Mary Elizabeth Roberts

F, b. 9 September 1934, d. 23 June 1998
     Mary Elizabeth Roberts was also known as "Betty". She was born on 9 September 1934 at Topeka, Shawnee Co., KS; daughter of John Harold and Catherine Marie (Domme) Roberts. She married Robert Jay Myrick, son of Murle Albert Myrick and Beulah M. Snapp, on 27 November 1951 at Fayetteville, Washington Co., AR. Mary Elizabeth Roberts lived in 1960 at 911 Wear Avenue, Topeka, Shawnee Co., KS, 1960 Topeka city census ( She died on 23 June 1998 at Topeka, Shawnee Co., KS, at age 63

Obituary -- (

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. today at the Church of the Assumption for Mary Elizabeth "Betty" Myrick, 63, Tecumseh. She died Thursday, June 23, 1998 at a Topeka hospital.

Mrs. Myrick was a clerk for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas until she retired in 1996. She earlier had worked for Brewster Place Retirement Community in Topeka.

She was born Sept. 9, 1934 in Topeka, the daughter of John H. and Catherine Domme Roberts. Mrs. Myrick was a member of the Church of the Assumption and a volunteer for Meals on Wheels and in work for the elderly.

She married Robert J. Myrick on Nov. 27, 1951 in Fayetteville, Ark. He survives.

Other survivors include a son, Kevin J. Myrick, Topeka; five daughters, Kathleen Mae Porter, Cheryl Ann Beeson, Susan Lynn Higbee-Vega and Lori Jo Ralph, all of Topeka, and Barbara Jean Williams, Scranton; five brothers, John H. Roberts Jr., Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Frank Roberts and Jim Roberts, both of Topeka, Ronald L. Roberts, Orlando, Fla., and Ralph Roberts, Garland, Texas; three sisters, Delores Boyle and Marge Calvin, both of Topeka, and Jeanette Smith, Los Alamitos, Calif; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by a son, Robert Dean Myrick, June 10, 1960 and a daughter, Mary Lou Godsey, Dec. 5, 1990.

Burial will be in Mount Calvary Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Topeka Rescue Mission or to Let's Help Inc. and sent in care of the funeral home.

Topeka Capital-Journal, 6/26/1998.

She was buried in June 1998 at Mount Calvary Cemetery, Topeka, Shawnee Co., KS, Findagrave #95232359.

Children of Mary Elizabeth Roberts and Robert Jay Myrick

Mary Frances Roberts

     Mary Frances Roberts was the daughter of William Roberts and Kitty Ann Allen.

Maude Lillian Roberts

M, b. 31 October 1860, d. 22 May 1955
     Maude Lillian Roberts was born on 31 October 1860. He married Shirley Immell Stouffer, daughter of Amos Stouffer and Mary E. Immell. Maude Lillian Roberts died on 22 May 1955 at Franklin Co., PA, at age 94. He was buried in May 1955 at Mennonite Cemetery, Stouffer Ave., Chambersburg, Franklin Co., PA.

Nancy M. Roberts

F, b. 13 April 1805, d. 5 February 1885
     Nancy M. Roberts was born on 13 April 1805 at Tennessee. She married Samuel Gilmore, son of Gad Gilmore and Margaret Ingaram, on 16 December 1819 at Wayne Co., IN. Nancy M. Roberts was buried in February 1885 at Randolph Co., IN. She died on 5 February 1885 at age 79.

Children of Nancy M. Roberts and Samuel Gilmore

Nannie Roberts

F, b. 20 October 1875, d. 20 August 1947
     Nannie Roberts was born on 20 October 1875 at Clay Co., TN. She married Francis Estes Coffee, son of Thomas Albert Coffee and Ruth Ann Stone, circa 13 March 1916 at Clay Co., TN. Nannie Roberts died on 20 August 1947 at Glasgow, Barren Co., KY, at age 71. She was buried in August 1947 at Fitzgerald Cemetery, Celina, Clay Co., TN, Findagrave #125910495.

Nathan Roberts

M, b. 10 December 1891, d. 24 February 1980
     Nathan Roberts was born on 10 December 1891 at Liberty, Gage Co., NE. He married Margaret Ethelyne Donahue in 1913 at Burchard, Pawnee Co., NE. Nathan Roberts died on 24 February 1980 at Liberty, Gage Co., NE, at age 88. He was buried in February 1980 at Liberty Cemetery, Liberty, Gage Co., NE, Findagrave #20741220.

Child of Nathan Roberts and Margaret Ethelyne Donahue

Ora Roberts

     Ora Roberts married Austin McKibben.

Child of Ora Roberts and Austin McKibben

Otto Arvel Roberts

M, b. 8 August 1885, d. 19 June 1915
     Otto Arvel Roberts was born on 8 August 1885; per WPA Birth Index, Orange County, Book H-1, p.132, or 9 AUG per 1909 Orange County marriage registration, son of John H. and Sarah (McDonald) Roberts. He married Nancy Pierson on 2 August 1909 at Orange Co., IN; after Otto's premature death, Nancy remarried to Joseph Edward Patmore in 1919, Clark County, Indiana, and lived near New Albany in Floyd County. They had a son, Novy Patmore (1919 - 1941). Otto Arvel Roberts died on 19 June 1915 at Southern Indiana Hospital for the Insane, Knight Twp., Vanderburgh Co., IN, at age 29. Cause of death: Tuberculosis. He was buried in June 1915 at McDonald Chapel Cemetery, Orange Co., IN, Findagrave #127318713.

Child of Otto Arvel Roberts and Nancy Pierson

Overton G. Roberts1

M, b. February 1892
     Overton G. Roberts was born in February 1892 at Highland Co. (probably), OH.1 He was the son of Ira L. Roberts and Josephine (?)1


  1. [S549] 1900 Federal Census, Highland County, Ohio. Microfilm Image, NARA Series T623, Roll 1286; FHL #1241286.

Parthenia Dorothy Roberts1

F, b. 14 July 1887, d. 25 January 1971
     Parthenia Dorothy Roberts was born on 14 July 1887 at Baltimore, MD, 1900 and 1910 censuses are consistent -- after 1910, she was able to slow the aging process dramatically. .)1 She was the daughter of William Lorman Roberts and Rosamond Ridgeway Passano.1
Note: Article - "Baltimore Girl In Danger Zone Miss Dorothy Roberts Saw Eruption Of Vesuvius. Was at Naples," Baltimore American (Baltimore, MD); Friday, April 27, 1906; Page: 18; (
Baltimore Girl In Danger Zone
Miss Dorothy Roberts Saw Eruption Of Vesuvius. Was at Naples .....
Mrs. Rosamond Roberts, 503 Hamilton Terrace, has received a letter from her daughter, Miss Dorothy Roberts, now traveling in Italy, describing the recent eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Miss Roberts and a company of young ladies from Baltimore have been touring Europe since last October. According to the letter, which was written from Rome, they were at Naples on the day of the eruption.
In the party are Miss Mary Willis, daughter of Police Commissioner Willis; Miss Eda Buddeke, of Bryn Mawr, and Miss Elizabeth Atkluson, of Richmond, Va. The party are now in Spain, and will leave Gibraltar next Monday for New York. The letter follows:
Rome, April 9, 1906
My Dear Mother: I can see your surprise when you receive this letter from Rome, after getting one from Naples. To express it in a few words, we fled from the eruption of Vesuvius. My last letter told you the alarming condition of affairs in the vicinity of the volcano. The huge volumes of thick black smoke grew worse every moment, and hung over the city like a great pall, while the fall of ashes and black sand made everything awful to behold. Night before last we were awakened about 1 A. M. by a loud explosion, closely followed by another more terrifying that shook the hotel. Everything was quiet for a few moments, when rumblings like heavy thunder were heard at intervals until morning, when it became quiet. In the morning we attended church, where prayers were offered to the people of Casa, a small village near Pompeii.
We asked more in detail after the service, and learned that the town had been destroyed, but were assured that Naples was in no danger; and of course, we were much relieved.
Towards evening, when it grew dark, we looked out and saw, to our horror, that the places where the smoke had been thickest were like fire, as if the flames would burst forth every moment. We went to the roof of the hotel with the porter, but upon opening the door found the air so stifling with sulphur that we could not breathe. We were all very much alarmed, but upon being assured that the city was in no danger we returned, but could not sleep. Crashes like thunder were heard all the time, and right over the mountain terrific lightning flashes were seen every moment.
At 4 A. M. our chaperone told us to pack our trunks; that we must leave at once. Never while I live can I forget today. We were positively ill from fright. The employes of the hotel while trying to attend their duties were so terrified they scarcely knew what they were doing.
The ride to the station was one never to be forgotten. The ashes were being shoveled off the pavements like snow in our country. The people had their faces covered to protect them from the sand and ashes. What terrified us most was that inky cloud that hung down to the ground on the edge of the city and seemed to draw nearer every moment. Oh! that awful sight. It surely did strike terror to our hearts, and added to that were the rumblings that never ceased. When we reached the station, it was packed, the people fleeing from the towns to Naples seeking safety, many with all they possessed tied in a handkerchief.
Four towns were entirely destroyed last night. It seemed that everyone in Naples was hurrying away - it was perfect pandemonium. The managers of the road were directing matters, and told us that every engine they had was in service. You know how desperate it was to get places when I tell you that we gave $5 to the porter to get us seats. He took us to a fast train supposed to leave at 9:45. It was then sidetracked, and we we obliged to crawl in between other cars. The rush to get the trains off was fearful, but the officials did work hard.
The lava is rushing now 25 feet a minute. Two new craters have opened on the side of the mountain.
I could never express by writing all we passed through, but it will have to wait to tell you all about it when I see you. It certainly has been an experience I never want to have again.
We are safe at last, and thank the Good Lord for that.
Dorothy Roberts.

Note: The eruption of April 7, 1906 killed over 100 people and ejected the most lava ever recorded from a Vesuvian eruption. Italian authorities were preparing to hold the 1908 Summer Olympics when Mount Vesuvius erupted, devastating the city of Naples. Funds were diverted to the reconstruction of Naples, so a new location for the Olympics was required.

Parthenia Dorothy Roberts married Dr. David Edward Duff, son of John Duff and Mary Jones, on 24 November 1909 at Catonsville, Baltimore Co., MD, Marriage Notes for DOROTHY ROBERTS and DAVID DUFF:
WEDDING ANNOUNCEMENT - Sun (Baltimore, MD); November 25, 1909; Volume: CXLVI, Issue: 9; Page: 7; (
MRS. DAVID E. DUFF (nee Roberts )
Miss Dorothy Roberts, daughter of Mrs. Rosamond Roberts, of Roland Park, was married yesterday at noon to Dr. David Edward Duff, formerly of South Carolina, but now of Baltimore.
The ceremony took place at Tremont, the country place of the bride's uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. William Baker, Jr., on the Frederick road, near Catonsville. It was performed by Rev. Percy Foster hall, rector of St. Timothy's Protestant Episcopal Church, Catonsville, assisted by Rev. Donald Guthrie, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Baltimore.
The bride entered the drawing room on the arm of her uncle, by whom she was given in marriage. She was attended by her little nephew, Sidney S. Zell, as page. The bridegroom was attended by Dr. C. J. Grives. The room was decorated with white chrysanthemums and palms.
The bride wore white satin, ornamented with old point lace, and also wore a tulle veil. She carried a shower bouquet of orchids and lilies of the valley.
During the ceremony a stringed orchestra played, and also during the wedding breakfast, which followed. Later in the afternoon Doctor and Mrs. Duff left on a wedding trip. They will live at the Sherwood.

Parthenia Dorothy Roberts and Dr. David Edward Duff were divorced circa 20 April 1915 at Reno, NV; NEWSPAPER ARTICLE - Sun (Baltimore, MD); January 25, 1915; Volume: CLVI, Issue: 60; Page: 10; (

Wife Of Baltimore Dentist Is Seeking Divorce
Among the present divorce colonists spending the required year in Nevada is Mrs. Dorothy Duff, wife of Dr. David E. Duff, a Baltimore dentist, says a dispatch to THE SUN from Reno.
Doctor and Mrs. Duff were married about six years ago and separated last year. Mrs. Duff's son, mother and married sister are with her in Reno. She charges desertion and mental cruelty. She asks the custody of the child, but it is understood will not seek alimony.
Dr. Duff will enter formal answer and appearance, but is expected to offer no opposition.

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE - Sun (Baltimore, MD); April 21, 1915; Volume: CLVI, Issue: 134; Page: 14; (

Mrs. David E. Duff Divorced
Dentist's Wife Alleging Cruelty Gets Decree in Reno
Alleging that her husband, Dr. David Edward Duff, dentist and clubman, Charles and Read streets, was a habitual user of morphine, and had treated her with great cruelty and threatened her life, Mrs. Dorothy R. Duff was yesterday granted a divorce at Reno, Nev., and the custody of her 4-year-old daughter, according to a dispatch from that city.
Dr. Duff borrowed $7,000 from Mrs. Duff when they were married to establish a home, it was said, giving a note which he later destroyed. She alleged that he had an income of more than $1,000 a month, but failed to support her.
Dr, Duff is a member of the Baltimore Country Club. Mrs. Duff said that when their home was burned down Dr. Duff took the insurance money and spent it.

Parthenia Dorothy Roberts lived in January 1920 at 1325 Washington Street, San Francisco, San Francisco Co., CA.2 She married William W. Chapin on 24 October 1926, license in San Mateo County.3 Parthenia Dorothy Roberts lived in April 1930 at 2108 Washington Street, San Francisco, San Francisco Co., CA.3 She died on 25 January 1971 at Monterey Co., CA, at age 83.

Child of Parthenia Dorothy Roberts and Dr. David Edward Duff


  1. [S1422] 1900 Federal Census, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland. Microfilm Image, NARA Series T623, Rolls 608-618; FHL #1240608-18.
  2. [S2572] 1920 Federal Census, San Francisco County, California. Microfilm Image, NARA Series T625, Roll 137.
  3. [S2011] 1930 Federal Census, San Francisco County, California. Microfilm Image, NARA Series T626, Rolls 194-210; FHL #2339929-45.

Phebe Roberts


Child of Phebe Roberts and Jonathan James

Rachel Roberts1

F, b. 16 January 1815, d. 11 January 1892
     Rachel Roberts was born on 16 January 1815 at Pennsylvania.1 She married David Crider, son of Martin Cryder and Mary Niswanger, on 11 October 1835 at Knox Co., OH.1 Rachel Roberts died on 11 January 1892 at Spencer Twp., Allen Co., OH, at age 76.

Children of Rachel Roberts and David Crider


  1. [S2326] 1850 Federal Census, Knox County, Ohio. Microfilm Image, NARA Series M432, Roll 700.

Rex Arnold Roberts

M, b. 28 March 1908, d. 1995
     Rex Arnold Roberts was born on 28 March 1908. He married Sarah Anne Ebbert, daughter of Amos Huston Ebbert and Merta Belle Reger, on 8 May 1937 at Madison Co., IN. Rex Arnold Roberts died in 1995.

Roberta Roberts1

F, b. April 1874
     Roberta Roberts was also known as "Bertie".1 She was born in April 1874 at Baltimore, MD.1 She was the daughter of William Charles Roberts and Eliza Jane Phillips.1 Roberta Roberts married John George Dieter, son of Peter Dieter and Augusta (?), circa 1896 at Baltimore (probably), MD.1

Children of Roberta Roberts and John George Dieter


  1. [S1422] 1900 Federal Census, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland. Microfilm Image, NARA Series T623, Rolls 608-618; FHL #1240608-18.
  2. [S1888] 1910 Federal Census, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania. Microfilm Image, NARA Series T624, Roll 1373; FHL #1375386.

Rosa Roberts

     Rosa Roberts married Charles Charnock.

Child of Rosa Roberts and Charles Charnock

Ryland Roberts

M, b. 1800, d. 1 August 1849
     Ryland Roberts was born in 1800 at Virginia. He married Mary Poe Tompkins on 4 October 1842 at Lynchburg, VA. Ryland Roberts died on 1 August 1849 at Lynchburg, VA.

Child of Ryland Roberts and Mary Poe Tompkins

Samuel Roberts1

M, b. circa 1866
     Samuel Roberts was born circa 1866 at Milford Square, Bucks Co., PA.1,2 He was the son of James Roberts and Susan Anderson.1 Samuel Roberts lived at Milford Square, Bucks Co., PA, Married, per Wanger book.1


  1. [S82] Price Genealogy, 314.
  2. [S906] 1870 Federal Census, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Microfilm Image, NARA Series M593, Roll 1313-4; FHL #553183-4.

Sarah Roberts1

     Sarah Roberts married John Sutton, son of John Sutton and Elizabeth Miller.1

Children of Sarah Roberts and John Sutton


  1. [S82] Price Genealogy, 501.
  2. [S82] Price Genealogy, 502.

Sarah C. Roberts

F, b. 3 September 1882, d. 22 March 1962
     Sarah C. Roberts was born on 3 September 1882 at Virginia. She married Enos E. Gwinn on 25 December 1899 at Lucas Co., IA. Sarah C. Roberts died on 22 March 1962 at San Bernardino Co., CA, at age 79.

Child of Sarah C. Roberts and Enos E. Gwinn

Sophia C. Roberts1

F, b. circa 1853
     Sophia C. Roberts was born circa 1853 at Maryland.1 She was the daughter of William Roberts and Sophia E. Rigney.1


  1. [S1887] 1860 Federal Census, Baltimore Independent City, Maryland. Microfilm Image, NARA Series M653, Roll 458; FHL #803458.

Susan M. Roberts

     Susan M. Roberts married James Dryden Gardner.

Child of Susan M. Roberts and James Dryden Gardner

William Roberts

     William Roberts was born at Morristown, PA. He married Mary Gilmore, daughter of David Gilmore and Margaret Smith, on 14 March 1824 at Hardin Co., KY.

Child of William Roberts and Mary Gilmore

William Roberts

M, b. 7 February 1837
     William Roberts was born on 7 February 1837 at Hardin Co., KY. He was the son of William Roberts and Mary Gilmore. William Roberts married Kitty Ann Allen on 14 February 1861.

William Roberts

M, b. 14 February 1812, d. 19 March 1891
     William Roberts was born on 14 February 1812 at Frederick Co., MD.1 He was the son of William R. Roberts and Catherine DeWald. William Roberts married Sophia E. Rigney on 4 February 1834 at Frederick Co., MD. William Roberts died on 19 March 1891 at Philadelphia, Philadelphia Co., PA, at age 79

Obituary -- The Cecil Whig, Elkton, Cecil County, Maryland, Saturday, March 21, 1891:

Death of a Pioneer Railroad Man.

Mr. John Perkins of this town received a telegram on Friday morning informing him of the death of his father-in-law, Mr. William Roberts which occurred at his home in Philadelphia about ten o'clock on Thursday night. Mr. Roberts who was one of the oldest railroad men in the country, was just entering his 80th year, having been born on the 14th of February 1812. He was a native of Frederick county, Md., of which county his wife who was Miss Rigney was also a native. When quite a young man he entered the U. S. mail service, then carried by stages from Baltimore to Wheeling, and afterwards entered the service of the B. & O. railroad, being the driver of the first car drawn by horses, from Baltimore to Ellicott Mills, as well as conductor of the first car after the application of steam. About the year 1850 he entered the service of the P., W. & B. railroad company, in which he remained until his retirement from active business pursuits some fifteen years ago. He enjoyed a wide circle of personal and business acquaintances, and was universally esteemed for his stern integrity and high character, a fact recognized by his company in retiring him upon full pay. Mr. Roberts was the father of twelve children, eight of whom are living, four daughters and four sons, his eldest daughter Virginia being Mrs. John Perkins, and who was with her father at his death.

He was buried in March 1891 at Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore, MD.

Children of William Roberts and Sophia E. Rigney


  1. [S1887] 1860 Federal Census, Baltimore Independent City, Maryland. Microfilm Image, NARA Series M653, Roll 458; FHL #803458.

William Roberts1

M, b. circa 1821
     William Roberts was born circa 1821.1 He married Amelia Gibler, daughter of Daniel J. Gibler and Maria Roush, on 3 April 1848 at Highland Co., OH, 6 children born, 4 living as of 1900 census.2

Children of William Roberts and Amelia Gibler


  1. [S548] 1880 Federal Census, Highland County, Ohio. Microfilm Image, NARA Series T9, Roll 1033; FHL #1255033.
  2. [S549] 1900 Federal Census, Highland County, Ohio. Microfilm Image, NARA Series T623, Roll 1286; FHL #1241286.
  3. [S583] 1870 Federal Census, Highland County, Ohio. Microfilm Image, NARA Series M593, Roll 1222; FHL #552721.

William Roberts

     William Roberts married Ann Mercer.

Child of William Roberts and Ann Mercer

William Calvert Roberts1

M, b. 20 January 1880
     William Calvert Roberts was born on 20 January 1880 at Baltimore, MD.1 He was the son of William Charles Roberts and Eliza Jane Phillips.1 William Calvert Roberts married Mabel D. Junkins, daughter of Joseph William Junkins and Alice Virginia Davis, on 4 June 1904 at Baltimore, MD.1

Child of William Calvert Roberts and Mabel D. Junkins


  1. [S1422] 1900 Federal Census, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland. Microfilm Image, NARA Series T623, Rolls 608-618; FHL #1240608-18.
  2. [S1889] 1910 Federal Census, Baltimore Independent City, Maryland. Microfilm Image, NARA Series T624, Roll 555; FHL #1374568.

William Charles Roberts1

M, b. 17 June 1845, d. 30 October 1904
     William Charles Roberts was born on 17 June 1845 at Frederick, Frederick Co., MD.1,2 He was the son of William Roberts and Sophia E. Rigney.1 William Charles Roberts married Eliza Jane Phillips, daughter of Christopher Cosgrove Phillips and Susannah Rebecca Nicoll, on 22 December 1863 at Baltimore, MD, eight children born, three living as of 1900 census. William Charles Roberts died on 30 October 1904 at Baltimore, MD, at age 59.1

Children of William Charles Roberts and Eliza Jane Phillips


  1. [S1887] 1860 Federal Census, Baltimore Independent City, Maryland. Microfilm Image, NARA Series M653, Roll 458; FHL #803458.
  2. [S1422] 1900 Federal Census, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland. Microfilm Image, NARA Series T623, Rolls 608-618; FHL #1240608-18.

William Lorman Roberts1

M, b. circa 1851, d. 2 January 1889
     William Lorman Roberts was born circa 1851 at Baltimore, MD.1 He was the son of Edward Roberts and Anna M. (?)1 William Lorman Roberts married Cora Smith on 7 May 1875 at Baltimore, MD. William Lorman Roberts lived in June 1880 at Eutaw Street, Baltimore Ward 14, MD.2 He married Rosamond Ridgeway Passano, daughter of Leonard Passano and Parthenia Phelps, on 6 January 1881 at Baltimore, Maryland, Per Tracy Devault's research -- In the 1900 Census, Rosamond Passano is living with her father, Leonard Passano. There are two younger women living with them: Eleanor Roberts who recently married Arthur Stanley Zell (Arthur is also shown in this census record) and Parthenia D. Roberts (Parthenia is believed to be Dorothy Roberts that is shown in subsequent records). In this census record both of these women are listed as grandchildren of Leonard Passano. It seems likely that both Eleanor and Parthenia are daughters of William Lorman Roberts and Rosamond (Passano) Roberts. So far all the evidence leads to this conclusion; however, in this same census record, Rosamond says she has had two children and only one is still living. If one of these two women is not a daughter of Rosamond, it probably must be Eleanor. For the time being I am showing both Eleanor and Parthenia/Dorothy as daughters of Rosamond.

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE - The New York Times (New York, NY), August 20, 1887

Baltimore, Aug. 19. - There is now no doubt that Stock Broker William Lorman Roberts is in Canada, and has no immediate notion of returning. Business circles continued full of rumors to-day, and gradually the facts in the case are coming out. The attachment of James Little, served yesterday, was followed to-day by a large number which were placed in the hands of Sheriff Fledderman, who, with his deputies, was busy all day trying to find the property of the absentee, so that it could be levied upon. Attachments, it is understood, were laid upon some vessel interests of Mr. Roberts, and also upon other property. The Sheriff would not say much about the attachments, as he said he feared it might interfere with the end in view. Mr. Little is the Superintendent of the Pygmalion Coal Company, of West Virginia, of which Jacob H. Taylor, of this city, is President.
Mr. Little, who resides at Piedmont, West Va., had saved up $1,365, and wanted to invest it so that it would bear good interest. He sent the money to Mr. Roberts to invest for him. Hearing nothing of the investment, and reading about two weeks ago the suspension of Mr. Roberts from the New York Stock Exchange, he came on to Baltimore to investigate matters. He laid the attachment in the hands of the Bank of Baltimore, and through Thomas & Bouldin, attorneys, the case was prosecuted.
As stated in a special to THE TIMES last night Roberts is the sole Trustee of the estate of Alexander Lorman, which is estimated to amount all the way from $200,000 to $400,000. Mr. Edward Roberts, the father of the absent Mr. Roberts, was the former Trustee, and according to the will upon his death the trust devolved upon his son. William Lorman, the father of the testator, made a great fortune in the merchant marine business. He lived in a large mansion on the corner of Charles and Lexington streets, where the Central Savings Bank now stands. The mansion was surrounded by a handsome lawn, and the location at the time was the most select in the city. Mr. Edward Roberts was one of Mr. Lorman's clerks. Mr. Lorman bequeathed to him considerable money when he died.
Mr. Lorman, who had married a Miss Fulford, of Hartford County, left one son, Alexander. He remained single and in his will he appointed Mr. Roberts Trustee, and also made provisions that upon his death the trust would devolve upon William, the son. When William took up the trust, in 1880, he gave a bond for $360,000, and his bondsmen were his mother, Mrs. Roberts, and the Baltimore Safe Deposit and Trust Company. Mr. Otis Hinkley, counsel for Chancellor Bailey, of Spottsylvania, Va., who is one of the heirs of the Lorman estate, filed a petition in the City Curcuit Court asking for a Receiver on the ground that Mr. Roberts, the Trustee, had defaulted. Mr. Hinkley is also the councel of the Baltimore Safe Deposit and Trust Company.
The petition was granted, and John W. Marshall, Secretary of the Safe Deposit and Trust Company, was appointed Receiver. William T. Walters, Vice-President and acting President in the absence of Mr. B. F. Newcomer, and Mr. W.A. Wisong, Treasurer of the Safe Deposit and Trust Company, went on his bond in the sum of $300,000. Mr. Walters stated that, according to the order of the court, the box of Mr. Roberts was opened and the securities of the Lorman estate were found therein. He said there was about $300,000 in the estate.
There was very little left to-day in Roberts's handsomely furnished office in the Chamber of Commerce building. The Deputy Sheriff had all the effects removed to the auctioneer's. The last thing taken out was a small safe, which had nothing of value in it. The books, papers, and a number of other small things were left in the office and Mr. C. Goodwin, a clerk of Mr. Roberts, had these things placed in a box and, by the advice of Mr. Roberts's attorney, had them sent to his home. Mr. Goodwin stated that the office was very elegantly fitted out, and another gentleman present said that while many of the brokers' offices in New-York were larger, none were better or more finely furnished. There were three telegraph wires. The firm at one time had four wires.
Mr. Goodwin did not think that Mr. Roberts was at times accountable for what he did. He would frequently dictate matter to him, and after asking him to read over what he had said claimed that he had said nothing of the kind, but the clerk said he had taken down the statements as made by him. He said it was pretty well known that Mr. Roberts was loosing in his business transactions, but neither he nor others expected the crisis, because they believed Roberts to be a very rich man.
The young man thought that at times the transactions amounted to nearly $2,000,000, and not very long ago, he said, he was carring about a million bushels of wheat. He gave it as his opinion that the fall was caused by heavy transactions, as recently he had plunged into speculation very heavily. Mr. Goodwin said he had no idea what Mr. Roberts's indebtedness in Baltimore was, nor did he know of the creditiors.

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE - Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, PA), August 20, 1887, page 5

A Fortune of Three Hundred Thousand Dollars Staked and Lost in One Year - Heavy Debts.
BALTIMORE, August 19, - Dashing William Lorman Roberts, who had a seat in the New York Stock Exchange, but did his principal business here, where his office was at room No. 21 Chamber of Commerce building, had disappeared. The impression prevails that he is in Canada. He has been financially embarrassed for some time and only a few days ago was suspended from the New York Stock Exchange. It was not known generally, however, until today in what a serious plight he was, although a year of two ago he was worth $300,000.
He has lost it all, besides using a large sum of his mother's estate and appropriating to his own use $50,000, it is said, of securities of the Lorman estate, of which he was co-trustee with the Safe Deposit Company of this city. Besides this he owes $27,000 to Baltimore parties and $30,000 more to parties in New York.
Roberts has been an unusually bold speculator. He bought and sold everything that was in the market. He did not confine himself to stocks, but went extensively into wheat, pork, lard, cotton and oil as the fancy struck him. He has been known frequently to carry as high as 160,000 bushels of wheat, and within a few weeks he informed a friend that he was carrying 27,000 shares of stock, representing between two and three millions of dollars.
The more he lost the bolder he became until every penny of his fortune was sunk. Last Tuesday morning, it is thought, just before he disappeared, he said to a friend, "I haven't a dollar in the world, except what I have in my pocket. "How much is that?" inquired the friend, who could hardly realize that Roberts was not joking. "Twenty-seven dollars and a half." he replied.
Roberts had been for eight years, until last January, with the firm of Alexander Shaw & Co., the large coal operators. One reason why he retired from this firm was because the Shaws were not willing to let his name be put in the firm name. He had an unknown amount of self-confidence, and he decided to start out for himself, which he did by buying a seat in the New York Stock exchange for $35,000.
He is only 35 years old, tall and handsome, with dark hair, and looks like a Spaniard. He is a son of the late Edward Roberts, who died six years ago, leaving an estate of $1,000,000, the only heirs being a son and widow.
His father also left him the trusteeship of the Alexander Lorman estate, but he divided the trusteeship with the Safe Deposit Company, as he could get no one to go on the bond for the large sum required.

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE - Springfield Republican, August 20, 1887, page 5

The Mysterious Disappearance of William L. Roberts.
William L. Roberts, the Baltimore broker, suspended last week by the New York stock exchange, has disappeared and left no trace as to his whereabouts. He is trustee of the Alexander Lorman estate, which is rated all the way from $400,000 to $500,000, but this money, it is said, is held by the safe deposit company as co-trustee. The sheriff, on behalf of the bank of Baltimore, which is acting for James Little, a mine owner, levied an attachment Thursday against all of Robert's visible property to satisfy a debt of $1375. Robert's office is one of the most elegantly appointed rooms in the Baltimore chamber of commerce building. With the exception of a few mining shares which have no market value, he left nothing in his office that looked like money. The safe was empty. His check books, which were lying on his desk, showed that no banking business had been done since August 1. The last seen of Roberts by his clerk was on Saturday. His life was insured for $110,000.

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE - New York Tribune (New York, NY), August 26, 1887

Baltimore. Aug. 25 (Special). - The heirs to the estate of Alexander Lorman, of which Broker William Lorman Roberts, now in Canada, was the trustee, are flocking to the city to look after their interests. It is stated that Roberts's indebtedness amounts to about $150,000, of which about $65,000 is due the trust estate. Alexander Lorman left a fortune of $1,000,000. There were originally two branches of heirs the Fulfords of Maryland, and the Chancellors of Virginia. The Fulfords' share of the estate was distributed about eight or ten years ago. The Chancellors' share was subdivided into nine parts. Four of these parts have been settled. There was about $200,000 in the rest of the estate for the other heirs. Of the heirs with whom a settlement was made one was induced to let his money stay in Mr. Robert's hands. This heir loses $15,000. In January a year ago Mr. Roberts took of his money $9,200 under the plea that he was going to invest this amount in mortgages. A rigid search of the records fails to bring to light the entries of any such mortgages. Of the securities of the unsettled estate there is, it is stated, about $50,000 missing, making with the $15,000 of the settled part $65,000 for which Mr. Roberts is criminally liable. Roberts is in Montreal, living at the Windsor Hotel.

LEGAL NOTICE - Sun (Baltimore, MD), February 27, 1888, page 4


Towsontown, Feb. 25. - The President and Directors of the Franklin Bank of Baltimore vs. William Lorman Roberts: Motion to strike out judgment and quash attachment argued and held sub curia. Mordecai J. Fowler vs Milton W. Offcter al., garnishees of Wm. Lorman Roberts: motion to quash attachment sustained. Frederick Mertens vs. Wm. Lorman Roberts: motion to quash attachment overruled. Elizabeth Flaherty vs. James H. McNeal: motion to strike out judgment overruled. Assignment for Monday: Nos. 256, 260, 266, 267, 268, 269, 271, 278, 279, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284 and 285.

DEATH NOTICE - Sun (Baltimore, MD); Thursday, January 3, 1889; Volume: CIV, Issue: 41; Page: 2; (

ROBERTS - On January 2, at 9:30 o'clock P. M., at the residence of L. Passano, No. 261 Roberts street, W. LORMAN ROBERTS, aged 39 years.
Due notice of the funeral will be given.

OBITUARY - Cincinnati Commercial Tribune (Cincinnati, OH), January 4, 1889, page 4

Death of a Dashing Broker Recalls Remarkable Career.
Baltimore, MD, January 3 -[Special]- William Lorman Roberts, at one time a well-known stock broker of this city, and a former member of the New York Stock Exchange, died last night at the residence of his father-in-law, Leonard Passano. He was but thirty-nine years of age, and while the immediate cause was pneumonia, his nervous system had been shattered by the trouble he had brought upon himself and family by his unfortunate speculations. He was a son of the late Edward Roberts, a wealthy citizen, and the young man began his business career with Shaw Bros. of Baltimore. About three years ago he went into the stock brokerage and his career in the financial world, though but brief, made him notorious. He was the trustee of the Lorman estate, valued at over one hundred thousand dollars. Not only the ???? portion of his mother's fortune and his own but many thousands of the funds of the Lorman estate he lost in speculation. He plunged in wildly, thousands followed thousands, and in a short time he had not only ruined himself but nearly everybody connected with him. The heirs of the Lorman estate lost in the aggregate about $40,000. Roberts went to Canada where he became engaged in a bucket-shop business in Montreal. He was associated with a New Yorker, and in this venture he lost the remainder of his widowed mother's fortune. His entire losses amounted to upwards of $200,000.
Their magnificent home on Fotaw Place containing one of the handsomest private art collections in the city was sold out at auction. When by a partial settlement of the Lorman estate by his bondsmen, Roberts was permitted to return home, he was broken down in health and opened a laundry establishment but a short distance from where his broking office had been, and working hard to regain a business footing when attacked with his final illness.

OBITUARY - New York Tribune (New York, NY), January 4, 1889, page 3

Baltimore, Jan. 3 -(Special).- William Lorman Roberts, at one time a well-known stock broker of this city, and a former member of the New-York Stock Exchange, died last night at the home of his father-in-law, Leonard Passano, in this city. He was but thirty-nine years of age. The immediate cause was pneumonia, but his nervous system had been shattered by the trouble he had brought upon himself and family by his unfortunate speculations. He was a son of the late Edward Roberts, a wealthy townsman. The young man began his business career with Shaw Brothers, of Baltimore. About three years ago he went into stock brokerage, and his career in the financial world, though brief, made him conspicuous. As a result of his unsuccessful operations, Mr. Roberts went to Montreal, and there he became engaged in a brokerage agency, being associated with a New-Yorker. The result was again unfortunate. His entire losses amounted to upward of $200,000. When Mr. Roberts returned home he was broken down in health. He opened a laundry establishment a short distance from where his banking office had been, and was working hard to regain a business footing when attacked with his fatal illness.

LEGAL NOTICE - Sun (Baltimore, MD), March 26, 1890

Demurrer Sustained by Judge Dennis. Judge Dennis, in the Circuit Court, yesterday sustained the demurrer to the bill of complaint of Xanthus X. Chartters, Lucy P. Guy and Chas. B. Guy, her husband, against Lorman E. Roberts, infant, and the Mercantile Trust and Deposit Company of Baltimore City, as guardian. The bill set forth that Wm. Lorman Roberts was trustee of an estate in which Susan P. Chartters had a life interest, with remainder to two of the plaintiffs, her children; that the amount to which each of the children was entitled was $8,100; that Roberts sold certain stocks and securities of the trust estate, which he pretended to invest, but misappropriated to his own use, except $2,000 paid to Lucy P. Guy; that while so indebted Roberts effected life insurances in three companies for the benefit of his infant son, Lorman E. Roberts; that the premiums were paid out of funds while he was thus indebted, and that a year ago Wm. Lorman Roberts died intestate, and the proceeds of the insurance policies, $4,325.17, have been paid to the defendant guardian of Lorman E. Roberts. The court was asked to order the amount of the policies to be paid by the defendant company to the complainants. To this the defendant demurred, and the court decided that on the facts presented in the bill the court could not pass the order asked for. Leave to amend the bill was granted, if done in a limited time.

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE - Sun (Baltimore, MD), February 18, 1901

Schooner W. L. Roberts Sold.
Captain Thibrdean, of the schooner William Lorman Roberts, which sailed yeasterday for Fall River, has been notified that the vessel has been sold. The names of the new owners were not given. The Roberts belonged to the Staples Coal Company, of Fall River, Mass. The vessel has recently been thoroughly repaired by Booz's shipyard.

William Lorman Roberts died on 2 January 1889. He was buried in January 1889 at Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore, MD, Green Mount interment records indicate that William L. Roberts was buried with Passano family members, although no stone is present.

Child of William Lorman Roberts and Cora Smith

Children of William Lorman Roberts and Rosamond Ridgeway Passano


  1. [S1887] 1860 Federal Census, Baltimore Independent City, Maryland. Microfilm Image, NARA Series M653, Roll 458; FHL #803458.
  2. [S2571] 1880 Federal Census, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland. Microfilm Image, NARA Series T9, Rolls 497-505; FHL #1254497-505.
  3. [S1422] 1900 Federal Census, Baltimore (Independent City), Maryland. Microfilm Image, NARA Series T623, Rolls 608-618; FHL #1240608-18.

William Owen Roberts

M, b. 1848, d. 2 April 1921
     William Owen Roberts was born in 1848 at Lynchburg, VA. He was the son of Ryland Roberts and Mary Poe Tompkins. William Owen Roberts married Maria Yandell, daughter of Dr. David Wendel Yandell M.D. and Frances Jane Crutcher. William Owen Roberts died on 2 April 1921 at Louisville, Jefferson Co., KY. He was buried in April 1921 at Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson Co., KY.

Children of William Owen Roberts and Maria Yandell