Gus Roberts: Aftermath

I wish to write of grace – a common grace which is shown to all and a specific grace expressed in the limb of one family.

Gus Roberts (2)Gus Roberts was the last chance to carry on his father’s line.  What chance did he have?  His father died violently in his bed when Gus was only three.  The story says he was in the room when the deed was done.  His mother was convicted of complicity in his murder and went to prison.  Gus went to an orphan’s home.  What chance did he have?  What would happen to Gus? Continue reading “Gus Roberts: Aftermath”

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My Grandfather Gus

The death of my great-grandfather John Anderson Roberts in 1901 would deprive my grandfather Gus of ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­the guidance of a father, the nurture of a mother and the knowledge of a heritage.  The seeds of disaster were in the ground.  Our family needed a crop failure!

Gus Roberts as a child in about 1905 or 1906The sudden and violent death of three-year-old Gus Roberts’ father would prevent him from working beside his father in the field, riding with him in the wagon, hunting with him in the woods and sitting with him at the table.  He would miss the stories of his father’s youth in Williamson County, Tennessee and his family’s migration to Calloway County, Kentucky.  He would never know of the Roberts of Virginia or be able to claim their heritage his heritage.  The later decision of a jury to convict his mother of murder for her part in his father’s death would deprive Gus of the comfort and encouragement of a mother, the steady hand of someone who believes in you.  What would happen to this little boy “orphaned” by the death of his father and the conviction of his mother? Continue reading “My Grandfather Gus”

Paying Attention to Details in Your Family Research

“God is in the detail” or “The devil is in the details”.  Both expressions infer the same thing.  Details are important and those attentive to them are rewarded.  The details of our family history research are a rich source of information and clues to find additional gold. Continue reading “Paying Attention to Details in Your Family Research”

The Tragic End to the Life of John Anderson Roberts: Final Chapter

And now the end has come.

John Anderson RobertsJohn Anderson’s downward spiral began with the tragic death of his wife Lavina.  He eventually dies in his own bed, but it wasn’t a pleasant passing.  Some claim it was suicide.  Twelve of his neighbors decide it’s murder and assess blame.  A judge determines the penalty.   Lives are forever changed.  So horrific was the tale, one journalist remembers and writes about it over thirty years later.  Family members still speak of it in hushed tones. Continue reading “The Tragic End to the Life of John Anderson Roberts: Final Chapter”

The Tragic End to the life of John Anderson Roberts, Part 2

Regrets are often written in the words, if I had only known.  It’s doubtful my great-grandfather John Anderson Roberts ever saw the end coming.

Cornelia Lassiter, Lavina Jane and John Anderson Roberts in front of their Lamar County Home in the Maxey Community ca 1890 - 1895
Cornelia Lassiter, Lavina Jane and John Anderson Roberts in front of their Lamar County, Texas home in the Maxey Community ca 1890 – 1895 (Photo courtesy of Glen Gambill)

Continue reading “The Tragic End to the life of John Anderson Roberts, Part 2”

The Tragic End to the life of John Anderson Roberts

John Anderson Roberts from ca 1890 to 1895

John Anderson Roberts was my great-grandfather.  I never knew him.

I stood beside his grave on a warm Texas summer day and wondered, would he have done anything differently?  I don’t know.  Maybe?  Probably.  After all, he was dead and his much younger wife was accused of murder!  His life was over.  It remains for me to tell his story. Continue reading “The Tragic End to the life of John Anderson Roberts”