Rubli to Rubley
Switzerland to the United States
The Story of the Charlie Rubley Family
Charles Rubli/Rubley Sr. and his family lived in Switzerland until late 1879. In 1880 he, his wife, and 4 children immigrated to the USA. By June of 1880, they were living in Wawarsing, Uster County, New York. Sometime after that, the family moved south, staying in Pennsylvania for an unknown period of time, before arriving in Tennessee by 1882. Except for a short stay in Alabama, Charles Sr. live in Tennessee until his death in 1919.
Between the time that Charles Sr. arrived in Tennessee and about 1900, the spelling and pronunciation of the name had been changed, at least unofficially, from Rubli to Rubley.
Charles Sr. and his sons were associated with mining and coke production. At the turn of the century, the sons followed the thriving coal business and moved from Tennessee to the coal fields of Northern Alabama. From there, their descendents spread across the US.
For clarity, in this report, the father Charles Rubli/Rubley, born about 1844, will be referred to as Charles Rubley Sr. or just Charles Sr.
His son Charles Rubli/Rubley, born 1874, will be referred to as Charles Jr.
All other persons by the name of Charles will be referred to in terms of their father (Charles, son of Albert) where necessary.
Comment on this Document
This document is a layman’s attempt to capture what is known about this family before the passage of time further obscures vital details. The style is narrative with minimal attention given to references and sources. Two attachments, the Genealogical Chart, and Sandra Tate Hereford’s research into Elizabeth and Charles Jr., provide an abundance of sources and references for those interested in serious genealogical research.
The lion’s share of the credit for this document goes to Sandra Hereford (G G Granddaughter of Charles Sr.), Dorothy Irvin (G Granddaughter of Charles Sr.), Ellen Stuart (G G Granddaughter of Charles Sr.), and Jack Rubley (G Grandson of Charles Sr.). They provided many documents and stories and then spent countless hours collecting information and researching this family. Special thanks go to David Rubley for creating the spark that got this project rolling in the first place.
A special debt of gratitude is owed to 2 individuals; Sandra Tate Hereford for her extensive contribution to this document. A contribution, without which, the document may not have been written and Brenda Slotta for supplying photos from Elizabeth Jr. photo album.
This document relies heavily on US Census data, Social Security Death Index, Immigration records, birth and death certificates and newspaper accounts. While these sources are not without potential problems, most key facts have been cross checked against family documents or oral tradition. Copies of supporting documentation and information of interest can be found at www.RubleyFamily.org .
The assembled genealogical report was developed by assembling individual facts. No part of this document relies on any downloaded family trees from sources such as Root Web, or Genealogy.Com. All critical information has been sourced.
This is not intended to be a scholarly work, just a good, solid collection of information. Hopefully, it will inspire other members of the Rubley family to develop a more accurate and comprehensive document.
Forms of the Name
As the title of this report implies the family name has not always been Rubley. The family was first known by the Swiss/German form of the name, Rubli. As with many European names it was eventually Americanized to it’s present form, Rubley..
The first printed record, the ship’s log at the time of immigration, uses the Swiss form of the name, Rubli. This was apparently considered to be the “legal” form of the name as late as 1890. A court record where Charles Rubley was seeking citizenship refers repeatedly to Charles Rubli. In 1896 when Carlena Rubley was born, a family Bible entry identified the father as Karl (Charles Jr.) Rubli.
The “Ruble” form of the name is first noted in summaries of immigration records and 1880 census data. These summaries may not be totally accurate. When the census image is enlarged and reprocessed by computer enhancement it appears that the name remains Rubli. The error, Ruble vs. Rubli occurs because it is very difficult to see the dot above the “i” so the “i” is often misread as an “e”. Given the script form of writing the letters e and i appear almost identical.
It is not know exactly when the common use form of the name was changed to its current form, Rubley, nor why. It is known that by 1900 all census records in Tennessee and Alabama used the Rubley format.
The Rubley Family Immigrates to America
Charles Rubley Sr.
Knowledge of Charles Sr. begins with a ship’s log. He and his family departed the French port of Le Havre, France and arrived in New York on March 26, 1880. Immigration records reflect that he was Swiss, age 36, and born about 1844.
The ship’s log shows the following family members.
Charlie H. Ruble, age 36
Elizabeth, age 34
Child Elizabeth, age 11
Child William, age 8
Child Chas, age 6
Child Emil, age 4
Child Adolph, age 1
The port of departure, Le Havre, is in the extreme north of France on the English Channel. In the 1880’s, it was a major port for transatlantic crossings. They traveled to American aboard the Steamer “France”. It was 355 feet long and 43 feet wide with two masts and two side paddlewheels.
Fortunately for us, Charles Ruble (Rubli) Sr. arrived in time to be counted in the 1880 census. He and his family were living in Wawarsing (War-sink), Ulster County, New York, in the Catskill Mountains. This census confirmed the ship’s log and provided an initial base for estimating dates of birth.
Name Date of Birth Country Occupation
Charles Sr. Rubli/Ruble 1844 Switzerland Farmer
Elizabeth 1846 “
Elizabeth 1878 “
William 1872 “
Emil 1876 “
Adolph 1879 “
It is believed that he and his family left Wawarsing sometime in 1880 and moved, based on unverified oral history, into Pennsylvania. There is no documentation as to where they lived in Pennsylvania or for how long.
It is known that the family was in Tennessee by 1882, just two years after arriving in the US. This is based on the fact that their 6th child, Albert, was born in 1882 in Tennessee as documented in the 1920 Alabama census.
Charles Sr. and Elizabeth’s family continued to grow as Lena was born in 1887 and Edward in 1891.
It should be noted that the 8 children listed are the 8 that attained adulthood. From the 1900 Grundy County Tennessee Census it is known that Elizabeth had given birth to a total of 15 children however only 8 survived. Both the number of births and the survival rate are reasonable numbers for the 1800’s.
From the 1900 census, it is known that Charles Sr. came to the US in 1880, and had become a naturalized citizen of the US. It is also know that he and his wife could both read and write in English.
This would be a good point to discuss some events that had an impact on this family; specifically conditions in Switzerland and the coal/coke industry in Tennessee and Alabama.. Following that, each family member will be examined and discussed.
While there is no documentations as to why this one family chose to immigrate. It is known that economic conditions in Switzerland in the 1850 to 1880 period resulted in a mass movement of Swiss to the US.
"A general stagnation in business occurred; overproduction of manufacture glutted the markets and the trade in and demand for Swiss goods declined. Large numbers of workmen were thrown out of employment. In addition, a partial failure of Swiss crops caused the necessities of life to rise in price; distress became general and great among the working classes, and it became a serious question how to employ the ever-increasing population." (“Forgotten Colony” by David E. Clayton)
Between 1844 and 1881 the Swiss Government sponsored the creation of eight Swiss Colonies within the US. This included a Colony at Grutli, Grundy County, Tennessee (10 – 15 miles north of Tracy City and Coalmont). These communities attempted to retain their Swiss culture with singing societies and drama groups. The colonies were known for their farming and cheese & wine production.
While Charles Sr. Rubley and family were never directly associated with the colony at Grutli, the fact that the German speaking Swiss were both established and accepted (if not openly admired) within the Grundy County would have made this remote mountain location somewhat more attractive.
Journey from Switzerland
Again there is no specific record concerning the family’s actual trip to the US beyond what is known from the ship’s log and a typical photo of the ship. Records from other Swiss countrymen of the same period can shed some light on what it might have been like in 1880.
“Casper Schild and his family took a train from their hometown of Brienz in the canton of Bern, Switzerland, to Le Havre, France where they embarked on a boat bound for the United States.
Upon arriving in New York City, the party spent some time in Sullivan County, New York, where at the time, there was a colony of 388 native Swiss.'" From Sullivan County they boarded another boat for Norfolk, Virginia, where they took a train for Chattanooga, Tennessee.”
(“Forgotten Colony” by David E. Clayton)
Charles Sr. departed from the same port, Le Havre France, and spent a short time in New York State, however in Ulster County.
The journey across the Atlantic did not qualify as a cruise. By today’s standards the ship was very small. The food left a lot to be desired. Here is a report from another countryman on a typical journey from France to New York in this same general timeframe.
“The hard ship’s biscuits designed not to quite kill them but to make them very sick. Of this hardtack we have sufficient, but this is not human food. The pigs that are kept on board refuse to eat it. It is made in 1/4 pound pieces, of dark brown color inside and out and is so hard as to require a hammer to break into pieces."
“It is made solely of bran and only a wolf's stomach can digest it. It is calculated to kill by slow starvation.”
The Move to Tennessee
While there is no documentation as to why the family chose to move to Tennessee, it is known that most regions of the US were growing and would have held promise for an industrious Swiss family.
What is known about Tennessee is that it may have been one of the more prosperous of the Southern states. Tennessee emerged from the Civil War in a unique position for recovery and growth. Some of the reasons are as follows.
· Tennessee was the last border state to secede from the Union and join the Confederate States and the first to return to the Union.
· Tennessee did not leave the Union in the same manner as other states but rather voted for independence.
· Tennessee was a divided state with East Tennessee favoring the Union and Middle and West Tennessee the Confederate States.
· Tennessee was continuously represented in the US Congress/Senate throughout the war. It was both a Northern State and an Independent.
As a result of this duel status, Tennessee was spared many of the pains of Reconstruction and therefore rebounded much faster following the Civil War.
A second and more likely reason for the move to Tennessee is recruitment by the coal companies. It was common for coal companies throughout the US to send recruiters to the East and seek out recent European immigrants. They represented a sizable labor pool that was very hard working – ideal for the mines.
Coal and Its Effect on the Family's Movements
While immigration records consider Charles Sr. to be a farmer, his life in the US and the lives of his children were tied to the coal and coke industry. Understanding coal’s role in the area will help better understand the family’s movements..
Prior to the Civil War, the Sewanee Mining Company was formed. When the Sewanee site proved less productive than expected, the mining company extended their tracks ten miles farther to the Wooten site, which became the town of Tracy City. The first coal was shipped from the site on November 8, 1858.
After the Civil War, creditors in New York and Tennessee won judgments against the company and bought the property. Arthur St. Clair Colyar, a Tennessee attorney, became the president of the new company, which eventually became the Tennessee Coal, Iron, and Railroad Company (TCI&R) in 1881.Colyar recognized the need for coke in the iron smelting industry and experimented with its production. In 1873 the company erected the famous Fiery Gizzard Coke Iron Furnace at Tracy City and produced fifteen tons of iron before it collapsed. That original furnace demonstrated the efficacy of Tracy City coal and determined the economic future of the city and the region in general.
In 1885, TCI&R started to shift its operations to the Birmingham, AL area. That area had both coal and iron ore in plentifully supply. By 1886, it purchased the Pratt Coal and Iron Company and began to consolidate operations. By 1900 it had acquired a number of coal, coke, rail, and steel operations. In that year it had the second largest blast furnace operation in the US, the second largest coke production, and operated 15 iron ore mines.
The shift to Alabama left Grundy County, TN open for development by a smaller company. In 1903 the Sewanee Coal, Coke and Land Company began mining coal in Coaldale, later known as Coalmont. In 1908 the Sewanee Fuel and Iron Company bought the holdings and built coke ovens in Coalmont.
In 1918 the railroad was extended to Palmer, where a new company, Tennessee Consolidated Coal, opened new mines. Emphasis shifted to solely coal production and not conversion of coal to coke.
(The above information comes from various papers written concerning the history of Tennessee Coal, Iron, & Rail.)
Key Coal Dates
Early 1880s Formation of TCI&R Charles Sr. moves family to Tracy City
1890s Movement of TCI&R to Alabama Charles Sr.’s sons move to Alabama
1902 Sewanee Fuel and Iron is formed Charles Sr. moves to Coalmont, TN
This section will be devoted to a narrative discussion of Charles H. Rubley and his family. For a more detailed examination of the family, complete with Source Notes and Comments refer to Appendices X, Y and Z.
Charles H. Rubley Sr.
b: May 1, 1844 in Switzerland d: June 29, 1919
Burial: City Cemetery, Tracy City, Tennessee
Little is known about Charles Sr. prior to 1880. Efforts to determine his home town or Canton (State), when he and Elizabeth married, or even his occupation have met with little success.
"He married Elizabeth Keller Abt. 1868, daughter of Conrad Keller and Barbara King (Ger. Konig)
Stories within the family differ on whether or not he came alone or immigrated with 1 or 2 brothers. Based on a review of the ship’s log and immigration records it is assumed that the family was alone on the 1880 voyage. It should be noted that the family lived next door to a Henry Rubli family for a short period of time in New York. However there is no documentation connecting the two families.
The family’s short stopover in New York State appears to be fairly typical of Swiss immigrants. It is viewed as a period to recoup and regain strength after a long and difficult voyage. The local New York community regularly greeted fellow countrymen and assisted them in this transition. According to the census of 1880, Charles Sr. and his family were in the town of Wawarsing, Ulster County, New York. This township is located some 75 air miles north of New York City and is described in the following way,
“Town of Wawarsing -- Wawarsing Township, the third largest political unit in the county (Ulster), is located in the extreme southwest section, with the Shawangunk range on its eastern border and the foothills of the Catskills on its western border. The central portion lies in the Rondout Valley, with its winding streams, fertile farms and beautiful homes. This was formerly a part of Rochester Township.”
As has been previously mentioned, coal companies frequently recruited workers from the newly arriving European population. This may have been the case with Charles Sr.
Charles Sr. occupation in the 1880 census was that of Farmer but in later year he was listed as a Blacksmith – Mines.
Charles Sr. and family came to Tennessee sometime between 1880 and 1882. Census records indicate that his son, Albert, was born in Tennessee in 1882. The family lived first in Tracy City and later in Coalmont. At one point Charles Sr. and wife Elizabeth moved to Alabama only to return to Tennessee. There is no firm documentation as to when they moved to Alabama; however what documentation that does exist indicates that they moved in the Fall of 1916 and returned in 1917. Elizabeth and Lena had previously had an extended stay in Alabama in 1915.
2004 News Report on the hazards of coal mine work written by William Ray Tuner and published in the Grundy County Herald on July 14, 2004, states that "At the Coalmont Mine "O," Charles Rubley, a black Smith, got his ankle crushed by a mine car in the Blacksmith Shop."
Charles Sr. died in 1919 in Coalmont TN and was buried in the City Cemetery in Tracy City, Tennessee in an unmarked grave.
b: Feb 27, 1846 in Switzerland d: Sept 16, 1935
Burial: Calvary Cemetery, 1001 Lebanon Road, Nashville, TN
Like her husband, little is known about Elizabeth prior her arrival in the US. Documentation exists that indicates that Elizabeth was born in February of 1846 (1900 census) and that her maiden name was Keller (son Edward’s death certificate). Records from “The Little Sisters of the Poor” in Nashville indicate that her parents were Conrad Keller and Barbara King (Ger. Konig).
Independent of these two sources are church records in Switzerland for the birth and christening of one Elizabeth Keller, daughter of Martin Keller and Barbra Klemenz, born February 27, 1846. While the date of birth appears to match Elizabeth Keller Rubley, the father's first name and the mother's last name are inconsistent.
Elizabeth was a mother and homemaker. According to the 1900 Census she had 15 children with only 8 surviving to adulthood. Nothing is known about the children that did not survive. There was 23 years between the first and last surviving child so there is an adequate interval for 15 children to have been born.
Family tradition says that she was an excellent cook. Adolph’s oldest daughter, Mae, was in the kitchen with her grandmother in Alabama and she has passed along stories about Elizabeth’s cooking skill. Elizabeth was especially skilled at baking. She even prepared her own yeast cakes.
Elizabeth survived to experience the loss of 7 infants/children, 2 adult children (Edward and Lena) and her husband. Following that loss of her husband when she was 73, she moved from her home in Coalmont to live in Alabama with four of her sons. From daughter, Lena’s obituary it is known that Elizabeth was at her bedside when she did in 1923. Elizabeth would have been 77 at the time.
According to family stories, after living in Alabama several years, she decided she wanted to return to Switzerland. Reportedly she secretly packed her suitcase and caught a train out of town. She eventually found her way to Nashville, TN. Alone and destitute, she was taken in by a Catholic charity know as the “Little Sister of the Poor”. She lived there several years, eventually going blind from a condition of the eye. She passed away and was laid to rest September 18, 1935 in Calvary Cemetery, 1001 Lebanon Road, Nashville, TN. The plot was owned by “Little Sister of the Poor”. Her individual grave was never marked.
She did raise a family with some apparent natural musical ability. A handwritten family note gives the following information.
Charles Sr. and Elizabeth loved to dance.
William played the bass horn
Adolph the French harp
Albert the guitar
Emil the drums
Lena the piano & organ
Children of Charles Sr. and Elizabeth
This section will focus on the 8 children previously identified. The intent is to provide an overview of their lives. For a listing of their descendents please see the Genealogical Report in Appendix A.
b: May 22, 1898 in Switzerland d: April 26,1940
Burial: Elgin, OK
Elizabeth, AKA Lizzie, is the oldest of the eight children and was first identified on the ship’s log and again in the 1880 Ulster County, New York census.
At the age of 14, she moved with the family to Tennessee. There are no surviving census records placing her in Tennessee however there is an abundance of documentations associated with her first marriage (William Graf) and children that places her in Tennessee.
Recent research by Sandra Tate Hereford (See Appendix E) has tracked Elizabeth’s migration and her 6 marriages.. During her adult life she lived in Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas/Oklahoma, and Arizona, was married 5 times, and had 12 children by her first 3 husbands.
Elizabeth’s migration generally followed developments in mining. From her family of miners in Tennessee and Alabama to the coal fields in Sebastian County, Arkansas and eventually to the copper mines in Cochise County, Arizona.
William Graf William, Eda, Lillie, Robert, Emily, Ralph, Herman, and Earnestine,
Will M. Thomas Helen, Unknown Child
Walter. R. Taylor Louise, Vernia
Leo Nepoleon Deplonque
A. S. Howard
Several of Elizabeth’s children and grandchild eventually migrated west to Southern California..
At the end of her life she was living in Elgin, Oklahoma with or near her daughters.
b: September 26, 1872 in Switzerland d: June 3, 1946
Burial: Old Flatwoods Cemetery, Walker County, Alabama (N33 57'. 231 W87 29.853)
William, AKA Will, was the first of 6 boys. He was 8 years old when they immigrated and is identified on the ship’s log and in the 1880 census. He married Elizabeth Margaret Holland and they had 6 children; Daisy, Elise, Elzia, Delia, Columbus, and Viola.
William’s occupation is listed as Miner on census records.
Based on census records the first two girls, Daisy and Elsie, were born in Tennessee. The next 4 children were born in Nauvoo Alabama.
William and his family moved to Alabama by about 1900, based on the children’s dates of birth,. The timing of this movement is consistent with the development of coal and steel interests in Alabama by Tennessee Coal, Iron & Rail. William may or may not have worked in Alabama continuously from 1900. At least two of his brothers did return for some period to work in Tennessee.
William played the bass horn in the Nauvoo Brass Band. He and his son, Columbus, appear in the most often published 1926 photograph of the band.
William and his descendents are keepers of the Rubley Family Clock. The clock was most likely passed to William after his father died. From William it was entrusted to his daughter Delia. In 1985 she transferred the clock to Thomas Gunn Jr. Following his death in 1997 the clock was transferred to Thomas Gunn III of Decatur, AL. The clock is 161 years old and is reportedly still in good working order.
(This team has attempted, unsuccessfully to view or photograph the clock. The owner has exercised his right to restrict access)
Charles Rubley Jr.
b. About1874 in Switzerland d. Unknown
Charles was the third of 8 children and was the second male. Born is Switzerland he was about six years old when the family immigrated to America.
Records exist to indicate that he lived, at least, in New York, Tennessee, Alabama, and Arkansas. He was married at least 3 times and had 4 children.
On December 23, 1895 he married Anna Nancy von Rohr, oldest daughter of Leonard von Rohr and Elizabeth Schoenman von Rohr. The von Rohrs were a part of the Swiss Colony located in Gruetili, Grundy County, Tennessee. There is no documentation that the Charles Rubley Sr. family was ever associated officially with the Swiss Colony. The Colony would have been the largest concentration of German speaking Swiss in that part of Tennessee.
Charles and Anna had two children, Carlena and Ernest. To the best that it can be determined, Carlena was born in 1896 in Tennessee shortly before the family moved to Pratt City Alabama. Ernest was born in Pratt City, Alabama in 1998.
By 1900 this union had been dissolved with Anna returning to Grundy County, Tennessee and was living with her brother Fred. By 1902 Annie had married James Edward Scruggs. She lived the remainder of her life in Tarlton, Grundy County, Tennessee and had 3 additional children.
The last known contact between Charles and his first family occurred during 1912. That year he briefly visited his daughter, Carlena, in the Tarlton Community of Grundy County.
Sometime around 1900, Charles Jr. moved to Arkansas. In 1903, Charles Jr. married Susan Loudermilk in Sebastian County Arkansas. They had 2 children, Amy and Laura
In 1913 Charles Jr. married a third time. His bride was Lula Fish also of Sebastian County Arkansas. There is no record of any children from this union..
The last public record with any reference to Charles Jr. is his father’s obituary in 1919. It indicates that Charles is living in Arkansas. During a 2007 interview with a member of the Rubley family in Alabama, Charles was referred to as “the one who left and was never heard from again.”
Early in his mining career, Charles Jr. received a serious injury to his left hand. As a result he was unable to work as a miner. While living in Pratt City he was employed at a bakery.
b. About1875 in Switzerland d. 1933 in Alabama
Burial: Old Flatwoods Cemetery, Walker County, Alabama (N33 57'. 231 W87 29.853)
Emil, AKA Amos, was the fourth of 8 children and was the third male. Born is Switzerland, he was about five years old when he came to America..
Emil was married twice. His first marriage was to Martha Goldston, daughter of Richard and Mary Goldston. Emil and Martha had two children; Marge and Clarence.
His second marriage was to Nora Williams and included two stepdaughters; Frankie and Christine.
By 1898, when Emil and Martha’s son Clarence was born, the family was living in Walker County, AL. According to the 1900 census, Emil’s family was living in the home of his father-in law, Richard Goldston. Their second child, Madge was born in 1902.
It appears that Martha may have died sometime between 1902 and 1910. By 1910, Madge Rubley, age 8, was boarding with the Harrison Thompson family. Emil and Clarence were living together as boarders at the home of Columbus Pate.
By the 1920 census, son Clarence had married Margaret (maiden name unknown) and was living a few houses away from both Aldoph’s and Albert’s families in Walker County, Alabama. Marge was living with Aldoph’s family. Ultimately Marge and Aldoph’s daughter, Viola Mae, married brothers, Fred and Oscar McGough.
The 1930 census provides the only information about the second marriage which was to Nora Williams. They were married in 1925 and Nora had two daughter at the time, ages 1 and 13.
b. January 8, 1879 in Switzerland d. October 23, 1923 in Alabama
Burial: Old Flatwoods Cemetery, Walker County, Alabama (N33 57'. 231 W87 29.853)
Adolph was the fifth of 8 children and was the forth male. Born is Switzerland, he was approximately one year old when he came to America.
Adolph married Cora Lee Thomas and they had seven children; Viola, Geraldine, Louise, Charles Henry, Ernest, William, and Edna.
Family records and newspaper accounts provide considerable information on Adolph’s family and descendents. These records include a newspaper interview with Adolph’s daughter on the occasion of her 90th birthday. The text of this document has been included in an Appendix F
Adolph’s census occupation is that of miner or laborer, miner. Adolph, William and most likely Albert moved from Tennessee to Alabama prior to the census of 1900. Once in Alabama, he met and married Cora Lee Thomas. Together they raised 8 children. See genealogical chart for additional details concerning the children and the above referenced appendix for more information on the Cora Thomas family.
Adolph and his younger brother Albert appear to have returned to Tennessee around 1909. According to census each had a daughter, Louise and Helen respectively, born in Tennessee that year. There is no documented reason for this move. However, labor unrest and availability of employment would be possible explanations
b. February 24, 1882 in Tennessee d. May 24, 1962 in Alabama
Burial: Pocahontas Free Will Baptist Church, Rubley Road, Carbon Hill, Alabama
(N33 52.355 W87 28.914)
Albert, AKA Tab, was the sixth of 8 children and was the fifth male. He was also the first in the family to be born in the United States.
Albert’s birthday is used as an indicator of the latest possible date of arrival in Tennessee. The family had arrived in New York on March 26, 1880. They were surveyed in the New York census June 15, 1880, and were in Tennessee no later than February 24, 1882, the date of Albert’s birth.
Albert married Leona Manasco and they had seven children; James (Louie), Helen, Viola (Boots), Charles E., Willie Mae (Bill), Albert Jr., and Margie (Snoobie).
Albert’s census occupation was shown as miner or laborer, miner. It is believed that Albert moved, with his brothers, from Grundy County, Tennessee to Alabama around 1900. He would have been 18 at the time. It is known that at least one brother, Charlie Jr., was in Prattville (Pratt City) prior to 1900..
b. July 1887 in Grundy County Tennessee d. Nov 21, 1923 in Harrisburg, IL
Burial: Sunset Hills Cemetery, Harrisburg, IL
Lena was the seventh of 8 children and was the second of two females. She was the second in the family to be born in the United States.
Lena was married twice. Her first marriage was to Frank Sartin of Grundy County, Tennessee on June 25, 1906. They had one son, Charles. He was born in 1910. This is last documentation found on Charlie. It is assumed that he died as an infant.
Lena and Frank were divorced by 1915. Based on newspaper articles from Grundy County, by 1915 Frank was living in Oklahoma and Lena was in Coalmont, TN and going by her maiden name, Miss Lena Rubley.
Frank had returned to Grundy Co by 1920 and was living in a boarding house. By 1930 he had married Bernice and they were living in Canton, Ohio with their 6 year old son, Hoyle A. Sartin.
Lena’s second marriage was to Harvie Harrison on June 16, 1918. They had twins, Earl and Pearl Harrison in 1919. This was a second marriage for Harvie Harrison as well. His first marriage was to Thursa Holt and they had two children, James and Lucille. .
The 1920 census for Illinois includes Harvey, Lena, James, Lucille, Earl and Pearl. Lena died Nov 21, 1923 at the age of 36 leaving Harvie with 4 children ranging in age from 4 years to 16 years old.
By 1930 Harvie and the two 11 year old twins were living with his daughter, Lucille Harrison Fiala, in Detroit, MI. The family credits Lucille with taking a significant interest in raising Earl and Pearl. Sometime much later in life, Harvie married for a third time. No record of this union has been located.
Harvie had worked as a coal miner in the coal fields of Tennessee and Southern Illinois. Later he worked as a manager of a grocery store in Michigan.
b. April 30, 1891 d. March 23, 1916
Burial: City Cemetery, Tracy City, Tennessee
Edward, AKA Eddie, was the last of 8 children and was the sixth male. He was the third in the family to be born in the United States.
Edward married once and fathered one child who died in infancy.
He was born in Tracy City and moved to Coalmont with his parents. Like others in the family, he was a coal miner. He died at the age of 24. He is buried near his father in the City Cemetery, Tracy City, Tennessee.
Edward married Beckie Layne in 1911. They had one child who appears to have died in infancy in May 1913. Both Edward and Beckie died prematurely at the age of 24; Eddie in 1916 and Beckie in 1917.
Based on the 1910 Grundy County Census, Beckie (Becky) and her sister, Myrtle, lived with their half brother John W. Ross.
From newspaper reports, it is known that in July 1916 following Eddie’s death in March that Mrs. Charles Rubley and Becky traveled to Alabama for a visit. Based on these reports, this visit may have been a precursor to Charles Sr. and Elizabeth’s move to Alabama.
To this point, this report has provided only a broad outline of what is known about Charles Rubley and his immediate family. Other parts of this web site will provide more detailed information regarding these individual, their descendents, and sources of key information.
After months of work there are many unanswered question. The biggest question of all concerns this family’s Swiss roots.
The Rubley Research Team