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"Robert Roberston, Agent"
Robert Robertson had some link to Actor Boris Karloff (William Henry Pratt: 1887-1969; Immigrated to Canada in 1911 left for Hollywood c. 1919), perhaps even 'discovering' him or being responsible for getting him to Hollywood. He is also the ancestor who may have been approached by French government officials attempting to make reparations for Irish nationals who were dispossessed during the French Revolution. The lead here, in the absence of other names, is 'Robertson'. The 1871 Ontario Census lists a Robert Robertson aged 36 born in Scotland with the occupation of 'RR Employee' living in Middlesex North, Sub-district Lobo (D) - to the west of London, Ontario. While not confirmed this location is consistent with what was known including living for a time in the London area and working for the GWRR or Grand Trunk Railway. The 1891 census has him as Station Master Grand Trunk Railway in St. Catherine's Ontario. Listings of children and their estimated birth dates are taken from this census c/o EMT. According to EMT, daughter Roberta told the tale of Robert being approached by the French government in the 1880/90's who contacted him a a surviving relative of foreigners (Irish) killed during the French Revolution. According to the story Robert turned down the offer claiming he had enough for his family and did not want their money. The persons named for whom the reparations were being offered was possibly Montague, perhaps ancestor on the maternal family side. EMT's research shows the creation of 3 Irish Regiments in service to the French monarch, all but one suffering executions either by English or French during the revolution. This will lead to more research of both Irish and French connections. Robert Robertson, according to family lore, was the or a telegraph operator at one end of Alexander Graham Bell's first phone call (August 4, 1876, Mount Pleasant to Brantford, Ontario) or long distance phone call (August 10, 1876, Brantford to Paris, Ontario; seven miles via telegraph in Toronto - 63 miles). Search as of November 1999 looking for evidence of actual presence at this event. Oral history, dates, general locations and occupation are consistent with these events. A postcard post-marked May 7, 1907 travelled from Stirling Scotland to St. Catherines Ontario arriving May 17, 1907 addressed to Robert Robertson Esq. from R.W. Robertson; Message: " We are daily enjoying the lovely views from the walls on the top of this rock. Expect to be in Dunkild and Aberfildy shortly." It now appears that Robert W. Robertson was a cousin to Robert and was the person "instumental in bringing 'Boris Karloff' to America". R.W. was supposed to have been a movie director who lived some of his life in Hollywood. Further Contact: Dana Taylor