Monday, March 1, 2010

My Favorite Female Ancestor

I have several female ancestors who are my favorites: Emma Delphenia (Baldwin) Smith, Emma Cornelia (Strait) Becker, Lucy Jane (Allen) Roberts and Janie Ellen (Moore) Bradley Davis. These gals are all my great-grandmothers. Another favorite is my great-great grandmother Duretta Catherine (Shumaker) Allen. But the one female ancestor that perplexes me the most, right now, is my great-great grandmother Permelia Rebecca (White) Roberts.

Why does she perplex me? Because it's difficult to find information on her. What I do know about her is that she was born 27 Jan 1825 somewhere in Ohio or possibly New York. She married Daniel Sheldon Roberts, 27 Sep 1846 in Athens Co., Ohio. That is confirmed by the fact that I was able to find their marriage license. Supposedly she died sometime in 1867, somewhere in Illinois and is buried somewhere in Illinois. There is also a theory that Permelia died 7 Jan 1893 in Adams Co., Illinois. If this is true then she and Daniel would have had to have gotten a divorce, because Daniel married his second wife, Almyra Camelia Snow, 3 Nov 1867 in Knox Co., Missouri.

I found Permelia and Daniel in the 1850 census for Carthage Twp., Athens, Ohio and the 1860 census for Jackson, Anderson, Kansas.

I found information on Permelia's birth in bible records received from Clara Belle (Roberts) Beason and Elizabeth "Lizzie" (Roberts) Parry. I have not been able to find any information on her death or burial. Also, have not been able to identify who her parents were.

Permelia and Daniel were the parents of ten children: James E. W., George Washington, Erastus Edward "Rass", Benjamin Franklin, William Henry, Florence Addie, Anna Amanda "Mandy", Sarah Jane, Daniel Lewis and Mary Ettie. There is some question as to whether Sarah, Daniel and Mary are actually their children even though the bible records list them. If they are and Permelia died sometime in 1867, then she would have had to have died between 13 May 1867 when Mary Ettie was born and 3 Nov 1867 when Daniel married his second wife. It could be that that was why Daniel re-married so quickly, because he had so many small children in his household. The 1870 census for Houston Twp., Adams, Illinois does not list Sarah, Daniel or Mary in the household of Daniel and Almyra Roberts. So, either the three children died before the 1870 census or Daniel and Permelia in fact were divorced and she took the three children with her. I have not been able to find Permelia in the 1870 census or any other census records since 1860.

At this point in time I am stymied on where to go next to find out more about my perplexing great-great grandmother, Permelia.


  1. Kate, it's so good to see you blogging again. This is a fascinating story and piques my curiosity too! A post like this takes me a long time to really had your facts and details handy! I hope some clue will surface one of these days and this mystery can be solved. The picture of Permelia is very striking. I love it that she's knitting!

  2. I sure hope you can find the answers you are looking for. She had the most beautiful eyes!