Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Celebrating the Life of Almeda Vincent Robinson Terry

Almeda Vincent Robinson Terry

My paternal great-great Grandmother Almeda Vincent Robinson Terry was born 182 years ago today 21 April 1838. Almeda was the fourth of nine children, and the first daughter born to Stephen and Caroline F. (Overton) Robinson probably in Riverhead, Suffolk County, New York. Almeda’s father was a farmer, based on census records.

Almeda would marry Gilbert Terry 21 October 1857 when she was 19 years old and Gilbert was 24 years old. Almeda would give birth to 5 children: Carrie (my great-grandmother), an unnamed infant daughter, Ella, Forrest and Millard.

The US Federal Census of 1860 on 30 July would show Almeda as 22 years old, born in New York, Gilbert as 27 years old, an 18 year old farm laborer John Young and Gilbert’s sister 19 year old Josephine V. Terry as living with the young couple in Mattituck, Southold town, Suffolk County, New York. Gilbert and Josephine’s mother Eliza died a year before and their father had remarried. Could this be why she is living with her brother? Josephine would later marry Charles A. Aldrich.

In 1870 Almeda and Gilbert had a daughter who lived only 19 days.

The US Federal Census of 1870 on 2 June shows Almeda as 32 and Keeping House as her occupation, Gilbert as 37 with Miller as his occupation, Carrie as 7 years old living in Southold, Suffolk County, New York. I wonder what is was like to be a Miller’s wife in Peconic in 1870?

The US Federal Census of 1880 on 21 of J shows Almeda as 42 years old, Keeping House, Gilbert as 47 years old and a Miller, Ella as 7 years old, Forrest as 3 years old and Millard as 5 months old living in Peconic, Suffolk County, New York. My great-grandmother Carrie (18 years old) was attending the Normal School for Teacher training in Newark, New Jersey at the time.

Youngest son Millard E. died at the age of 11 in Peconic, New York on 8 August 1891 of cerebral apoplexy. Millard was buried in Greenport. Cerebral apoplexy usually refers to stroke symptoms, with a sudden onset, due to bleeding into the brain. Searching local newspapers doesn’t yield any results or even a mention of Millard’s death. Was there an accident? Did he fall and hit his head and that caused his death? There is a gap in Carrie’s Letters from July 1891 until December 1891. Millard is never mentioned again in her letters.

The US Federal Census of 1900 on 6 June shows Almeda as 62 years old, 42 years married, 5 children with 3 children still living. Almeda was able to read, write and speak English. Gilbert was 67 years old Farm Laborer, and son Forest was 23 years old, Farm Laborer. Their home was Rented and they just had a house. Gilbert’s sister Josephine Petty is next on the census and must have been living next door at the time. Josephine’s first husband Charles died in 1872 and she married David Petty. David died in 1897. Josephine was listed as a Farmer by occupation. She owned her home mortgage free and had a farm. I wonder if Gilbert and Forest worked for her?

On 27 April 1907 Almeda’s husband Gilbert died at the age of 74. Gilbert’s death occurred just six months shy of their 50th Wedding Anniversary.

The US Federal Census of 1910 in May I am unable to find a listing for Almeda. I am able to find the record for children Carrie, Ella and Forrest but Almeda is not listed with any of them. I wonder if she was with family and they forgot to list her?

In the New York State Census of 1 June 1915 Almeda Terry is 77 years old and living with her daughter and family in the Village of Cutchogue, Southold Town, New York.

The US Federal Census of 1920 on 20 January shows Widow Almeda is 81 years old and living in Southold, New York with her daughter Ella (46 years old), son-in-law George Billard (49 year old Farmer), and their sons Irving (17 years old) and Ellis (15 years old).
Almeda passed away 15 October 1925 in Cutchogue, New York at the home of her daughter Ella Terry Billard. Almeda died from Apoplexy (stroke) at the age of 87 and is buried next to her husband Gilbert and their infant daughter.

I wonder about ‘Vincent’ as Almeda’s middle name. Where did that come from? Was it a typical name for a girl to have in 1838 or is she named for someone I haven’t found yet?

I am very fortunate to have the above picture of Almeda. Maybe from the 1890s?  I wonder how old she was in the picture? When I enlarge the photo (click on photo to enlarge) and look at her I see a woman who had many trials in her life, including burying 3 children and her husband, but still looks very beautiful.

Happy Birthday Almeda!

If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,


  1. Interesting and amazing how certain last names repeat and continue today. I could in vision a good many of the present north fork inhabitants that can trace their roots back to colonial times be related to one another?

    1. Definitely! I always chuckle at the last names that come up in my research and think the the same names of people I went through school with and never knew of the family connections. Thank-you!