Family Sketch – Mabel Ilean Roberts

Roberts Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.As I began a second look at my great-grandfather, Hugh Ellis Roberts, I learned about my grand-aunt[i] (my grandfather’s sister), Mabel Ilean Roberts’ life. Wow; her life was filled with so much tragedy.

Mabel Ilean (Roberts) Hart, Collins, Webb (1908-1964)

Birth

Mabel was born on 2 June 1908, the 4th child of Hugh Ellis and Clora Dell (Scott) Roberts. Before she was three months old, her father died at the age of 24.

     Grand-aunt Mable Roberts
(Photo courtesy of the Chris H. Bailey family photo collection.[ii])
Mabel’s mother, Clora, remarried later that year, on 1 December 1908, to Hosea Lee Adams.  Life with her step-father must have been tough, as her mother divorced Hosea while Mabel was still a teenager. Meanwhile, Mable clearly wanted to get out of there because she married Olan Branson Hart on 3 January 1925, when she was still only 16 years old. Olan was 18.

Six months after her marriage, she had her son, Arthur Carlton, and two years after that, she had a daughter, Georgia C. Hart, on 2 August 1927.

By 1933, her marriage with Olan had collapsed, as Olan married Anna Mae Padget on 5 February 1934.

Mabel married Luke Marion Collins on 1 October 1938 in Shelby, Macomb County, Michigan.

On 22 September 1942, Mabel’s son Arthur married Virginia Lee Russell. They had a son, Arthur, the following year. Arthur died on 14 November 1943, before his first birthday. Joy came back into Mabel’s life as her second grandson, Randall Olan Hart, was born. Only to be crushed again when the accident happened.

Arthur (Sr.)’s wife, Virginia, was driving early Sunday morning (about 1 AM) on 25 June 1944 when the police were chasing a speeder. Trying to evade police, the speeder blew a stop and slammed into the car driven by Virginia. Virginia was pronounced dead when she was admitted to Highland Park General Hospital. In the car with them was Mabel’s daughter, Georgia. Six days later, Georgia died.

Luke and Mabel divorced on 13 September 1945.

Mabel married a third time to Nelson Raymond Webb on 8 December 1952.

Mabel died on 15 January 1964 at the age of 55.

Timeline

1908         Death of father, Hugh.
1934         Divorce from Olan after nine years.
1942         Death of first grandson, Arthur.
1944         Deaths of daughter and daughter-in-law.
1945         Death of mother, Clora & Luke Collins divorce after six years.
1964         Her death at age 55

I don’t typically spend a lot of time researching a grand-aunt’s life and certainly not the lives of first cousins, once removed (Arthur & Georgia), but the accident that killed Georgia and Arthur’s wife was just so horrific I just had to stop and look at their lives a bit more than usual.

I’ll add, seeing this reminded me of the importance of rules regarding police High-Speed Police Pursuits. To see two young women died due to a police pursuit of a traffic infraction is saddening.

Detroit Free Press, Detroit, Michigan, 2 July 1944, Page 10 – “Girl Traffic Victim” thanks to Newspapers.com. https://www.newspapers.com/image/98149112/?terms=%22Girl%20Traffic%20Victim%22&match=1


Endnotes

[i] Some people say the sibling of a grandparent is a great-aunt or a great-uncle. Others call that sibling a grand-aunt or grand uncle. I prefer using “grand” as it makes it clear that aunt or uncle is the sibling of a grandparent.

[ii] Thank you so much, Chris, for the photo image!

Ancestor Sketch – Joel Cruff Taft

Roberts-Barnes-Taft Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Researching Joel Cruff Taft had its challenges. The most obvious one is tracing an individual through the early (before 1850) censuses. The second problem in researching Joel was regularly running into his grandfather, Silas Taft, who was a “minuteman” in the Revolution. I’m looking forward to writing about him

Joel Cruff Taft – Ancestor #42

List of Grandparents

  • Grandmother: Essie Pansy Barnes(1903-1982)
  • 1st Great-grandfather: Joel Clinton Barnes(1857-1921)
  • 2nd Great-grandmother: Mercy Eliza Taft(1822-1884)
  • 3rd Great-grandfather: Joel Cruff Taft (1800-1849)
  • 4th Great-grandfather: Asa Taft (1774-1839)
  • 5th Great-grandfather: Silas Taft (1744-1812) – Patriot!
  • 6th Great-grandfather: Stephen Taft (1710-1803)

Joel Cruff Taft (1800-1849)

Christmas, 1800, was doubly blessed when Asa and Sarah (Whitney) Taft had their fourth child, Joel Cruff Taft, on Christmas Day. I’m not sure where the name “Joel” came from, but Asa’s mother’s maiden name was Cruff, which is the likely source of Joel’s middle name.

Joel had three older siblings:

      • Asa Perry, six years older.
      • Lurancy, four years older.
      • Amanda, two years older.

Joel was the first of their children born in Broome County, New York. The Taft’s had moved there from Peru, Berkshire County, Massachusetts in either 1799 or 1800. Joel’s mother had two more children, Seth (in 1803) and John (in 1805), before she died in 1813, while Joel was only 12 years old. Asa remarried and had eleven children altogether.

I have not successfully found the ten-year-old’s father, Asa Taft, in the 1810 Census.

Marriage

In 1819, Joel married Tamise Sutherland in Triangle, Broome County, New York.

They had ten children.

The Children of Joel Cruff Taft & Tamise (Sutherland) Taft

Silas 28 Apr 1820
Mercy Eliza 27 Mar 1822
Sarah Emaline 27 May 1824
Amanda J. 14 Feb 1826
Catherine Tammy 25 Aug 1828
Candace Irene 25 Aug 1830
Joanna Lucy 7 Mar 1832
Lurancy Caroline 11 Nov 1834
Platina 19 Mar 1835
William 30 Apr 1842

The 1820 Census found Joel living near his brother, Silas, and his father, Asa, in Lisle, Broome County, New York. In his household are his wife and his oldest son, Silas.

In 1822 property that had been his mother’s was sold to Justus B. Sutherland; Joel and several of his siblings benefited from the sale.

The 1830 household of Joel Taft suggests tragedy. Silas, who would have been ten years old, isn’t enumerated in the household, suggesting he died before 1 June 1830. The 1830 Census does indicate four females in the household that fit the profile for his four youngest daughters.  There was another male child in the household, under the age of 5, who I haven’t been able to name.

The 1840 Census finds Joel still in Broome County. All of his known daughters are accounted for.

  • Females – Under 5: 2     Platina (age 4) Lurancy (Age (5)
  • Females – 5 thru 9: 1     Joanna (Age 8)
  • Females – 10 thru 14: 3     Candance (Age 10), Catherine (Age 12) (Amanda (age 14)
  • Females – 15 thru 19: 1     Sarah (Age 16)
  • Females – 40 thru 49: 1     Tamise (age 44)

The 1840 Census also indicates there were two males in the household besides Joel. One was 10 to 14 and one was 20 to 30. Certainly, the one from 10 to 14 is the same unknown male child enumerated in the 1830 Census. But could the 20 to 30 year old be Silas?  Possibly.

In 1841, his daughter Platina died at six years of age.

In 1847, his daughter Amanda died at the age of 20.

Joel died on 19 April 1849 in Fairbanks, Sullivan County, Indiana. He was survived by his wife Tamise and at least seven of his children, Mercy, Sarah, Catherine, Candance, Jeanne, Lurancy, and William. I haven’t determined death dates for his sons Silas and “unknown.”

Events by Location

New York, Broome Birth (1800)
New York, Broome, Barker 1840
New York, Broome, Lisle 1820, 1830
New York, Broome, Lisle Marriage
Indiana, Sullivan, Fairbanks Death (1849)

Note: Barker, Lisle, and Triangle are all within six miles of each other. It is possible that the Census takers recorded the locations differently during each enumeration.

Followup

Research Joel’s other children, particularly Seth’s death and the heretofore unknown name son.

Follow property records to determine if Joel lived in several places or if the various places’ names changed during the census recordings.

Sources

  • 1820 Census (A), Ancestry.Com, Asa Taft, Asa Taft Jr., Joel C Taft – Lisle, Broome, New York.
  • 1830 Census (A) (NARA), Ancestry.Com, 1830 Census – Joel Taft – Lisle, Broome, New York. Year: 1830; Census Place: Lisle, Broome, New York; Series: M19; Roll: 85; Page: 109; Family History Library Film: 0017145
  • 1840 Census (NARA), 1840 Census – J C Jogt (J C Taft) – Barker, Broome, New York. Year: 1840; Census Place: Barker, Broome, New York; Roll: 266; Page: 400; Family History Library Film: 0017179
  • Daughters of the American Revolution, “Descendants Search”, DAR, Name Restricted – Nat’l # 887132 – Ancestor #A112392 https://services.dar.org/public/dar_research/search_descendants/?action=list&MyPrimary_Seqn=1001593&MyLineageCount=1.
  • Family Group Record, Family Search, Joel Cruff Taft (K8BN-FDM) – See File: 20170512 Family K8BN-FDM.pdf. Marriage Place: Triangle, Broome, New York, United States
  • Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007, Family Search, William Taft & Elizabeth Scott – Marriage 23 June 1883. “Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XXN4-KFX : 10 December 2017), William Taft and Elizabeth Scott, 23 Jun 1883; citing Sullivan, Indiana, United States, Marriage Registration, Indiana Commission on Public Records, Indianapolis; FHL microfilm 004171419. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XXN4-KFX.
  • S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889­-1970, Ancestry.Com, Joel C Taft – Volume: 265. National Number 52981 – State Number 1007 (Indiana). http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&db=SARMemberApps&h=1149463.
  • United States, New York Land Records, 1630-1975, Family Search, Broome County Deeds 1819-1824 – Vol 8 – Pages 108&109. Joel C Taft to Justus B Sutherland – 25 Jun 1822. “United States, New York Land Records, 1630-1975”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:D5L9-RBMM: 29 January 2021), Joel C Taft, 1822.

Joel Cruff Taft & the 1810 Census

Roberts-Barnes-Taft
Census Sunday
By Don Taylor

Following families in the early census records is always tricky. Finding children in pre-1850 Census records is particularly challenging. Such is the case of Joel Cruff Taft and the 1810 Census.

Expectations

Joel Cruff Taft was born 25 December 1800 the fourth child of Asa Taft (1774-1839)

I would expect the Asa Taft household of 1810 to include 9 year-old Joel, his two sisters, Lurancy (age 14) and Amanda (age 11), and three brothers, Asa (age 15), Seth (age 7), and John (age 5). Asa should be about 36 and his wife was 36 also. Joel and his younger siblings were born in New York, so Asa should be found in New York during the 1810 Census.

So, I would expect a household looking like: 3-1-0-1-0 || 0-1-0-1-0. There may be others in the household

An initial search for Asa Taft in the 1810 Census was unsuccessful.

A search for any Taft in New York during the 1810 Census yielded 11 results. None of the results were located in Broome County (established in 1807) or Tioga County that Broome County was split off from. A review of the enumerated Tafts failed to yield a viable candidate to be Asa.

Name Location Family Comment
Robert Taft Bloomfield, Ontario Co. 0-2-2-0-1|1-0-2-0-1 No males under 10
Dane Taft Otsego Co. 3-1-1-1-1|1-2-1-0-0 No females 26-45
D Saft [Taft] Otsego Co. 4-0-2-1-0|1-2-1-1-0 No males 10-16
Pitts Taft Palmyra, Ontario Co. 0-0-1-0-0|0-0-1-0-0 No children
Matthew Taft Hartford, Washington Co. 2-1-1-1-1|4-0-0-1-1 Not enough males under 10.
Josiah Taft Bloomfield, Ontario Co. 2-0-1-1-0|1-0-0-1-0 Not enough males under 10.
Jesse Taft Bloomfield, Ontario Co. 1-0-0-1-0|0-0-1-0-0 Not enough males under 10.
Eleazer Taft Johnstown, Montgomery Co. 0-1-2-0-1|0-1-1-0-1 Not enough males under 10.
Grindall Taft Pittstown, Rensselaer Co. 0-1-0-1-1|0-2-1-0-1 Not enough males under 10.
S Taft Middlefield, Otsego Co. 1-1-0-1-1 | 0-1-0-1-1 Not enough males under 10.
Widow Toft New York, New York Co. 0-0-2-1-0|0-1-2-0-1 Not enough males under 10.

It seems clear to me that Asa Taft doesn’t appear in New York during the 1810 Census, nor does it appear that he is living with any of his Taft family members in Berkshire County, Massachusetts.

Name Location Family
Lovet Taft (Sr.) Sheffield, Berkshire Co. 1-2-2-0-1|2-1-1-0-2
Daniel Taft Sheffield, Berkshire Co. 1-0-0-1-0|1-1-0-1-0
Lovett Taft (Jr.) Sheffield, Berkshire Co. 2-?-3-0-0|0-0-1-0-0

I am going to cease my search for Asa & Joel in the 1810 Census for now. Also, Joel was born after the 1800 Census, so I wouldn’t find him there.

Hugh Ellis Roberts – A Second Look

Roberts Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.My second look at an ancestor begins with a review of what I think I know. Census records are among the easiest to find ancestors, so I often verify them first. Next, I look at Vital Records (birth, marriage, & death).  Do I have all the records, are they properly sourced, have I gleaned all of the data from the sources that I possibly can. Are they any conflicts between various evidence? If so, have I analyzed those conflicts? Have I followed up on any previous items for follow-up or continued research?  Does the evidence I have suggest further lines of research?

Ancestor 8 – Great-grandfather Hugh Ellis Roberts (1884-1908)

Hugh Ellis Roberts, 1901

I originally wrote about Hugh Ellis Roberts (1884-1908) in my Blogger blog on 22 Feb 2016.

Census Records

There is no surviving 1890 census, so the first, and only, census that Hugh appears in is the 1900 Census. The 1900 Census indicates that his mother owned the farm free, indicating I should look for property ownership. It also indicates her number on the Farm Schedule is #159, indicating I should look for her farm in the Farm Schedules. The census indicates that Florence could read and write, suggesting she went to school.

Birth

I initially based Hugh Ellis Roberts’ birth upon a pension file that his mother filed in 1888. It indicted that Hugh’s birthdate was 2 July 1844. However, I was able to find a birth registration entry for Hugh, which indicates he was born on 3 July 1844.

 

 

Conflicting Birth Info:

The birth register entry states Hugh’s birth was July 3rd, 1884 in Elk Prairie Township. His mother’s pension request file indicates he was born July 2nd, 1884. Also, some sources indicate Hugh was born in Spring Garden Township. (Elk Prairie and Spring Garden Townships are adjoining townships in Jefferson County.) The 1900 Census indicates that Hugh’s mother could not read or write, so it is certain that the information was second-hand in both cases. (One created by a Clerk, the other by a Lawyer.)

The registry entry was timely, within two weeks of the birth, however, it may have been provided by a third party. The Pension File was from November 1888, only four years after Hugh’s birth and the data had to have come from his mother as entered by her lawyer on a form. As such, there is no clear answer regarding Hugh’s birthdate. I am preferring 3 July as Hugh’s birthdate solely because the registry entry occurred closer to his birth. If new information comes forth regarding his birth I will reconsider what my preferred date and location are.

Asa’s Birthdate

Hugh’s birth registration indicates his father, Asa Ellis Roberts,  was 47 years old when Hugh was born, suggesting his father, Asa Roberts, was born in 1837.  However, Asa’s marker on Find-a-Grave indicates his birth year as 1835. Additionally, the 1850 Census reports that Asa was 15 years old, again suggesting his birth year is 1835. So, I’ve decided to keep Asa’s birthdate as 1835 unless I find other compelling sources indicating otherwise.

Patience’s Birthdate

Hugh’s birth registration indicates his mother, Patience Anna (Marshall) Dean Roberts was 38 years old when Hugh was born. That suggests she was born in 1845. During the 1850 Census, Patience was six-years-old suggesting her birth was in 1843 (assuming a December birthday). There was a birthdate affidavit (for civil war pension) which reported her birthyear being 1845. I’m not convinced that either birthyear is correct, so I’m leaving the 1843 birthyear as my preferred date.

Patience’s Surname

Hugh’s birth registration states that Patience’s maiden name was Dean. However, Dean was the surname of her first husband. Patience’s maiden name was Marshall. In this case, I believe Hugh’s birth registration was entered incorrectly.

Marriage

Illinois, County Marriages, 1810-1940 provides a registry entry for the marriage of “Ellis” Roberts and Clara Dell Scott. Both are reported to be 17 years old. Hugh Ellis was 16 and Clara was either 16 or 17.[1] Patience did give permission for the marriage. Of interest, one of the witnesses was Clara Bilbrey(?) whose relationship is unknown. Also, J. R. Clark certified the marriage; I wonder who he was.

Children

A little less than seven months after their marriage, Clara gave birth to my great-aunt and great-uncle, Carrie & Harry, on 22 May 1901.

Bert Allen Roberts, my paternal grandfather, was born on 20 Sep 1903.

Great-aunt Mable Ilean Roberts was born 2 June 1908.

Further Actions / Follow-up

      1. Past Continued Actions
        • Confirm Death Date with original source documents.
        • Confirm Cause of Death.
        • Confirm Date of Birth – Complete (See above.)
        • Order Death Certificate from Franklin.
        • Find Property Record for Anna’s farm ownership (also number 4 below).
      2. I need to determine the actual date and location of Harry Ray Roberts’ death.
      3. I need to determine the date and location of Mabel Ilean Roberts’ death.
      4. 1900 Property Ownership of Patience Anna Roberts.
      5. Look for Patience’s farm in the 1900 Farm Schedule #159.
      6. Look for Florence having attended school. Although Hugh could not read and write, he may have attended the same school.
      7. Who was Clara Bilbrey that was a witness to the marriage of Hugh and Clara?
      8. Who was J. R. Clark who certified the marriage of Hugh and Clara? (Religious?)
      9. Research locations for further information and background.
        • IL, Jefferson County, Spring Garden
        • IL, Jefferson County, Elk Prairie
        • IL, Jefferson County, Ina
        • IL, Franklin County, Barren Township
        • IL, Franklin County, Sesser
        • IL, Franklin County, Sesser, Hammond Cemetery

Endnotes

[1] Some records suggest Clara was born in 1883, other indicate 1884. I still need to do an analysis of her birthyear.

Joel Cruff Taft & the 1830 Census

Census Sunday
By Don Taylor

Following families in the early census records is always tricky. Reading incorrectly transcribed names and filling in the gaps makes things challenging. Such is the case concerning Joel Cruff Taft and the 1830 Census.

During the 1840 Census, Joel, his father Asa, and his Brother, Asa Junior, were enumerated next to each other. In the 1830 Census, Joel and his father were listed next to each other. Brother, Asa Jr., is enumerated two after Joel on the next page. They were located in Lisle, Broome County, New York.

Their profiles show:

      • Asa:                       – 1 1 1 – – – 1  ||  – 1 – 1 – 1
      • Joel Cruft Taft – 1 – – – 1        ||  2 2 – – 1
      • Asa Jr.:                 – 2 1 0 0 1        ||  3 1 – 1 – 1

In 1830, I believe that Joel had five children, a boy and four girls. The four girls fit, Amanda and Catherine being under 5, while Mercy and Sarah would be between 5 and 10.  The boy under five must be the same unknown boy who appears in the 1840 Census between 10 and 15.

Although I cannot read Joel’s name in the 1830 Census, I am confident that this is Joel beneath his father, Asa Taft.

Joel Cruff Taft Household – 1830

Males <5        1          Unknown (b. 1824-1830)
Males 20-30 1          Joel (29)
Females <5    2          Amanda (4) – Catherine (1)
Females 5-10 2          Mercy (8) – Sarah (5)
Females 20-30 1       ?Tamise? (34)

When I research Asa’s life, I will need this Census information for him, so I’ll include it here.

Asa Taft Household – 1830

Males

  • Age 5-10 1          James (8)
  • Age 10-15 1          John (15)
  • Age 15-20 1          Seth (16)
  • Age 50-60 1          Asa (56)

Females

  • Age 5-10         Sarah Jane (9)
  • Age 15-20     Unknown (b. 1810-1815)
  • Age 30-40    Lucy (39)