The Hale family has 15 children and at least 31 grandchildren from parents Robert and Rose Hale. They are most known for the crimes of Robert "Papa Pilgrim", who was arrested in 2005.

Family

  • Robert Allen "Bobby" "Firefly" "Papa Pilgrim" Hale - born on April 7, 1941, died on May 24, 2008[1][2]
  • Kurina Rose "Sunlight" "Country Rose" Bresler - May, 1958[3]

Children

Name Date of Birth Notes
1 Elishaba Doerksen January 25, 1976 married to Matthew with 2 children; born Butterfly Sunstar
2 Joseph Hale 1977 married to Lolly Buckingham with 6 children; born Nava Sunstar
3 Joshua Hale August 10, 1980[4] married to Sharia Buckingham with 10 children
4 David Hale About 1982[5] married to Heidi Rubio with 3 children
5 Moses E Hale October 17, 1984 married to Rebecca Stevens[6] with 3 children
6 Israel Hale October 7, 1986 married to Cori Rubio with 2 children
7 Jerusalem R "Joy" Berlin October 11, 1988 married to Jacob Berlin with 4 children [7]
8 Hosanna X Hale 1990
9 Job Hale married to Bethany McGraw [8]
10 Noah Hale 1994
11 Abraham Enoch Hale separated from Anna Row with 1 child [9]
12 Psalms Hale abt 1997 [10]
13 Rebecca Hope Zimmerman August 4, 1998 [11] married to Leonard Zimmerman; born Lamb Yukon Rose Hale
14 Emily Beth Hale [12] born Bethlehem Hale [13]
15 Jonathan Hale 2003 [14] Married to Karissa Johnson[15]

Elishaba's Family

Elishaba.jpg

Matthew Speckles/Doerksen [16][17]

Elishaba's Family in August 2020

Anniversary: May, 2007[16]

Name
1 Esther Doerksen[18] November 20, 2008[19]
2 Michael Doerksen February 5, 2013[20]

Joseph's Family in August 2020

Joseph's Family

Lolly Hale.png

Lolly Buckingham - born on February 3, 1984[21][22]

Anniversary: July 2, 2006[23]

Name Date of Birth
1 Benjamin "Benny" Halle April, 2007[24][25]
2 Caleb Joseph Hale[26] May 31, 2008[27]
3 Titus Hale[28][29] 2010[30]
4 Isaac Hale June 20, 2011[31]
5 Charlie Hale[32] March 28, 2013
6 Stevie Hale[33] 2014

Joshua's Family

May 2019

Tischaria Joy "Sharia" Buckingham - born in about 1983 [34]

Anniversary: March 11, 2006[34]

Name Date of Birth
1 Jeremiah Victory Hale February 9, 2007[34]
2 Mercy Joy Hale February 4, 2008[34]
3 Ruth-Anna Virtue Hale April 3, 2009[34][35]
4 Hannah Blessing Hale April 14, 2010[34][36]
5 Nathanael Hale July 27, 2011[34][37]
6 Benjamin "Ben" Hale September 14, 2012[38]
7 Andrew Valiant Hale [39] December 13, 2013 [40]
8 Samuel Courage Hale [41] February 2016
9 Clara Grace Hale August 15, 2017[42][43]
10 Lucas Steadfast Hale [44] March 17, 2019 [45]

Moses' Family

January 2018

Rebecca Stevens

Name Date of Birth
1 Arthur Hale 2015
2 Hunter Hale 2017
3 Girl Hale 2019 [46]

Israel's Family

December 2018

Cori Rubio

Anniversary: March 2012[47]

Name Date of Birth
1 Greta Hale[48] 2015
2 Levi Hale May 12, 2017[49]

Joy's Family

Jacob Berlin

Currently living in South Asia [7]

4 children, no information available

David's family in December of 2018

David's Family

Heidi Rubio

Anniversary: 2012

Name Date of Birth
1 Anna Hale[50] 2013[51]
2 Anthony Hale[50] 2015[52]
3 Alana Delight Hale August 4, 2017[50]

Job's Family

Job's Family in May 2020

Bethany McGraw - born in about 1999 [53]

Anniversary: March 20, 2020 [54]

Abraham's Family

Abraham's family in August of 2017

Anna Louise Row - born on July 12[55]

Anniversary: August 13, 2016[56]

Separated: After 2017

Name Date of Birth
1 Abraham Jorim "AJ" Hale April 24, 2017[57][58]

Rebecca's Family

Rebecca's Family in June 2020

Leonard Zimmerman

Anniversary: June 6, 2020 [59]

Jonathan's Family

Karissa Johnson

Anniversary: June 20, 2021[15]

Early Days

Bobby Hale and Kathleen Connally in 1959

Robert's First Marriage

Robert Hale married Kathleen "KK" Connally on March 16, 1959.[60] The two eloped after her father slapped her for sneaking out with him late at night and she decided the next day to run away. After eloping in Ardmore, Oklahoma, they moved to Tallahassee, Florida, and settled down. Their fathers came once to visit and beg them to come home, which they refused. Neighbors reported that the couple often fought, and on one occassion Kathleen left to stay in a hotel for a few nights.

On April 28, 1959, Kathleen, who was pregnant, died. Bobby was placed in protective custody overnight after he threatened to jump off the balcony in grief. He admitted to police that they had fought over cleaning the bathtub, but he heard her left and went looking for her. The landlady spoke to the police, saying that Kathleen had gone to her apartment and was "thoroughly frightened" and felt Bobby didn't love her any more. When Bobby returned from looking for he, he said he found her sitting on the couch holding his 20-gauge shotgun. He tried to talk her into putting it down, then made a desperate attempt to lunge and grab the gun. He says the gun went off in this attempt. Police found these circumstances suspicious, as the gunshot wound was behind her right ear, and no fingerprints were found on the gun. Bobby's story was cleared by a lie detector test, so he was delcared innocent and her death accidental.[14][60]

Robert Hale married Kurina Bresler in 1974, and the two gave birth to two children, Butterfly and Nava Sunstar. The two set up a subsistence farm in the Sangre de Cristo mountains of New Mexico, on land owned by Jack Nicholson where they tanned leather, raised sheep, and bred dogs. Although they claim all disagreements with neighbors were over religion, neighbors claimed they were stealing chickens, eggs, and hay.[61]

Pilgrim Days

The Hale family in the 80s

After giving birth two their first two children, Robert and Kurina became born-again Christians and began going by "Papa Pilgrim" and "Country Rose". They renamed their children Elizabeth and Joseph, and decided to give the rest of their children biblical names as well.

The Hale family in the 90s

The children were never placed in school, but were instead schooled at home, where they also learned how to do manual labor in construction and farming. The children were taught to play a number of instruments, including guitar, mandolin, fiddle, and banjo. The instruments were assigned "by God", via drawing the name of an instrument out of a hat when a child decided they wanted to learn music. They were thought by the locals to be very talented. [14]

In 1998, the family moved to Alaska because Robert felt God had whispered to him to do so.[14] He would later say "Alaska provides".

The Pilgrim family band in a 4th of July parade in 2002

In 2002, they paid $450,000 for "Hillbilly Heaven", a 420-acre ranch that turned out to be surrounded by Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.[14] In 2003, he was informed that 2/3 of his cabin were on federal property. In 2003, Robert felt that God was calling him to take a bulldozer to 14 miles of land. "In order to love my children, I had to be a provider. With great reluctance, I took the bulldozer and used the road. I had no idea what was in store," he said of this action. At this point the national park service got involved. After a legal battle, with Robert attempting to appeal to the US. Supreme Court, the family was forced to leave their home. [62]

photo credit

In 2004, the Pilgrim family recorded a CD titled "Put My Name Down".

In 2005, the family befriended the Buckingham family of Palmer, AK. The children felt jealous of the relationships the Buckinghams had with each other. After living with the Buckinghams for a few weeks, Papa Pilgrim took his family to McCarthy, AK. "He didn't want to get too close, obviously, because he had some things to hide," Buckingham matriarch Martha said. Later on the Hale children would testify of their father's abuses, including repeatedly beating and raping his oldest daughter.

On January 10, 2005, Robert locked his oldest daughter in a shack where he violently raped her. Several months later, Elishaba (formerly known as Elizabeth) and her two oldest sisters left home to live with the Buckinghams. The oldest two sons, unaware of what had happened, tried to maintain their relationships with their sisters while also staying involved in their family. After learning what had happened, the oldest children all began talking to Alaska State Troopers, and soon many of them were living with the Buckinghams.

On October 5, 2005, Robert Hale was arrested. A few weeks later, Rose and the remaining seven children joined the Buckingham family.[63]

Robert Hale pleaded no contest and made a deal for a 14 year prison sentence.[64]

Life with the Buckinghams

The Hale and Buckingham families in 2007

The Buckinghams began expanding their home to make room for the Hales in 2005. "In the beginning, I was thinking that we were doing good for them. In the end, I see it's been good for us," Martha said of welcoming the family in.

After attending West Point, the two oldest Buckingham daughters, Lolly and Sharia, returned home to live a life "not of the world". In 2006, they married the two oldest Hale boys, who both had asked Buckingham patriarch Jim's permission.

Martha Buckingham's parents moved into an apartment on the Buckingham property to help school the Hale children, most of whom were unable to read at this point and had only been taught the Bible.

"I really believe from the time we left New Mexico to now, God directed our path to reach this point. I think he uses pain to make us stronger," Rose said of the family's trials. [65]

Death of Robert Hale

Robert Hale passed away around 9 pm in a medical segregation unit of Anchorage Correctional Complex on May 26, 2008. He had had limited contact with his family while in jail. His oldest son, Joseph, commented on his death saying, "To be honest, it's a relief that he will meet his destiny and we can go on in life without the burden of worrying about praying for him and where he stands before God."[66]

profile photo credit

un-linked photos came from the book "Pilgrim's Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier

References

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  2. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/121593790/robert-allan-hale
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  17. Matthew has used both last names; it is unclear which one he currently uses.
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