“Roberts” is a surname particularly common in the north of Wales. deriving from the Saxon/Norman given name Robert, meaning “bright fame” – from the Germanic elements “hrod” meaning fame and “beraht” meaning bright. Although the name was known in England before the Norman Conquest in 1066, it was mainly introduced into England by the Normans.
*UPDATE-2017 I have recently come to learn that my Roberts line came from the Bruce or “de Bruce” clan in Scotland. Adam de Brus, came to England around 1050 from Normandy. (It is believed that their surname is derived from “Brus”, Brix in modern-day Northwestern France.) He settled in Scotland due to his heritage from the earls of Orkney, Shetland, Gathanes, and Sutherland. When William the Conqueror invaded in 1066, he joined him and for his service was granted the barony of Skelton and the lordship of Cleveland in Northeast England. His son was Robert de Brus I, known as “Robert the Rook”. Robert was granted the first lordship of Anandale, Scotland, by his friend, King David Fitzmalcolm of Scotland. (Kind David was the grandson of the King Duncan made famous in Shakepeare’s, “MacBeth”.) This title and land was passed to his son, Robert II, when they took opposing sides on a war over land in Northern England. It is through Robert II’s line that the eventual King of Scotland, Robert the Bruce, 7th to hold that name, (Although some say he was the 8th) proceeded. After the war, Robert I and his son Adam settled on their lands in Northeast England.
William de Bruce left Anandale, Scotland, to settle in Kent, England, around 1103. (Family tradition is that he had a disagreement with King David’s father King Malcolm.) He took on the surname “Rokehurste” or “Rookhurst” in honor of their ancestor, Robert the Rook. His lands there also took on this name, which literally means, “hill of the rook”. His grandson Stephen later took on the surname of “Roberts” instead.
The first of our line to come to the US is believed to be James Roberts, who was born in Deal, Kent, England in 1724 and married Elizabeth Mumbray there on December 27, 1748. James was the son of Sir Richard Roberts II, 1692-1747.(Richard’s info is at http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=bogeyman&id=I18982) Richard married Catherine Beech on Oct. 10, 1721, in Deal, Kent, England.
James and his family came to Virginia sometime before 1767, when their son Cornelius married Mary Helen Benton in Orange County, Virginia. Some records show Cornelius being born in Halifax, VA, in 1749. James was one of the founders of Pittsylvania County, VA, and was my great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather. In addition to Cornelius, they had 1 daughter, Mary Polly Roberts, and 3 other sons, Abner, Isaac, and William. William was my great, great, great, great, great grandfather and one of the founders of Lee County, Virginia.
My family, Sorrento, FL, Christmas 2008. L-R: Adam, Tracy, Nathan, me, Lily, Ashley.
My parents, Foyster & Evelyn (Baker) Roberts, in Tampa, FL, 2002.
The family at our wedding, Tampa, FL, 06/30/2002, (Front, l-r) Billie (Moneyhan) Patton, Angie (Patton) Arruda, Ashley Griffin, Tracy (Patton) Roberts, Jeff Roberts, Foyster Roberts, Evelyn Roberts, Gwen Roberts, (Back, l-r) Brad Arruda, Adam Bryan, Bill Patton, Lynette (Morris) Brosch, Amy Brosch, Glenn Brosch.
Mom & Dad’s 50th anniversary. They renewed their vows at Duck Creek Baptist Church in Sneedville, TN. l-r are my stepdaughter Ashley, my wife Tracy, my sister Gwen, Mom, Dad, my stepson Adam, and myself. Lily was present, but was not born till a couple of months later.
My dad, Foyster W. Roberts. He was a Private-First Class in the 7th Corps, U.S. Army during the Korean War.
My uncle, Claude Roberts. He served as my dad’s best man.
My uncle, Lawrence Roberts. He was my Dad’s oldest brother and they were close. When grandpa Roberts passed away, he basically became the father in the family. He served as a tail gunner during World War II.
My aunt, Thelma Roberts
Some of the Roberts women, 1959. (Back, l-r) Lawrence’s wife Nell, Thelma Roberts, (Front, l-r) Willard’s wife Madge, Bauer (Roberts) Johnson, Rita Roberts, Foyster’s wife Evelyn, Gwen Roberts, Claude’s wife Lois.
Some of the Roberts children in 1959. (l-r) Foyster’s daughter, Gwen, Lawrence’s son & daughter, David & Sharon, Bauer’s daughters, Beatrice & Rita.
Sharon (Roberts) Tankersley, Tom Roberts, David Roberts.
Grandma Esta (Wallen) Roberts & aunt Thelma Roberts.
Aunt Bauer (Roberts) Johnson, cousin Beatrice, aunt Thelma Roberts.
Aunt Bauer (Roberts) Johnson with her younger daughter Rita.
My grandma, Esta Mae (Wallen) Roberts. She was a Godly woman who practically raised 7 boys and 2 girls by herself, since grandpa died at a young age.
My uncle Ed Roberts at the age of 19.
Uncle Ed sitting in front of Fisher Exxon, the store/gas station that he and his wife Nola ran for many years. It was on Route 70 in Blackwater about 1/2 mile from the Post Office. It’s location made it a popular hangout and allowed Ed & Nola to meet many interesting people, including distant Roberts relatives from Oklahoma, North Carolina, and South Carolina. It also allowed him to meet the father of Bluegrass music, Bill Monroe. The 2 became friends as a result.
Dad & uncle Ed. Dad is holding an old fashioned cross-cut saw.
My dad, Foyster Roberts, looking at one of grandpa Roberts’ old doubletrees with uncle Ed Roberts & his daughter, Suzie.
The Roberts brothers @1978. (l-r) Lawrence, Foyster, Willard, Paul, Ed, and a family friend.
Lawrence & Nell (Miller) Roberts
(l-r) Grandpa Claude Baker, uncle Ed Roberts, my mother Evelyn (Baker) Roberts, my cousin Suzie Roberts, aunt Nola (Hurley) Roberts.
My sis, Gwen Roberts, during her senior year of high school, 1973.
(l-r) Fred Tankersley, Tom Carpenter, David Roberts, Dwaine Roberts, Sharon (Roberts) Tankersley at Paul & Betty Roberts’ house in Bean Station, TN, in 1984.
My cousin Dwaine Roberts and me. (I’m on the left) Dwaine is uncle Lawrence’s youngest child. This photo was taken in 1984.
David Roberts and his brother-in-law, Fred Tankersley in 1984. David is the oldest child of uncle Lawrence Roberts.
Sis, Kettering, Ohio, @1983.
Although they aren’t of the Roberts’ bloodline, dad referred to Clay & Lilly Jones as his “adopted parents”. So I had to include them on this page. They put our family up many times during visits and Lilly could put out quite a spread of home-cooked food. Here they are being silly, acting like they are entering an outhouse together.
Paul & Betty Roberts in front of their home in Bean Station, Tennessee.
The Roberts brothers, taken @1984. (l-r) Willard, Foyster, Claude, Ed, Paul.
My wonderful father, Foyster W. Roberts, 07/17/1928-09/05/2010. You couldn’t have met a better example of a Christian man or father. He worked 50 years at GM, many of those years while working a second job at a service station, to provide for his family. He took care of an invalid son for 20 years, not complaining once. He was a Korean War veteran. He was a Sunday school teacher, Elder, Deacon, and song leader at churches in Dayton, Ohio, and Sneedville, Tennessee. He also was a Master Mason, although he was not active in his later years.
The Roberts family in the early 1960s. (l-r) Greggy, Foyster, Evelyn, Gwen. Greggy had Cerebral Palsy as a result of a birth injury and had to be cared for like a small child for his 20 year lifetime. He loved church and southern gospel music.
3 generations of Roberts men, taken @2 months before dad’s death. (l-r) Me, Nathan, dad. Notice that even though sick, dad is smiling and having a happy cellphone conversation with his pastor, Kestor Bunch. You rarely heard dad complain.
My cousin, Suzie Roberts, the daughter of Ed & Nola (Hurley) Roberts.
My grandfather, Fredrick Holmes Roberts. He passed away from an illness when my father was only 11. He was known for his strength and his temper. He was also known for his fruit trees. Although he didn’t typically attend church, I’m told that local preachers used his pruning practices as an example in their sermons.
My grandfather’s siblings: I’m not sure of my great aunts in the back, but I’m assuming that Hettie Roberts Nickel is in the middle. The boys in front are Edd, Bascum and Elbert (“Sug”) Roberts
My grandmother, Esta (Wsllen) Roberts
My great uncles, Edd and Elbert (“Sug”) Roberts
My great, grandfather, Elbert S. Roberts. He taught at the old Blackwater schoolhouse located on the ridge behind Sarepta Church on Route 70 in Blackwater. He also was a school teacher and principal at the old Blackwater school house on Route 604 in Blackwater. His contemporaries such as Amos Robinette told my uncle Paul Roberts that Elbert was, “one of the finest educators in the country”. Elbert was a member of the Dunkard (German Baptist) Brethren’s Church in Blackwater. He was a serious man that tolerated no foolishness from his family or students. When he began teaching, he had to deal with older boys that had run off the previous teachers. At that time, all ages were taught in the same room. Elbert showed up with a bat, and the boys learned to behave. By the end of that year, he had taught the students to each bow to him as they left school at the end of the day.
The Zion Quartet at the Virginia State Singing Convention: (l-r) Jim Osborne(Tenor), Olonie Helton(Bass), Jackie Brown Osborne(Alto), Foyster Roberts(Lead)