to 1910 although it seems they made several trips back to England. Alexander continued to work as a stonemason whilst in Yonkers.

Alexander and Charity returned to Cornwall for a family visit in early 1912 and were returning to the USA travelling third class on the Titanic under ticket number 3337 which had cost them £14, 10s. Also returning with them was Charity's nephew William Henry Nancarrow.

Mrs Robins died in the sinking, her body, and that of her husband was subsequently recovered by the MacKay Bennett.

NO. 7. - FEMALE - ESTIMATED AGE, 6O. - HAIR, GREY.

CLOTHING - Blue waterproof; black skirt and undershirt; white undervest and Chemise; black lawn shoes and black stockings; set false upper teeth.

EFFECTS - 1 gold ring; 1 wedding ring, and 1 diamond ring; purse "A. Robins" 2nd class ticket Olympic, 145; gold watch and chain; 2 receipted accounts and excess luggage ticket Plymouth, Great Western docks; £60 in 5 notes and other coins.

THIRD CLASS PASSENGER.

NAME - Mrs A. ROBINS.

The remains were taken to her daughter who was living at 24 Garfield Street, Yonkers. She and her husband were interred at Oakland Cemetery, Yonkers.

Her daughter Beatrice, known as Annie, was married to Patrick Curtin of Pennsylvania and remained in Yonkers where she raised a family. She died in Yonkers in 1965.

Her son Alexander had been married on 7 January 1912 in Yonkers to Julia Lee (b. 1890), a native of Ireland, raising a family and remaining in Yonkers where he worked as a steam fitter. He died in 1966.

Notes

  1. Frequently misidentified as Grace Charity Laury/Lawry, a Penzance native who was not the same woman who was on Titanic.
  2. Birth registered in St Austell in first quarter of 1864.

Pictures

Grave of Alexander and Charity Robins
GRAVE OF ALEXANDER AND CHARITY ROBINS
 

Articles and Stories

New York Press (1912) 
Yonkers Statesman (1912) 
Western Morning News (1912) 
West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser (1912) 
 

Comment and discuss

  1. Jim Kalafus said:

    Good evening, folks. For the last year or so, I have been doing part time research on Third Class passengers Alexander and Charity Robins, of Yonkers, lost with the Titanic. I've found some interesting stuff (like that their bodies were eventually returned to a daughter who lived in my former neighborhood) but have never found a picture of them, or of their relative, W.H. Nancarrow, who was also lost. Does anyone out there know if one was ever published either here or in England? I'm also pondering why a couple with so much cash on hand would choose to travel Third Class (check out their... Read full post

  2. Michael Findlay said:

    Hi James, I was glad to read that you've been researching Alexander and Charity Robins. I began researching them back in the 1980s, and have accumulated a large pile of "stuff." If you have access to the Yonkers Herald-Statesman on microfilm, April 17, 1912, you will find photos of both Alexander and Charity. The newspaper continued to run their photos almost every day. Alexander was a round-faced man with short hair and a slight moustache. Charity was an attractive older woman who was smiling in the photo. The Yonkers newspaper published a photo of their funeral procession in... Read full post

  3. Jim Kalafus said:

    Mr. Findlay: Thanks for the answer, and for the information. I am familiar with the Robins' gravesite (my family plot is in Oakland) and with their former home on Garfield Street, but never made it to the Herald Statesman microfilm as (and I know this sounds stupid) I get sidetracked by other obsessive interests every time I set out to do that and end up studying something else. I've avoided contacting the descendents because, frankly, I'm an armchair researcher when it comes to the Titanic and have no intention of publishing anything on the topic SO my talking with family members would seem... Read full post

  4. Robert B Burke said:

    Gentlemen, I was very pleased to find your discussion about Alexander and Charity Robins. They were my great-grandparents. While I have little information to contribute, I may be able to gather additional information from relatives living in New York. Additionally, my mother, Frances M. (Robins) Burke has a few bits of information. I will visit her tomorrow and contribute any bits I might gather there. What I have been told in the past by my mother and her sisters: My great-grandfather was Alexander T, not Alexander A. Can either of you tell me how the Yonkers newspaper listed... Read full post

  5. Robins Research said:

    Hello A few years ago, I went to Oakland Cemetery and I was not able to locate the grave site. I will be returning this week and would love any guidance anyone could provide with locating this plot. I would also love any information that anyone has been able to acquire over the... Read full post

  6. Gianni Yrois said:

    A few years ago, I went to Oakland Cemetery and I was not able to locate the grave site. I will be returning this week and would love any guidance anyone could provide with locating this plot. I would also love any information that anyone... Read full post

  7. Sergio Martínez Cotos-Alvarín said:

    I have found this. Do you have seen it before? I hope it will help you. :) Tell me something.

  8. Robins Research said:

    Thank you Gianni and Sergio! I was able to locate their grave with a little help from the bits of information I was able to obtain about the surrounding graves from this website. So thank you Encyclopedia Titanica Community! I also spent some time in the local library and I was able to find quite a few articles about them, as well as photographs that were published in the local paper. Can anyone explain (or send me a link to) the process/policy of adding information to their profiles. Thank you!

  9. Jim Kalafus said:

    Sorry for coming in late on this thread- I'm only here sporadically now. Did you get the chance to see the residence on Garfield Street? If you turn left out of the main gates, and drive up the hill, it is perhaps two minutes south of the cemetery. When, if ever, you return to Yonkers, check out the May 1915 newspapers. There was a spate of articles about Mr and Mrs Robins, and the estate's case against the White Star Line, concurrent to the Lusitania coverage May 1-15.

  10. Hi, my name is Grahame ROBINS Naudé and I live in South Africa. Having found Alex's name on the internet, I am trying to find out who his grandfather was to see if he may fit into my Robins tree. So far no luck. Can you help?? Cheers, Grahame

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Credits

Gavin Bell, UK
Steve Coombes, UK
Chris Dohany, USA
Simon Hoad, UK
Brian J. Ticehurst, UK

References and Sources

1871 Census
Record of Bodies and Effects: Passengers and Crew, S.S. Titanic
(Public Archives of Nova Scotia) (#7)
Search archive British newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2016) Charity Robins (ref: #1165, last updated: 21st April 2016, accessed 3rd August 2020 09:54:30 AM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-victim/charity-robins.html