Ancestor Sketch – Ruby Foster Wilmoth (1912-1966)

Rittenberry Project
Rittenberry-Shoemake-Wilmoth
By Don Taylor

Names fascinate me. When I was a child, I had a pastor whose name was Joyce. Since then, I’ve encountered other men with names that were unusual for men to have, such as Nancy and Shirley. While I was researching Ruby Foster Wilmoth, I encountered a very unusual name for a male – Jewell. From other records, I learned Ruby’s older brother went by “J. T.” often, but the “J” really stood for Jewell. Jewell had a son he named Jewell. Masculine names such as Joyce, Nancy, and Jewell remind me to never assume the sex of an individual based solely upon their name.

Rittenberry 2019 – Ancestor RS-15

List of Grandparents

  • Grandmother: Ruby Jean Shoemake
  • 1st Great-grandmother: Ruby Foster Wilmoth
  • 2nd Great-grandfather: Jubie Collins Wilmoth
  • 3rd Great-grandfather: John Thomas Wilmoth

Ruby Foster Wilmoth (1912-1966)

Ruby Foster Wilmoth was born on 24 August 1912 in Overton County, Tennessee. She was the second of eight children born to Jubie and Rachel (Petty) Wilmoth.

Children of Jubie and Rachel (Petty) Wilmoth

  Birth Death
Jewel T. Wilmoth 1910 1968
Ruby Foster Wilmoth 1912 1966
Brison F. Wilmoth 1913 1985
Roxie Ann Wilmoth 1916 1988
Cordell Wilmoth 1919 1944
Charles Dennis Wilmoth 1923 2001
Austin Collins Wilmoth 1925 1927
Living (?) 1928

Childhood

In Overton County, she grew up surrounded by family. The 1920 Census saw Ruby living with her parents and four of her siblings. She and her older brother, Jewel, are attending school. Her father, Jubie, is a farmer who owns his farm and is working on his own account. On the same census page was the farm of John T. Wilmoth and included his wife and six children. In Total there are 5 Wilmoth heads of households on the same page of the Census Record. Altogether there were 10 Wilmoth families in the county, 8 in District 1. Looking back in history, there were six Wilmoth family “Heads” enumerated during the 1910 Census, and three in 1900. There were 22 individuals with the surname Wilmoth (or Wilmouth) during the 1880 Census. The 1810 Census records suggest that the Wilmoth’s have deep roots in Overtown County and have been there since it was formed out of Jackson County and Indian Lands in 1806.[i]

In 1928, when Ruby was 14, her mother died. As the oldest girl in the household, I’m certain much of managing the house fell to Ruby. The 1930 Census reflects that life, with the 17-year-old Ruby identified in the census as the person who provided the information to the census taker. She identified her farmer father as a widower who had been married 19 years. With Ruby and her dad are six of her siblings. (Little Austin died as an infant in 1927.)

In November 1930, her father, Jubie Wilmoth married Maggie Goodwin. Jubie and Maggie would go on to have three children (half siblings to Ruby).

Marriage

Willie and Ruby Shoemake c.1933

In 1933 Ruby married the widower, Willie Hayes Shoemake. Willie and his first wife, Berchie A. Bryant had two children (Gladys & James) before Berchie died in 1932.

 

 

Children of Willie Hayes and Ruby Foster (Wilmoth) Shoemake

  Birth Death
Ruby Jean Shoemake 1934 1964
Robert Jere Shoemake 1940 2015
Willie Paul Shoemake 1943 1943[ii]

Adult

The 1940 Census, finds Willie & Ruby living in the First Civil District, Putnam County. Living with them is James, Willie’s son from his previous marriage. Willie’s 15-year-old daughter, Gladys, appears to be elsewhere. Willie is a painter and Ruby is keeping house.

Death & Burial

Marker – Ruby Wilmoth Shoemake Tucker – Posted to Find-a-Grave by imagal49.

Ruby died on 9 August 1966. She was buried in Wilmoth Cemetery, Poplar Springs, Overton County, Tennessee.

 

 

 

 



Sources

  • “United States Census, 1920,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MNP3-QWB : accessed 31 March 2019), Ruby Wilmoth in household of Julie C Wilmoth, Civil District 1, Overton, Tennessee, United States; citing ED 56, sheet 2A, line 23, family 28, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 1759; FHL microfilm 1,821,759.
  • “United States Census, 1930,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:SPQG-V5G : accessed 31 March 2019), Ruby Wilmoth in household of Jubie C Wilmoth, District 01, Overton, Tennessee, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 1, sheet 6A, line 23, family 105, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 2268; FHL microfilm 2,342,002.
  • “United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K4ZJ-BXM : accessed 8 March 2018), Willie Shoemake, Civil District 1, Putnam, Tennessee, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 71-5, sheet 1A, line 19, family 5, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 – 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 3928.
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 31 March 2019), memorial page for Ruby Wilmoth Shoemake Tucker (24 Aug 1912–9 Aug 1966), Find A Grave Memorial no. 77439952, citing Wilmoth Cemetery, Poplar Springs, Overton County, Tennessee, USA; Maintained by imagal49 (contributor 47223808).
  • “Tennessee Death Records, 1914-1963,” database with images, Family Search (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NSTM-N43 : 25 May 2014), Willie H. Shoemake in the entry for Willie Paul Shoemake, 28 Nov 1943; citing Judd Cemetery, Cookeville, Putnam, Tennessee, 24298, State Library and Archives, Nashville; FHL microfilm 2,137,340.

————–  Disclaimer  ————–

Endnotes

[i] Internet: Wikipedia – List of counties in Tennessee. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_counties_in_Tennessee

[ii] Died at the age of 8 months.

Searching for Patience Marshall’s Father

I have a little brick wall because I am seeking to understand who Patience Marshall’s father is. Sometimes, you need to jump over a wall and work on it from the other side to bust it down.

My process is to:

  • Understand what I think I know.
  • Postulate a reasonable hypothesis.
  • Prove or disprove the hypothesis.

The 1850 Census tells us that six-year-old Patience was living with her mother, Jane, in the household of Thomas Lawson. The 21-year-old Thomas is unknown, but with the same surname as Jane, I suspect that Thomas is Jane’s brother. The census reports Jane as being born in Tennessee about 1819-1820.

Other Records suggest that Jane’s father was Jacob Lawson. Patience was born in Tennessee, so it is likely that Jane and Jane’s father were married in Tennessee between 1840 and 1844. So, I wondered if I could find the Jacob Lawson family in Tennessee. If so, might a Marshall live in the same county that could be Patience’s father?

There was only one Jacob Lawson identified in Tennessee during the 1840 Census.

Jacob Lawson – McMinn, Tennessee
Males: 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 1  // Females: 0 0 0 0 1 3

Males

< 5       0

5-10     0

10-15   1

15-20   1

20-30   1

30-40   0

40-50   0

50-60   1 – Presumed to be Jacob

Females

< 5       0

5-10     0

10-15   0

15-20   0

20-30   1 – Could Be Jane.

30-40   3

 

Most marriages at this time took place between people in the same county. So, I questioned, are there any Marshall families in the same county that could be Jane’s husband.

In 1840, there were three Marshall families in McMinn County, Tennessee.

William Marshall  John Marshall Milley Marshall
0 0 1 1 0 0 1  //  1 1 2 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 // 1 0 0 0 1 0 // 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 1
< 5       0

5-10     0

10-15   1

15-20   1 – Candidate

20-30   0

30-40   0

40-50   1 (William?)

 

Females

< 5       1

5-10     1

10-15   0

15-20   1

20-30   0

30-40   0

40-50   1 (William’s wife?)

< 5       0

5-10     0

10-15   0

15-20   0 – No Candidates

20-30   1

 

 

Females

< 5       1

5-10     0

10-15   0

15-20   0

20-30   1 (John’s wife?)

 

 

No Males – No Candidates

Females
< 5       0
5-10     0

10-15   0

15-20   0

20-30   2

30-40   0

40-50   0

50-60   0

60-70   1 (Milley?)

 

Note: Immediately beneath William Marshall.

I still don’t know who Patience Marshall’s father was. However, I hypothesize that William Marshall of McMinn County, Tennessee, is likely Patience Marshall’s grandfather. So next, I will research the William Marshall family of McMinn County, Tennessee. That research might give me the answer.

I’ve made notes that I’ve made two leaps of faith.

  • Jane’s father is Jacob Lawson (of McMinn County).
  • Jane’s husband was a Marshall also from McMinn County.

I think both are reasonable assertions, but both require further research to prove or disprove my hypothesis. Sometimes, that can be easier said than done, but the process provides me with a new direction for research.

Ancestor Bio – Elizabeth (Blackwell) Roberts

52 Ancestors – Week 2018-18
Roberts/Blackwell Line

By Don Taylor

IPhoto of Don Taylor with cat Nasi. recently saw a bumper sticker that said, “Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History.”[1] With that in mind Elizabeth (Blackwell) Roberts must have been extremely “well behaved.” All of the records I have found only refer to Elizabeth, none of them are about Elizabeth. She was born in Western North Carolina, moved during the pioneer days to Tennessee as a child. She married in Tennessee and had sixteen children. She lived a full life dying at the age of 70.

Roberts Research 2018
Ancestor #96

List of Grandparents

When Elizabeth Blackwell was born, on 10 Sept 1796, George Washington was in his second term. She was born in Surry County, North Carolina, the fifth of nine children of David and Sarah (Harris) Blackwell.

The siblings of Elizabeth included:

  • Nancy Blackwell was born in 1779. She died before 1848 (Possibly in 1840.).
  • William Blackwell was born in 1781. He died in 1826.
  • Patsy Blackwell was born in 1783. She died before 1848 (Possibly 1840).
  • Richard Blackwell was born in 1783. He died in 1832.
  • Armestead Blackwell was born in 1794. He died before 1848.
  • Hugh Blackwell was born in 1803. He probably died before 1848
  • Dicy Blackwell was born in 1804. She died in 1880.
  • George W. Birth unknown; he died on 02 May 1840 in Tennessee, USA.
Surry County, North Carolina

Nothing is known of Elizabeth’s childhood. We know that her family moved from Surry County, North Carolina, to Roane County, Tennessee sometime before April 1816, when the twenty-year-old Elizabeth married twenty-one-year-old John Calvin Roberts in Poplar Creek, Roane County, Tennessee. John had served in Captain Chiles company of the Tennessee Militia during the war of 1812 and returned home after he mustered out on 1 May 1815. Fresh back from the war, the young couple settled down and started a family.

John and Elizabeth had sixteen children together, all of whom were born in Roane County, Tenn. (Death dates are either approximate or unconfirmed.)

Children of John Calvin and Elizabeth (Blackwell) Roberts

  • Calvin Roberts (b. 25 Dec 1816 – d. 1848).
  • Elias R. “Robbie” Roberts (b. 27 Oct 1818 – d. 1902).
  • David R. Roberts (b. 24 April 1820 -d. 1848).
  • Elijah Josiah Roberts (b. 10 Feb 1823 – d. 12 Nov 1868).
  • Elizabeth Roberts (b. 17 Nov 1823 – d. 1848.
  • George W. Roberts (b. 22 Nov 1824 – d, 1848.
  • Francis Marion “Jack” Roberts (b. 03 Dec – d. 1863).
  • John F. Roberts (b. 07 Oct 1827 -d. 1848).
  • Phillip Roberts (b. 31 May 1829 – d.1848).
  • Amanda Roberts (27 Apr 1831- 01 Oct 1917).
  • Hugh Roberts ( 24 Aug 1833—23 Apr 1916).
  • Asa Ellis Roberts (28 Feb 1835 – d. 05 Oct 1886.)
  • Robert Samuel Roberts (05 Jun 1837 – 08 Jun 1910)
  • Brazzel Roberts (20 May 1839 – 17 Feb 1877.
  • Rebecca Elizabeth Roberts (b. 21 Jan 1841- d. Between 1880 and 1900).
  • William C. Roberts (b. 19 Nov 1843 – d. after Jun 1850.)

Adulthood

1820 Census

I have not been successful finding John Calvin Roberts nor Elizabeth in the 1820 Census, nor have I been successful finding Elizabeth in any earlier census records.

1830 Census

John Calvin Roberts appeared in the census of 1830 at Roane Co., Tennessee, p. 55, line 18

  • Name:John Roberts
  • Home in 1830 – Roane, Tennessee
  • Free White – Males – Under 5: 2 –Francis (Age 4), John (2), & Philip (1)
  • Free White – Males – 5 thru 9: 2 – Elijah (7), George (5)
  • Free White – Males – 10 thru 14: 3 – Calvin (13), Elias (11), & David (10).
  • Free White – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 – John (Age 38).
  • Free White Persons – Females: 1 – 5 thru 9: – (Elizabeth (6)
  • Free White Persons – Females: – 30 thru 39: 1 – Presumed to be Elizabeth (Age 33).

Husband, wife and all known children are accounted for in the 1830 Census.

Elizabeth was mentioned in her father’s will dated 1842.[2]

1840 Census

  • Name: John Roberts
  • Home in 1840: Roane, Tennessee
  • Free White  – Males – Under 5:3  –  Asa (Age 5), Robert (2), 1837 Bazil (0)
  • Free White  – Males – 5 thru 9:1  – Hugh (6)
  • Free White  – Males – 10 thru 14:1 — Francis (14)[3]
  • Free White  – Males – 15 thru 19:2 — Elijah (17)  George (15)
  • Free White  – Males – 20 thru 29:2  — Elias (21) and either Calvin (23) or David (20)[4]
  • Free White  – Males – 40 thru 49:1 –  John (48)
  • Free White  – Females – 5 thru 9:1  –  Amanda (9)
  • Free White  – Females – 15 thru 19:1  –  Elizabeth (16)
  • Free White  – Females – 40 thru 49:1  – Presumed to be Elizabeth (Age 43)

It appears that three of the children died before 1840. They are John, born 1827, Philip born 1829, and either David, born 1820, or Calvin, Born 1816)

1850 Census

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[5]        23

The 1850 Census indicates that Elizabeth could not read nor write.

1860 Census

The 1860 Census finds John as the head of the household living with his wife Elizabeth and daughter Rebecca in Kingston, North Carolina.

Elizabeth died on 5 July 1867, “with the rhumatisms settled on her lung.” She is buried in the Roberts Cemetery, in Roane County, Tennessee.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Research who Elizabeth Nelson in the 1850 Census for John Roberts was and what her relationship is.

————–  Disclaimer  ————–


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.
  • 1860 Census (A) (NARA), Ancestry.Com, 1860 Census – John Roberts – 14th District, Roane, TN – Post Office Kingston.
  • Chris H. Bailey, Descendants of David Blackwell, Files (Personal), 6 – Elizabeth Blackwell. Pages 7, 8, and 9.
  • Find a Grave, Find a Grave, Elizabeth Blackwell Roberts – Memorial #147852443. Accessed 13 Feb 2017 . https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=147852443.
  • Gregory Vaut, Ancestors of Alexandra Catlin Vaut, Files (Personal), Elizabeth Blackwell #78189. Accessed 13 Feb 2017. http://www.acvancestors.com/g2/p2607.htm#i78189.
  • Roberts, S. E., Roberts families of Roane County, Tennessee, 1794-1969, Copy, John C. Roberts – Page 226 thru Page 229. Roberts, Snyder. E. (1968). Roberts families of Roane County, Tennessee, 1794-1969. Oliver Springs? Tenn.
  • WorldCat: http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/608494916
  • Index Only: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=wu.89064848997.
  • Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002, Ancestry.Com, John Roberts & Elizabeth Blackwel. Accessed 13 Feb 2017.
  • Tennessee, Compiled Marriages, 1784-1825, Ancestry.Com No Image – John Roberts & Elizabeth Blackwell – Marriage Date: 3 March 1816. Accessed 13 Feb 2017.

ENDNOTES

[1] Attributed to Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, See: Chicago Now – http://www.chicagonow.com/listing-beyond-forty/2015/07/who-said-well-behaved-women-seldom-make-history/

[2] I will write more about Elizabeth’s share in her father’s will when I write about David Blackwell (1757-1842)

Birth, Marriage & Death Collection[3] There were three male children that should have been 11 to 14 years of age that do not seem to appear in the 1840 Census Record. John, Age 12 and Philip, Age 11, both died before 1848; from this census it appears they died before 1840.

[4] There were three male children born that would have been 20 to 29 during this census-Calvin (23), Elias (21), and David (20). Any one of them could have moved out or could have died before 1840. Both Calvin and David are believed to have died before 1848 so it is very possible one of them died before the 1840 Census.

[5] It is not clear who Elizabeth Nelson was. Elizabeth’s daughter Elizabeth was born in 1823, which would make her 26 years-old during the 1850 Census, so I don’t believe it was her, but it could be.

Ancestor Bio – Willie Hayes Shoemake (1905-1962)

52 Ancestors – Week 2018-11
By Don Taylor

Willie Hayes Shoemake was born, grew up, married three times, and died – all in Putnam County, Tennessee. He was too young to have been drafted into World War I and too old (and married with children) to have served in World War II, so it is possible he never left the county.

Rittenberry 2018 – Ancestor #RS-06

List of Grandparents

  • Grandfather: Willie Hayes Shoemake
  • 1st Great-grandfather: James “Jim” M. Shoemake Sr.

Willie Hayes Shoemake (1905-1962)

Willie Shoemake was born 15 March 1905 in Putnam County, Tennessee, probably near Cookeville, which is about 80 miles east of Nashville, to James “Jim” and Mary Fannie Shoemake. He was in the middle of 11 children.

Childhood

His siblings included:

  • Homer Blain Shoemake 1891
  • Maggie Shoemake 1894
  • Oscar Bell Shoemake 1898
  • Haskell Shoemake c. 1900
  • Marshel M Shoemake c. 1902
  • Willie Hayes Shoemake 1905
  • Andrew W Shoemake c. 1907
  • Ethel Madelia Shoemake c. 1909
Photo of Willie Hayes Shoemake
Willie Hayes Shoemake

The 1910 Census finds a family of James & Fannie, with seven of their children, Homer, Oscar, Haskell, Marshel, Willie, Andrew, and Madelia, renting a house along Cookeville and Smithville Road. Willie’s father, James, is a “sawer” at a lumber mill; older brothers Oscar and “Haskie” are laborers at a lumber mill. “Haskie” and Oscar are only 11 and 13 respectively, neither are attending school, and neither could read and write. Willie’s oldest brother, Homer, is a laborer doing odd jobs. Besides appearing like a family in poverty, the 1910 Census also tells the story of great loss. It reports that “Fannie” had 11 children and only nine were living in 1910. So, two children were born and died before 1910. There is also one more child of James and Fannie whose name I’m not confident about.

The next census, 1920, shows the family as James and Fannie with five of their children still at home. “Osker,” Haskell, Marshell, Willie, and Ethel. None of the children are attending school. However, all are reported as being able to read and write. Willie and Ethel are still home, but Oscar, Haskel, and Marshell are farm laborers “working out.”

Marriage 1

In 1923, Willie married Berchie A Bryant. Willie was 18 and Berchie was 15 years old.

The 1930 Census finds the young family of Willie, Berchie with 4-year-old Gladys Rosalee and baby James Cecil (8 months old). Willie owns his home and is a truck driver for a planning factory.

Birchie died on 12 March 1932 at the age of 24.

Marriage 2

Willie married Ruby Foster Wilmoth in 1933.

The 1940 Census finds Willie’s family consisting of him and Ruby. With them is 10-year-old James plus two young children, five-year-old Ruby J and a newborn, Robert. Willie is a painter and decorator. Fifteen-year-old Gladys does not appear with them in the 1940 Census. Further research will be needed to determine where Gladys went.

On 18 March 1943 Ruby gave birth to another son, Willie Paul Shoemake. Willie Paul died eight months later on 28 November 1943.

Willie and Ruby separated sometime between 1943 and 1958. (Ruby passed in 1966.)

Marriage 3

Willie married Rosa Burris in 1958. In 1958 Rosa was 50-years-old, so Willie and Rosa had no children.

Death & Burial

Marker of Willie Hayes ShoemakeWillie died on 25 April 1962 at the age of 57 at Cookeville General Hospital. He was buried at the Judd Church Cemetery, Cookeville, Putnam County, Tennessee. His wife Rosa joined him in death 13 years later and was buried with him.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • None – Research of James and Fannie should fill in several of the known holes in the tree.

Sources

  • 1910 Census, Various, James M Shoemake – Cookeville, Putnam, Tennessee (FS). Family Search. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MGFQ-SZ2.
  • 1920 Census (A), Ancestry.com, James M Shoemake – Putnam, TN. 1920; Census Place: Civil District 16, Putnam, Tennessee; Roll: T625_1759; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 88. https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1920usfedcen&indiv=try&h=36052847.
  • 1930 Census (FS), Family Search, 1930 Census – Willie Shoemake – Putnam, TN. 1930; Census Place: District 1, Putnam, Tennessee; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 0002 – Ancestry. https://search.ancestry.com/collections/6224/records/66728296.
  • 1940 Census (FS), Family Search, Willie Shoemake – Putnam, Tennessee. “United States Census, 1940,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K4ZJ-BXM.  accessed 8 March 2018), Willie Shoemake, Civil District 1, Putnam, Tennessee, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 71-5, sheet 1A, line 19, family 5, Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 – 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012, roll 3928.
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 11 March 2018), memorial page for Willie Hayes Shoemake (15 Mar 1905–25 Apr 1962), Find A Grave Memorial no. 58511255, citing Judd Church Cemetery, Cookeville, Putnam County, Tennessee, USA ; Maintained by Papa Randy (contributor 46864588) .
    • Tennessee, Death Records, 1914-1963, Family Search, Willie Hayes Shoemake – Death 25 Apr1962. “Tennessee Death Records, 1914-1963”, database with images, FamilySearch  24 October 2016), Willie Hayes Shoemake, 1962.
  • “Tennessee Death Records, 1914-1963,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NSTM-N43 : 25 May 2014), Willie Paul Shoemake, 28 Nov 1943; citing Judd Cemetery, Cookeville, Putnam, Tennessee, 24298, State Library and Archives, Nashville; FHL microfilm 2,137,340.
  • Tennessee, State Marriages, 1780-2002, Ancestry.com, Willie Shoemake & Birchie Bryant – 24 Jun 1923. Ancestry.com. Tennessee, Marriage Records, 1780-2002 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002. Nashville, TN, USA: Tennessee State Library and Archives. Microfilm. https://search.ancestry.com/collections/1169/records/2817262/.

————–  Disclaimer  ————–

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.

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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.

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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