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Mystery Monday: Was Edward Roberts in Franklin, Kentucky before 1831?

Frankfort (Kentucky) Argus, 20 Apr 1831, Vol 25, No. 19, Page 3.

Roberts Family (Click for Family Tree)

One way to help determine when a family migrated is to look at where they were located in the US Federal or a state census. Those censuses only show us a snapshot every 10 years, with sometimes a state census (or the 1940 Federal) showing us a year halfway through the decade. To narrow the date of migration further, we can use newspaper articles. Sometimes there will be short articles posted about a good-bye party, or a note about a store closing or a farmer selling at auction and moving on. One other type of newspaper article can help us pinpoint a date- and advertisement for “dead letters” sitting at the post office, awaiting pickup.

In the early years of our country, the mail carrier did not come to a person’s home, especially if they lived in a rural area. People would make a trip to their post office, which might be in the General Store of the small town nearby. They would go to the counter, or a Post Office window, and ask for their mail. This area was often a gathering place, where one could meet neighbors and townsfolk, exchange stories, gossip, and argue politics. (George A. Roberts of Jasper County, Iowa was one who did the latter regularly, according to his daughter Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck.)

When someone moved on and no one picked up their mail to forward it, the Post Office would publish their names in the local newspaper in hope of someone seeing the notice and helping to get the letters sent on. The addressee had three months in which to pick up their letter; after that time, it would be sent to the General Post Office as an official dead letter.

In 1831, the New Castle, Kentucky P.O. published a list in the newspaper that included the name “Edward Roberts.” Finding “our” Edward is challenging due to his common name and lack of middle initial, and we are not sure where he was in Kentucky at various times. What makes this listing of interest is that a “Charles Stewart” (again, a somewhat common name) also is noted as having a letter sitting at the New Castle P.O. in 1831.

You may remember that “Charles Steward” signed a marriage bond on 25 February 1800, along with “Edward Robbards,” guaranteeing the marriage of Edward to Rosy Steward. We do not know if Charles was Rosy’s father, brother, or uncle, but of course, back then a woman had few legal rights so could not sign the bond for herself and a male family member or friend would have to represent her. In a way this discrimination does help us, however, since it gives us another related name to search for in the area.

The marriage bond was signed in Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky, about 80 miles from New Castle. That would be a 3-4 day ride on horseback- a bit far to be courting- but the family may have moved in the ensuing 30 years within Kentucky and closer to New Castle, and then on to Indiana. Some families, especially if they rented farmland, would move frequently to better quality land. Also, if they had decided to migrate, they might travel part of the way, work for a while, and then move on to another destination that might be more lucrative than their original migration plan. It has been suggested that the government gave Revolutionary War veterans land in Kentucky, but then they had to move on to Indiana for some reason- we do need to learn more about this, but our Roberts ancestors did move in that direction.

One Ancestry.com tree has the youngest child of Edward and Rosy, Mary Ann, born in Jessamine, Kentucky, in 1817. (No source listed for that birthplace.) So the family may have left after then for Indiana, or even been traveling when Mary Ann was born!

There is an 1820 US Federal Census for Ripley County, Indiana, that lists Edward Roberts as being 45 and there being 3 members of the household working in agriculture. We cannot prove this is “our” Edward Roberts but it most likely is. In 1840, in Switzerland, Indiana, John S. Roberts is listed, as is a Charles Stewart and other Roberts heads of households. Biographies state that John S. Roberts lived in Switzerland Co., so we can be more sure about this being “our” ancestor.

The above data suggests that the family migrated  sometime after 1817 and before 1820. So why might there be letters for men of that name back in Kentucky?

  1. Maybe they still held land there thus letters were sent to KY.
  2. Military pension information may have been sent to them at their address in KY- back then the government didn’t always keep up, either.
  3. Family or friends back in Maryland or wherever may not have known about their move. The Post Office could not always deliver to or from the frontier.
  4. They could just be different men and this is another genealogical wild goose chase. (I prefer to say it is a “reasonably exhaustive search.”)

As already stated, just because these common names are found in the same place at the same time does not mean they are related to each other or even to us. The next step would be to learn more about these men, and the 1810 census for an Edward Roberts in Franklin, Kentucky does contribute to the story. Sadly the early censuses do not list other members of the household (that started in 1850, but no relationship was given then) but each piece of information is another piece of a puzzle that might end up being “our” Edward Roberts- or maybe one from a completely different line. (Negative findings are important too.) We just need more research to separate out these men, and this “Mystery Monday” post may help us with locations in which to search for more detailed information.

Here are some other ‘dead letter’ notices that include an Edward Roberts, Stewarts, and other names similar to our ancestors:

John Roberts and William Stewart, Weekly Messenger, page 4, Russellville [KY], 15 April 1826.

Edward Roberts and David Stewart, Reporter, page 3, Lexington [KY], 17 January 1827.

Edward Roberts and David Stewart, Reporter, page 3, Lexington [KY], 20 January 1827.

Edward Roberts in Reporter, page 3, Lexington [KY], 24 January 1827.

Edward Roberts in  Commentator, page 3, Frankfort [KY], 19 April 1828.

Edward Roberts in  Commentator, page 11, Frankfort [KY], 26 April 1828.

Edward Roberts, John Roberts, and a Ralph Stewart listed, Commentator, page 3, Frankfort [KY], 07 July 1829. (“Our” John S. Roberts would have been 24 in 1829.)

Thomas Roberts, Edward Roberts, John Roberts, and a Ralph Stewart listed, Commentator, page 3, Frankfort [KY], 14 July 1829.

Thomas Roberts, John Roberts, and a Ralph Stewart listed, Commentator, page 3, Frankfort [KY], 21 July 1829.

Edward Roberts and Charles Stewart, Frankfort (Kentucky) Argus, 13 Apr 1831, Vol 25, No. 9, Page 4.

Edward Roberts and Charles Stewart, Frankfort (Kentucky) Argus, 20 Apr 1831, Vol 25, No. 19, Page 3. (seen above)

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Frankfort (Kentucky) Argus, 20 Apr 1831, Vol 25, No. 19, Page 3.
  2. GenealogyBank.com is the source of the above articles- love that website!

 

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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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Sentimental Sunday: ‘Parking’ Downtown in Monroe, Jasper County, Iowa in 1896

Monroe Mirror, [Jasper County, Iowa], 24 December 1896, Vol. 25, No. 9, Page 4, Column 2. (Click to enlarge.)

Roberts Family, Murrell Family (Click for Family Tree)

The day before Christmas was a busy one in Prairie City, Iowa in 1896!

Many of us get sentimental for simpler times, but this article shows that things weren’t that much simpler, just maybe on a smaller scale.

Our Roberts-Murrell ancestors may have been a part of the crowd, looking for a place to hitch their horse and buggy: John Roberts, Elizabeth Ann (Murrell) Roberts, George Anthony Roberts, Ella Viola (Daniel) Roberts, and Edith (Roberts) Luck.

Iowa winters are cold and blustery, and getting in to town on December 24th would have had its challenges:

How to keep warm in the buggy without a button to turn up the heat?

What would the horses eat if the ground is covered with snow and the grass under all dead/dormant?

What if big trees were covered with ice and fell across the road?

Waterways were often used for travel in winter, but how do you know the ice is thick enough to hold a heavy sleigh and team, and then all those gifts one might bring back from town?

Somehow these questions make jockeying for a parking space at the mall seem much easier, and exhausting fingertips on a computer keyboard (or phone) for online ordering almost too easy!

Next week- a description of a trip to town during the winter of 1906, by Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck. Have a Merry Christmas!

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Monroe Mirror, [Jasper County, Iowa], 24 December 1896, Vol. 25, No. 9, Page 4, Column 2.

 

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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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Amanuensis Monday: Will and Probate of John S. Roberts of Indiana

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Will and Probate of John S. Roberts (1805-1875) of Indiana
John S. ROBERTS- Will, page 1. From Indiana Wills and Probate Records, 1798-1999, Ancestry.com and previously from Ripley County, Indiana. (Click to enlarge.)

Roberts Family (Click for Family Tree)

Transcription by cousin Jon Roberts (thank you!). We have divided up the will transcription into paragraphs for easier reading.

——————————————————————–

Will of John S. Roberts

The last will and Testament of John S Roberts of Jefferson County Indiana

I John S Roberts considering the uncertainty of this mortal life, and being of sound and memory thanking God for his mercies. Do make and publish this my last will and testament in manner and form as follows (that is to say) first I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Jane Roberts the use of all my Real Estate both in Jefferson and Ripley Counties and also my personal Estate with the exceptions which may follow.

I also give and bequeath to my son David Roberts his support and living off of the Real and personal property that I may own at my dicease and to be well cared for out of the proceeds of the same During his life.

And I give and bequeath unto my son Edward Roberts Jeremiah Roberts Henry Roberts and Quintilla Roberts One Cow and one feather bed each in order to make them Equal with my other children that has had these things given them.

And further it is my will, that after my decease my Executor sell and dispose of my estate sufficient pay all of my just debts and Funeral expenses together with the debts of my last sickness. And my further will is that my Executor take charge of all of my Real and personal Estate after my decease, for the use and support of my beloved wife Jane Roberts and David Roberts their natural lives off the rents and profits of the farm but in case the rents and profits should not be sufficient for their support, then my Executor to sell in parts or parcels of Estate as he may deem most advantageous for the purposes hereby intended. And my wife Jane Roberts and my son David Roberts is to have their home on the farm on which we now reside and also Quintilla Roberts my daughter to have her home and support on the farm while she remains single.

And I hereby appoint my son Edward Roberts to be Guardian for my son David Roberts and to see that he is well cared for during his natural life and to provide for him out of my Estate. And I hereby appoint my son Edward Roberts my Executor after my decease and desire him to take charge of all my Estate both Real and personal at my decease, and collect and pay debts and make all necessary repairs That may be necessary for the saving of crops or property from loss, for which he is to be allowed reasonable compensation.

And after my decease and the decease of my beloved wife Jane Roberts and my son David Roberts my son Edward Roberts my Executor to dispose of the remainder of my estate and after paying expenses to make equal division of the proceeds between my several children to wit William Roberts, Charles Roberts, Sallie Ann Rayburn, John Roberts, Maranda Demaree, Jeremiah Roberts, Edward Roberts, Henry Roberts, David Roberts, Jane Kennedy, Quintilla Roberts.

And lastly I do nominate and appoint my son Edward Roberts to be Executor of this my last will and testament. And hereby revoking all former wills by me at any made.

And lastly my express will and meaning is And I do hereby order and appoint, that if any difference dispute, questions or controversy shall be moved, arise or happen, concerning any Gift, bequest, matter or thing in this my will given and bequeathed, expressed or contained, that no suit or suits in law or equity or otherwise shall be brought or commenced, or prosecuted for and concerning the same but the same shall be referred wholly to the award, order and determination of my [continued below]

John S. ROBERTS- Will, page 2. From Indiana Wills and Probate Records, 1798-1999, Ancestry.com and previously from Ripley County, Indiana. (Click to enlarge.)

friends Thomas S Mitchell and Jeremiah Roberts both the State of Indiana one of Jefferson & one of Ripley County and what they shall order or direct or determine therein, shall be binding and conclusive to all and every person and persons therein concerned. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the 7th day of December 1875.

                                                                                                                                                                             his

        John     x    S Roberts                                                                                                                                                                            mark

The above instrument, consisting of one sheet was now here subscribed by John S Roberts the testator, in the presence of each of us; and was at the same time declared by him to be his last will and testament and we at his request sign our names hereunto as attesting witnesses.

Stovall Wilkins   Res Ripley County                                                                                                                                                                    Thos S Mitchell  Res Jefferson County

——————————————————————————————————————-

State of Indiana

Jefferson County

On this day appeared in my office Stovall Wilkins one of the Subscribing Witnesses to the Will and Testament of John S Roberts late of said County deceased, who being duly sworn on his oath, saith he saw the said John S Roberts sign and seal the foregoing paper as his Will, and that he with Thomas S Mitchell subscribed the same as Witnesses, in the presence of each other, and in the presence and at the request of said John S Roberts this deponent further saith said John S Roberts was at the time of making and executing said paper as his Will, of full age to devise his property, and of sound mind and memory, and not under coercion and restraint, and that he did publish and declare the same to be his Will and further saith not.

Stovall Wilkins

Subscribed and sworn to before me, this 3 day of January 1876.

James J Sering, Clerk

By J. C. Roberts D. C.

——————————————————————————————————————-

State of Indiana

Jefferson County

I James J Sering Clerk of the Circuit Court in and for said County do hereby certify that the above and foregoing is a true full and complete copy of the last Will and Testament of John S Roberts late of said County deceased, As also of the certificate of probate thereto attached as the same appears from the available file in my office.

Witness my hand and seal this 3rd day of January 1876.

James J Sering, Clerk

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Wills; Author: Indiana. Probate Court (Jefferson County); Probate Place: Jefferson, IndianaDescriptionNotes : Will Records, Vol B, 1872-1884Source Information: Ancestry.com. Indiana, Wills and Probate Records, 1798-1999 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: Indiana County, District and Probate Courts.

 

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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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Sentimental Sunday: Roberts Family Pickle Castor

Likely George Roberts family’s pickle castor.

ROBERTS Family (Click for Family Tree)

So just what IS a pickle castor??

It is a fancy jar for pickles, from back in the day when it was important to set a beautiful table.

Details from (likely) George Roberts family’s pickle castor.

Pickle castors were made of silver or silver-plate, with glass jars about 7″ high to hold pickle spears. The metal frame had a handle for carrying, with a hook for the tongs to use to get a pickle out in a delicate manner. The base was often elaborately decorated, as was the handle and even the tongs of some sets.

Tongs from (likely) George Roberts family’s pickle castor.
Tongs from (likely) George Roberts family’s pickle castor.

The glass jars were most commonly molded in cut glass designs, but more expensive versions used real cut glass. (Many sold today as ‘antiques’ have reproduction jars in them, since that part was often lost to breakage.)

Glass jar from (likely) George Roberts family’s pickle castor.

The Kovel’s Antiques webpage states that, “Castor jars became more ornate each year, and by 1860, they were cathedral-like pieces.” (The handle on this jar definitely is ‘cathedral-like.’) Pickle castors were still popular in 1890, but had gone out of fashion by about 1900.

I believe this pickle castor belonged to the family of George Anthony Roberts and Ella Viola (Daniels) Roberts of Jasper County, Iowa. It was found in the house of their daughter, Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck. If memory serves, it used to be in the old homeplace that Edith’s brother George Anthony Roberts, Jr. lived in while he farmed the land after their parents retired and moved into town. George and Ella married in 1885 in Jasper County, so this could have been a wedding gift. Rural areas change slower in their fashions than in the big cities, so it likely was still popular to have a pickle castor on the table into the early 1900s. There are some dim memories of such pretties in an upper cabinet in that house or another house that Georgie (Jr.) may have lived in. And we know that the Roberts women made fantastic pickles, so it might have been used frequently!

Another possibility is that this belonged to George Sr.’s parents, John Roberts and Elizabeth Ann Murrell Roberts, who married in 1857, when pickle castors were at the height of their popularity. If this is true, and they received it as a wedding gift, it would have travelled by covered wagon from Roseville, Illinois to Jasper County in 1868! They probably wrapped it in cloth scraps that would later be used for mending or quilts, then packed it among clothes and blankets in a box stashed inside the wagon. Elizabeth would have probably feared it would be broken when they arrived, but making the trip intact would have been cause for joy after leaving so many possessions behind.

Of course, this is all conjecture, and Edith may have bought it at an estate sale, where she loved to shop. She would not have gone to the sales for her own home until the mid-1920s, though. Additionally, she was not a woman who enjoyed fancy things, so this does not seem to be the origin of this pickle castor.

The design of this is most likely Aesthetic Victorian- seems a bit flowery to be Eastlake, but expert opinions are welcome.

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Kovel’s website– https://www.kovels.com/price-guide/glass-price-guide/castor-jar/Page-7.html

 

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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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Friday Funny: Spellbinding Entertainment

“Spellbinding entertainment” in Monroe, Iowa. 2 August 1895 “Monroe Mirror,” Vol. 23, No. 40, Page 3, Column 3.

Roberts Family (Click for Family Tree)

Our ancestors Elizabeth Ann Murrell and her husband John Roberts lived in/near Monroe, in Jasper County, Iowa. It has always been a small town, and they made their own entertainment, as people still do in small towns. They were also members of the M. E. (Methodist Episcopal) Church there, so may have been chaperones or otherwise involved in this “sociable” on the church lawn.

Of course, don’t miss the pun. Many of us know an incredibly wonderful man who was born in Jasper County, and who would never miss a chance for a pun… Maybe he came by that ability/terrible trait honestly by growing up in its midst? (Though this ‘sociable’ was way before his time.)

 

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Source as above.

 

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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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