Last April, through the application “We’re Related,” I was learned that my wife is related to her eighth cousin, twice removed, Michelle Obama. I determined that that relationship was “very probable.” This year “We’re Related” suggests that I am related to Barack Obama. I am very sure that I’m related to President Taft, but Barack Obama? Could “We’re Related” be right?
“We’re Related” suggests that Temperance Overton (1679-1765) is our common ancestor. The lineage goes up my paternal (Roberts) line:
I don’t see anything intrinsically wrong with the suggested pedigree from me up to Temperance. I know that a Sarah Harris married a David Blackwell, but I haven’t found adequate sources for birthdates, places or parents for either of them. I am a little uncomfortable that there are three generations for whom I haven’t confirmed the pedigree research.
Temperance Overton’s Descendants leading to Barack Obama as suggested by “We’re Related include:
Temperance Overton (1679-1710)
Elizabeth Haris Hudson *
Mary Hudson (1726-1792) *
Charles Bunch (1765-1792) *
Nathaniel Bunch (1793-1859) *
Anna Bunch (1814-1893) *
Frances Ann Alfred (1834-1918) *
Margaret Belle Wright (1869-1935) *
I did a brief look at the Ancestors of Barack Obama on Famous Kin. Their website indicated Barack’s ancestors as follows:
Mother – Stanley Ann Dunham (1942-1995)] **
Grandfather – Stanley Armour Dunham (1918-1992)] **
Great-great-grandmother Gabriella Lee Clark (1876-1966) **
Margaret Belle Wright (1869-1935) and Gabriella Lee Clark (1876-1966) are clearly not the same person. So, it appears that I need to look at which pedigree is more likely — The one with three “private” entries or the pedigree that is documented. I’ll take the Famous Kin and Geni suggestions over Ancestry’s ‘private’ entries.
Although entertaining, “We’re Related” in this case, proved to be an unreliable application that suggested a famous cousin that is unlikely to be related to me.
* = Italic entries are “We’re Related suggestions that are unknown to my research.
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.
3rd Great-grandfather: John Calvin Roberts (1795-1873)
4th Great-grandfather: Elias Roberts (1769-1806)
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
[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.
Ethel May Carr was born, raised, and married in Somerville, Massachusetts. After marriage, she and her husband settled in Hingham, Massachusetts for several years. After their four children were born, she and her husband moved to Maine, first to Portland then out to Peak’s Island. She was widowed at the age of 71 and died 21 years later at the age of 92.
Blanchard Project 2018 – Ancestor BU11
List of Grandparents
Grandmother: Priscella May Newcomb
1st Great-grandmother: Ethel May Carr
2nd Great-grandfather: John Harvey Carr
Ethel May Carr Newcomb (1885-1977)
Ethel May Carr was born on 23 Sep 1885 in Somerville, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. She was one of 14 children of John Harvey and Mary Ann (O’Mara) Carr. I have not discovered information on three of Ethel’s siblings that died before 1900, but her other ten siblings are:
Certainly, six siblings who died young would have had a significant impact on her life. Adding to that tragedy in her life was the death of her father, John Harvey Carr, sometime before 1900. Her mother is identified as a widow and head of household in the 1900 Census.
When she was 17, she married Horace Upton Newcomb, son of Alexander Newcomb and Amelia Jane Allen, on 07 Sep 1903 in Somerville, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Geo. Whitaker, Minister of the Gospel, from Cambridge, MA, performed the ceremony.
Ethel and Horace were blessed with four children, namely:
Horace Arthur Newcomb
Priscilla May Newcomb
Theodore H Newcomb
Hugh Earl Newcomb
In contrast to her mother, Ethel only saw the death of one of her children; Hugh died in 1960 at the age of 50.
Shortly after their marriage Ethel and Horace moved to Hingham, MA. Sometime after 1910 and before 1918, Ethel and Horace moved to Maine. They lived at 14 North Street, Portland.
The 1920 Census indicates that they lived at 144 North Street. At first, I thought there might be a mistake in their address. However, I learned that the current 14 North Street was built in 1920. Today, 144 North Street is another much newer building, so I suspect they did live at both those addresses, but neither building still exist.
In 1927, Ethel and Horace acquired property on Peaks Island. The couple lived on Peaks Island until the death of Horace in 1956. After Horace’s death, Ethel moved to the mainland and in 1957 lived at 7 Avon Place in Portland.
Although Ethel was born in the United States, women who married aliens took on the citizenship of their spouse. So, the effect of marrying Horace was that she became a Canadian Citizen. She renounced and abjured allegiance to King Edward and became a citizen of the United States once again on 7 April 1936. Her husband became a citizen of the United States nine months later, on 5 January 1937.
Ethel died in Brunswick, Maine on 19 March 1977 at the age of 91. She was buried with Horace at Brooklawn Memorial Park in Portland.
1900 Census (FS), Family Search, Mary Carr – Somerville, Middlesex, Massachusetts – ED 929, Sheet 10. “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M9TX-8KW : accessed 19 February 2018), Ralph S Carr in household of Mary Carr, Somerville city Ward 2, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 929, sheet 10B, family 208, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,665. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M9TX-8KW.
1910 Census (NARA), Family Search, Horace Newcomb – Hingham, Plymouth, Massachusetts. “United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M2K8-RN7 : accessed 13 October 2017), Horace Newcomb, Hingham, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 1217, sheet 18A, family 427, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 612; FHL microfilm 1,374,625.
1920 Census (NARA), Family Search, Horace W Newcomb – Portland, Cumberland, Maine, United States. “United States Census, 1920,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MFZ8-CSZ : accessed 13 October 2017), Horace W Newcomb, Portland Ward 1, Cumberland, Maine, United States; citing ED 28, sheet 3A, line 40, family 57, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 639; FHL microfilm 1,820,639.
Find a Grave, Find A Grave, Ethyl May Carr Newcomb (1885-1977) – Memorial 132642017. Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 19 February 2018), memorial page for Ethel May Carr Newcomb (23 Sep 1885–19 Mar 1977), Find A Grave Memorial no. 132642017, citing Brooklawn Memorial Park, Portland, Cumberland County, Maine, USA ; Maintained by townsendburial (contributor 47629974). https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/132642017#.
Find a Grave, Find A Grave, Horace Upton Newcomb – Memorial #132641945. https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=132641945.
Find a Grave, Find A Grave, Theodore H. Newcomb, Sr. (1907-1986). Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 16 December 2017), memorial page for Theodore H. Newcomb, Sr (1907–1986), Find A Grave Memorial no. 168925076, citing Melrose Cemetery, Brockton, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Jody Payne (contributor 47680228). https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/168925076/theodore-h.-newcomb.
Maine, Federal Naturalization Records, 1787-1952, Ancestry, Ethel May Newcomb – Petition. Source Citation – National Archives at Boston; Waltham, Massachusetts; ARC Title: Petitions and Records of Naturalization, 1790 – 11/1945; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: RG 21. https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?viewrecord=1&r=an&db=MENaturalizationRecordsOrigs&indiv=try&h=1081569.
Maine, Federal Naturalization Records, 1787-1952, Ancestry, Horace Upton Newcomb – Petition. Source Citation National Archives at Boston; Waltham, Massachusetts; ARC Title: Petitions and Records of Naturalization, 1790 – 11/1945; Record Group Title: Records of District Courts of the United States, 1685-2009; Record Group Number: RG 21. https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?viewrecord=1&r=an&db=MENaturalizationRecordsOrigs&indiv=try&h=1081569.
Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915, Priscilla May Newcomb. Citing this Record “Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 16391915,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F429CF8 : 4 December 2014), Priscilla May Newcomb, 06 Aug 1905; citing , 1813; FHL microfilm 2,080,164.
Massachusetts Births, 1841-1915, Family Search, Horace Arthur Newcomb – 5 Dec 1903. “Massachusetts Births, 1841-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch : 1 March 2016), Horace V. Newcomb in entry for Horace Arthur Newcomb, 05 Dec 1903, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts; citing reference ID #p 309, Massachusetts Archives, Boston; FHL microfilm 2,057,436. http://(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FXFK-CG6.
Massachusetts Births, 1841-1915, Family Search, Hugh Earl Newcomb. “Massachusetts Births, 1841-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 9 August 2017), Hugh Earl Newcomb, 20 Dec 1909, , Hingham, Massachusetts, United States; citing reference ID #p 184 no77, Massachusetts Archives, Boston; FHL microfilm 2,315,253. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FXJN-V2N.
Massachusetts Births, 1841-1915, Family Search, Theodore Harvey Newcomb – 19 Aug 1907. “Massachusetts Births, 1841-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FXJQ-PNN : 1 March 2016), Theodore Harvey Newcomb, 19 Aug 1907, Hingham, , Massachusetts; citing reference ID #52, Massachusetts Archives, Boston; FHL microfilm 2,315,133.
Massachusetts Marriages, 1841-1915, Family Search, Horace Newcomb & Ethel May Carr. “Massachusetts Marriages, 1841-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N44B-531 : 30 July 2017), Horace Allen Newcomb and Ethel May Carr, 07 Sep 1903; citing , Somerville, Massachusetts, United States, State Archives, Boston; FHL microfilm 2,057,588.
Social Security Death Index (SSA), Family Search, Ethel Newcomb [Carr] (1885-1977). Source Citation Number: 004-64-6432; Issue State: Maine; Issue Date: 1973. http://Ancestry.com.
S. City Directories, 1822-1995, Ancestry, Portland, Maine – 1957 – Page 520 – Newcomb. Original data: Original sources vary according to directory. The title of the specific directory being viewed is listed at the top of the image viewer page. Check the directory title page image for full title and publication information. https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?viewrecord=1&r=an&db=USDirectories&indiv=try&h=901185029.
United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Family Search, Horace Upton Newcomb – Portland, Cumberland, Maine. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KZFY-G9Z.
[i] Interestingly enough, 11 years after Horace and Ethel were married, Horace’s brother, Hugh, and Ethel’s sister, Berlada, were married. It was Berlada’s second marriage.
For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at two clippings from the Donna Darling Collection
The venue is the Cecil Theater in Mason City, Iowa
The show is the “Donna Darling and Girls”.
Also on bill
La France & Co., “World’s Greatest Head Balancers”
P. Wilson and Addie “As you like it”
Kelly and Carseth in “Days of ’95 and ‘25”
Flo Jordan and Boys in “A Whirl – A Twirl, and a Girl”
On The Screen – Betty Compson in “Ramshackle House”
In the clippings is also an article, “Musical Comedy Cecil Headliner.” It reads:
Head balancing Act Also on Vaudeville Program for This Week-End.
The Cecil theater vaudeville program is to be given today and Sunday shows more than ordinary promise. The five stage acts from the Orpheum circuit include several that should appeal to Mason City theater goers.
The Cecil will have a pretentious headliner on the vaudeville stage today in Donna Darling and Girls in songs and steps, a bevy of beautiful musical comedy beauties in the presentation of the latest songs and dances. Miss Darling is a former star with Flo Zeigfield and Chin Chin revue and is assisted by a number of lovely young women who present a routine of the latest popular catchy song numbers and also the latest dances. Special stage setting enhance the beauty of the offerings.
George P. Wilson is a woman hater and he voices his trials and tribulations with the fair sex from the vaudeville stage in a monologue he offers many special song numbers that are crammed with laughs. There is a genuine surprise in his sketch, “As You Life [sic] It.”
Luckily, the article mentions Mason City and a search found there are three places with the name, only Mason City, Iowa had a Cecil theater.
A search of IMDB found that “Ramshackle House,” starring Betty Compson was released on 31 August 1924. Movies at that time typically only had a three or four-month life, so I expect that Donna’s show at the Cecil probably took place in between September and December 1924.
Very little is known about Donna’s schedule in 1924. She probably played in Louisville, Kentucky in August, and Wisconsin in November and December. So, she was definitely in the right part of the country to have played in Mason City in September, October, or November 1924.
A search of Newspapers.com, Genealogy Bank, Newspaper Archives, Ancestry, Chronicling America, Old Fulton Postcards and other sites suggested by The Ancestor Hunt yielded nothing to further identify exactly when Donna played in Mason City. Additionally, Chronicling America does not indicate that any libraries include holdings of “The Mason City globe-gazette and Mason City daily times” for 1924.
Between Sep and Dec 1924 – Cecil Theater – Mason City, IA – Donna Darling and Girls
Determine what repositories may have archive records of 1924 “Mason City globe-gazette and Mason City daily times” newspapers that were published from 1918 to 1929.
Donna Montran and “Chin Chin” played at the Liberty Theatre, Camp Sherman, (Chillicothe), Ohio on 4 April 1920
By Don Taylor
“Chin Chin” played at the Grand Opera House in Canton, Ohio on April 1st. It is not clear if they played anywhere on April 2nd or 3rd, but the cast and crew arrived to perform at the Liberty Theatre at Camp Sherman, (Chillicothe) Ohio on April 4th, 1920.
Even though the show was on a military base, advertising was like most cities that the show went to. I have been unable to find base papers, handbills, or programs, so all I have seen came from the Chillicothe Gazette, the nearby town’s newspaper. There was a typical “Chin-Chin” advertisement showing Walter Wills and Roy Binder about five days before the show. Long thin column ads ran on April 1st and 2nd mentioning that the show sold out in many locations before and those that want to see the show should get their tickets right away.
On the day before the show, another “Chin-Chin” ad ran in the Chillicothe Gazette showing the “Pekin Girls.”
There were no reviews nor was there any after show information regarding the show.
Liberty Theater, Camp Sherman
In the spring of 1917, the loss of seven ships and related heavy loss of American lives spurred president Woodrow Wilson to request of Congress a declaration of war against Germany. The declaration was approved on 6 April 1917, and America entered the war.[i]
A massive construction program created by the War Department resulted in the simultaneous nation-wide construction of 16 new National Army cantonments and 16 new Army National Guard training camps.
Approximately 5,000 workers had arrived by 5 July 1917, and construction started the next day.[ii] During the war construction never ended. There were 13 contracts for building during the war and there was constant expansion until Armistice Day. Besides barracks, the Camp included 11 YMCA buildings and three theaters. Two for motion pictures and one building, the Liberty Theatre, that could do both motion pictures and live shows.
The theater was completed by December 1917. Most sources I have found indicate it had a seating capacity of 1,300 people,[iii] however, the Julius Cahn – Gus Hill 1922 Supplement indicates the seating capacity was 2,500. All agree that it was managed by a civilian.
Most of the Camp’s buildings were demolished during the 1920s.
Camp Sherman is particularly well known for a formation they did consisting of 21,000 troops that formed an image of Woodrow Wilson. It is one of those truly amazing Great War photos.
The next day, the “Chin Chin” cast and crew played 150 miles north of Chillicothe at the Sandusky Theater in Sandusky, Ohio.
[i]Camp Sherman, Ohio: History of a World War I Training Camp by Susan I. Enscore, Adam D. Smith, and Megan W. Tooker – Published by US Army Corps of Engineers – ERDC/CERL TR-15-25 – December 2015. Page 24
[iii]History of the Ohio State University – Volume IV, The University in the Great War, Part III, In the Camps and at the Front by Wilbur H. Siebert.