Ever heard of the name, Canaro?

+5 votes
Hello Beautiful Genealogists,

         So, I am new here and actually very new to genealogy in general...

But, I'm here to discuss finding my Great Grandfather. The Legit Information (via Word of Mouth): Canaro Wesley Grubb was born in April of 1909 possibly in West Virginia or near Wythe County, Virginia. Canaro married Clara Mae Phipps whose father was John Phipps. Canaro's father was William Albert Grubb Sr., born 25 March 1878, died 3 June 1966. Canaro and Clara Mae had a few children, including but not limited to: Nellie Eclipse (she was born during an eclipse-literally {so cool right??!!}) Speranza nee Grubb [Just to note she married an Italian and moved to New Jersey] and Charles Wesley Grubb (my grandfather) who was married to Mary Emily Lambert (who, now that my grandfather has passed, is married to Jim Martin).

Now, the name Canaro is definitely unusual...and when I have searched for it all that I have found in the census records...or at least a compilation of the census records is a 'Cahah?'  { http://dgmweb.net/FGS/G/GrubbAlbertWilliam-MarthaJ_.html }

Now, I'm thinking that this is actually the name...if only I could get my hands on the real records and smell the musty old records. If I lived in the Regency Era I would so adore being a curates wife...well if he allowed me to help in his duties :D But, anyhow I can't be sure and besides I don't know if I am starting in the wrong place or not.


              And a huge serving of gratitude, thanks!
in Genealogy Help by Kimberly Grubb G2G Rookie (280 points)
Wow what a great family story. I loved reading about Eclipse and Canaro. You have a very interesting lineage.

I worked the Grubb line back, hoping to find the source of the Canaro name. Often times, children were named after a family name-- often on one of the maternal branches.

Found additional maternal surnames (including Stroup), but no Canaro yet.

Do you need help creating profiles so we can incorporate all this into profiles here on Wikitree?

9 Answers

+2 votes

Wesley C Grubb

United States Census, 1940

Name Wesley C Grubb
Event Type Census
Event Date 1940
Event Place Election District 7, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Gender Male
Age 31
Marital Status Married
Race (Original) White
Race White
Relationship to Head of Household (Original) Head
Relationship to Head of Household Head
Birthplace Virginia
Birth Year (Estimated) 1909
Last Place of Residence Rural, Wythe, Virginia






Wesley C Grubb Head M 31 Virginia
Clara M Grubb Wife F 23 West Virginia
Nellie E Grubb Daughter F 7 Virginia
Charles W Grubb Son M 6 Virginia
Charles E Grubb Brother M 21 Virginia


"United States Census, 1940," database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K762-4YT : accessed 9 April 2016), Wesley C Grubb, Election District 7, Baltimore, Maryland, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 3-48, sheet 6B, family 124, NARA digital publication T627 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012), roll 1504.

by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.3m points)
This link is amazing and I humbly thank you for it! Its one thing to hear stories of who people in your family are but something entirely different to actually see who they were and where they lived! I had always assumed that people would sign the census for themselves, but now I'm like 'Oh yes clerks'.  Again Thank You!
+2 votes


Wesley Carano Grubb

Birth:  May 2, 1909
Virginia, USA
Death:  Sep. 11, 1974
Wythe County
Virginia, USA
Family links: 
  William Albert Grubb (1878 - 1966)
  Martha Jane Shell Grubb (1885 - 1976)
  Clara Mae Phipps Grubb (1916 - 1995)
  Charles Wesley Grubb (1934 - 2008)*
  Wesley Carano Grubb (1909 - 1974)
  Claude Calvin Grubb (1912 - 1955)*
  James Aulbert Grubb (1914 - 1981)*
  George Hubert Grubb (1916 - 1982)*
  Charles Earl Grubb (1918 - 2004)*
  William Albert Grubb (1921 - 1991)*
*Calculated relationship
West End Cemetery 
Wythe County
Virginia, USA
Created by: Sue Hale Sheppard
Record added: Nov 11, 2014 
Find A Grave Memorial# 138612196
by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.3m points)
+2 votes
There are families in New York with the Canaro surname:



There are families in New York, Ohio and Texas with the Carano surname. Also, some in CA, OH, and NJ as well as other states.

by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.3m points)
+2 votes

In 1910, he's enumerated in District 0147, Wytheville, Wythe Co., Virginia. Here's the household #119 on Grayson Turn pike-- all born Virgnia of Virginia-born parents:

  • Grubb, James H., head, 57, married 40 years; farmer, general farm 
  • ---, Isabella., wife, 55, 6 births, 4 living in 1910;
  • Grubb, Albert W., head, 32, m8 years; farmer, general farm
  • ---, Martha J., wife, 20, m8 years (!she would have been 12; compare to other census records to see if this her age is a mis-entry); 2 births, 1 living
  • ---, Carnah W., son, 1
  • Strump, Solomon?, uncle [of Albert?], 75; m56 years
  • ---, Francis A., aunt, 74, 7 births, 6 living
  • ---, John C., cousin, 19, single


1910 United States Federal Census

Wytheville, Wythe, Virginia; Roll: T624_1652; Page: 7B;Enumeration District: 0147; FHL microfilm: 1375665

by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (817k points)

So...what I have pieced together from your, most excellent, information combined with my knowledge:

  • James Henry is the father of the listed Albert William, but in familial tradition he was known as William Albert...and these are the ancestors of Canaro/Carnah/Carano Wesley Grubb.
  • On Martha Jane Shell Grubb, she was a pureblood Cherokee Indian, so it is intriguing to learn that she married when she was 8...assuming of course that the records are true. 
  • The Solomon Strump fellow is actually, I believe, a one Solomon Stroup/Stroupe..lots of them hail from the same area since sometime after 1733. Also Isabella's maiden name was Stroup...and may be the connection.
  • What, to me, is most intriguing about this bit of information is the address mainly because I live five minutes from the address. Where we live is land on my mother's side through her mother...the Stroupe's so I am not surprised that there are genealogical crossovers. 
I also want to thank you for sharing this, it is some fantastic information, and so very very exciting!
Apparently my grandfather Charles was told by his father Canaro Wesley that James Henry purchased Martha for Albert William. We, my father and I, know nothing more on this other than her Cherokee Indian heritage. Also, my father says that he had been told that Martha was born in 1885...and it is on her gravestone as well. So, she may have been older than 8 when she was sold and married.

Not sure where you're getting that Martha married at age 8. In the 1910 census (where she was recorded as being 20), it indicates that she'd been married for eight years, calculating back to being age 12 at her marriage.

The marriage record ((https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XRSC-GXN) indicates she was 15 at the time of the marriage -- 6 Jan 1904. This calculates back to an 1889 birth.

And her age in 1910 suggests a birth year of 1890. 

(Her gravestone claims she was born June 16, 1885.)(*)

Regarding Cherokee heritage. She very well may have been Cherokee. But she may not have been. One of the first things I experienced in doing family history research was the debunking of a long-held family tradition/understanding.  Not that I set out to do that-- I didn't. In fact, I was searching for records that would confirm our family's long held belief that our immigrant couple married on the ship on the way over from Europe in the mid 1800s. What I found (church record of their marriage in Buffalo, NY) debunked it. You should seek records that confirm the race of your ancestress. (Others can speak to how the use of DNA might also help.)

The census records list the race of each person. In the 1910 census, Martha was marked as white. 

We're not sure the Martha in the Coley family in 1900 is her. The birth info is off too much for me to be comfortable with it: May 1882. But if the census taker's notes were accurate, providing correct birth information may not have been the family's strong suit. In any case, all members of that family are enumerated as white race.

Ditto in 1920 census  : white.(Source: Speedwell, Wythe, Virginia; Roll: T625_1919; Page: 2A;Enumeration District: 191; Image: 260)

Ditto in 1930 census: white

(Source: Wytheville, Wythe, Virginia; Roll: 2465; Page: 1B;Enumeration District: 0013; Image: 915.0;FHL microfilm: 2342199)

And again in 1940 census: white.

(Source: Wytheville, Wythe, Virginia; Roll: T627_4303; Page: 6B;Enumeration District: 99-22)

But if I were just to go with these four different census records (1910, 1920, 1930 and 1940), I see no evidence supporting the Cherokee heritage.

Now, census information is not always accurate. We've clearly learned that. And given the social stigma about race, people could have lied-- about their own race or the race of the people they were enumerating (in small towns, the enumerators probably knew the families).

In any case, if I were you, I'd be wanting to find other records that supported the story of her Cherokee history.

Also the story that she was purchased to be Albert's wife. She was born long after slavery was abolished. The selling of human beings was therefore illegal. I don't know enough about Native American history to know if the abolishment of slavery applied to them as well. I'm assuming it did, but who knows? And may even if it was illegal, the family engaged in it.

In any case, you've got a really interesting history here that should be very fun to continue to explore. If you're into that. (Obviously, I am... ;-)

(*)One more thing: there were TWO different Martha J's who married Grubbs in Wythe Co., VA. See the 1930 census:

  1. "Yours": District 113, Wythe, Wythe County: married to Albert W. Grubb (This census also indicates she was 15 at marriage.) Source: Wytheville, Wythe, Virginia; Roll: 2465; Page: 1B;Enumeration District: 0013; Image: 915.0;FHL microfilm: 2342199
  2. Another Martha J: District 4, Black Lick, Wythe Co.: married to William E. Grubb; she's 46 calculating back to an 1884 birth year; she was 19 at marriage calculating to a 1903 marriage year.
You also need to confirm "Shell" as a maiden name. Where did this come from other than the Find-a-Grave entry?
+2 votes

1900 US Census: District 0140, Wytheville, Wythe, Virginia; all: self and parents b. Virginia


  • Grubb, W.C.W.[?], head, b July 1876; 23; m4 years; farm laborer; this marriage record identifies his mother's maiden name as Stroup; his wife's name as Rebecca Robinson, dau of Polly Robinson; father unknown.
  • -- A.E., wife, b Jan 1876, 24, 3 births; 3 living
  • --, J.C., son, b Nov 1894, 5
  • --, H.C.?, son, b Oct 1897, 2


  • Grubb, Jas. H., head, b Aug 1853, 46, m 30 years, RR laborer
  • --, Isabella, wife, b Apr 1855, 45, 6 births, 4 living
  • --, Harlo, son, b Sept 1881, 19, m 2 years; click here for birth record; click here for Harlo's marriage record.
  • --, L.D., dau-in-law [of James; wife of Harlo], b July 1878, 21, 1 birth, 1 living
  • --, L.B., gr-daughter, b Jan 1900 
  • --, J. Aug, son [of James], b May 1884, 16, single
  • Phipps, Granville, nephew, b Apr 1875, 25, single
  • [illegible surname, not Phipps], [illeg. given name; ends in "sley"], niece, b Jun 1884, 15, single


1900 United States Federal Census

Wytheville, Wythe, Virginia; Roll: 1732; Page: 10B;Enumeration District: 0140; FHL microfilm: 1241732

by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (817k points)
edited by Jillaine Smith
+2 votes

1880 US Census: District 111, Wythe County, Virginia

#29: [all: self and parents born Virginia]

  • Grubb, Henry, 25, laborer
  • --, Isabella, 24, wife
  • --, William?, 3, son
  • --, Albert, 3mo [b March], son
There is a Phipps family a couple lines down.

1880 United States Federal Census

Wythe, Virginia;Roll: 1395; Family History Film: 1255395;Page: 479D; Enumeration District: 111


by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (817k points)
There are some relatives that are Phipps so I would love to check that out!!!

Again thanks!
+2 votes
Here's the marriage record of Wm. A. Grubb; his wife's name on this record conflicts with the wife's name on the Find-a-Grave entry posted elsewhere in this thread.

by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (817k points)

Here's the birth record of Wm. A. Grubb.

The father is named as John H. Since this is an index, and not the actual record, we should find the original to see if there was a mis-transcription.

On the 6 Jan 1904 marriage record above, William/Albert Grubb's wife is listed as Martha J. Coley, b 1889, daughter of John Coley and Isabella Moore. I would estimate their births to be in the 1860s.

In 1900, in District 140, Wytheville, Wythe, Virginia, we find the following two family units. In the columns where occupation would be listed is the following notation:

"These two families of Coleys have no visible means of support and seem to get their living by begging, picking & selling beans, [illegible] they seem to be half-witted

  • Coley, Joseph, head, b Feb 1875, 25; m4 years
  • --, S.E., wife, b Dec 1881, 18, 2 births, 2 living
  • --, R.B., daughter, b Sep 1897
  • --, W.H., son, b Sep 1899
  • --, M.J., mother, about 60 [widowed?] can't make out births, but 6 are living in 1900
  • --, D.E., brother, [but "f" is written for gender], b July 1874, 27, single?
  • -- Susan, sister, b. unk; 47, single
  • --, J.H., brother, b Feb 1873, 27, single
  • Coley, John, head, b Oct 1879 [so can't be father of Martha], 20, m5 years [sheesh they married young in this county...], 
  • --, Edie, mother, b unk; 65 or 70, wd?; 7 births, 5 living
  • --, Martha, sister, b May 1882, 18, single <-- possible candidate for Martha who marries William/Albert Grubb in 1909.

1900 United States Federal Census

Wytheville, Wythe, Virginia; Roll: 1732; Page: 10B;Enumeration District: 0140; FHL microfilm: 1241732

This family unit doesn't match what's on the marriage record. 

The Find-a-Grave entry calls his wife Martha J. Shell. There were no Shells in Wythe county, in 1900.
Okay, so apparently my father has heard of these poor Coley families and he refers to them as Jo and Alfred/Albert. The family supposedly took in/adopted Martha before selling her to the Grubbs...now this is all just speculation. But there are ties to being kin to Coley's...so I will have to lok into this more.

+2 votes

More about Henry James (or James Henry) Grubb and Isabella Stroup, grandparents of Wesley Canaro:

They married after the 1870 census (which was taken 27 June 1870), but not long after. The 1910 census indicates they were married 40 years.

In the 1870 census (Black Lick, Wythe Co., VA), there is an Isabella Stroup of right age to be later wife of James Henry Grubb, but the family unit is odd; all born Virginia:

  • Stroup, George, 70, day laborer
  • --, Nancy, 66
  • -- David, 27
  • --, Isabella, 17
  • --, William, 4
What's the actual family unit here? George and Nancy are probably husband and wife; David is probably their son, but is Isabella their daughter or their daughter-in-law? And certainly William is too young to be the son of Nancy...


by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (817k points)

The 1860 census suggests that George, above, had a previous wife, Betsy, b abt 1812, who was probably mother of David. There is no Isabella in the 1860 household suggesting that Isabella above might be a VERY young wife of David, and that William is son of David and Isabella.

We don't yet know that this Isabella (______) Stroup is the later wife of James Henry Grubb. But there is no other Isabella Stroup right age, born Virginia, to be his wife.

Additional support for the theory that she's the same woman is that David Stroup disappears from the census records after 1870.

Are you proposing the theory that William Albert is actually David Stroup's son rather than James Henry Grubb to whom she is listed in marrying?

I note this website from my mother's family which discusses Isabella Stroup.

No. There is a William Stroup age 4 in the 1870 census. Not sure who he is son of. Implication is son of David, but by whom ?
What I'm proposing is that before Isabella married James Henry Grubb, she might have first been the wife of David Stroup by whom she had a son William Stroup, b 1866; that David died and she m2 James Henry Grubb.

But this proposal is based solely on this 1870 census and the absence of another Isabella Stroup that could be James Henry's wife.

conjecture only. I wouldn't go with it without further confirmation.
+2 votes

I found another Canaro Grubb in Wythe County. 1900 census:

In Black Lick, Wythe Co., VA: Canara/Canaro [last letter is scrubbed] Grubb, born Oct 1848 in Virginia; m22 years to Jane B, b May 1858. Living with them are 8 Grubb sons and daughters. Canaro is a farmer. Source: 1900; Census Place: Black Lick, Wythe, Virginia; Roll: 1732; Page: 8A;Enumeration District: 0133; FHL microfilm: 1241732

This man is old enough to have been the person your Canaro was named after. 

by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (817k points)

1850 US Census: District 68, Wythe Co., Virginia:

  • Nicholas Grubb, 30, carpenter, b. Pennsylvania
  • Catharine, 25, b PA
  • Delila, 3, b PA
  • Canaro, 1, b PA
  • Elizabeth, 3months, 
  • Nancy Calvary, 13, b. Virginia
Here's this Canaro's Find-a-Grave entry:

1860 US Census: District 68, Wythe Co., Virginia; all born Virginia (no Pennsylvania in this one):

  • Nicholas Grubb, 47, farmer
  • Catherine, 35
  • Delilah, 14
  • Alvin, 11 <-- if Find-a-Grave is correct, this is probably your Canaro Alvin Grubb
  • Elizabeth, 10
  • Percilla, 8
  • Robert, 6
  • E. Nersiss?, 3
Source:Year: 1860; Census Place: District 68, Wythe, Virginia; Roll: M653_1385; Page:802; Image: 159; Family History Library Film: 805385

1870 US Census: Black Lick, Wythe, Virginia; all born Virginia:

  • Grubb, Nicholas, 51, farmer
  • Catharine, 45
  • [no Delilah; married or deceased by this time]
  • Canara A., 21, day laborer
  • Elizabeth, 16
  • Parcilla, 14
  • Catharine, 10
  • Julia A., 3

1880 US Census: District 106, Black Lick, Wythe, Virginia:

  • Grubb, Catherine, 53, widowed
  • Canaro A., 30, son, single, works on farm
  • Julia Ann, 18, dau, single
Year: 1880; Census Place: Black Lick, Wythe, Virginia; Roll: 1394; Family History Film: 1255394; Page: 356D; Enumeration District: 106

1900 US Census:  District 133, Black Lick, Wythe, Virginia:

  • Grubb, Canaro, head, b Oct 1848; m 22 years [therefore m. 1878 BUT he was single in 1880 census; also note oldest children's birth; suggests a marriage year of 1881]; farmer
  • Jane B., [Find-a-grave names her differently], wife, b May 1858, 10 births, 8 living in 1900
  • Formal G., dau, b May 1882
  • John R., son, b July 1883
  • Charles A., son, b June 1885
  • Leona B., dau, b May 1887
  • Elvery C., dau, b July 1889
  • Frank E., son, b Feb 1891
  • Elen L., dau, b Nov 1893
  • Nancy B., dau, b Oct 1895

Year: 1900; Census Place: Black Lick, Wythe, Virginia; Roll: 1732; Page: 8A;Enumeration District: 0133; FHL microfilm: 1241732


1910 US Census: District 139, Black Lick, Wythe, Virginia:

  • Grubb, Canara A., head, 61, m. once; m30 years ago, farmer
  • ---, Rebecca J, wife, 51, 10 births, 8 living [matches age and # of births from 1900 census entry for "Jane B."]
  • Frank, son, 17
  • Ella, dau, 16
  • Nannie B., dau, 14
Source: Year: 1910; Census Place: Black Lick, Wythe, Virginia; Roll: T624_1652; Page:11A; Enumeration District: 0139; FHL microfilm: 1375665

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