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Mystery Monday: Who is Nathan Roberts of Maryland?

Edward Roberts bio, first paragraph, from Biographical and Historical Souvenir for the Counties of Clark, Crawford, Harrison, Floyd, Jefferson, Jennings, Scott and Washington, Indiana, compiled & published by John M. Gresham & Company, Chicago, 1889.

 

Roberts Family (Click for Family Tree)

“Nathan Roberts, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, a native of Maryland, settled at a point opposite to the present city of Cincinnati before there was any town there. He entered a tract of land, but afterward lost it because of leaving it.”

Just who is this Nathan Roberts? We have not only found him mentioned in this biography, but also on many online family trees, where it is, unfortunately, unsourced.

If this Nathan Roberts was the grandfather of Edward Roberts (1839-1922), son of John S. Roberts and Jane Salyers, he would have been John’s father.  BUT, we have the will of Edward Roberts (1775-1830) and other sources which confirm that (an elder) Edward was the father of John- no mention of the name ‘Nathan’.

Could John’s father actually have been named Nathan Edward Roberts and been called Nathan in Maryland, then he decided to use the name Edward by the time he had moved to Kentucky and/or Indiana?

Checking early censuses for Maryland, there was a Nathan Roberts in Maryland in 1830-1850 in District 1, Caroline, Maryland; see notes below for details. This Nathan would have been born 1770-1775 per the 1830 census, which is about the same year our Edward Roberts (the elder) was born. So maybe they are the same person??

The 1860 Maryland census has a Nathan Roberts who is in Baltimore, too young, a servant, and black, so not the correct person.

Another possibility is that this bio got it wrong- that does happen frequently in these “mug books.” Maybe Nathan was supposed to be listed as the great-grandfather of this younger Edward Roberts. Or maybe they just typeset ‘Nathan’ instead of ‘Edward’.

What do you think? Please share any evidence that you might have to prove the identity of  ‘Nathan Roberts’. Many Roberts descendants would be very appreciative!

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Biographical and Historical Souvenir for the Counties of Clark, Crawford, Harrison, Floyd, Jefferson, Jennings, Scott and Washington, Indiana, compiled & published by John M. Gresham & Company, Chicago, 1889. https://archive.org/stream/biographicalhisto00inchic#page/n5/mode/2up
  2. Nathan Roberts Maryland Censuses–
    1830– https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHPP-Q4V
    (2-page census–1 male <10, 1 age 55-60, 1 female age 24-36 on next page)
    1840– https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHR2-J6B
    (1 male 55-100, 1 female 36-55)
    1850– https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-XCHQ-HMJ
    (age 60 and black)
    1860– https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GB9V-PN4?cc=1473181
    (this person is 35 and black, working as a servant in Baltimore; too young)

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2017 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
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Church Record Sunday: The Roberts Family Migration and West Fork Baptist Church, Ripley County, Indiana

Indian County Map, current day, Wikipedia, public domain.

Roberts Family (Click for Family Tree)

Finding that some of our Roberts ancestors were buried in Westfork Baptist Church Cemetery in Ripley County, Indiana, of course a next step would be to learn about the church and seek a list of members, hoping that our family would be included. Church records can be great sources for women, as women were sometimes the first of a family to join a church- or sometimes the only one of the family, but she would usually take the children to church with her. (Of course, one of a woman’s most important duties then was to be a ‘moral compass’ for her family, especially her children.)

Still a small congregation like most rural churches (especially as farms get bigger , more mechanized, and less people actually live on them, the population in rural areas is in decline), there is a Facebook page for Westfork Baptist Church but no webpage.

An old Baptist history book does provide us a bit of background on the church.

“In the year 1826, the West Fork Baptist Church, Ripley Co., Ind., was constituted, and eleven members of this church, (Indian Kentucky,) was granted letters to form that church… These churches are laboring to sustain the cause of Christ in their midst and to show forth the declarative glory of God among the children of men.”

The Indian Kentucky Church was formed in 1814 originally, near Canaan, Jefferson County, Indiana. Records from this church are on microfilm and have been digitized at the Family History Library; unfortunately they can only be viewed at one of the LDS Church Libraries or affiliates. (Adding to To-Do list…) These records include minutes of the church meetings as well as membership lists

The above article does not include any names from the earliest times of the church that are familiar, however having the name “Indian-Kentucky” hints that some (all?) of the members were from Kentucky originally. The history of Indiana does support migration from Kentucky to the other side of the Ohio River in Indiana.

[Note: Subsequent research has shown that Indian-Kentuck Creek is in Jefferson County, Indiana, and has a West Fork as well as an East Fork- might this instead be the origin of the name? Must remember we can’t assume anything… also, county boundaries changed over the years between Jefferson, Switzerland, and Ripley.]

When the Roberts family migrated to Ripley County is unknown. The youngest child of Edward and Rosy (Stewart) Roberts, Mary Ann (Roberts) PRATHER, was born in Kentucky on 28 Jan 1817, so the family’s migration likely was after that date. We still have not sorted out information about their oldest daughter Elizabeth Roberts, but the second oldest child was Sarah Roberts and she married 6 Jul 1826 in Ripley County, Indiana, to William MILES.

The fact that William Roberts, the oldest child of John S. Roberts (son of Edward and Rosy) and Jane SAYLOR Roberts, was born 01 Feb 1827 in Madison, Jefferson County, Indiana, adds to the evidence of the family being in the county by 1827.

Additionally, court records prove that John S. Roberts was given guardianship of his 3 youngest siblings after the death of his father Edward (sometime between 20 Dec 1826 when his will was written and 1830 when it was probated in Ripley County). Thus all this information strongly suggests that the Robertses could have been founding or very early members of Westfork Baptist Church.

So we don’t even have the church records to review yet, but just this small amount of research provides many clues and reinforces what we think we know about the family:

  1. They lived in Kentucky then migrated to southeastern Indiana.
  2. The family’s migration was likely between 1817 and 1826-7.
  3. The family followed the Baptist religion, since they were buried in the local Baptist Church cemetery. (Most religions only allow members to be buried in their cemetery.)

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. “History of the Indian Kentucky Baptist Church,” 1870, originally from Madison Baptist Association Minutes, 1870, posted at http://baptisthistoryhomepage.com/indiana.indiankybc.html
  2. Old membership roll & minutes, 1931-1945, 1818-1852, 1862-1914 (Indian-Kentucky Baptist Church (Canaan, Indiana))- information for researching– https://ldsgenealogy.com/cgi-bin/FHL2-IN.cgi?128382_Old_membership_roll_&_minutes,_1931-1945,_1818-1852,_1862-1914_(Indian-Kentucky_Baptist_Church_(Canaan,_Indiana))
  3. “Indiana Counties and Townships” by Clyde F. Snider, Indiana Magazine of History, Vol. 33, No. 2, pp119-152, 1937.

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2017 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
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Sorting Saturday: Edward Roberts of Maryland, Kentucky, and Indiana

Edward Roberts family, excerpt, unknown book, page 39. Handwritten notes by cousin Cindy B.

 

Roberts Family (Click for Family Tree)

Getting back to researching a family after many years is exciting, with all the new information available online. Unfortunately, it also shows one’s sloppy research- or shall we more kindly say, ‘uneducated’ research? Many of us started our family history studies when very young, or when genealogy was more casual, and family resources were taken verbatim and sources were not cited well. That is the case this ‘Sorting Saturday’- these two pages of information need a citation!

Edward Roberts family and notes, excerpt of page 40 of unknown book. Handwritten notes by cousin Cindy B.

The pages were kindly received from a cousin in Indiana many, many years ago. Reviewing our emails, there is no indication of the origins of these pages, but we did  also talk on the phone and may have discussed the book that contained these pages. Sadly, I don’t believe I have notes from the phone conversation, and even more sadly, that cousin is no longer with us, so a quick email to her to find my answer just won’t work.

There is a clue on page 40: “The Descendants of Hester Violet Ligget” in the upper left corner- this may be the name of the book. A Google search did not come up with that title, but a search on Amazon came up with something similar: Ancestors of Hester Violet Liggett, 1904-1979, by Norma Holland, 1998. Unfortunately the book is currently unavailable on Amazon.com.

So WorldCat, where libraries provide their ‘card catalog’ to the online community, was the next stop, now that I had a proper title and author. The book, using “Ancestors” instead of “Descendants” was there, and shown to be in the collections of the Allen County Public Library, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City UT, and at the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort, KY. So there is a possibility of getting the book via interlibrary loan (ILL) or contacting one of these groups to see if these pages are in that specific book.

FaceBook is another good place for genealogical help- I did post a query there at the Family History Center’s US-Midwest group as well as their southern group since the family lived in Kentucky before Indiana. One group member’s suggestion was that I contact the Ripley County Historical Society, and that will be another option to learn more about these pages as well as more about the Roberts family.

It is nice to have Cousin Cindy’s penciled-in notes on the pages. She had done a lot of research on the Roberts family in Indiana, and even into Kentucky where Edward Roberts/Robbards married Rosy Stewart before their migration to Ripley County, Indiana. We have no sources for her notes, so need to review and verify each of them. They are great clues to start with, especially since she was the one who found their marriage records in Kentucky!

Two other interesting points to note on this ‘Sorting Saturday’:

  • Migration from Kentucky to Indiana may be a clue that a Revolutionary War pension was involved.  As Edward Roberts was born in 1775, he would have been too young to fight in that war, but his father may have served. Land in the then far western state of Kentucky was given to many Revolutionary soldiers. For some reason they then had to move on to Indiana- why this happened will take more research, but another family that married into this line may have experienced this migration as well (the Honts family). We may be able to learn the parents of Edward by using this clue.
  • WorldCat includes a short summary on their page for every book. The information about Hester Violet Liggett (1904-1979) notes that she died in Rising Sun, Indiana- and that was where cousin Cindy B. lived per her email signature! Wonder if Cindy knew her, and that was how she (possibly) came to have this book?

So when sorting on a Saturday or any other day, read your clues very carefully, and make sure to look for connections and patterns. Put your ancestors into the context of their times, and research more about those events as needed. Now that we have an idea of where this information came from, while waiting on replies to confirm we can start looking for more information about the Roberts family and their early years.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Ancestors of Hester Violet Liggett, 1904-1979, by Norma Holland, 1998–https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=hester+violet+liggett
  2. Ancestors of Hester Violet Liggett, 1904-1979, by Norma Holland, 1998. WorldCat entry–http://www.worldcat.org/title/ancestors-of-hester-violet-liggett-1904-1979/oclc/40763894&referer=brief_results

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2017 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
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Wedding Wednesday: Edward Roberts and Rosy Stewart Marriage License Request

Marriage License Request- Edward Roberts and Rosy Stewart, 24 February 1800. From a cousin many years ago, unknown source- likely Clark County, Kentucky Records.
Marriage License Request- Edward Roberts and Rosy Stewart, 24 February 1800. Received from a cousin many years ago, unknown source- likely Clark County, Kentucky Records.

Roberts Family (Click for Family Tree)

We posted the marriage bond of Edward Roberts and Rosy Stewart (“Robbards” and “Steward” in most documents) on Monday in “Amanuensis Monday: Marriage Bond for Edward Roberts and Rosy Stewart, 1800.” Sorting through my Roberts files, I realized I had a copy of their request for a marriage license. Charles Stewart signed the document, and Rosy Stewart made her mark. This document appears to have been transcribed from the original, or written up by a clerk, as it appears the handwriting is the same throughout. This note was then to be given to Mr. Bullock, the first county clerk of Clark County, Kentucky.

Transcription:

February 24th- 1800 Clarke Countye

Sir/ please to give out mareg lisens for
Edward Robbards and Rosey Steward and
you will oblige your and so forth

Charles Steward & Rosey Steward
+ her mark

To Mr bullock-Clarck

This document was dated 24 February 1800. Charles Stewart may have been Rosy’s father, but maybe not- he could have been a brother, uncle, etc. When he and Rosy requested the marriage license, it is likely that they were told a marriage bond was required before the ceremony could take place. So on 25 February 1800, a marriage bond was signed by Edward Robbards (Roberts), the groom, and Charles Stewart, as Rosy’s representative. The couple was legally married on 27 February 1800.

This document gives us two other facts: Charles Stewart could at least write his name, but Rosy could not.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. “Amanuensis Monday: Marriage Bond for Edward Roberts and Rosy Stewart, 1800”- http://heritageramblings.net/2016/04/11/amanuensis-monday-marriage-bond-for-edward-roberts-and-rosy-stewart-1800
  2. “Kentucky Marriages, 1802-1850” by Jordan Dodd, Ancestry.com Operations Inc., Publisher, 1997.

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2016 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 
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Amanuensis Monday: Marriage Bond for Edward Roberts and Rosy Stewart, 1800

Marriage Bond for Edward Roberts and Rosy Stewart, 1800.
Marriage Bond for Edward Roberts and Rosy Stewart, 25 February 1800, Clark County, Kentucky. (Click to enlarge.)

Roberts Family (Click for Family Tree)

In the early days of our country, communities policed themselves by making the whole group responsible for keeping everyone legal. Marriage, of course, was one of the most important legal events- paternity and inheritance were very much affected by a marriage, thus there were certain rules for a betrothed couple to follow.

Generally, ‘marriage banns’ were read and/or posted at the church or meeting house each week for three successive weeks. By announcing their intention to marry, the couple was open to community scrutiny. Anyone could come forward and declare some legal reason they should not be married. (“Speak now or forever hold your peace.”) These reasons included that the prospective bride, groom, or both, were either:

a) already married to someone else

b) too young to marry, and/or

c) too closely related, such as first cousins

If a couple planned to be married in a place where one or both were not well known, or if the marriage was to take place quickly, they would provide a marriage bond instead of banns. Since our ancestors Edward Roberts and Rosey Stewart lived out on the frontier of our country (Kentucky in 1800), there might not have been a church or minister nearby to read or publish banns. Marriage bonds were also a southern custom, and common in the mid-Atlantic states as well. (The Roberts family may have lived in the mid-Atlantic states prior to Kentucky, but that’s another post.)

The marriage bond would stipulate that if there was later found some legal reason that the couple should not have been married, the bondsman would pay the Governor of the state an agreed-upon sum of money as a penalty. The groom would sign, and the bride would be represented by a male usually of her family, since women had few legal rights. Her representative was the bondsman, and often her father, but could be another male such as a brother, guardian, uncle, family friend, etc., or even (!) her mother if no other male was available.

Contrary to popular belief today, a marriage bond was NOT a guarantee that a marriage would take place. If the couple did not follow through with the marriage, the bond did not have to be paid at all. It would only be paid after the marriage and only if the union was found to have been illegal, such as the bride being underage.

Outer paper of Stewart-Roberts File. Note spelling of names.
Outer paper of Stewart-Roberts File. Note spelling of names. (Click to enlarge.)

It is amazing to be able to see this marriage bond that was written 216 years ago! It was signed on 25 February 1800, and Edward and Rosey were married two days later in Clark County, Kentucky. A Charles Stewart signed the bond to represent Rosey, and many researchers (myself included) have thought that meant he was her father. He might be, but he could also have been the only relative she had in Kentucky at that time. So we do need more research to prove her father.

Following is my transcription of the document. Some of the words are hard to make out, so please let us know if you think there should be some changes to the transcription.

Know all men by these presents
that we Edward Robbards & Chas. Steward are held
and firmly bound unto James Garrard, Esq’r Governor
of this commonwealth & his successors in the sum
of Fifty pounds to which payment well & tru-
ly to be made to the Said Governor & his successors we
bind ourselves our heirs Exers [Executors] & AD’mos (Administrators) jointly Severa-
ly firmly by these presents Sealed and Dated this
25th Day of Feby   1800

The Condition of the above
is such that whereas there is a marriage
Shortly intended to be had & Solemized between
the above bound Edwd Robbards & Rosey
Steward if therefore there be no lawful
cause to obstruct the same then this obligation
to be void else to remain in full force

Sealed & Delivered                          Edward Robbards [seal]
in presents [large mark- X]            Charles Steward [seal]

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. An ‘amanuensis’ (ə-măn′yo͞o-ĕn′sĭs) is a person who takes dictation or who copies a literary work. It is Latin for “slave at handwriting.” It is also used for someone who transcribes.
  2. Marriage bond from Clark County, Kentucky, possibly county clerk’s office. Received from a cousin many, many years ago.
  3. Dodd, Jordan. Kentucky Marriages, 1802-1850 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1997. Ancestry.com, accessed 04/08/2016.
  4. “United States Marriage Records, 3.2 Marriage Bonds”, FamilySearch Wiki,  https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/United_States_Marriage_Records. Accessed 04/08/16
  5. “Bonds That Bind: What’s a Marriage Bond – and Why?” by Richard Pence.   http://www.pipeline.com/~richardpence/bonds2.htm. Accessed 04/08/16.
  6. “The Ties that Bond” by Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist, http://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog/2012/01/25/the-ties-that-bond/. Accessed 04/08/16.

 

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images. Click to enlarge images.

We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 
Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright of our blog material.