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.
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
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
John Willmore & Hester L Ramsey were alive on 20 Dec 1887.
Cynthia M. Roberts, the former wife of Asa Roberts, died 26 Mar 1872.
Know Ye, that Asa Roberts a Private of Captain ??mon’s Company (I) 31st thirty-first Regiment of Illinois Vols who was enrolled on the 15th fifteenth day of August one thousand eight hundred and sixty one to serve three years, is hereby Discharged from the service of the United States this 26th twenty sixth day of July 1862 at Cairo, Illinois by reason of Chronic peritonitis and he is perfectly unfit for service.
Said Asa Roberts was born in Roane in the state of Tennessee is 26 twenty six years of age, five feet eight inches high fair complexion grey eyes dark hair and by occupation when enlisted a farmer.
Given at Cairo this 26 day of July 1862.
Wm K Strong
Brig Genl ??? Dist of Cairo.
Asa Roberts enlisted 15 Aug 1861 for 3 years into Company I, 31st Regiment, Illinois Volunteers.
He was discharged 26 July 1862 at Cairo Illinois due to Chronic Peritonitis.
Born in Roane, Tennessee about 1836
Description: 5’8”, fair complexion, Grey eyes, dark hair.
Patience Anna Marshall’s childhood appears to be pretty much non-existent. Evidence indicates her father died before she was six years old. She was married at 13 years-old, had a child, possibly two, and was widowed by 18. She married a second time, while she was still only 18, and was widowed a second time at 41 years of age.
Late in life, she lived alone. At 71, she suffered a stroke which left her outdoors, lying in water, overnight, until someone noticed her the following day. After her death, she received no marker—no memorial—to commemorate her life.
List of Grandparents
Grand Parent: Bert Allen Roberts
1st Great: Hugh Ellis Roberts
2nd Great: Patience Anna Marshall
Patience Anna Marshall was born on 30 December 1845. That is the date she indicated as her birthdate when she wanted an increase in her pension payment in 1917. This date is confirmed by the 1900 census which indicates she was born in December 1845.
I suspect she had a difficult childhood. She first shows up in the 1850 Census. There, six-year-old, Patience is living with her mother, Jane Marshall, and apparently a younger brother of Jane, Thomas Lawson, and his new wife Susanna. Thomas was 21, but Susanna was only 14; the census indicates that Thomas and Susanna were married in the past year. Jane was 30 and there is no evidence of her husband in that household. One interesting note about the 1850 Census, it indicates that both Patience and her mother were born in Tennessee. In all subsequent records Patience is always shown as having been born in Illinois, however, it is possible that she was born in Tennessee, like her parents. Further research is needed on Jane (Lawson) Marshall to clear up this conflict.
On 7 August 1859, Patience married Thomas Dean. According to the 1860 Census, she and Thomas had been married less than a year and Patience was 17 years old. In reality, Patience was only 14 years old at the 1960 Census time. She had been only 13 years old when she married Thomas Dean.
On 3 February 1863, Thomas Dean died at the home of Thomas and Susan (Mendenhall) Lawson at Ewing, IL.  This appears to be the same Thomas and Susanna that she was living with during the 1850 census and is likely Patience’s uncle.
Elnora Dean, the only known child of Patience and Thomas was born on 26 March 1863, seven weeks after Thomas’ death.
I did a thorough search looking for Patience and/or Elnora Dean in the 1870 Census records without success. Anyone who found them, I’d love feedback below.
Meanwhile, Asa Robert’s first wife, Elizabeth Minerva Toney, died on 26 May 1872 leaving Asa a widower with several children. Three months later, on 25 August 1872, Asa and Patience were married in Jefferson County.
Eleven months later, Patience’s first child with Asa, Charles Wilson Roberts, was born.
Rosa Della Roberts was born on 26 May 1875.
Florence Elizabeth Roberts was born on 21 Jan 1880.
The 1880 Census shows none of the children of Asa’s first wife’s family still living with him. Only he, Patience, their children together (Charles, Della, and Florence) and Patience’s daughter from her previous marriage (Elnora Dean) are living in Elk Prairie, Jefferson County, Illinois as a household.
On 2 July 1884, great-grandfather Hugh Ellis Roberts was born. Patience would have been 41 years old.
Asa Roberts died on 5 October 1886 and Patience immediately applied for a widow’s pension and was granted it. I have several documents from her widow’s pension application that need to be transcribed, (They are difficult to read and may need to be electronically enhanced.) which may shed further light onto Asa and Patience’s lives.
The 1900 Census finds (Patience) Anna Roberts living with her two youngest children, Florence and Hugh and a granddaughter. Although Florence is listed in the census as single, the granddaughter is Florence’s child, Nellie.
In 1908, Patience’s youngest child, my great-grandfather, Hugh Ellis Roberts died from consumption at the age of 24.
The 1910 Census show the widow Patience A Roberts loving alone. She owned her own farm near Barren, Franklin County, Illinois.
The Mt. Vernon Register, dated April 4, 1917, reports a very sad story about Patience Roberts:
“Aunt” Patience Roberts, aged 73 [sic s/b 71] of Ina, who is visiting with the family of James Derrington, [her daughter Rosa Della Roberts Derrington’s home] suffered a stroke of paralysis last Friday evening and the stroke came upon her as she was on her way to the home of a neighbor, about dusk.
She fell heavily to the ground and where she fell there was a sort of a branch and in it considerable water, but fortunately the old lady did not fall on her face and so escaped being drowned.
She was not a great distance from the place where she had started and saw the folks when they went to the barn that evening to milk but could not make an outcry sufficient to attract their attention and she was compelled to lie in the water all night.
The next morning her plight was slightly improved but she could not make herself heard and children playing near the place saw something unusual moving in the depression and it frightened them. They rushed to the house and told their parents what they had discovered and within a very short time kind hands had removed the old lady to more comfortable quarters. Her condition at this time shows much improvement.
In any event, having a stroke and lying in a water puddle all night is a sad event. It is events like this that remind us of the importance of watching out for our senior citizens. The story also makes me wonder why her daughter, Rosa, didn’t notice that her mother was missing.
Patience died on 26 July 1919 in Sesser, Franklin County, Illinois. She was buried on 30 July 1919 at the New Hope Cemetery near Ina, Spring Garden Township, Jefferson County, Illinois. She has no marker.
Process/translate Patience Anna Roberts widow pension application and incorporate new information.
Search further for Patience and/or her daughter in the 1870 Census.
Extend research to second level sources.
When I win the lottery, have a marker made and placed to memorialize the life of Patience Anna Marshall, Dean, Roberts.
I would like to thank second cousin Chris H. Bailey for sharing his photos, sources, and research regarding Patience Anna Marshall Dean Roberts. Without his sharing, this article would have been much less complete.
 Asa and Patience were buried in New Hope Cemetery (now just called Hope Cemetery) near Ina, Spring Garden Township, Jefferson County, IL. She has no tombstone according to Chris H. Bailey who visited the site in November 1968.
 Chris H. Bailey; Descendants of John Calvin Roberts & Elizabeth (Blackwell) Roberts; Person #10 – Asa Ellis Roberts.
Well, at least they did back in the 19th century. My second great-grandfather, Asa Ellis Roberts, came from a large family. He was one of at least 16 children. He too, had 16 children, 12 with his first wife and another four with his second wife. A father, farmer, and Civil War veteran, he led a hard life.
Asa Ellis Roberts was born on 28 February 1835 in Roane County, Tennessee., He is the son of John Calvin Roberts (1795-1873) and Elizabeth Blackwell (1796-1867).
Map of Asa Ellis Roberts Life.
Born: Roane, TN, Liven adult life in Southern Illinois
Map developed using Mapline.Com
Acy, as he was probably known of as child, was the 12th of 16 children. He grew up in Roane County, Tennessee. Apparently, he did not attend school as he still was unable to read and write according to the 1880 Census.
I have a lot of research to do regarding Asa’s childhood. It appears that something tragic occurred in 1848, when Asa was 13. It appears, from other researchers’ information, that five of his siblings, Calvin, David, Elizabeth, George, and John all died that year. There are five of his other siblings that I do not have death dates, so it is possible that even more than five of his siblings died in 1848. Definitely, more research is needed.
Asa married Elizabeth Minerva Toney (1834-1872) on 19 May 1852 in Rowan County, Tennessee. Asa was 17 and Elizabeth was 18. Shortly after their marriage the young couple moved to Illinois where all of their 12 children were born.
William T. Roberts, born about 1853.
George Washington Roberts, was born about 1855 in Jackson County, Illinois; he died in 1902. He married Harriet Shinall sometime before 1895; next he married Hariett Alice Burchell on 24 December 1895.
John G. Roberts, born between about 1856 and died about 1870 at 13 years of age.
Margaret M Roberts was born about 1858. She married William Harvey Porter sometime after 1870.
The 1860 Census found the young family living in Township 5S (Ewing Township), Range 3E, in Franklin County, Illinois. Asa was a farmer, living with him was his wife and four children. His personal property was valued at $15.
Calvin Logan Roberts was born in December 1860. He married Mary Emeline Fryer, next he married Willie Adeline Harrell, then he married Margaret E. (last name unknown).
Civil War Service
On April 12, 1861 the Civil War broke out and Asa joined Company I, 31st Illinois Infantry (Union) on August 15, 1861, at Benton, Franklin County, Illinois.
His company mustered in on 18 September 1861 at Cairo, Alexander County, Illinois. Cairo is the southern-most city in Illinois and the perfect place to begin a campaign against the Confederacy.
The “Dirty First,” as it was known, saw action at the Battle of Belmont on November 7th under the leadership of Brig. General Ulysses S. Grant. The Regiment then captured Forts Henry, Heiman, and Donelson during February 1862. The taking of Fort Donelson was a major victory for the Union. The unconditional surrender of the 12,000-man garrison ensured that Kentucky would remain with the Union. It also provided Grant the nom de guerre of “Unconditional Surrender” Grant. Grant also received a promotion to major general., 
Shortly after the battle at Fort Donelson (Feb 1862), Asa entered the hospital for pericarditis (inflammation of the pericardium – two thin layers of sac-like tissue that surrounds the heart). On 23 July 1862 Asa was discharged for “Chronic Pericarditis.” His physical description at discharge was 5’8”, dark hair, gray eyes, with a fair complexion.
After Asa’s Civil War Service
Sarah Angeline Roberts was born on 5 March 1863. She married Daniel Rufus Baltzell.
James Monroe Roberts was born in June 1865. He married Nancy J. Huckshorn.
In 1865 Illinois held a state census which indicated Asa and his family were living in Township 4S, Range 1E, Jefferson County, Illinois.
Then tragedy struck over and over and over again. Three children in a row died as infants, 1866, 1868, and 1869.
The 1870 Census finds the family living in Township 4, of Jefferson County, Illinois. Asa is still a farmer and his personal property value had grown to $400. With him are his wife and six children; William, George, Margaret, Calvin, Sarah, and Monroe. It appears that his son John G Roberts had already passed.
In 1870, John C. Roberts was born. He died in 1873, living only three years.
On 26 May 1872, Asa’s wife, Minerva died. I don’t know if it was as the result of childbirth, but I suspect it was. Because another child was born and died as an infant in 1872.
On 25 August 1872, Asa married Patience Anna Marshall Dean (1845-1919), in Jefferson County, Illinois. Asa was 37 and Patience was the 26-year-old widow of Thomas Dean. Patience had two children with Thomas, Elnora and another child who had passed already.
With John C. Roberts’ death in 1873, that made five children in a row born and died and six children passing within only seven years. Asa’s father, John Calvin Roberts, also died in 1873.
However, Asa and Patience had their first child together Charles Wilson Roberts on 5 July 1873. Charles married Clara Farmer on 29 January 1891.
Rosa Della Roberts was born on 26 May 1875 in Jefferson County. She married James Lawrence Derrington.
Florence Elizabeth Roberts was born on 21 January 1880 in Ewing, Franklin County; she died on 26 October 1948 in Sesser, Franklin County, Illinois at 68. She married Frances Perry Scott on 24 March 1901, next married Spencer. She had 2 children I know of: Nellie and Alfred.
By the 1880 Census, all of the children Asa had with Minerva had moved on and his household in Elk Prairie Township, Jefferson County, Illinois, consisted only of him, his wife Patience, their three children together (Charles, Della, and Florence) and Patience’s daughter from her marriage to Thomas Dean, Elnora Dean.
Hugh Ellis Roberts was born on 2 July 1884 in Jefferson County. He died on 30 August 1908 in Ina, Illinois at the age of 24. He married Clora Dell Scott on 7 October 1900. They had 4 children: Harry, Carrie, Bert, and Mabel.
Asa Ellis Roberts died on 5 October 1886 at the age of 51, was buried at Hope Cemetery in Spring Garden, Jefferson County, Illinois).
Research the death dates for 5 siblings for whom I don’t have dates.
Research the causes of death for the siblings who died in 1848.
Research Asa Ellis Roberts’ Civil War Record, his pension application, and the pension application of his widow, Patience Anna Marshall Dean Roberts.
List of Greats
Hugh Ellis Roberts
Asa Ellis Roberts
John Calvin Roberts
 Note: Chris H. Bailey indicates that Asa was born on Feb 18 and that his father’s bible is what indicated 28 Feb. His date is probably based upon either Asa or Patience’s civil war pension record. I need to research those records closely. That said, his grave marker and other secondary sources are all in agreement as to the 28 February date.  Sources: Find-a-Grave / Asa E. Roberts – Memorial# 90772797  Note: He was listed as “Acy” in 1850 Census. – Family Search: 1850 Census / Roane, Tennessee – House Number 1415; John Roberts  Family Search; 1880 Census; Winfield, Elk Prairie township, Jefferson Co., Illinois, Sheet 481B, Line 8; Asa Roberts  Family Search: Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002 / Asa Roberts – Elizabeth Toney. Note: Some researchers suggest that Elizabeth Minerva Toney’s first name was Cynthia. My use of Elizabeth is based upon this marriage record.  Family Search: 1860 Census – Township 5 S Range 3 E, Franklin, Illinois, (Page 534) Line 12  Web Source: Illinois State Archives; Illinois Civil War Detail Report / Asa Roberts  Web Source: Illinois State Archives; Illinois Civil War Detail Report / Asa Roberts  Internet: National Park Service: The Civil War; Battle Detail; Fort Donelson; https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-battles-detail.htm?battleCode=tn002  Internet: National Park Service; The Civil War; Battle Unit Details; Union Illinois Volunteers; 31st Regiment, Illinois Infantry; https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-battle-units-detail.htm?battleUnitCode=UIL0031RI  Chris H. Bailey – “Descendants of John Calvin Roberts & Elizabeth (Blackwell) Roberts of Roane County, Tennessee”; Page 10 (Person 10) Asa Ellis Roberts.  Family Search: Illinois State Census, 1865; Township 4S, Range 1E, Jefferson, Illinois – Asa Roberts/  Family Search: 1870 Census – Township 4. Range 3, Jefferson County, Illinois, Line.  Source: Illinois, County Marriages, 1810-1934 / Asa Roberts – P. Anna Dean (Patience Marshall) (Other)  Family Search: 1880 Census; Winfield, Elk Prairie township, Jefferson Co., Illinois; Sheet 481B, Line 8 – Asa Roberts –  Source: Find-a-Grave / Asa E. Roberts – Memorial# 90772797 – Find (Other)  Many thanks to Chris H. Baily for his “Descendants of John Calvin Roberts & Elizabeth (Blackwell) Roberts of Roane County, Tennessee.” His research confirmed much of the research I did, provided new insight into Asa Ellis Roberts’ life and the lives and even the existence of some, of his children.
One of the reasons that I enjoy Randy Seaver’s blog, Genea-Musings is that he regularly makes me realize the missing branches I have in my tree leaves have lots more to do on my tree. His recent “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun” asked folks to look at their tree and determine the age of death for their male ancestors. (He had done a similar thing for female ancestors the week before.)
Using Heredis, it is really simple to generate such a report. I clicked on myself, then clicked on Documents/Ancestor Report and the system generated the data. Then I went to Report Export, I selected Excel from several options. After the information exported, the Excel spreadsheet opened automatically.
Because the ahnentafel numbers for the individuals are exported, it is easy to select just the male ancestors by deleting all of the odd numbers. I immediately saw that my 3rd great-grandfather, Enoch Mannin, lived the longest – 88 years. The ancestor who died the earliest was my great-grandfather Hugh Ellis Roberts, who died at an extremely young 24 years of age.
Next, I began seeing my gaps. I have three people with a range of dates for their life. For example, my great-grandfather John F. Montran was born sometime between 1860 and 1875 and died sometime before 1911. So, he could have died at 35 or died at 51 years or anywhere in between; I don’t know.
Then, I realized I have six ancestors for whom I have no death dates. More work.
Finally, I realized I have nine ancestors in the past five generations that I know nothing about. No names, let alone birth or death dates. So, Randy’s challenge reminded me of how much more work I still have to do. But the good news is that I have 11 of my male ancestors identified as to their age at death. Even better, I have eight more this year than I would have had last year (all of my Roberts line.). I even have one more than I would have had last week, So things are definitely looking up.