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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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Mystery Monday: The Jeremiah Roberts? Photo Album

This entry is part of 1 in the series The Jeremiah Roberts? Photo Album
Unknown Person #4-Jeremiah Roberts? Photo Album

Roberts Family (Click for Family Tree)

Jeremiah Roberts, also known as “Doc” (he was a doctor) or “Jerry”, was the son of John S. Roberts (1805-1875) and Jane (Saylor) Roberts (1806-1880). Born in Switzerland County Indiana on 6 January 1837, he married first, Sarah McClure, and after her death he married Rose B. Robison. Jeremiah passed away on 19 November 1918. Jerry lived in Switzerland, Jefferson, or Ripley County, Indiana for his whole life, except while serving in the Civil War. We will have more about “Doc” in upcoming posts, but today we want to focus on the mystery photos found in this family album.

Unknown Person #1-Jeremiah Roberts? Photo Album
Unknown Person #2-Jeremiah Roberts? Photo Album
Unknown Person #3-Jeremiah Roberts? Photo Album

 

Please contact us if you know any of these persons!

Hot News: There is a new Facebook group for “Descendants of Roberts Immigrants from Wales”.

We hope that you will join and help us connect-or disconnect when appropriate- these families!

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Photos posted with kind permission from a photo album believed to have belonged to Jeremiah Roberts.
  2. Descendants of Roberts Immigrants from Wales” Facebook group–https://www.facebook.com/groups/142921706339121/?ref=group_header

 

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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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Sentimental Sunday: Elizabeth Ann Murrell and John S. Roberts

1892- John S. Roberts and Elizabeth Ann (Murrell) Roberts, cropped from larger family photo with their descendants. Taken in Jasper County, Iowa. Owned by author.

Roberts Family, Murrell Family (Click for Family Tree)

Once the Wiley Anderson Murrell-Mary Magdalene Honts family settled in Roseville/Warren County, Illinois, their daughter and our ancestor Elizabeth Ann Murrell met a young farmhand named John S. Roberts. He had moved from the family farm of his parents, John Roberts (1805-1875) and Jane Saylor/Salyers (1806-1880), in Indiana, looking for work in the productive grain fields of Illinois. The convergence was fate, as John and Elizabeth married on 8 March 1857 in Roseville, where they set up housekeeping. Elizabeth’s brother John Henry Murrell was living with them in 1860 and working as a farm laborer. Elizabeth had already borne two sons, William Edward Roberts, born in 1858, and Jason Lee Roberts, born in 1859, so it would have been a busy farm household. Their son George Anthony Roberts (the father of Edith Roberts McMurray Luck) was then born in 1861, and finally a daughter, May Jane Roberts, joined the family in 1863, and was also born in Illinois.

We know that the Roberts family had a friendship with a Daniel family in Warren County. Charles M. Daniel (1819-1875) and his wife Elizabeth Thomas (1817-1885) had both been born in Virginia. Elizabeth and then their son, Robert Woodson “R. W.” Daniel (1843-1922), were born specifically in Rockbridge County, Virginia, just north of Botetourt. This family may have known the Murrell or Honts families even as far back as the early 1800s in Virginia, as suggested by some research that still needs more work. The Daniel family, however, decided to migrate to Missouri about 1845 (R.W. was just 2 years old), and then on to Illinois around 1864-1865. Their second migration is understandable, too, by considering the Civil War, as we did for the Murrell family. Being a border state, Missouri was a very dangerous place to live during that conflict. A farmstead could be raided by the Rebs in the morning, and then have Union troops descend that evening, also looking for food, supplies, and “spoils of war.” And then there were the border gangs that took no heed of any allegiance and were themselves committed to violence… It was challenging for a family to survive in Missouri, no matter the side they championed or who was beating on their door.

“R. W.” Daniel  enlisted in the Missouri State Military Cavalry in 1862, and served until 1865. (More on R.W. in the future.) Some sources state that he was in Warren County, Illinois in 1865, but he did marry Margaret Ann Hemphill (1839-1915) on 18 January 1866 in Pike County, Missouri. (He likely knew her from when he lived there, and may have gone to Warren Co. to recuperate from the war after his discharge.) The couple moved about 150 miles north to Young America, Warren County, Illinois, where their first child, Ella Viola Daniel, was born on 29 October 1866.

The John and Elizabeth Roberts family went to visit and congratulate the Daniel family on the birth of their child. John and Elizabeth took their sons and daughters with them for the visit, per their granddaughter, Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck. It was the first time that little George A. Roberts, about to turn five years old, saw his future wife for the very first time.

And that is why this is a “Sentimental Sunday” post!

 

To be continued…

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Vital records such as birth, marriage, and census that can be found on Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, etc.
  2. Family stories written and told by Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck.

 

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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.
 Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright or use of our blog material.

Friday’s Faces from the Past: Elizabeth Ann Murrell and John S. Roberts

 

John S. Roberts and Elizabeth Ann (Murrell) Roberts, possibly in the 1870s or 1880s? Posted with kind permission of the Harlan Family Blog. (Click to enlarge.)

Roberts Family, Murrell Family (Click for Family Tree)

Elizabeth Ann Murrell was the first born child of Wiley Anderson Murrell (1806-1885) and Mary Magdalene Honts (1806-1887). Her birth was 1 February 1835 in Botetourt County, Virginia, where Mary’s family had lived for a while- we still don’t know where Wiley was living before the marriage in 1834.

[BTW, Botetourt is pronounced in a uniquely Virginian way: “BOT-a-tot.”]

Elizabeth was just five years old when the 1840 US Federal Census was taken. Her father was enumerated in District 8, Botetourt County, Virginia, and she likely was there too. (The 1840 census only lists the head of household.) She was specifically listed with the family in the 1850 US Federal Census, however, again in District 8 of Botetourt; she was 15. As her father was a farmer, she most likely lived the hard-working life of a farm family- she would have helped her mother with milking the cows, caring for and slaughtering the chickens, slopping the pigs, bringing water to the house for cooking, drinking, and bathing, and she would have stayed busy working in the family garden. And that was just the outside work! Inside, she would have watched over her siblings, made the beds and done housework, mended and possibly made family clothing and bedding including quilts, and cooked meals for the family and anyone who was visiting or helping to work the fields. Hopefully she was able to attend school, and maybe have fun at dances and neighborhood get-togethers.

Just a few years later, when Elizabeth was 18, she migrated with her family to Warren County, Illinois. Her father continued to farm, so Elizabeth would have continued her own hard work as a farmer’s daughter.

The Murrells and many of their neighbors were probably too poor to have had any slaves while in Virginia (none are noted in the census), but they would have been surrounded by an economic and social environment that depended on slavery, as did the rest of the south. They may have been isolated enough by the mountains- the Blue Ridge Mountains are on the eastern borders of the county, and the Appalachians on the west- that they did not see the horrors of human bondage on a daily basis, but it was still pervasive.  There was an incident in August of 1835 (Elizabeth was just 6 months old) concerning the lynching of an Englishman in Lynchburg, Virginia. (The irony of the place name is not lost.) It was said the man was an abolitionist who was circulating pamphlets that were anti-slavery, thus a mob hunted him down and “inhumanly [sic] executed” him. This was picked up by many papers, but thankfully turned out to be “fake news.” (History repeats itself.) The case was entirely plausible, however, and believed by many initially, adding to the tension in our country due to the vigorously opposing sides in the slavery question.

Elizabeth and her siblings would have grown up in this divisive climate. It is a question to ponder as to how the family felt about slavery. Some descendants feel that their move to northern Illinois, plus the fact that two of three sons enlisted in the Union Army, suggests that they too believed in abolition, and wanted to leave the South before a war exploded. They were probably smart enough to see that if there was to be a civil war, Virginia’s lands would be one of the places it would be fought. Residents of a place are generally caught between armies, and lose their food, animals, family treasures, and sometimes their lives, so a migration before the tipping point was a good choice,  though surely daunting. Of course, we will never know for sure about the family’s political beliefs, unless a diary or letters are found from the family. (Do you have any in a shoebox in the back of a closet??) But the family did all survive the Civil War, and that would have been much more challenging to do had they stayed in Virginia.

 

 

The story of Elizabeth Ann Murrell and John S. Roberts continues…

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. “How to Talk Virginian” at cohp.org/va/notes/placenames_pronunciation.html
  2. “Virginia Mob,” New-York Spectator, 20 August 1835: http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Virginia_Mob_New-York_Spectator_August_20_1835
  3. Vital records such as birth, marriage, and census that can be found on Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, etc.
  4. Family stories written and told by Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck.

 

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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.
 Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright or use of our blog material.

Typewriters on Tuesday- Roberts, Daniel(s), Murrell Family History

Roberts-Murrell Family History, 1946. Part 1 of 3.
Roberts-Murrell Family History, 1946. Part 1 of 3. (Click to enlarge.)

Roberts Family, Daniel Family, Murrell Family (Click for Family Tree)

Apparently today, 23 June, is the anniversary of the first typewriter patent. Like all inventions, it would have stood on the work of many before, including an early machine that impressed letters into paper, invented in 1575 by an Italian printmaker.

It is hard to imagine life with only printing presses and the pen- the typewriter made it possible for the average person to easily communicate in a legible fashion. My grandmother had terrible handwriting, so her typewritten letters, with all their mistakes and correction fluid/tape, and the carbon copies, are invaluable. They are especially important since cursive writing is no longer being taught in school, and younger generations cannot really read it sometimes, much less write it.

How many family histories were typewritten, like the above? Some were bound into books or booklets, or just fastened with a staple as the Roberts-Murrell family history in this post. The folks listed in this history are at least 3 generations ago, so some of this information might be lost but for the painstakingly typewritten treasures some of our families are lucky to have today.

My grandmother, her contemporaries, and their ancestors would be so amazed at the leap in communication with today’s word processors and OCR technology.

Roberts-Murrell Family History, 1946. Part 2 of 3.
Roberts-Murrell Family History, 1946. Part 2 of 3. (Click to enlarge.)

The images in this post are a report for the 1946 family reunion of the Roberts family in Jasper County, Iowa. I received it back in the late 1960s, from a Roberts descendant in Newton, Jasper, Iowa. Click on our new “Family Documents” section to download the entire pdf of this file more easily than the images in this post: Roberts, Daniel(s), Murrell Family History, 1946.

Roberts-Murrell Family History, 1946. Part 3 of 3.
Roberts-Murrell Family History, 1946. Part 3 of 3. (Click to enlarge.)

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have some pictures from that reunion? They are probably out there somewhere… hopefully labeled with names and the date! If any of our dear readers have such pictures, please let us know through a comment on this post or our “Contact Us” form. We would love to share other Roberts, Murrell, Daniel(s), and Blount treasures.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) Family treasure chest item received in the 1960s.

 

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.