| the Roberts Surname | our Family Tree | key Roberts Ancestors |

the Roberts Surname   The surname "Roberts" is a Teutonic personal name of great antiquity, introduced into England at the time of the Conquest.   It is derived from "Robert", a name which has held its place against all counter influences from the moment which first brought it into public favor.   It was also exceedingly popular in its shortened forms, "Hob" and "Dob", which gave us "Hopkins" and "Dobbs" amoung many others.

The Roberts Family has been prominent in the British Empire and in the United States, it members having played important roles in war and in peace.   For example, one un-related American Roberts was Major-General Benjamin Stone Roberts, b. 1811 Manchester, Vt.; grad. U.S. Military Academy in 1835; invented the Roberts breech-loading rifle.   He was assistant geologist of NY and in 1842, aided Lt. George W. Whistler in constructing the Russian system of railroads.   After serving in the Civil War he was a professor of military science at Yale until his retirement.
Family pride is a commendable trait and should be cultivated.   All Roberts have just cause to be proud of their family history and traditions.
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our Family Tree   The prime researcher of this Roberts Tree, and related surname families featured in this Web site is Donald W. Roberts Jr.   The Family Tree of Don's wife, Patricia H. (nee Stevens) is also included in this research.   Pat was born and raised in the St. Louis, MO area, while Don was born in South Dakota, and spent most of his life in the St. Louis, MO area since age nine.   Don's roots run deep in South Dakota, as childhood summer vacations always included 4th of July gatherings of all the descendants of his Cutler grandparents in Wessington Springs, SD.   Don's Roberts grandparents also lived in South Dakota at times, while the Aunts and cousins on this side of the family lived elsewhere from California to Florida.

Both of Don's parents were born and raised in South Dakota.   In the early 1900's, his mother's father, Alden Cutler, practiced law for over 50 years in Jerauld County, SD, including serving many years as the County Judge.   Alden's ancestors were pioneers in Illinois and had a rich farming history.   His father's dad, Kenneth Roberts, and grandfather, William Henry Roberts were pioneers in Dakota Territory in the late 1800's.   It was during these years of South Dakota development, that his two grandmothers brought the Townsend, Richardson, and Carver ancestors to our Family Tree.   In additon to the Roberts branch, these are three Family branches with considerable information available, and branches we are extremely proud of as our ancestors.   As just one example, his great grandparents Rev. Justin Kent Richardson and Artemisia E. Richardson (nee Carver), each brought Mayflower ancestors to this Family Tree.
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key Roberts Ancestors

William Roberts . .   Our earliest known ancestor was most likely William Roberts, born about 1360 in England.   While we think we have the family tree links identified, proving this and filling-in the blanks, as much as possible, will take some time.
William Roberts . .   born about 1620 in Glassenbury, England, is the ancestor of our American branch.   When he arrived in America is not known to us at this time, but his son was born in MD about 1680.
William Roberts . .   was born about 1797 in MD.   This William was the father of William Henry, Clinton T. and Henrietta, who were all born in MD and lived their adult life in Franklin Co., IN.   These children were the first of this Roberts branch to leave MD.   There may have been an additional brother and two sisters.   Our focus to this point has been on his son William H., but details are now within reach on Clinton T. as well.
William Henry Roberts . .   was born 22 Dec 1817 in Centreville, MD six generations after our first American ancestor, and the fifth known William in our direct line.   He married and raised his family in Indiana.   He was a successful farmer in Blooming Grove Township until declining health (comsumption) induced him to give up agricultural pursuits and move to nearby Brookville, IN.   He died on 11 May 1878 and was buried in the Ebenezer Methodist Church Cemetery.   We know a good deal about two of his thirteen children and their descendants, and I am in contact with many distant cousins in these two branches.   They are William Henry Roberts Jr., b. 20 Sep 1848 and Jasper Wallace Roberts, b. 7 May 1857, who both removed to SD Territory and homesteaded there.
William "Kenneth" Roberts . .   was born 17 Dec 1888 in Dakota Territory, in what is now Spink County, SD.   He homesteaded in the Black Hills area of SD just prior to his marriage, when he returned to Northville, SD to marry and subsequently take over his father's (William H. Roberts Jr.) farm.   The family farm would eventually pass to his Uncle's family, and is still owned today by Jasper W. Roberts descendants.   He subsequently moved the family to Redfield, SD, to Mitchell, SD, and to Lincoln, NE to afford his children better educational opportunities.   He eventually returned to Northville, SD in his retirement years where he died on 19 Nov 1964, and is buried in the Northville Cemetery.   I was fortunate to know him and my grandmother, Vera, and to attend their 50th Wedding Anniversary.   Vera had a wonderful perspective on life, a photographic memory, lived to 105 and proved to be a tremendous source of Family History.
Donald William Roberts . .   was born 4 June 1913 in Spink County, SD.   He attended school in Northville, Redfield, where he played both basketball and football, and college in Mitchell, where he played football, all in SD.   He served in WWII, in Italy with the 87th Regiment of the famous 10th Mountan Infantry, and was fortunate not to see any action.   After the war, he raised his family in St. Louis County, MO until his death due to cancer on 25 June 1965.   He was buried on what would have been his 28th Wedding anniversary in Laurel Hill Memorial Garden in St. Louis County, MO.
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