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Elaine Smith Robertson was born January 25th, 1940 in Halifax County, N.C.. Her family had a small farm, and she talks about how she would do housework as a child while her other siblings had other responsibilities around the farm. Her and her siblings learned to shoot, kill squirrels and chickens, and skin them for food. Robertson discusses attending school in the 1950s and meeting her eventual husband when she was 16 and he was 20. Her father worked for a mechanic while her mother was a homemaker. Robertson's maternal grandfather was a homesteader who had come from Germany to live in North Dakota, but during the drought of the 1930s he moved to North Carolina. Robertson used to work as a secretary for Roy Cooper and then worked in the county clerk's office where she was a typist for wills, proceedings, etc.. Robertson talks about struggling with the death of her third child, who lived only one day due to Rh factor complications.