Ancestor Bio – John Calvin Roberts (1795-1873)

52 Ancestors – Week 2018-09
By Don Taylor

John Calvin Roberts was the first Roberts ancestor I was pretty sure was an ancestor. Years ago, when I did a Y-DNA test to try to determine who my biological father was, the five genetically closest individuals to me were all surnamed. Of them, I was able to follow three of their trees back to a common ancestor, John Calvin Roberts. Although we could have all shared an ancestor of John’s, in that my branch could have split off before John, he became a pivotal person in my research and I hypothesized that he was a common ancestor. It turned out that I was correct.

Research Roberts 2017 – Ancestor #64

List of Grandparents

John Calvin Roberts (1795-1873)

John Calvin Roberts was born 03 Mar 1795 in Southwest Territory. He was the fifth child of the nine (known) children of Ellis and Rebecca (Brashears) Roberts. He was the only child born in the Southwest Territory. His four older siblings were all born in South Carolina and his three younger siblings were born after the Southwest Territory became a state, Tennessee, on June 1st, 1796.

Childhood

John was six years old when Roane County was formed in 1801. It is even more likely that he experienced the excitement of seeing the United States nearly doubling in size with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The War of 1812 began when John was 17. Several researchers have indicated that John served in the War of 1812. I have been unable to confirm that service.[i] In any event, having the British in Tennessee would have made for exciting times.

John’s eight known siblings are:

  • Edward C Roberts 1787-1841
  • Robert Samuel Roberts 1789-1873
  • Rachael Roberts 1791-1856
  • Phillip Roberts 1794-1874
  • Bazzel Roberts 1797-1860
  • Elizabeth Roberts 1799-1855
  • Elijah Roberts 1801-1850
  • Mary “Polly” Roberts 1804-1823

Marriage

Marriage Bond – John Calvin Roberts and Elizabeth Blackwell – Note solmization date at the bottom.

John married Elizabeth Blackwell on his 21st birthday, 3 March 1816 in Roane County, Tennessee. [ii] Elizabeth had 16 children over the next 27 years. Their first child, Calvin, was born nine months and a few weeks after their marriage.

Their children included:

  • Calvin Roberts 1816-(before 1848)
  • Elias R. “Robbie” Roberts 1818-1902
  • David R Roberts 1820-(before 1848)
  • Elijah Josiah Roberts 1822-1868
  • Elizabeth Roberts 1823-1848
  • George W Roberts 1824-1848
  • Francis Marion “Jack” Roberts 1825-1863
  • John F Roberts 1827-1848
  • Phillip Roberts 1829-(before 1848)
  • Amanda Roberts 1831-1849
  • Hugh Roberts 1833-1916
  • Asa Ellis Roberts 1835-1916
  • Robert Samuel Roberts 1837-1910
  • Bazzel Roberts 1839-1877
  • Rebecca Roberts 1841-1870
  • William Roberts 1843-1850

Adulthood

Sadly, the 1820 Census has been lost.[iii] One researcher suggests John and family were working the farm with his brother, Edward.

The 1830 Census finds John as the head of household consisting of 10 people, him, his wife, and eight children:

  •       Two males under five – Presumably Philip and John F.
  •       Two males 5 thru 9 – Presumably Jack and George
  •       Thee males 10 thru 14 – Presumably Elijah and Elias and either David or Calvin.
  •       One female 5 thru 9 – Presumably Elizabeth

From that, it appears that either David or Calvin died before the 1830 Census as it seems unlikely that either left home before the age of 14.

The 1840 Census finds John as the head of a household consisting of 13 people.

  •       Three males under five – Presumably Asa, Robert, and Bazzel.
  •       One male 5 thru 9 – Presumably Hughy
  •       One male 10 thru 14 – Presumably John F.
  •       Two males 15 thru 19 – Presumably Jack and George
  •       Two males 20 thru 29 – presumably Elijah and Elias
  •       One female 5 thru 9 – Presumably Rebecca
  •       One female 15 thru 19 – Presumably Elizabeth.

He appears in the census next to Robert S. Roberts, presumably, that is his brother Robert Samuel Roberts.

The 1850 Census is the first census that provides the names of people besides the head of the household. The census reports John’s household consists of the following:

  • John Roberts                        55
  • Elizabeth Roberts                53
  • Hughy Roberts                     17
  • Acy Roberts                          15
  • Robert S Roberts                 13
  • Bazel Roberts                       11
  • Rebecca Roberts                 10
  • William Roberts                    9
  • Elizabeth Nelson                 23

All were born in Tennessee except for John’s wife Elizabeth who was born in North Carolina. It is not clear who Elizabeth Nelson was. John’s daughter Elizabeth was born in 1823 and would be 26 years old during the 1850 Census, so I don’t believe it was her.

The 1860 Census finds John as the head of the household with wife Elizabeth and daughter Rebecca.

John’s wife Elizabeth died on 5 July 1867. She is buried in the Roberts Cemetery, in Roane County, Tennessee.

The 1870 Census finds John and his daughter Rebecca living in District 14 (post office Kingston), Roane County Tennessee.

Death & Burial

John Calvin Roberts died in April 1873 in Roane County, Tennessee. He is believed to be buried in the Roberts Cemetery. However, his marker has not been found and is presumed lost or to have never been erected.

Discover you family history through historical newspapers at Newspapers.com


Sources

  • 1830 Census (A) (NARA), Ancestry.Com, 1830 Census – John Roberts – Roane, Tennesee (A). 1830; Census Place: Roane, Tennessee; Series: M19; Roll: 180; Page: 55; Family History Library Film: 0024538.
  • 1840 Census (A) (NARA), Ancestry.Com, 1840 Census – John Roberts – Roane, Tennessee (A). 1840; Census Place: Roane, Tennessee; Roll: 535; Page: 70; Image: 1022; Family History Library Film: 0024549.
  • 1850 Census (FS), Family Search, John Roberts – Roane, Tennessee – House Number 1415. Accessed:  6 August 2016. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MCDB-2JV
  • 1860 Census (A) (NARA), Ancestry.Com, 1860 Census – John Roberts – 14th District, Roane, TN – Post Office Kingston.
  • 1870 Census (A), Ancestry.Com, John C Robert, District 14 [Kingsto]), Roane, Tennessee. Roll: M593_1555; Page: 493A; Family History Library Film: 553054. https://search.ancestry.com/collections/7163/records/14326489.
  • Find a Grave, Find a Grave, John Calvin Roberts (1795-1873) [No Image]. Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 23 February 2018), memorial page for John Calvin Roberts (3 Mar 1795–Apr 1873), Find A Grave Memorial no. 147852303, citing Roberts Cemetery, Roane County, Tennessee, USA ; Maintained by Ralph Martin (contributor 47724249) . https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/147852303/john-calvin-roberts.
  • Gregory Vaut, Ancestors of Alexandra Catlin Vaut, Files (Personal), John Calvin Roberts – #78188. accessed 12 June 2016. http://www.acvancestors.com/g2/p2607.htm#i78188.
  • Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002, Ancestry.Com, John Roberts & Elizabeth Blackwell. Accessed 13 Feb 2017.

————–  Disclaimer  ————–

Endnotes

[i] One document often cited by other researchers indicates that John Calvin Roberts served in the War of 1812 also shows that John’s Wife Elizabeth has a Widow’s pension number. Elizabeth (Blackwell) Roberts, the wife of John Calvin Roberts preceded John in death and would not have been a widow and should not have had a widow’s number.

[ii] His Marriage Bond was dated 2 March 1816 and is occasionally cited as his marriage date by some researchers in error.

[iii] Family Search Wiki – Roane County, Tennessee, Genealogy, Census. See: https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Roane_County,_Tennessee_Genealogy#Census

 

Surname Saturday – Taft

Roberts/Barnes/Taft Line
by Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.I was surprised to learn that I know of more ancestors with the surname of Taft in my Roberts Line than any other surname, including Roberts. Only my Mannin(g) and Wolcott ancestors, which are on my Brown line, are more numerous.

Name Origin

Taft is an English name coming from a variant of Old and Middle English word “toft,” meaning a yard enclosing a residence[i], a curtilage, or homestead. It was also applied to a low hillock where a homestead used to be.[ii]

Geographical

Nearly 12,000 of the 13,500 Tafts in the world live in the United States. The highest concentration of Tafts is on the Island of Jersey, a dependency of the United Kingdom in the English Channel (close to France). Today, there are over 1,000 Tafts in both New York and California. There are only 59 people with the Taft surname here in Maine. I wonder if their ancestors came to Maine as mine went to New York in the 1700s. I’ll have to look at that sometime.

My Ancestors

Photo of President William Henry Taft
“Cousin Bill” (William Henry Taft) – Photo courtesy Library of Congress

Taft is a very famous name in American history. Probably the most famous Taft is my 5th cousin, four times removed, William Howard Taft, the 27th President of the United States and the 10th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He is the only person to have held both offices. You don’t find cousins any more illustrious than “Cousin Bill.”

I haven’t researched Robert, Benjamin, or Stephen Taft enough to understand their immigration. Certainly, they came from Europe and probably England during the Great Migration of the mid-1600s. Silas Taft, my 5th great-grandfather was born in Massachusetts colony in 1744 and died in New York in 1812.

The 1840 Census indicated that there were no Taft families in Indiana, however my 3rd great-grandfather, Joel Cruff Taft died there in 1849. I know he had lived in New York, during the 1820s, before he went to Indiana. Twenty-five percent of the Tafts in the United States lived in New York in 1840 and over 1/3 of the Tafts resided in Massachusetts. So, it appears that my Tafts followed a typical migration west – Massachusetts to upstate New York, west to Indiana with some going further west again.

My Great Taft Ancestors

  • 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)
  • 6th Great-grandfather: Stephen Taft (1710-1803)
  • 7th Great-grandfather: Benjamin Taft
  • 8th Great-grandfather: Robert Taft

My known Taft relatives.

My records have 259 known, direct-line descendants of Robert Taft identified over fourteen generations, which is about 9% of my known Roberts/Brown Tree. Mercy Taft, who married Nelson Barnes in 1839, had nine siblings who I haven’t had a chance to research yet.



Sources

[i] Internet: Forbears – Taft Surname Meaning & Statistics – http://forebears.io/surnames/taft accessed 14 Feb 2018

[ii] Internet: Ancestry – Taft Family History – Taft Name Meaning – https://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=Taft accessed 14 Feb 2018

Don’t give up communicating with that match

DNA – Roberts

FTDNA Chromosome Browser Results

In 2016, my number 3 match In Family Finder (Family Tree DNA) was a 2nd to a 4th cousin with whom I shared 100cM of DNA. We shared a couple big chunks on Chromosome 3; there was another nice match on chromosome 12, and a small piece on Chromosome 11. I emailed him in November 2016 and waited.

During the ensuing months, I found two more cousins with whom I shared DNA but I still wondered about that first one. I wondered about him and I emailed him again in May 2017 hoping to figure out how we were related.

I emailed him again mostly as a follow-up in November 2017. And wow. A response. A nice response with enough information to show exactly how we are related. I came to learn that he is the 2nd great-grandson of my 2nd great-grandfather, Asa Ellis Roberts. In other words, he is my half 3rd cousin (we have different great-grandmothers). Asa had 16 children, 12 with his first wife, Cynthia Minerva Toney and 4 with his second wife, Patience Anna Marshall. (My line follows Patience’s children.)

If you are working to fill in the descendants of your ancestors and to connect with distant cousins, it is great to have a first contact message (email) and then remember to follow-up every few months. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t receive a response. Just keep working at it and, hopefully, you will eventually receive the answer which will show a new line of cousins.

———-
DISCLAIMER
———-

Ancestor Bio – Malinda Evans (1829-1903)

Roberts/Barnes/Lister/Evans Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.I hate using circumstantial evidence to determine parents, but sometimes there are no documents that identify a person’s parents. The best you can do is explain why your circumstantial evidence seems sufficient. I have tried determining the parents of my second great-grandmother, Malinda Evans and have been unsuccessful. Malinda was listed in the household of her husband, Nimrod Lister during the 1880 Census.[i] It lists her age as 51, born in Ohio, her father was born in Maryland, and her mother was born in Delaware. Malinda and Nimrod married in 1854 in Pickaway County, Ohio, and Malinda shows in Nimrod’s household during the 1860 and 1870 Census records.

The 1850 census does not provide relationship information, so finding Malinda in the 1850 Census only provides circumstantial evidence of her lineage. I was able to find 21-year-old Malinda Eavans [sic] in the 1850 Census living with Samuel and Lane M. Eavans. The 1850 Census does show that Samuel was born in Maryland and that Lane was born in Delaware, just as the 1880 Census suggested I should find. For me, that circumstantial evidence is sufficient for me to tentatively associate Samuel and Lane as Malinda’s parents. Of course, I will add a note that the parent is speculative based upon the 1850 Census, but I will continue using that relationship until I find something that confirms the relationship or disproves her parentage.

Research Family 2017 – Ancestor #23

List of Grandparents

  • Grandmother: Essie Pansy Barnes (1903-1982)
  • 1st Great-grandmother: Marada Mae Lister (1867-1932)
  • 2nd Great-grandmother: Malinda Evans (1829-c. 1906)
  • 3rd Great-grandfather: Samuel Evans

Malinda Evans Lister (1829-1903)

Malinda Evans was born on January 8, 1829, in Pickaway County, Ohio. She was probably the child of Samuel and Lane M. Evans.

It appears that Malinda had two older sisters, Sarah and Charlotte, born about 1825 and 1827 respectively. She also seems to have had two younger brothers, Meredith and John born about 1833 and 1836 and well as a younger sister, Eliza born about 1840.

Pickaway County was formed in 1810 and its capital, Circleville, was built to conform to a circular prehistoric earthwork. When the Ohio canal reached Circleville in 1831, the circular layout was found to be a hindrance, so local businesses began “squaring the town.”[ii] Malinda grow up during the heyday of the Ohio and Erie Canal which connected Circleville to Akron, Cleveland, and Lake Erie (which was 237 miles away by the canal).[iii]

In 1842, Malinda joined the Methodist Church and remained a faithful member throughout her life.

During the 1850 Census, Malinda and her family lived 17 miles west of Circleville in Perry, Pickaway County, Ohio.[iv]

Marriage

Malinda married Nimrod Lister on 17 March 1854.

Children[v] Born Where
James M. 1853-1855 Ohio
Nancy A. 1855-1857 Ohio
Charles C. 1859 – 1860 Indiana
Eliza J. May 1862 Indiana
Mary Charlotte 1865 Indiana
Marada Alice 22 Feb 1867 Indiana
William Lemuel 15 Aug 1869 Indiana
Sarah F. c. 1872 Indiana

The two children born in Ohio are presumed to have been born in Pickaway County. The six children born in Indiana were all born in Sullivan County, Indiana. The 1900 Census indicates that one of the eight children died before 1900, but I haven’t discovered which one it was, yet (Except it was not Marada nor William.

In 1860, Nimrod and Malinda were living in Turman Township, Sullivan County, Indiana.[vi] Nimrod is a farm laborer and has personal property valued at $30. James is attending school, and Charles had not reached his first birthday before the census was taken.

In 1870, Nimrod owned real property valued at $660 and personal property valued at $349. He is a farmer and Malinda is keeping house for Nimrod, herself, and seven children. Their four oldest children, James, Nancy, Charles, and Eliza are attending school and their next three are too young for school.[vii]

In 1880, Nimrod is still a farmer and Melinda is keeping house.[viii] Twenty-five-year-old James is living with them and working as a huxter. The three youngest children, Marada, William, and Sarah, are also at home and are attending school.

Nimrod died on 7 April 1888 and 1900, and the widow Lister is living with her Daughter Eliza and her son-in-law Albert Hopewell.[ix]

On January 1, 1902, the Sullivan Union reported that Malinda was very sick at her daughter’s Mrs. Joel Barnes’ home. [x]

Malinda died on 24 April 1903 at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Albert (Eliza) Hopewell in Sullivan County, Indiana. Her burial location is unknown.[xi]


ENDNOTES

[i] 1880 Census (FS), Nimrod Lister – Indiana, Sullivan, Gill Township, ED 329, Page 5, Line 18. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MHSF-ZKC.

[ii] Internet: Pickaway County Visitor’s Bureau – About – Pickaway County History http://pickaway.com/pickaway-county-history/

[iii] Internet: Wikipedia – Ohio and Erie Canal. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohio_and_Erie_Canal

[iv] 1850 Census (FS) (NARA), Family Search, 1850 Census – Samuel Eavanz (Evans) – Perry, Pickaway, Ohio. “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MXQY-XTW : 12 April 2016), Samuel Eavanz, Perry, Pickaway, Ohio, United States; citing family 71, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.). https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MXQY-XTW.

[v] Malinda (Evans) Lister’s obituary indicates that she had nine children, six of whom were living. The 1900 Census Indicates that Malinda had 8 children, 7 of whom were living. I believe the 8 children is the accurate number. I have seen no other evidence of a 9th child.

[vi] 1860 Census (FS) (NARA), Family Search, 1860 Census – Nimrod Lustre [Lister] – Turman Township, Sullivan, Indiana – Page 140, Line 36. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M4NV-DFM.

[vii] 1870 Census (FS) (NARA), Family Search, 1870 – Nimrod Lister – Indiana, Sullivan, Turman, Page 12, Line 24. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MX6Z-4N3.

[viii] 1880 Census (FS), Nimrod Lister – Indiana, Sullivan, Gill Township, ED 329, Page 5, Line 18. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MHSF-ZKC.

[ix] 1900 Census (FS), Family Search, Albert Hopewell – Turman, Sullivan, Indiana. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M994-JHX.

[x] January 1, 1902 – Sullivan Union – Sullivan, Indiana.

[xi] Sullivan Democrat, Newspaper Archives, 1903-05-07 – Page 10, Column 3, Deaths – Malinda Lister. https://newspaperarchive.com/sullivan-democrat-may-07-1903-p-10/.

We’re Related – Johnny Depp – OMG

Famous Friday
Roberts Line & Howell Line
by Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.My fifth look at possible relatives using the “We’re Related” showed Johnny Depp as a potential cousin. I immediately thought, “Oh – My – Gawd.”  I had looked at my wife’s relationship with Johnny Depp last spring. If she is a 7th cousin three times removed to Johnny Depp, and I am an 8th cousin twice removed to Johnny Dep, then it would suggest that my wife and I are 10th cousins.  Could it be?

“We’re Related” suggests that John Pinkard (1647-1690) is a common ancestor of Johnny Depp and myself. The lineage goes up my paternal (Roberts) line:

  • Hugh Eugene Roberts (1926-1997)
  • Bert Allen Roberts(1903-1949)
  • Hugh Ellis Roberts(1882-1908)
  • Asa Ellis Roberts(1835-1887)
  • Elizabeth Blackwell (1796-1867)
  • David Blackwell (1755-1841) *
  • Elizabeth Steptoe (1713-1761) *
  • <Private> Apparently Elizabeth Eustace Pinkard. *
  • John Pinkard (1647-1690) *
Photo of Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp – Cousin?

My wife and Johnny Depp supposedly share a common ancestor Jean Panetier with a lineage of:

I did a brief look at the descendants of John Pinkard (1647-1690) and didn’t find any children named Jean nor did I find any daughters who married a Panetier or Pankey.

Even though I haven’t found anything, so far, to support the “We’re related” suggestion that my wife and I are related I haven’t seen anything that disproves it either.  In both cases, I need to do much more research into the Pinkard, Pankey, and Panetire families. It is possible my wife and I are related through this connection.

Panetier is similar enough to Pankey that Pankey could be a derivative. Likewise, Pinkard could be another derivative name. So, I have seven or eight individuals I need to research further to confirm both of us are related to Johnny Depp, and each other. This research could be fascinating and fun to do.

Once again, “We’re Related” proves to be an interesting application that causes me to ask new questions and suggests new areas for research.


Footnotes:

[* = Italic entries are “We’re Related suggestions that are unknown to my research.]