Speaker John Robinson

From the Hon. Mr. Speaker Robinson

Sept. 15th 1754


I have the pleasure to acquaint you that the House of Burgesses have taken particular notice of the Bravery of Yourself, and the rest of the Officers and Soldiers under your command, in the gallant Defence of your Country, and have ordered me to return you their Thanks for it, which I cant do better than by transcribing the Order. "Ordered that the Thanks of this House be given to Col. George Washington, Capt. Mackay of His Majesty's independent Company, and the Officers under his Command; Major Adam Stephen, Capt. Robert Stobo, Peter Hog, Andrew Lewis, George Mercer, Lieutenants Thomas Waggener, William Polson, John Savage, James Towers, Ensigns William Bronough, John Mercer, William Peyronie, and James Craig, for their late gallant and brave Behaviour in the Defence of their County; and that the Speaker be desired to acquaint him of the same to desire him to inform the other Gentlemen of it, and to communicate to the Soldiers the just Sense this House have of their Bravery also." I heartily wish you Success in all your undertakings and am


Your Most Obedient Servant

John Robinson.

More about Speaker John Robinson in this site.

Welcome, from David J. Schimka

The research on this site began about 1990 and continues to this day. The Schimka family story follows the typical 20th Century European immigrant experience of arrival by steam liner through New York City and a continuation west. Passenger records show that the Schimka family was destined for Des Plaines, Illinois and many descendants of the nine children of James and Anna still live in that area today. Some would later serve in World War II and other conflicts to secure the freedom of Americans and many others.

The maternal line researched, on the other hand, follows an altogether different immigrant experience rooted in much earlier times. The most recent arrival in the maternal family line immigrated to the United States from Ireland in the 1830s, before the worst of the famines, while some of the others arrived prior to Bacon's Rebellion when Jamestown was still the capitol of the Colony of Virginia. A number of these, like the Speaker John Robinson pictured to the left, were from prominent colonial families and held various public offices in the colonial government. The Robinson family would be split during the American Revolution between loyalty to King George III and the separatists in the American Revolutionary War. The Speaker, we might say, is infamous for shouting, "Treason!" to Patrick Henry in a session of the Virgina House of Burgesses; every American should be familiar with the speech that prompted that outburst from Speaker Robinson. Family members described in this history are known to have been involved in the conflicts of Bacon's Rebellion, the French and Indian War, Lord Dunmore's War, the American Revolutionary War, the American Civil War (both sides), Spanish-American War, World War II, Vietnam War, Korean War, Operation Just Cause, Operation El Dorado Canyon and the Gulf War. In short, the family has been on the front line of America's founding and securing freedom ever since.

The Schimka Family

A portrait of the Schimka family shortly before or after arriving in The United States of America. Prior to immigration to the United States, the Schimka family originated in the Bohemia region of what was then a part of the Austrian Empire. They migrated to Germany and remained there for about five years, during which time the youngest three children in this photo were born. In 1912 the family boarded the S.S. George Washington bound for the United States and passed through New York City on their way to Des Plaines, Illinois where they settled.