The Roberts Family

Originally from Broughton, Oxon., our eldest ancestor in this line is Samuel Roberts and our story starts here with him.

Samuel Roberts of Broughton

Samuel Roberts married Elizabeth Gibbons in Broughton in 1777, they had five children but their own origins are currently unknown.

Children were:
| Elizabeth 1780 | John 1782 | James 1785 | Thomas 1787 | Elizabeth 1791 |

James Robertsof Broughton

James Roberts married Sarah Steel in Broughton in 1810, they had many children between 1814-1832. James had been baptised in Broughton in 1785 the son of Samuel Roberts & Elizabeth.

John Roberts of Broughton

John was born in Broughton and baptised there in 1815 the son of James Roberts & Sarah.

Children were:
| James William 1848 | William Henry 1851 | Thomas Alfred 1853 |

William Henry Roberts of Leamington

William Henry Roberts was a carter and wellsinker. He married Frances Maria Hall in Sparkbrook, Birmingham in 1877, they had nine children. According to the 1881 census William was born in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, in about 1852, although I have found his (late) baptism in Birmingham in 1859, the son of John Roberts & Mary Ann.


Now there was a family legend that the Roberts family came to Birmingham from the village of Snitterfield (not Leamington) in Warwickshire. William was a carter and is reputed to have moved all his belongings from Snitterfield to Birmingham on the back of his cart when the family moved. Looking at the parish registers for Snitterfield it is not difficult to find the marriage of John Roberts and Mary Ann Trotman. They had married previously in Snitterfield, Warwickshire, in 1849, but are they my ancestors? The problems and pieces of the jigsaw are as follows:
# At William Roberts marriage in 1877 one of the witnesses was James William Roberts. He must have been a brother or maybe uncle but he has not been identified in Snitterfield.
# My William Roberts was born in Leamington Spa in 1852, son of John Roberts. However there is another William Roberts baptised in Snitterfield in 1850, again son of John Roberts - seems that these two have got mixed up and the problem is unravelling the puzzle.
# There was a John Roberts baptised in Snitterfield in 1822. The dates fit for him to be my ancestor
# Mary Ann Roberts died in January 1874, she is listed in the burial entry as 'of The Green' aged 46.
# There is a burial entry for John Roberts, August 1874. He is listed as 'of Marraway Cottages' aged 58 (therefore born in 1816).
# There was a marriage in Snitterfield in 1875 between John Roberts (widower) and Harriet Bozles (widow). This may be the second marriage of the John Roberts who married Mary Ann Trotman in 1849.


For quite some time I pursued the Snitterfield connection believing the family story that the family originated in the village. Then the breakthrough came with reference to the 1851 census CD-ROM. The family of John Roberts & Ellen is listed on the 1851 census and provides many similarities to the clues above. This date is too early for William (not born until the next year) so on its own this is inconclusive but the other breakthrough was finally to locate William's birth certificate in Leamington in 1852, and lo and behold his parents were John & Ellen! John Roberts married Ellen Cook at Birmingham St.Martin's church in 1847, they had three children that I know of.