So, who are the parents of Stephen Roberts, you ask? Beats me. The families in Jackson County, Tennessee, are the most convoluted, same-named, intermarried bunch I have ever seen. (Just take a look at the court records on the Jackson County genweb site; they are a hoot.) There are Roberts researchers who have spent their lives trying to figure it all out. I’m pretty sure it has been documented that Stephen had a brother named Caleb, and that the two brothers married sisters, Elzina and Sarah “Sally” Huff. I tend to give this credence because Sally and Caleb had a son named James Polk Roberts who lived in Oklahoma and is buried in Hughes Co., and Aunt Marie actually remembered her family talking about “Polk Roberts.”
|Polk Roberts, son of Caleb and|
Sally Roberts, 1860 Jackson Co. TN census
|James K. "Polk" Roberts headstone|
Holdenville Cemetery, Hughes County, OK
Some ancestry.com members have listed Reuben Roberts and Mary “Millie” Asher as the parents of Caleb and Stephen, but nothing is documented. It could be possible, as they were from North Carolina, and Stephen stated on the 1870 census that his parents were from North Carolina, but I’m not convinced. Reuben and Mary didn’t ever live in Jackson County; they lived and died in Warren County. There are lots of Roberts families in Jackson County in the early 1800s but none of them have sons of the right age to be Stephen and Caleb. There was a Stephen Roberts who was 70-79 on the 1830 Jackson County census, and a Stephen Roberts who bought and sold land in Jackson County in the early 1800s. Could this be my Stephen’s father?
Who are Elzina’s parents? Still not sure. Elzina was already married by the time of the 1850 census and was listed with her husband Stephen Roberts, so it is hard to connect her with the correct Huff family in Jackson County. William Nathan Huff and Susannah “Sookie” Toney have been suggested, but some Huff cousins I have met on the Internet doubt that either one of them was the parent of Elzina. The death date they have for William Huff precludes him from being the father, and they think that Sookie was too old to be the mother of Elzina or her brother Nathan. However, Elzina and Nathan may be Sookie’s grandchildren or niece and nephew. A number of Huff cousins have had DNA testing done, and we are all hoping that my test results will solve the mystery of Elzina’s parentage, at least.
Last week Family Tree DNA was promoting a sale on their Family Finder test. I’ve been waiting for the next sale, so I signed up. I’m hoping to have the results by the time of the big Jackson County genealogy festival the first weekend in July. A lot of Huff cousins will be there, including me. There will be surname booths and cemetery tours and speakers. I’m hoping that DNA and cousin power will help me find my Roberts and Huff ancestors.