Bert & Essie Roberts – 1931 & 1932

Where was Bert Allen Roberts in 1931 & 1932 and why was Essie a “widow?”

Roberts Research
By Don Taylor

Research Question

The 1931 Polk City Directory for Terre Haute, Indiana, indicates Bert’s wife, Essie, is a widow living at 460 S 13-1/2 Street. It also suggests Bert is residing at 803 North 3rd. This appears to conflict with other records. (See Research Plan – Bert Allen Roberts (1903-1949). Can I explain the discrepancy?


Analysis

Bert Roberts, late 1940s

1929 – The 1929 Terre Haute City Directory lists Bert A (& Essie Roberts) living at 613 North 15th.

There is also a Bert H Roberts listed as a manager with Roberts & Sons and residing at 803 North 3rd.

1930 – The 1930 Census includes Bert, Essie, and the children living at 613 North 15th. Essie’s mother, Marada, lived with them.

1931 – The 1931 Terre Haute City Directory lists Bert H A Roberts is living at 803 N 3rd. Bert A is not listed. Because of the 1929 directory, it is clear this Bert Roberts is the Bert associated with the Roberts & Sons business and not Bert Roberts, the husband of Essie (Barnes) Roberts.

Essie Roberts, circa 1945

Essie P Roberts is listed as the widow of Bert A, working as a cook at J Vern Stevens and living at 460 S 13½. J Vern Stevens was a retail baker and a delicatessen located at 1603 S 7th. Because Essie’s mother, Marada, lived with Bert and Essie during the 1930 Census, I presume she took care of the five children, ages 2 through 9, while Essie worked.

1932 – The 1932 Terre Haute City Directory again fails to list a Bert Roberts but does list Essie as Mrs. Essie Roberts residing at 1466 S. 11th.

1934 – The 1934 Terre Haute City Directory lists Bert A (and Essie) Roberts as a taxi driver. They live at 1354 Chestnut.

Family Search indicates that Polk did not publish Terre Haute directories in 1930 and 1933. So further searching for them is futile.

Family oral history suggests that Bert may have had a second family. If so, it could have been during this period, 1931-1933.


Conclusion

The city directories definitely suggest something occurred between Bert & Essie during those years. Something serious enough that has them separated and Essie claiming to be a widow rather than having the stigma of either being divorced or abandoned with five children. In 1931, the children ranged from two to nine years old. Marada died in May 1932, so it may be it became too difficult to continue as it was, and Bert and Essie got back together then. In any event, it must have been a tough time for Essie.

I have not found any records suggesting where he may have been for those years. Further research into Bert & Essie’s lives will hopefully provide insight.


Sources

  • City Directory (A), Com, Terre Haute, IN (1929) – Page 411 – Roberts, Bert A. Accessed 21 Jan 2016.
  • 1930 Census, Family Search, Bert A Roberts, Terre Haute, Vigo, Indiana, United States, citing enumeration district (ED) ED 22, sheet 9B, line 71, family 248, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 635; FHL microfilm 2,340,370. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X41Q-S9Z.
  • City Directory (A), Com, Terre Haute, IN (1931) – Page 387 – Roberts, Essie P (Wid Bert A). Accessed 28 Sep 2022.
  • City Directory (A), Com, Terre Haute, IN (1932) – Page 332 – Roberts, Essie [Barnes]. Accessed 28 Sep 2022.
  • City Directory (A), Com, Terre Haute, IN (1934) – Page 323 – Roberts, Bert A. Accessed 21 Jan 2016.

 Lewis – Surname Saturday

Roberts-Barnes-Taft-Sutherland-Lewis Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Lewis is a common name with many different potential sources. It may be an Americanized form of the French Louis, Irish Mac Loughaidh, or Welsh Llywelyn. As my Lewis ancestors appear to have been English, it most likely from the Middle English and Old English personal name Lewis.[i]

Direct Surname Ancestors

I have two independent sources of Lewis ancestors. Both Mercy Eliza Taft’s parents have Lewis ancestors, but they do not appear related.

2nd Great-grandmother, Mercy Eliza Taft (1822-1884) paternal ancestors include my:

    • 3rd Great-grandfather:  Joel Cruff Taft (1800-1849)
    • 4th Great-grandfather: Asa Taft (1774-1839) * Note footnote [ii]
    • 5th Great-grandfather: Silas Taft (1744-1812) *
    • 6th Great-grandmother: Mary Lewis (1714-1795) *
    • 7th Great-grandfather: Samuel Lewis III (1684-1760) *
    • 8th Great-grandfather: Samuel Lewis II (___-___) *

2nd Great-grandmother, Mercy Eliza Taft (1822-1884), maternal ancestors include my:

    • 3rd Great-grandfather: Tamise Fanny Sutherland(1796-1864)
    • 4th Great-grandmother: Mary Lewis (1771-1804) * Note Footnote [iii]
    • 5th Great-grandfather: Morris Lewis (1733-1807) *
    • 6th Great-grandfather: Isaac Lewis, Sr (1701-1749) *

My Lewis’ in History

Patriot

Mary (Lewis) Taft’s (1714-1795) husband, Stephen Taft, was a lieutenant in the Militia in Massachusetts.[iv] Her father, Samuel Lewis, III, died before the Revolution,

Immigrant Ancestor

1. Mary (Lewis) Taft’s father, Samuel Lewis (1684-1760), was probably born in Middlesex County. Massachusetts Bay Colony (MBC).

    • His father, Samuel Lewis (1641-1698), was born in Charlestown, MBC.
    • His father may have been John Lewis (1603-1657). If so, he immigrated to MBC about 1635, probably from England.

2. Mary (Lewis) Sutherland (1771-1804) was born in Dutchess County, New York. Her father, Morris Lewis (1733-1807), was likely born in Massachusetts Colony.

    • His father, Isaac Lewis, Sr. (1701-1749), was also born in Massachusetts Colony.
    • His father may have been Barachiah Lewis, born 1663, in MBC.
    • His father may have been John Lewis, born in 1635 in MBC.
    • Finally, his father may have been William Lewis, Jr, born in 1599 in England. He immigrated to the MBC in 1635 or 1636.

Both of my immigrant Lewis ancestors were apparently from England and came to America during the “Great Puritan Migration” of 1620 to 1640.

Today

I haven’t discovered any of my “Lewis Cousins” yet. However, I’m sure I’ll find more as I continue to research my Roberts/Lewis ancestors.

Geography

2014 – Snapshot in Time

The vast majority of Lewis in the World today (actually 2014) live in the United States; most live in Texas, California, and Florida. The greatest incidence of Lewis’s is in Louisiana (1 person in 298).

Famous Lewis’s

There are many famous Lewis. From entertainer Jerry Lewis to author C. S. Lewis. From explorer Meriwether Lewis to Abisha Lewis, Jr. & Sr. (both of whom are Revolutionary War Patriots).

Studies, Societies, & Key Lewis Websites

Lewis is not in my Y-DNA or mtDNA, so studies relating to those DNA groups will not help my genealogical research. Because my closest Lewis ancestor is a 4th great-grandmother, the closest relation I’d have living today would be a 5th cousin. A 5th cousin and I would typically share only 25 cM and fall within the range of 0 to 117 cM. Ancestry indicates they have six matches for me that have the surname of Lewis and share 25 cM or More. None of them have a public family tree extending into the 1700s.

My Direct LEWIS Descendants

I have 295 known descendants of Isaac Lewis (1701-1749) in my tree; 27 Barnes, 21 Roberts, 17 Ransford, and 15 Taft.

I have 352 known descendants of Samuel Lewis II, including 47 Tafts, 28 Barnes, 21 Roberts, 17 Ransford, and 9 Childers.

Because both lines converge at Mercy Eliza Taft, 226 of these known descendants are duplicated in both lines.

I have previously written about five of them.

Ancestor Photographs[v]

Essie Pansy Barnes

Joel Clinton Barnes

Essie (Barnes) Roberts c. 1975

Joel Clinton Barnes
Cropped from photo Courtesy: Ken Smith

Sources

Endnotes

Ancestor Sketch – William Lister

Roberts-Brown Research
Roberts-Barnes-Lister Line
By Don Taylor

William Lister is my earliest verified Lister Ancestor. He was probably born in Maryland about 1793. He served in the War of 1812, married twice, and died in Monroe, Pickaway County, Ohio.

William Lister is found in 58 Ancestry Public Trees[i] and is Family Search profile K8JH-PX9.

Roberts/Brown – Ancestor #44

List of Grandparents

    • 5 – Grandmother: Essie Pansy Barnes(1903-1982)
    • 11 – 1st Great-grandmother: Marada Mae Lister(1867-1932)
    • 22 – 2nd Great-grandfather: Nimrod Lister(c. 1826-c. 1890)
    • 44 – 3rd Great-grandfather: William Lister (1793-1848)
    • 88 – 4th Great-grandfather: ? Nimrod Lister (1765-1847)?*
    • 176 – 5th Great-grandfather: ? Nimrod Lister (1730-1813)?*
    • 352 – 6th Great-grandfather: ? William Lister (1688-1732)?*
    • 704 – 7th Great-grandfather: ? Thomas Lister (1654-___)?*

(* Note: Ancestors marked with “*” are tentative/speculative and have not been independently researched by me.)


William Lister (1793-1848)

Birth

William was born in 1793 in Maryland. His parents were likely Nimrod and Mary Lister.

Military Service

William appears on the roll of Capt. Alexander Robinson’s company serving between 30 August and 9 October 1812. He was a private in the Army.

He also served in Capt. George Yocums Company of the Ohio Militia.

Marriage 1

William married Nancy Strain on 17 June 1822. They had four children together. 

Name Born Married Died
Nimrod 1824 – Ohio Malinda Evans 1888
Sarah c. 1830 – (Ohio) Aaron Dean
William Marcus 1832 (Ohio) Elizabeth Krohn 1921
James M. c. 1840

1830 Census

The 1930 US Census found William living in Walnut Township, Pickaway County, Ohio. With him is a female age 20 to 29, presumed to be William’s wife, Nancy, and a male under 5, presumed to be Nimrod. Also living with them is a female aged 10 to 14. This is probably a sibling of either William or Nancy.

Nancy’s Death

Nancy died on 23 November 1844 in Pickaway County, Ohio, at the age of 37.

Marriage 2

William married Leah Adkins on 23 April 1846 in Highland County, Ohio. They had one child together 

Name Born Married Died
Elizabeth Ellen 1847 George Corkwell 1933

Death/Burial, etc.

William Lister’s Marker – Photo by oh_fudge via Find-a-Grave

William Lister died on 23 November 1848, presumably in Monroe, Pickaway County, Ohio. He was buried at the New Holland Cemetery in New Holland, Pickaway County, Ohio.

Property Sale

Sometime before 20 November 1848, William 5old 50 acres to Elacy Enis & William King for $450. William died before the property transfer could occur, so his probate administrator needed to process conveying the title on 1 July 1850.


Events by Location

  • Maryland:                                              1793 – Birth.
  • Ohio, Highland County                    1822 – Marriage 1
  • Ohio, Pickaway County:                  1812 – Military Service.
  •                                                                   1824 – Birth of Nimrod.
  •                                                                   1830 – Census.
  •                                                                   1832 – Birth of William Marcus
  •                                                                   1846 – Marriage 2
  • Ohio, Pickaway County, Monroe: 1848 – Property Sale.
  •                                                                      1848 – Death
  • Ohio, Pickaway County, New Holland:  1848 – Burial

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Research William’s Military Records closely.
  • Research William’s Children.
  • Find William in 1800 & 1810 Censuses (with Nimrod?).
  • Find William in the 1820 Census.
  • Find William in the 1840 Census.

Sources

Endnotes

[i] Accessed on 1 June 2022.

Sources for William Lister – Part 3 of 3 – Ancestry Sources.

Roberts Project
Roberts-Barnes-Lister Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.After I’ve reviewed and double-checked the Family Search sources, I review the sources other people have cited on Ancestry as the basis for facts they have found. Again, do I agree? Do the sources fit the right person. Are there conflicts that I should address?

William Lister is found in 58 Ancestry public trees. If a tree indicates a spouse for him, the trees suggest Nancy Strain or Leah Adkins. Either spouse is okay, as I believe he was married to both. However, the trees have several different potential parents for William. William & Mary and Nimrod & Mary are most common. Some trees suggest William Nimrod Lister as William’s father. Although interesting to see, I’m interested in the sources others have that might point to those names and provide the basis for other facts.


Looking carefully at the Ancestry sources for William Lister, I found:

1830 Census

William Lister, home in Deerfield, Ross County, Ohio.

I previously looked at this entry as my William Lister (1793-1848). (See William Lister & the 1830 Census.)

1840 Census

I looked at William Lister (1793-1848) in the 1840 Census previously. (See William Lister & the 1830 Census.) I failed to find William in Pickaway County in the 1840 Census and possibly found him in Ross County. I did look carefully at the neighbors near him in the 1830 Census Pickaway County William Lister and looked for them in the 1840 Census. I found seven of the ten closest individuals. Looking at their 1840 neighbors, none of them appear to be a William Lister misspelled or misindexed. I don’t believe the William Lister in Pickaway County in 1830 was enumerated in Pickaway County during the 1840 Census.

Indiana, U.S., Death Certificates, 1899-2011

Death Certificate 22067 – William Marcus Lister

I reviewed this record with the Family Search source citations.

Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958

William Sister [Lister] & Nancy Strain Married on 17 June 1822.

This is the same source I have for their marriage. The link to the record on Ancestry is here.

Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958

William Lister & Lea Adkins Married on 23 April 1846. This is the same record I found earlier. On Ancestry, it is available here.

Ohio, U.S., Soldier Grave Registrations, 1804-1958

Indicates William Lister was born in 1793. He enlisted on 30 August 1812 and was discharged on 9 October 1812. His Rank was Private in the Army. He died in 1848 and was buried in New Holland Cemetery, Perry, Pickaway County, Ohio. This record didn’t add any new information or facts for me; however, it does provide a link to the original document on Fold3, which I will download and assess the next time I renew my Fold3 membership.

Find-a-Grave

William Lister’s Marker – Photo by oh_fudge via Find-a-Grave

William Lister’s Find-a-Grave Memorial #38330408[i] includes two photos of his marker. I had this information previously.

 

Roster of Ohio soldiers in the War of 1812

William Lister – Private.

The Roll of Capt. Alexander Robinson’s Company (From Ross County) indicated that William Lister served from 30 August until 9 October 1812, and he was from Pickaway county:

….Privates….

Lister, William

War of 1812 Pension Application Files Index, 1812-1815

William Lister

The record provides pension numbers (SC #3871 & SO # 7572) and information that he was also in Capt. Geo Yocums Co. of the Ohio Militia.

Reconciliation

My Records Ancestry
Birth 1793 Maryland 1793 – Pickaway Co.
Father Unknown William, Nimrod, or “William Nimrod”
Mother Unknown Mary
Son James Alfred

I didn’t find any evidence regarding William’s parents in any of the sources. There were references to someone “finding something on the Internet” back in 2000. However, in reading the thread, I didn’t see anything that provided evidence for that finding. Additionally, none of the researchers using Ancestry Public Trees provided a source for William’s parents’ names either.

Conclusion (Part 3)

After reviewing the sources cited on Ancestry:

    1. William’s birth date and location. I’m confident that William Lister was born in 1793 in Maryland. I am not confident regarding his parents’ names.
    2. I still doubt that William had a son James Alfred.
      1. In 1822, William’s wife Nancy would have been 15 years old, suggesting she would have been 14 when James Alfred was conceived.
      2. Alternately, William Lister could have had an earlier wife. I haven’t seen evidence of that in any other records.
      3. It is uncommon for a person to have two children with the same given name.

It is possible but unlikely that William had a wife before Nancy. If I find any evidence of his having has such a wife, I’ll add James Alfred to the mix.

    1. I am convinced that William Marcus Lister was born on 2 August 1832 in Pickaway County, Ohio.

I feel comfortable writing a sketch regarding William Lister’s life with the additional research I’ve done.


Endnotes

[i] Find a Grave, Find a Grave, William Lister, Pvt – 1793-1848. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/38330408/william-lister: accessed 17 February 2022), memorial page for Pvt William Lister (1793–20 Nov 1848), Find a Grave Memorial ID 38330408, citing New Holland Cemetery, New Holland, Pickaway County, Ohio, USA ; Maintained by Dave M (contributor 46499754).

Sources for William Lister – Part 2 of 3 – Family Search Sources

Roberts Project
Roberts-Barmes-Lister Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.After I’ve reviewed and double-checked my sources, I review the sources other people have cited as the basis for facts they have found. Do I agree? Do the sources fit the right person. Are there conflicts that I should address?

When I reviewed William Lister on Family Search, I found two different individuals.

First – K8JH-PX9. He was born about 1802 in Maryland. Hie married about 1827 in Pickaway, Ohio, and had four children with “Mrs. William Lister.” Nimrod (1826-?), Sarah (1831-?), William M (1836-?), and James M (1840-?). His parents are Nimrod and Mary Lister. This entry has no sources entered.

Second – KJMH-VN5. He was born about 1793 in Ohio. He married 13 May 1822 to Nancy Strain (1802-1844) and had two children, James A (1822-1869) and William Marcus (1832-1921). He also married Leah Adkins on 23 April 1846 in Pickaway County, Ohio. This profile has five unique sources cited to support the events in William’s life.

Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958

William Sister [Lister] & Nancy Strain Married on 17 June 1822.

This is the same source I have for their marriage. I’m not sure I understand someone entered the marriage date of 30 May 1822. I don’t see that date in the record. I changed the date to 17 June 1822 in keeping with the record. It is available to view here, here, and here.

Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958

William Lister & Lea Adkins Married on 23 April 1846.

This is the same record I found earlier. It is available here. The same record with the image is available here. Again, I had used these sources previously.

Find-a-Grave

William Lister’s Marker – Photo by oh_fudge via Find-a-Grave

Same Find-a-Grave Memorial #38330408[i] I utilized before.

 

Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953

Death Certificate #12280 – Elizabeth Ellen Corkwell

This was a new source record for me. It confirmed many things I already knew but added much more about the family. It—

    • Confirmed Elizabeth was the daughter of William Lister and his second wife, Leah Adkins.
    • Provided greater detail regarding her birth and her death.
    • Provided the first name of her husband (George) and that he died before her.
    • Probable error in the record: Elizabeth’s father, William, is reported as having been born in Ohio. I believe he was born in Maryland, per other records.

Indiana, U.S., Death Certificates, 1899-2011

Death Certificate 22067 – William Marcus Lister

This was a pointer to an Ancestry record.

The record confirmed his birth date, parents’ names, death date, and burial date with the location.

Probable error in the record: The informant, William Marcus’ daughter Emma, reported both her grandparents (William and Nancy Lister) were born in New Jersey. I believe he was born in Maryland based on other records.

Conclusion (Part 2)

After reviewing the sources cited on FamilySearch, I’ve come to the following Conclusions:

    1. William’s birth date and location. I feel confident that William Lister was born in 1793 in Maryland.
    2. I doubt that William had a son James Alfred. I believe James Alfred was likely the son of a different William Lister or is a sibling or possibly a cousin.
    3. William Marcus Lister was born on 2 August 1832 in Pickaway County, Ohio.

Endnotes:

[i] Find a Grave, Find a Grave, William Lister, Pvt – 1793-1848. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/38330408/william-lister accessed 17 February 2022), memorial page for Pvt William Lister (1793–20 Nov 1848), Find a Grave Memorial ID 38330408, citing New Holland Cemetery, New Holland, Pickaway County, Ohio, USA ; Maintained by Dave M (contributor 46499754).