Patience A. Roberts – Birth Record

Amanuensis Monday

From the Pension Files of Asa Roberts

Transcription by Don Taylor 12/26/2016





    Patience  A + Roberts



F. P. Scott

Subscribed and sworn to before me the 12th day of July 1917.

James M. McColson 

Notary Republic


This is to certify that the above mentioned Patience A. Roberts appeared before me this day in person and testified to the above affidavit and presented the family record, and I do hereby certify that such record appeared clear and without blemishes, erasures or alterations whatever and the date of birth given as follows: Patience Marchel (Patience A. Roberts) was born in Jefferson County, Illinois December 30th. 1845.

James M. McCollson

Subscribed and sworn to before me this the 13th day of July 1917.

J. L. Cross J P

Affidavit showing birth of Patience A Marchel (Marshall)


I find it interesting that this document uses a spelling of Marshall that I haven’t used in my searches before (Marchel).

The 1900 Census and Samuel Vaden Scott

Census Sunday

Roberts-Brown Research
Scott/Roberts Line

The 1900 US Federal Census Record is often a Treasure Trove of information.  It provides a unique set of information including month and year of birth as well as the number of children a woman has had and how many of her children are still living.  It can also provide clues to other items of interest.  The 1900 Census record showing Samuel Scott and family is such a record, confusing and confounding.

1900 Census showing Samuel Scott and family
1900 Census showing Samuel Scott and family

Per the 1900 Census, Samuel and Luvina had been married for 6 years, suggesting they were married in 1893 or 1894. However, the Illinois County Marriages index indicates that Samuel and Lavinia married on 25 Dec 1892 indicating they had been married 7 years and not 6. I can live with that difference.

More interesting is that the Census indicates that Luvina had had three children, two of whom were still living. Then I noticed the interesting bit.  Per the census, Samuel’s son William was born four months before his son Elmer (Dec 1893 then Apr 1894). Yikes!

Another researcher that I trust indicated that Samuel and Lavinia had a daughter, Amanda, who was born and died in 1897, that fit the child that the census indicated was dead.

Either Elmer or William must be one of Lavinia’s living children, but which one?  I can’t believe she gave birth to two children, four months apart. I have ascribed Lavinia as Elmer’s mother, so I’m leaving that in place for now.  But the question is, who is William H Scott, son of Samuel Vaden Scott; who is his mother? (Amanda Jane Haley died in 1889 so can’t be William H.’s mother. Very confusing. Was there another wife?  Is the Census record wrong?

Continuing, if Elmer or William is Luvenia’s child, then it would appear that Gertrude was Lavinia’s other living child.  But, Gertrude was born in March of 1892, before Samuel and Luvenia were married. If that is the case, Gertrude must be from her previous marriage.

Samuel Vaden Scott c. 1902 - From the Chris H. Bailey family photo collection.
Samuel Vaden Scott c. 1902

What I gleaned from the 1900 Census.

  • Samuel was born Nov 1860
  • Luvenia was born Jan 1862
  • Gertrude was born Mar 1892, probably the daughter of Luvina and William Shockley.
  • Elmer W was born Apr 1894, probably the son of Samuel and Luvina.
  • William H was born Dec 1893, probably the son of Samuel and Unknown.

There are other bits and pieces that the 1900 Census provides.  For example, Samuel’s mother may have been born in Kentucky, different from some other records. None of the three children were attending school (although Gertrude was 8), and Samuel was a farm laborer renting a house (not a farm).

I never look at one Census as absolutely correct, however, the census can provide areas for further inquiry and suggest possibilities which may not otherwise be evident.

I’m still looking.  Maybe other census or other records I find will provide clarity into the parentage of these three children.

List of Grands

  • Grandfather Bert Allen Roberts
  • Great-Grandmother:  Clora Dell Scott
  • 2nd Great-Grandfather: Samuel Vaden Scott
  • 3rd Great-Grandfather: William Hunter Scott.

Further actions:

  • Track and Trace Samuel Vaden Scott through the other Census records.

————- Disclaimer ————-


Family Search:  1900 Census – Samuel Scott – Missouri, Saint Francois County,  Saint Francois Township, ED98 – Sheet 19A, Line 35-39.

Amanuensis Monday – Pension of Asa Roberts – 1887-12-20

I love it when a document makes me reassess what I think I know. I recently received a copy of some of the documents regarding Patience Anna (Marshall) Roberts application for the pension of Asa Roberts. One of the documents was a deposition by John Willmore and Hester Ramsey swearing that Asa’s former wife, Cynthia M Roberts died 26 March 1872.  Who? I thought Asa’s first wife was Elizabeth Minerva Toney and she had died on 26 March 1872. I had Elizabeth Minerva because her son’s marriage record said his mother’s name was Elizabeth. So, now I know something is wrong. Are Elizabeth Minerva Roberts and Cynthia Minerva Roberts one person or two? My guess is that Cynthia is the correct name and George’s marriage record is wrong. So, that is how I’ll enter the wife of Asa Roberts, but I’ll still include a note about George’s mother’s name.

Amanuensis Monday

Deposition: 20 Dec 1887 – Regarding Pension of Asa Roberts
Transcription by Don Taylor 18 Dec 2016


State of Illinois County of
Jefferson 1887 on this 20th
day of December 1887 personally
appeard [sic] John Willmore
Hester L Ramsey who being
duly sworn declare that
Cynthia M Roberts died
March the 26, 1872.
Cynthia M Roberts was the
former wife of Asa Roberts
And we are disinterested in the matter
to which this relates. John Willsmore,
C.A. McCullen  –  Hester L Ramsey
Loyd Ramsey

Sworn to and subscribed
before me on this 20th day of
December 1887 and I certify
that the affiants are respectable
persons that they know the
content of there [sic] dispositions and
that there [sic] statements are entitled
to full faith and credit I pers…
certify that I have no interest
direct or indirect in the above claim

W. A. Clark
[Boh’ee] Magistrate

Facts Found:

  • John Willmore & Hester L Ramsey were alive on 20 Dec 1887.
  • Cynthia M. Roberts, the former wife of Asa Roberts, died 26 Mar 1872.

Green text – Emphasis Mine.

Ancestor #34 – Thomas A Pankey (c. 1760-1829)

 Howell-Darling-2016 Research
Howell/Pankey Line

By Don Taylor

Burning of Washington DC in 1814.
Burning of Washington DC in 1814.

Sadly, the 1790 Census and the 1800 Census records for Virginia were lost. Apparently destroyed by the British during the war of 1812. This loss has a major effect on tracing this family line during the time before 1810. Additionally, many genealogies regarding Thomas are sparse or contain conflicting information.  For example, one researcher indicates that his step-mother is Betsey Kinsey Pankey and that his sister was Betsey Kinsey Pankey.  These other sources also indicate a lot of conflicting information.  As such, this generation is difficult to trace and understand the family relationships. As such, additional research is needed.

 List of Grandparents

  • Grand Parent: James Dallas Howell (1879-1964)
  • 1st Great: Peter Fletcher Howell (1842-1924)
  • 2nd Great: Carolina M. A. Pankey (c. 1811-?)
  • 3rd Great: Thomas A. Pankey (c. 1760-1829)
  • 4th Great: Samuel Pankey (1738-1807)


Thomas A. Pankey

Thomas A. Pankey was probably born between 1755 and 1765. The 1810 Census shows him as the head of household and over 45 years of age, clearly indicating that he was born before 1765.  Several other researchers have stated that he was born after 1755; however, I have been unsuccessful in finding a source for that assertion.

Other researchers report that Thomas had several siblings, Philip, John and Samuel Hardin Pankey may be his brothers and Lelah may be a sister and possibly Betsy Kinsey Pankey, although other research indicates that Betty Kinsey Binford was his mother.  Having a daughter with the same first and middle name as the mother is unusual but not unheard of. I need to do further research into the siblings of Thomas.

Thomas Pankey married Martha Cannon in November 1785 in Goochland County, Virginia. One source, Elizabeth Petty Bentley, indexer of Virginia Marriage Records 1700-1850, [via Ancestry.Com] indicates their marriage was 25 November 1875. Meanwhile, James Dodd, in Virginia, Compiled Marriages, 1660-1800 states that Thomas Pankey married Martha Cannon on 1 Nov 1785 in Goochland County, Virginia. Further research is needed to eliminate the conflict. Some records suggest that Martha Cannon and Martha Leggon are the same person. If so, then it appears that Thomas and Martha had at least seven children:

  1. Mary Y                                    Born c. 1792, Married Ellis Armistead
  2. Nancy Branch                       Born c. 1794, d. c1865
  3. Thomas Armstrong             Born c. 1799, d. 1875
  4. Elizabeth                               Born c. 1805, m. Samuel Scott (c. 1830),
  5. Francis                                   Born c. 1807, D. 1870
  6. Caroline M. A.                      Born c. 1811, d. after 1860.
  7. Henrietta                               Married before 1830.

Census Records

  • 1790 Census – Missing.
  • 1800 Census – Missing.
  • 1810 Census – Cumberland County, Virginia.
  • 1820 Census – Cumberland County, Virginia.

In 1826, Cumberland County Virginia had $350 of debt transferred to the estate of John P. Price.

Thomas A. Pankey died in June of 1829.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Further research the siblings of Thomas A. Pankey.
  • Clear up the conflict of marriage date (1 Nov or 25 Nov 1785).
  • Further research the children of Thomas A. Pankey.


  • Com: 1810 Census – Thomas Pankey – Cumberland County, Virginia
  • Com: 1820 Census – 1820 Census – Thomas Pankey – Cumberland County, Virginia
  • Library of Virginia: CUMBERLAND CO VA Chancery Causes, 1764-1912
  • Jackson, Michael Edmund: via Geni People – Thomas Pankey –
  • Howell, Peter M.: The Life and Travels of Peter Howell: In Which will be seen some Marvelous Instances of the Gracious Providence of God. Newbern, N.C.:  H. Mayhew, 1849.
  • Virginia, Compiled Marriages, 1660-1800 (compiled by Jordan Dodd); Thomas Pankey & Martha Cannon.
  • Virginia, Marriage Records, 1700-1850; Page 202 – Thomas Pankey & Martha Cannon


————- DISCLAIMER ————-

Ancestor Biography – Mary Electa Parsons (1828-1888)

Roberts/Brown 2016 Research

Brown/Sanford/Parsons Line

By Don Taylor

List of Grandparents

  • Grand Parent: Richard Earl Brown
  • 1st Great: Arthur Durwood Brown
  • 2nd Great: Marion Sanford
  • 3rd Great: Mary Electa Parsons
  • 4th Great: Chester Parsons
  • 5th Great: John Parsons [Jr.]
  • 6th Great: John Parsons [Sr.]

Ancestor #51 – Mary Electa Parsons (1828-1888)

I recently wrote about the inconsistency of birthdates for individuals through the various census records. (See: Arthur Durwood Brown – Born 1869.) Mary Electa (Parsons) Sanford is one of the worst I’ve ever seen. She only ages four years during the decade between 1850 and 1860. Records that provide a month for her birth are consistent – September.

Assuming she was born in September, the Census records infer birth years of 1926, 1827, 1828, 1829, and 1833. So, I thought I’d do a birth table for her showing the data and source I have for it. I found it interesting to note that that the book suggests 1828 as her birth year, a year not inferred by any of the Census records. But which record would provide the proof?

Table – Potential Birth Years for Mary Electa Parsons Sanford.

Record Age or Date Stated Birth Year
1840 Census [1 of 2 females age 10 to Under 15) [1825 to 1830]
1845 Marriage Record Age 17, Saline, Michigan* Infers 1828
1850 Census Age 22, Michigan Infers 1827
1860 Census Age 26 Infers 1833
1870 Census Age 40 Infers 1829
1880 Census Age 52, Michigan Infers 1827
1881 – History of Washtenaw… Sep. 14, 1828, Saline Tp. [MI] 14 Sep 1828
1885 Census Age 58, Michigan Infers 1826
1888 – Marker (FaG) 1829 1829
2015 – Find a Grave Sep. 14, 1828, Washtenaw Co., MI 1828

I have been unable to find a primary source for her birthday.  The “best” record I have regarding her birth year is her marriage return. I have found state filed marriage records to be very accurate regarding the date of the marriage, but not so accurate regarding the ages of the bride and groom. Couples often give their ages as compliant to the laws of the state and not necessarily their actual age. I have also seen records where a man said his age was many years younger than he was when he was marrying a woman half his age.  I decided to look closely at the Census and other records to provide enough background to be able to look at the marriage return critically. I marveled that Mary Electra only aged four years between the 1850 and 1860 Censuses. To her credit, she aged fourteen years between 1860 and 1870. Most confusing is that her burial marker shows the birth year of 1829 the History of Washtenaw… indicates 1928.

If Mary’s birthday was 14 September and she married at 17 years of age on 29 October 1845, she would have to have been born on 1828. If she were older, there would not have been any reason to make herself younger. If she were younger, she might have needed to age herself up to fulfill legal requirements.

For quite a while I favored the 1850 and 1880 Censuses that suggest a 1827 birthdate. In 1860, she identified herself as much younger than she was.  Again in 1870, she identified herself as somewhat younger than she was. I think a very telling document about her is her marker.  It indicates that she was younger than any of the other documents (expect for the 1860 Census). So, it seems her friends and family, who had the marker carved, thought she was younger than she was.

Snapshot of William Sanford and Mary Parsons's Marriage Return
Marriage Return Miss Mary Parsons age 17 years 29 day of Oct 1845

For me, the marriage return is the closest document I have and that leaves me in something of a quandary.  I have not been able to find what the law was in 1845. I know that Michigan’s age of consent without parental approval was 18 in 1887. However, I couldn’t find a law before that.  Was there a reason for Mary Electa to make herself a year older?  I don’t know the answer. It could be. However, in the absence of a compelling reason to believe otherwise, I’ve decided to accept the year of birth reported in The History of Washtenaw County… and reported by the Marriage Return and not the year chiseled into her marker or any of the Census records.

By the way, The History of Washtenaw County… reported her marriage as 9 Nov 1845 and not 29 Oct 1845, as stated in the Marriage Return. Being wrong in one fact reduces the creditability for the other events in the book and concern me greatly. If anyone knows of any other records which provide a clear answer to the year of Mary Electa Parson’s birth, I’d love to learn of it.  Please comment below. Also, if you know a good source regarding what laws affected marriage with and without consent in Michigan in 1845, I’d love to learn about the source.


Mary Electa Parsons was the third of seven children of Chester and Deborah Buel (Maben) Parsons.  She had three older siblings and one sibling who died before she was born. They are:

  • Chester Parsons (Jr.} Born in 1820. Sarah’s parents, Chester and Deborah appear to have been married in 1824. As such, it is unclear if Chester Jr. (and Sarah Jane) were children of Chester and Deborah, half-siblings to Mary Electa, or were related in some other way. Further research is needed to understand these relationships.
  • Sarah Jane – Born in 1822. [See Above]
  • Lucinda – Born 1825.
  • James – another brother, James, was born and died in 1826.

And at least four other younger siblings including:

  • Alfred David – Born September 1830
  • Harriet Eliza – Born 16 February 1832
  • E. W. – Born c. 1833
  • Melissa – Born 30 June 1843

The 10-year gap between E.W. and Melissa suggests the possibility of additional children conceived between 1834 and 1840, possibly three.

We do know that Mary Electa’s father, Chester, purchased 160 acres in Saline Township in 1834, so it appears that she grew up as a farm girl in a pioneer setting. The 1840 Census appears to show that her father, Chester, was living in Seline with a child of Mary Electa’s age. It was probably a close family with Grandfather Maben living with them in 1840.


In any event, Mary’s childhood was short lived. She married William M. Sanford on 29 October 1845 at the age of 17 in Washtenaw County Michigan by William Hurley, a Minister of the Gospel.


  • Their first child, Marion, came quickly, sometime within 16 months of their marriage.
  • Their second child, whose name is unknown, was born in April 1850; however, he or she does not show up in the 1860 census and is believed to have died.
  • Their third child, Elva, was born in 1852 or 1853.
  • Almon C. was born October 1855, married, had several children, and died in 1922.
  • William A (aka Willie) was born in 1858 or 1859; he married Victoria Waller.
  • George Poindexter Sanford was born 7 Oct 1865 in Saline. He married Etta J. Miller in 1896, had children, and died in 1932.
  • Finally, it appears that there was one more child of William M and Mary Electa Sanford who died before 1881.  I am not sure where that child fits in the scheme of things.


Mary kept house during the 1860, 1870, and 1880 censuses and does not appear to have had a job outside the home.

In 1885 the William and Mary located to Wells, North Dakota along with two of their sons, Almon and George.


Marker - Mary E. (Parsons) Sanford
Marker – Mary E. (Parsons) Sanford

Mary died on 18 June 1888 and was buried at Lake View Cemetery in Cathay, Wells County, North Dakota on Row 8.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Research the life of Mary Electa Parsons Sanford further.
  • Follow-up by researching lives of Mary Electa’s other children.
  • Follow-up by researching lives of Mary Electa’s sibling.




  1. Family Search: 1840 Census – Chester Parsons – Saline Township, Washtenaw County, Michigan, Page 141;
  2. Family Search: 1850 Census; William Sanford – Michigan, Washtenaw, Seline, Sheet 737, Line 41 & Following sheet;
  3. Family Search: 1860 Census; William Sanford – Indiana, Dearborn, Aurora Center, Image 424;
  4. Family Search: 1870 Census; William Sanford – Michigan, Washtenaw County, Saline, Page 17, Line 22;
  5. Family Search: 1880 Census; William Sanford – Michigan, Washtenaw, Saline; ED 237, Page 22 B, Line 16;
  6. North Dakota State University: 1885 Census Index – Dakota Territory; Wm Sanford – Page 35W-005;
  7. Find a Grave: Mary E Sanford – Memorial# 142980426;
  8. Google Books: History of Washtenaw County, Michigan by Pioneer Society of Washtenaw County (Mich.); William Sanford – Pages 1408 and 1409;
  9. Blog: 1840 Census and Chester Parsons:
  10. Family Search: Michigan, County Marriages, 1820-1940 – William Sanford – Mary Parsons.