January 16, 2013
A while back, I compared select tax records against U. S. federal census records for male adult Roberts living in Jackson County, Georgia. The research described in that post is part of my research into the natal family of James R. Roberts, my great-great-great grandfather, whose ancestry is a brick wall I’ve been trying to knock down for years.
Below is an outline of what I’ve gathered to date, so that other Roberts researchers can see how I think part of James’ family might fit together. I want to emphasize that my research is not complete, and much of what follows cannot be considered as proof or even evidence; in other words, this is the direction in which the records accumulated thus far seem to be leading. Please bear that in mind while reading this post.
November 12, 2012
A while back, I posted a comparison of the 1850 federal census’ free population schedule to the 1849 through 1851 tax records for the Roberts family of Jackson County, Georgia. While doing research in the poor school and academy lists for Jackson County, I found the following record naming two children of Shiner [China] Roberts who were school-aged in 1852.
April 2, 2012
James R. Roberts (1828 – 1891) was my great-great-great-grandfather. His ancestry is a brick wall I’ve been chipping away at for several years. So far, I’ve identified at least two and possibly three siblings, but I still don’t know who his parents were.
One of the first records sets used to research 19th century ancestors in the US is the federal decennial censuses. James was married in 1853 in Jackson Co., GA, and all indications point to him living there for the remainder of his life. His brother, William, was enumerated in Jackson County from 1850 through 1880, and James was enumerated there in 1860, 1870, and 1880, but I have never been able to find him in the 1850 free population schedule. This bothers me quite a bit. If only I could find him in 1850, I often think, then perhaps I would find the evidence I need to link him to his parents. But there he is not, no matter how often I look or how thoroughly I search.
Fortunately, Georgia researchers have other records to draw from, including the many extant county tax records. Jackson County has a rich set of tax digests extending from the county’s earliest days through most of the 19th century with very few gaps. I had a little time last week, so I hopped on down to the courthouse in Jefferson, Jackson County’s county seat, and spent the afternoon reading those digests. I focused on the years 1849, 1850, and 1851, because those years’ tax records act as a substitute and supplement for the 1850 federal census.
November 11, 2011
Sgt. Thad J. Watson, Sr., served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. He was born 15 April 1921 in Hamburg Twp., Jackson Co., NC, to Woodfin and Etha Mae (Roberts) Watson, and died 24 August 1944 during a bombing run in what was then Czechoslovakia. He is buried in a mass grave in Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Louisville, KY.
He married Stella Viola Martin (1922 – 1992), daughter of O. W. and Pearl (Hopper) Martin, on 6 October 1941 in Clarkesville, Habersham Co., GA. Thad and Stella had two children, Thad J. Watson, Jr., and Varney Watson.
October 25, 2011
Etha Mae Roberts was born in 25 June 1886 in Jackson Co., GA, the daughter of Alsa and Sally Morgan Roberts. She married first to Elbert Hudson, and second to James “Woodfin” Watson. She died 1 February 1958 in Jackson Co., NC. This was Daddy Thad‘s mother, my father’s grandmother (and my great-grandmother), who was known as Grandma Watson to the younguns.
June 29, 2010
A recent trip through the backroads of Habersham County, Georgia, yielded this picture, one of several we took at the Cool Springs Methodist Church Cemetery. In the foreground is a row of stones set in memoriam to Jefferson D. and Sarah J. (Dean) Roberts and several of their kin, immediately behind a Sosebee family plot (the row with the Confederate battle flag). Some distance beyond (in the farther portion of the picture but somewhat in the center) lies Sally Roberts and her husband Thomas Church, who were buried just in front of another Sosebee family plot.
Jefferson D. Roberts, aka John D. Roberts, was the son of John J. and Sarah (Cole) Roberts. J. D.’s brother, William C. Roberts, is buried in the same row of this cemetery (marked by the taller obelisk shaped stone). At the end of the row, near William’s burial spot, is a small stone over the grave of Viander Roberts, son of J. D.’s brother Henry.
What connection Sally (Roberts) Church and the Sosebees have to this family is unknown at this time.
Cool Springs Methodist Church and its cemetery are located off of Highway 17 west of Clarkesville.
April 5, 2010
A while back, I wrote about pinpointing my priority surnames in order to provide a better focus to my personal research. I have had a bit of luck learning more about a few of those ancestors, and wanted to share a little of what I’ve found.
April 12, 2009
I recently bought several back issues of the NGS NewsMagazine from a fellow researcher, and have been diligently combing through them for research and record tips. I’ve run across some really good finds, too, but the topic of today’s post comes from the article “Charting Your Priorities” by Susan Zacharias (January/February/March 2007, pp. 54 – 56). In short, Zacharias offers a method of prioritizing research by listing end-of-lines (that is, the earliest known generation in every direct line) in various fonts according to their place on the pedigree chart. Your largest font size (Zacharias recommends 18 point) would correspond to your most recent (chronologically) dead end, with each step down in fonts corresponding to one generation further back in time.