Echo of the Past documents my journey in rediscovering my roots after my last computer was destroyed and I lost the 10,000 names on my family tree.

I'm an ethnic mutt. My background is varied and the world is small; it's likely that my research will help somebody, somewhere, so please feel free to use me as a source if need be.

Feedback is more than welcome, and I read any and all comments I get. I'm also up for trading links. If you're interested, email me at: PrettySiren@gmail.com with "link request" as the subject line. (Genealogy and history sites/blogs only please.)

Monday, July 6, 2009

From Wales to Switzerland : the Robert/Roberts Family

More accurately, this entry would be titled "From Wales to Switzerland to South Carolina to Alabama..." but I thought that was too long.

I hit a breakthrough in tracing my Roberts side of the family only to hit another roadblock: William Robert.

William Robert was born in 1598 in Aberyswith, Wales. And that's all I have to go on. I don't know who his wife was or where he did, though I do know the name of his son, Daniel, whom I descend from. More research on William is definitely needed.

From Wales to Switzerland

Something peculiar happened during the lifetime of Daniel Robert: he moved from Wales to Switzerland. Without knowing in full the specifics, I can make some educated guesses as to why. (After all, back then, most British peoples immigrated to the various colonies of Great Britain -- not foreign countries.)

Daniel was born around 1630 in Aberyswith. By the time he died, which was after 1656, he was living in St. Imier, Switzerland.

From Switzerland to South Carolina

His descendants, who bare French names, were alleged to be associated with the Huguenot Movement.

William Robert was born during the latter part of the French Wars of Religion. While he was born in Wales, and I have no knowledge of him or his family being French prior to his son leaving for the continent, he definitely lived in a time were Britain was going through its own religious upheaval. He would've been a young man during Henry VIII's initial breaking with the Roman Church. Not to mention, Calvinism and Lutheranism had already been going on long before that, and they were punishable under English Law at the time. So, perhaps the Robert family of Wales had Protestant sympathies before Henry declared himself head of the Church of England.

Daniel married a woman named Marie Hugent. I've been able to find nothing about her, save for her name, but geography suggests that she was Swiss; if she wasn't Swiss, etymology suggests she was French.

Daniel's son and grandson were both named Pierre. Senior was born in St. Imier, where Daniel died. Junior was born in Basel, Switzerland. Both men died in a place referred to as French Santee, Charleston, South Carolina. Huguenots fled to the Carolinas often, so this further implies that they were Huguenots or had sympathy for them.

Pierre Jr's son was named Jacques de Bordeaux Robert; Jacques was born in French Santee on April 3, 1711, and died there on November 11, 1774. His middle name (which means "of Bordeaux" -- a city in France) is interesting. It was also the middle name of his mother, Judith de Bordeaux Videaul (Videau per some sources). I have Judith's family traced back a good bit and I can't find any reason why her middle name would be de Bordeaux. Her family mainly comes from Normandy (though her grandfather is from Picardy); Bordeaux is in Aquitaine. That leads me to believe that someone in her family, perhaps further down the line than I've traced thus far, must've been from Bordeaux. And since I have all of her grandparents and one set of great-grandparents traced back, whoever bore that name (or came from there) must've been important enough for them to remember.

Jacques' son was named James Roberts and that's where the surname acquired the S at the end, possibly to Anglicize it. (After all, during the time in which they lived, the German Zeh because See and the German Joachim became Yocum.)

From South Carolina to Alabama

Stephen had a daughter when he was fifty years old. Her name was Milla J. Roberts and she was born on August 29, 1804. Here's the rub: Stephen died in Barnwell, South Carolina in November of 1823 while Milla was born, lived, and died in Marion County, Alabama. I have to wonder why Stephen died in South Carolina. Was he just visiting? Did he move back there from Alabama after his daughter was married off? Or did he never live with his daughter at all? I can't be sure, because I know nothing of Milla's mother other than that her name was Sarah Grimes and she was almost as old as Stephen.

My Descent From Milla:

Milla J. Roberts m. George R. Tucker
James Rains Tucker m. Emmaline Berryhill
Josiah Newton Tucker m. Amanda "Mandy" M. Reese
Geneva Irene Eldora Tucker m. William Henry McDonald
George Washington McDonald m. Alma Wyers and produced my grandma

No comments: