> Roberts Families of Mercer County, Illinois
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Roberts Families of Mercer County

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Alternate Spellings - None Found

Links - Shields, Atwater, Bailey (Misc Fam), Kile, Maddox-Misc Families, Denison, LaRue, Stevens

Contacts - George Fulton has sent information on several Roberts descendants and has posted John and Mary Shields Roberts obituaries at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ilmercer/obits/roberts-shields.htm and http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ilmercer/obits/roberts-shields.htm#M-SHIELDS. The obituaries include photos.
David Niswander sent us information about the Jacob U. Roberts and the Close families.

Marsh Roberts of New Boston

There is a curious little item in the New Boston Non-Pareil dated March 29, 1853 that MAY tie some families together below: "Final Settlement. Notice is hereby given that I shall attend before the county court of Mercer County at the April Term thereof A. D. 1856 for the purpose of making a Final Settlement of the estate of MARSH ROBERTS, Dece'ded (sic). R. W. Roberts Attorney for James Roberts, Administrator." We could not locate Marsh Roberts as either Marsh or Marshall in the 1850 census anywhere, nor do we know the identity of R. W. Roberts. However James Roberts may be one of the James Roberts mentioned below (or they may all be one and the same!). If James is one and the same in all three cases, then likely Marsh, John, and Henry were three brothers who came to Mercer County.

John Roberts Family of New Boston Township

John Roberts was born 22 March 1811 in Bacup, Lancashire, England, and died 11 December 1895 in Mercer County, Illinois. He married (1) Mary Shields, daughter of Abel and Sarah Sanders Shields on 9 January 1840 in Mercer County (see obituary links above). John Roberts married (2)Mrs. Sarah Hollowell Bailey 21 April 1880 in Mercer County. Sarah was born February 1828 in Indiana (1900 census) and was widow of Joseph Bailey. Sarah had four children born and 1 living in 1900. The living child was Cyrus Bailey born August 1856, 43, Il, NY, In, and a day laborer living with widow Sarah in 1900. In 1880 in New Boston: #274 John Roberts, 69, farmer, born England, parents born England; Sarah W, 52, born Pa, parents born Pa; Cyrus Bailey, 22, step son, Il, Pa, Pa; Mary Roberts, 30, Il, England, Ind; Clara Roberts, 22, Il, Eng, Ind.

John Roberts is listed in the History of Mercer County 1882 as settling in New Boston Township in 1837. He and Mary are found in the 1840 census in Township 14NR5W: 1 male 20-30 and 1 female 20-30. We do not find a public land purchase for John but believe he operated a mill as an 1857 newspaper article reported a drowning "near John Roberts' mill." In 1850 he was styled as farmer in T14N R5W: #343 John Roberts, 40, farmer, born England; Mary, 35, Indiana; Sarah A.,9, Il; Elizabeth J., 7, Il; Lydia B, 5, Il; John Franklin, 3, Il; Mary E., 2, Il. There is a James Roberts, 60, born England with them who is probably father of John, although young to be his father. If so, then John is probably brother of Henry H. Roberts below. John is listed in the Mercer County History as being township supervisor for five years - he is the fifth one listed, so probably served from about 1856 until the election of April 9, 1861.

John is still listed as a farmer in the 1860 census in New Boston Township. There are errors in the census that make the family nearly unrecognizable: #1727 John Roberts, 49, farmer, England; Mary, 42, England; Sarah A., 19, Il; E. G. (male), 17 (actually Elizabeth); L. B. (male), 15 (actually Lydia); John F., 13, Il; Ellen, 11, Il; Eliza, 9, Il; Edward, 2 (actually Clara). The 1870 census in New Boston Township is much clearer: #64 John Roberts, 60, farmer, born Eng; Mary, 53, In; John F, 24, assisting on farm, Il; Mary E, 21, Il; Eliza A, 19, Il; Clara, 12, Il; George Mason, 19, farm laborer, born Pa.

Sarah A. Roberts Atwater

Sarah A. Roberts married Silvanus Barden Atwater, son of David and Mary Barden Atwater, on 1 May 1861 in Mercer County. Their family is continued on the Atwater page.

Elizabeth Jane Roberts Kile

Elizabeth Jane Roberts was born 15 January 1843 in Mercer County and died in 1867 in Mercer County. She is buried in Davis Cemetery. She married Caleb M. Kile, 9 October 1862 in Mercer County. Her tombstone gives her as Elizabeth Jane, wife of Caleb M. Kile 1847-1867; however census records support the 1843 birthdate. The tombstone was read nearly 100 years later and probably was not very readable. Caleb is not found in Mercer County in 1860 or 1870 but had returned by 1880 with a wife Harriet: Keithsburg Caleb M. Kile, 38, born Ohio, father Ohio, mother Va; Harriet S. Kile, 36, Oh, father Mar?, mother Pa; Edwin Kile, 12, Il; Mattie, 10, Il; Bessie, 4, Il; Barbara Kile, mother, 73, Va; father Mar?, mother Va; Mille Stone, 76, Va, father Md, mo Va (we suspect the two items MAR are actually Md).

Lydia Roberts Rollins

Lydia B. Roberts was born 15 September 1844 in Mercer County. She married Edward Alphonso Rollins on 22 October 1867 in Mercer County. He was born about 1842 in Maine and died 22 December 1894 in Mercer County. His tombstone in New Boston Cemetery gives him as died December 22, 1894, age 54 yrs, Co G, 58th Illinois Infantry.

Edward and Lydia are found in New Boston Township in 1870: #155 Edward Rollins, 28, laborer, born Maine; Lydia, 25, born Il; Alice, 1, born Il.

Edward and Lydia had another daughter, Effie May Rollins, born 1876 and died 11 June 1907 in Mercer County. She married Arthur J. Maddox, son of John and Mildred Menefee Maddox, on 25 March 1903 in Mercer County.

Other children of John and Mary Shields Roberts

John and Mary also had children: John Franklin Roberts, born 30 October 1846 in Mercer County, residing in Fairfax, South Dakota in 1895; Mary E. Roberts, born 12 March 1849, died 29 February 1884 and buried in New Boston Cemetery; Eliza Alice Roberts, born 6 April 1851 Mercer County, married Eugene Solles, 24 December 1877 in Mercer County and living in Gibbon, Nebraska in 1895; and Clara Roberts, born 4 January 1858, Mercer County.

Henry H. Roberts Family of New Boston

The History of Mercer County, 1882 tells us that Henry Roberts was born in England August 11, 1819 and was next to the youngest child of James and Elizabeth Roberts who came to America in 1828, landing at Boston Massachusetts, where they lived until 1836. We do not know if this is the same James Roberts who is living with John Roberts above in the 1850 census as the names James and Elizabeth are far too common. If it is the same James, then Henry and John were brothers. Since Henry named a son Marshall, he could also be brother of the Marsh Roberts named in the first paragraph above. The 1836 in Henry's biography and the 1837 in John's biography seem to match but we find neither James nor Henry in 1840 in Mercer County and could not identify them elsewhere as the names are so common.

The History continues: Lived in Indiana two years before coming to Mercer. Built first carding machine in New Boston Twp, first in the county. Ran for two years then removed to Eliza township and entered 200 acres of land and went to farming until 1856. Went to New Boston and built a large three-story brick and carriage and wagon factory in partnership with Joe Graham, forming firm of Graham and Roberts until 1860 when Roberts bought out Graham. Farmed until 1865 when he went to Monmouth and started a sash, door, and blind factory and planing-mill which he ran until 1869 when his mill burned down. Returned to New Boston and refitted the factory building for a hotel, the Roberts House which he ran until 1875 and since in the lumber trade. Republican until 1872 when he joined the greenback party. Active temperance man.

Henry H. Roberts was indeed keeping a hotel in the 1870 census in New Boston: #155 Henry H. Roberts, 50, born England, hotel keeper; Maria, 37, born Pa; Richard Roberts, 4, Il. We will give the entire list of employees and guests as it may be the only time some of these names appear in New Boston Township: Mary Johnson, 25, housekeeper, born Switzerland; Hannah Seastone, 30, housekeeper, Sw; Eliza Peterson, 22, Hkpr, Sw; Huldah Peterson, 16, Hkpr, Sw; Axel Bloomberson, 29, painter, Sw; Nels Tulim, 33, painter, Sw; Alfred Norland, 25, Painter, Sw; John Blomberg, 35, shoemaker; Mart A. Bartleson, 28, conductor RR, Il; Abbie Bartleson, 24, boarding, NY; I. Lewis Harris, 35, station agent, NH; Frederick Clark, telelgraph operator, Il; Louis F. Troy, 32, mail agent (route), Gy-Bav; Nathan A. Jones, 27, baggage master, RR, NY; Charles Bruen, 45, retired merchant, Pa; Allen Kingon, 29, carpenter, NY; John E. Griffin, 40, lawyer, NY; John L. Myer, 30, harness maker, Gy-Han Frederick Susans, 26, wagon maker, Gy-Bav; Thomas Dunn, 67, no occupation, Pa; Mary Miller, 23, no occupation, NY.

In the 1860 census we find the family at #1842 in New Boston Township: Henry H. Roberts, 40, wagonmaker, born England; Maria, 28, Pa; Elizabeth, 14, Il; Marshal, 13, Il. In 1850 the family was the last one listed in Township 15NRange5W (future Eliza Township) #680 Henry Roberts, 31, farmer, born England; Mary, 24, England; Elizabeth, 4, Il; Marshall, 3, Il; Albert 8/12, Il. (Albert apparently did not survive until 1860).

Henry Roberts had given up the hotel by 1880 and is found in New Boston City in 1880: #64 Henry H. Roberts, 60, lumber dealer, born England, parents born England; Mariah J., 48, born Pa, parents born Pa; Richard, 14, son, Il; Earnest, 8, son, Il. That Henry once more changed occupations we know from an advertisement in the New Boston Vedette, April 16, 1887: "Avery Rotary Corn Planter and Check Rower, for sale, H. H. Roberts, I will guarantee the Planter to be the very best in use and will sell at cut price as I am about to quit the Implement trade so come and see me before you buy and I will make you happy."

Henry Roberts married (1)Mary Baker, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Baker, on 20 March 1845 in Mercer County, Illinois. Mary was born December 7, 1826 and died June 16, 1858. By this marriage he had six children: Elizabeth, Marshall, Albert, Harriet, Clarence and Charles S. Only Elizabeth and Marshall survived beyond 1860. Henry married (2) Maria J. Dunn, daughter of Thomas and Nancy Dunn on September 29, 1859. They are found in the 1860 census above with Elizabeth and Marshal, the two surviving children. Henry and Maria had two sons, Richard, born about 1866 and Ernest, born about 1872.

Elizabeth Roberts Denison

Daughter Elizabeth H. Roberts was born 1846 and died 1907 in Mercer County. She married Albert Erastus Denison, son of Erastus and Martha Long Denison. They had children Daisy (married William Banks Farver 22 May 1887 and settled in Iowa), Henry Franklin, Josie, and George. Henry married a Viella/Nellie (surname unknown) and they are both buried New Boston Cemetery. She died 1895 and Henry died 1896. They had an infant daughter who also died in 1895.

Richard and Jetta Stevens Roberts

Richard was born April 1865 and married Jetta Stevens, daughter of Edward and Lucy A. Stevens of New Boston on 7 November 1888. The Stevens family is found in New Boston in 1870: #148 Edward Stevens, 36, carpenter, born Pa; Lucy A., 36, born NJ; Georgiana, 4, born Ia; and Jetta, 2, born Il. Richard and Jetta are found in New Boston City in 1900: #237 Richard H. Roberts, lumber merchant, born April 1865, 35, married 11 yrs, born Il, father England, mother Pa; Jetta, Sept 1867, 32, 1 child born, 1 living, born Il, father Pa, mother NJ, Harry E., son, July 1892, 7, Il, at school; Edward Stevens, May 1834, 66, widower, Pa, NY, Pa, carpenter.

Other Roberts Families of Mercer and Henderson Counties

Ebenezer Roberts Family of Henderson and Mercer County

An article in the History of Mercer County, 1882 tells us that William LaRue married Miss Catharine M. Roberts on September 4, 1851. In our attempt to identify Catharine among Mercer County Roberts families we eventually followed her into neighboring Henderson County and there discovered a large Roberts family with other connections to Mercer County. The patriarch of the family appears to be Ebenezer Roberts living in T11N R4W Henderson County in 1850: #57 Ebenezer Roberts, blacksmith, born Maine, 67,Rachel, 46, Del? Ind?; Thomas, 19, In; Ann, 15, In; Daniel, 13, In; Stephen, 10, In; Susan Casteel, 3, Il and Nancy Casteel, 3, Il, twins; Sarah Dill 14, In. Next door at #56: Moses A. Roberts, 45, Maine, farmer; Almira, 38, R. I.; O. P., 21, cooper, In; Arthur, 19, In; Catharine M, 16, In; Almira J, 14 In; Sarah A, 12, In; Mary A 10, In; Ellen, 8, Il; William W., 5, Il; Caroline, 8/12, Il. On the other side at #58: Jacob F. Roberts, 26, Cooper, In; Frances, 22, Ky; Esther, 5, In; Benj Dill, 12, In; Isaac, 2, Il; Matilda, 7/12, Il. We find Benjamin Dill also censused in Mercer County with another Ebenezer Roberts who we assume to be son of this Ebenezer Roberts.

In 1850 in Mercer County at 15N3W (future Perryton Township) we find: #739 E. S. Roberts, 33, farmer, Maine; Asenath, 28, NY; Benjamin Dill, 12, Ky (note Benjamin Dill, 12, born In is also censused with Jacob F. Roberts in Henderson Co above); Adeline Roberts, 10, Il; Joseph, 7, Il; Priscilla, 2, Il. We found a marriage record for E. S. Roberts and Asenath Beardsley on 8/6/1846, so assume the first two children are by a first wife. Ebenezer and Aseneth are found in 1860 in Richland Grove Township: #2161 Ebenezer S. Roberts, 41, farmer, born Maine; Aseneth, 30, born NY; Adaline, 19, born Il; Joseph, 17, Il; Priscilla J., 12, Il; James, 9, Il; Clarence, 6, Il; Catharine Taylor, 19, teacher, born Pa.

Nathan Roberts families of Rivoli Township

In History of Mercer County, 1882 under Rivoli Township, we find a Margaret E. Roberts as an original member of the Wesleyan Methodist Church. In the 1860 census in the Oxford District we find: #963 Nathan Roberts, 24, laborer, born Pa; Margaret, 23, born Il; Henry C., 3, Il; Martha A., 2, Il. We did not find an Illinois marriage record for them but in 1860 they are sandwiched in between two Bolton families so that might be a clue to her maiden name.

Curiously we find the above family nowhere in the 1870 census, but in Rivoli Township we find: #149 Nathan Roberts, 76, farmer, born Pa; Margaret, 74, Pa; David A. Roberts, farmer, 32, Pa; Obed Roberts, 25, farmer, Pa; Ottilla, 22, born Ohio; Osburn Roberts, 1, Il; unnamed female infant, 1/12, Il. The two Nathans would appear to be father and son. Obed Roberts had married Mary O. Peterson, daughter of John W. and Almira Peterson, on March 11, 1868 in Mercer County.

Robert Roberts of Wales and Mercer County

In Millersburg in 1860 we find Robert Roberts with a Close Family: #2508 John N. Close, 32, farmer, born Ohio; Mary A., 26, born Oh; Emma K. Close, 6, Il; Jenny D., 4, Il; George E, 2, Il; Rachel S. 3/12, Il; Robert Roberts, 53, laborer, born Wales; Helen M. Roberts, 10, born Ohio. David Niswander told us that Mary Ann Roberts, daughter of Robert, was married to John N. Close.

In 1870 Helen M. Roberts, age 20, born Ohio is still living with the Close family who have moved to Duncan Township. Robert Roberts, age 53, born Wales is found still in Millersburg Township but now living with an Oliver Bridgford family, no occupation. Oliver Bridgford married Eliza Ann McClain 2/5/1852 in Rock Island County and had lived in Mercer County as early as 1850 so a relationship with Robert doesn’t seem likely.

The Robert Roberts family was in Wellsville, Columbiana County, Ohio in 1850: #42 Robert Roberts, 43, laborer, born England; Susan, 40, Pa; Mary, 15, Oh; Elizabeth, 8, Oh; Jacob, 4, Oh; Helen 6/12, Oh; Jane Eckert, 15, Oh. We do not know what happened to Susan and Elizabeth between 1850 and 1860. Mary married John Close above and Helen is with them in 1860 and 1870. Jacob U. Roberts also survived and is found as a widower in Millersburg in 1900, and acting as post master. He was born June 1845, and married Sallie E. Close, sister of John who married Mary Ann Roberts. 9/2/1869 in Mercer County. In 1880 they were in Millersburg: #61 Jacob Roberts, 33, laborer, born Oh, parents born Wales; Ellen, 35, born Oh, father born Pa, mother born Md; Willie, 10, born Il, parents born Ohio; and James W., 3, born Il.

Pulaski Roberts of Aledo

In Aledo in 1870 we find Pulaski Roberts, 48, dealer in grain, born NY; Ann Eliza Roberts, 36, born Pa; Mary L. Burnett, 9, born Il; Susan J. Burnett, 8, born Il. Pulaski and Ann Eliza were married 4/14/1870 in Mercer County (she is listed as Ann Eliza Bennet (mistranscription). She was the daughter of Theodore and Catharine Abercrombie of Aledo. Ann Eliza married (1)James Burnett on 2/3/1858; hence the two Burnett children.

Roberts Cemetery Records in Mercer County

Volume 1, Oak Ridge Cemetery, page 48 and 49 Clara A. Roberts 1856-1923 and on same stone Sarah E. Roberts, 1844-1889; Ellen Roberts - Mother 1844-1889 (same as Sarah E.); Jacob U. Roberts - Father 1846-1931; Robert Roberts 1806-1888.

Volume 2 New Boston Cemetery: Page 17 Mary B., wife of H. H. Roberts died June 16, 1858, age 31 yr 6 mo 9 dy; Harriet M., daughter of H. H. & M. B. Roberts died March 6, 1858, age 5 64 3 mo 2 dy; Henry Hunt Roberts 1820-1903.
Page 44 Mary, wife of J. Roberts, born Sept 1, 1817, died October 26, 1879; Sarah W., wife of J. Roberts, born Feb 3, 1828 died November 24, 1902; Mary E., daughter of J. & M. Roberts died February 19, 1884 age 34 yr 11 mo 7 dy.
Page 67 Ernest Roberts 1871-1906; Richard H. Roberts 1866-1921; Maria J. Roberts 1832-1907.

Volume 5 Aledo Cemetery: Page 4 Katherine Roberts died 8/14/1878 age 2 yrs 13 days; Nona Roberts February 22, 1876-Sept 2, 1962; Pulaski Roberts 1820-1880; Ann E. Abercrombie, wife of P. Roberts 1835-1910

Volume 6 Preemption Cemetery: Page 82 Arthur B. Roberts 1885-1929 Edna C. Roberts 1898-_____(one stone); Katherine G., daughter of E. C. and A. B. Roperts 1924-1943

Volume 8 Windsor Petrie Cemetery: Page 104 Verne Plummer Roberts 1890-1893 next to Frank W. Plummer 1886-1894
Page 110 Henry H. Roberts Feb 20, 1840-Oct 11, 1926; James W. Roberts Jan 18, 1882-Dec 22, 1929; Margaret Roberts Jan 25, 1886-_____; Sarah Atlanta Roberts Feb 24, 1844-Nov 27, 1910
Page 119 Robert W. Roberts 1880-1965; Bertie B. Roberts 1881-1924; Harry B. Roberts 1877-1957; Maud M Roberts 1879-_____
Page 125 Arthur C. Roberts 1885-1959 Father; Berthena L. Roberts 1893-1966 Mother; Orolee A. Roberts 1918-_____