Robert D. Holderby (c. 1851-1922) Rockingham County, NC

ROBERT D. HOLDERBY was a clothing salesman and “the undisputed checkers champion” in Reidsville.


He wed 1 Jan 1880 his step-niece LAURA B. OAKS (born c. 1860) . . .

He served as a soldier in the Reidsville Light Infantry during the Spanish American War (see RCHSN, 1 Jan. 1998, p. 7).

He is buried in an unidentified grave Bennett Cem.  There seem to have been no children [WHB – The author’s supposition is untrue. ROBERT HOLDERBY and LAURA BARE OAKS had two children ANNE HOLDERBY BRYANT and Charles Bryant, who were raised by Judge Charles B. Bryant in Martinsville, VA]

Stubblefield, 8 generations, p. 450.


Census Southern District of Rockingham County, North Carolina

554/554 JOSEPH HOLDERBY, age 56, Place of Birth, North Carolina; MARTHA W HOLDERBY, age 52, born North Carolina; Mary L Holderby, age 20, Frances R Holderby, age 18; Lucy A Holderby, age 14, William J Holderby, age 12, ROBERT D HOLDERBY, age 9; Nannie B Holderby age 5 (all family members listed as born, North Carolina); W C Holderby, age 30, occupation Salesman; Sarah G Holderby, age 27; James A Holderby, age 5; Sally age 4; Joseph M Holderby, age 3; William M Holderby, age 1.


Inhabitants in Williamsboro, PO Reidsville, NC 255/249

255/249 MAJOR OAKS, Age 46,  Occupation Tabacconist & Merchant, Value of Real Estate $3500, Value of Personal State, $2000;  Born Virginia;  Married; Fannie Oaks, Age 30, Keeping House, Born Virginia; LOUISA B OAKS, Age 10, At School, Born Virginia; Albert M Oaks, Age 8, Born North Carolina; Francis Vaughn 20 Female Black, Domestic Servant; Charles Vaughn Male Black, Domestic Servant; Francis Smith 16 Male White, Clerk in Store, A. D. Montgomery, Age 38 Male White Clerk in Store (Vaughns, Smith and Montgomery all born North Carolina)

256/250 JOSEPH HOLDERBY, Age 66, Occupation, Farmer, Real Estate $800; Personal Property $200; born Virginia; Nancy W Holderby age 62, Keepinghouse, born North Carolina; William G. Holderby, Age 22, Clerk in Store, Born North Carolina; R[OBERT] B HOLDERBY, Age 19, At School, Born North Carolina; Nannie B, Age 14, At Home, Born North Carolina; Patient Griffin, Age 45, Black Female, Domestic Servant, born North Carolina; Fannie Griffin, Age 13, Black Female, Domestic Servant, born North Carolina; Washington Mebone, Age 50, Black Male Farm laborer, born NC; Emmeline Mebone Age 35, Black Female Farm Laborer, Children Charley Mebone (age 9), farm laborer; John Mebone (age 5), Ann Mebone (Age 3), black, born in North Carolina; Joseph M Cox, age 54 White Male Clerk in Store; G. Fleming Terry, age 21, White Male Clerk in Store  (Cox, Terry born in NC.)


State of North Carolina, Official Register of Deeds, Rockingham County, Dec 23rd 1879.

To any Ordained Minister of any Religious Denomination or any Justice of the Peace of said County; 1. ROBERT D. HOLDERBY, having applied to me for a License for the Mariage of 2. himself of 3. Dansville, VA, aged 4. 28 years, color 5. White, the son of 6. JOSEPH HOLDERBY and 7. MARTHA W HOLDERBY, the father now 8. Dead, the mother 9. Dead, resident of 10. Rockingham County, aged 13. 20 years, And 14. White, daughter of 15. M OAKS and 16. SALLIE OAKS, the father 17. Living, the mother 18. Dead, resident of 19. Rockingham County.

And there being no legal impediment to such marriage known to me, you are hereby authorized, at any time within one year from the date hereof, to celebrate the proposed marriage at any place with the said County . . .  A. J. Lewellyn, Register of Deeds.

State of North Carolina, Rockingham County, 1. W. S. Carter, 2. Justice of the Peace united in matrimony 3. ROBERT D HOLDERBY and 4. LAURA B OAKS the parties licensed above on the 1st of January 1880 at Dr W G Courts in Oregonville Township in said County, according to law.

Witnesses Present at Marriage: W. S. Carter, J.P. Dr W. G. Courts of Ruffin, NC; C H Stokes of Ruffin NC and J H Blackwell of Danville, VA.


ROBERT D. HOLDERBY dies March 27, 1922 in St Leo’s Hospital in Greensboro (Guilford County), NC.  His death certificate (Registration District 41-2278) shows his date of birth as unknown, his age about 73, his profession Farmer and his marital status Married. His father is listed as Joseph Holderby and his mother as ___ Stubblefield. The informant is ___ Saunders. Source: North Carolina Death Certificates 1909-1971.



The following letter was written by Martha Oaks, daughter of MORTIMER OAKS and his second wife, Frances Holderby [Oaks] to ANN [HOLMAN] BURNETT:

837 West 4th Avenue; Hendersonville, NC, June 28th, 1945

Dearest Ann –

For weeks I have been trying to think back over the years and recall the associations of my early childhood with my mother’s family.

My father, a grand gentleman of whom I am very proud had one sister who married and went North with her husband and died childless. He had one brother [WHB-Rice T. Oaks] who  who went to Tenn. married and had a son Rush Oakes. I never met him but your Grandmother visited his family and was very proud of her cousin Rush.

Grandfather JOSEPH HOLDERBY was another fine gentleman. He married Louisa STUBBLEFIELD of Ky. [WHB – He married MARTHA STUBBLEFIELD, who was born in North Carolina]. I gave Elizabeth the picture I had of her Mother MARTHA STUBBLEFIELD for whom I was named. I asked Elizabeth to see that M. O. B. [Martha Oaks Burnett] gets the picture when she no longer wants it.

Knowing that I was born of good solid American parents I have never been obsessed with the notion of parentages. However, Edna Lindsey, my first cousin was to a certain extent and used to get irked with me because I would not give it the attention she thought I should.

I haave not seen or heard anything of them since 1919. However, if this war is ever ended and we can get gas & tires you and I will go to Reidsville and have a look around.

Of one things you and your children need every feel anything but pride in your Holderby Oaks side of the family.

The Holderbys were so hidebound in their belief on the sacredness of the holy bonds of matrimony they never forgave my Sister for leaving Uncle Bob.

Everyone loved Uncle Bob. He had a hunting accident when he was quite young that left him with a practically useless left arm. This handicapped him as a bread winner and that was the principle reason for the objection to the marriage. Your Grandfather was a charming gentleman, very handsome and the neatest man I ever knew. Hope this information will help to some extent your interest in your family.

Ann, I have been trying everywhere to get a good family size electric range. I am wondering if you and GORMAN [BURNETT] could possible locate one. Second hand but as they call it reconditioned. We want it for a cousin of Mary L’Englis who lives in Ga. When we begin to get along in years, marking fires and getting in wood is hard work. So if you could help us out in getting a good range for Mrs. Boyd we would surely appreciate it.

We are having spring like weather and the Winlis Jasemin along the garden fence is beginning to bloom. These first and side blooms are so welcome.

I keep the little snap of Martha on the corner of my mirror. She is a dear, isn’t she.

Byt this time you have recovered from Christmas., I hope. I have not finished my Christmas thanks you notes yet. I go so far, and then I am just a bit written out. We hope you are all well and that othe work in the house is progressing. It looked pretty good to me when I was there, but I guess you know what redecorating you want.

My love to you all, and all my good wishes. Lovingly, Aunt Martha.


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