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I (Marty Grant) am a 5th Great grand nephew of Bright Roberts.
Bright Roberts was born ca 1790/1794 in Wayne Co, NC, somewhere in the Walnut Creek vicinity. He is a proven son of John Roberts and Nancy of Wayne Co, NC. "Bright" Roberts was probably named for Simon Bright, of Revolutionary War fame who was from the same region.
Bright Roberts was apparently home with his parents for the 1800 census.
John Roberts died sometime prior to February 1803, for on that date Henry Roberts and Isaac Roberts were named administrators.
In July 1803, John Roberts' heirs petition the New Bern District Court (which was the State court covering several counties, including Wayne) for a division of the estate of John Roberts. Bright Roberts was named in this record. The following is an almost complete transcript of that record:
Isaac Roberts, Stephen Grant and his wife Patience, Anne Roberts, Owen Roberts, Bright Roberts, Polly Roberts, (the latter 4 minors) by their next friend Isaac Roberts, complain that John Roberts of Wayne County, died intestate owning 1000 or 1500 acres in Wayne County, 600 acres in Lenoir County, 600 in Johnston County, and 975 acres in Duplin County. that he left a widow Nancy Roberts and 9 children: Charite Roberts married to Spyers Ham, Henry Roberts, John Roberts & the above said petitioners. The petitioners state that after Charite Roberts married Spyers Ham, John Roberts gave a deed to Spyers Ham for 110 3/4 acres in Wayne County on Ready Swamp on the prong of Stony Creek, William Ham the father of Spyers paying to said John Roberts 75L. that said John Roberts gave to his son Henry Roberts, 200 acres joining the same, and to his son John Roberts 975 acres in Duplin County, but no allotment to the rest of his children. the widow had received dower of 509 acres in Wayne Co. Petition for division. Commissioners: Richard Croom, Benjamin Smith (Taylor), John Gaylord, William Smith, Barney McKinney. 1 Oct 1803 Division of the lands of John Roberts, decd. Isaac Roberts drew the Hall & Johnston land of x00 acres. Anne Roberts drew the Trent land in Lenoir County of 670 acres. Patience Grant drew 422 acres. Owen Roberts drew 66 acres and the Walnut Pocoson called the Jernigan land of 200 acres. Bright Roberts drew 200 acres. Mary Roberts drew 227 acres. Plat shown.
The above record shows that Bright Roberts inherited 200 acres of John Roberts' property.
On 23 Nov 1803 Henry Roberts was named as guardian for Ann Roberts, Owen Roberts, Bright Roberts and Polly Roberts, minor orphans. (Wayne Co, NC Loose Estates - John Roberts)
Another document dated 10 Mar 1804 again showed Henry Roberts as guardian to Bright Roberts, orphan.
Another document dated 10 Sep 1805 shows the estate of John Roberts being divided into 9 shares, 1 each to: Spyus Ham, Henry Roberts, Isaac Roberts, Stephen Grant, Jesse Harper, Owen Roberts, Bright Roberts, Polly Roberts, and the widow.
Bright Roberts was not listed on the 1810 census, nor did his brother Henry Roberts seem to have him in his household. However, their brother John Roberts (Jr) did have three extra people with him, who are a perfect fit in age to be Owen Roberts, Bright Roberts and Mary Roberts.
In February 1810, in the Estates records of Wayne County, Henry Roberts was listed as Guardian of several orphans, including Bright Roberts, Owen Roberts, James Carraway and Miss Nancy Carraway and Polly Roberts. The three Roberts were his own siblings, and the two Carraway's were siblings of Henry's wife. (Wayne Co, NC Estates Book 1 pages 236 and 237)
This 1810 record shows Bright was still under 21, so born ca 1789/1803. In 1811 Bright sold property on his own, so he probably had just turned 21, so he was likely born ca 1790.
On 18 Jan 1811 Bright Roberts sold 223 acres to his brother-in-law Burwell Boyett. The land was described as the land he inherited from his father John Roberts, deceased, and being on the north side of the Neuse River, on Mill Swamp and Walnut Creek, bordering Polly Roberts' line. Witnesses were his brothers John Roberts and Owen Roberts. (Wayne Co, NC Deed Book 9 page 384).
Sometime after he sold his land, in 1811, he moved to Moore Co, NC, where his brothers Isaac and Owen also moved, and his sister Charity Roberts Ham had gone as well.
Bright Roberts was mentioned in a Petition dated circa 1814 (in his father's estate file) regarding issues related to a property conflict. This document didn't give Bright's place of residence.
Bright Roberts was listed on an 1815 tax list in Moore Co, NC. He was listed with 350 acres, valued at $1000.
Bright Roberts apparently married prior to 1820, for he seems to have a wife and one child by the time of the 1820 census. He was listed in Moore Co, NC in 1820. This census showed him with 6 slaves.
1820 census analysis (based on available evidence):
1820 Moore Co, NC pg 315 Brythe Roberts 000010-10100-0-6 Analysis: 1 Male(s) 26-44 (1775-1794) Bright ROBERTS (1790/94) s/o John & Nancy 1 Female(s) 16-25 (1794-1804) Wife? 1 Female(s) 0-9 (1810-1820) Daughter?
On 15 Jul 1824 Bright Roberts witnessed a deed between Joseph Edwards and Henry Roberts in Wayne Co, NC. This was his brother Henry Roberts, but it puts Bright back in Wayne County. It is entirely possible that this wasn't the same Bright Roberts, but one of Henry's unknown children. (Wayne Co, NC Deed Book 12 page 270).
The 1824 record is the last I've found for Bright Roberts.
Dr. Merrit E. Roberts, in his book "Roberts-Allen Families", 1985, states that he found a Bright Roberts in Marshall Co, TN who died there in 1827. That Bright married Mary Silar and they had at least three children, John D. Roberts, Nancy Ann Roberts, and an unknown daughter who married William B. Holden. I haven't yet seen the source showing any of this, so I'm not 100% sure that this is the same family, however, a name like "Bright Roberts" isn't exactly common, so this very well may be the same family.
One possible clue in favor of Bright of Marshall Co, TN being the same one is his wife Mary Silar. I don't know the source for her maiden name, but it was given to me by Leslie Hood, a descendant of Bright and Mary. Assuming they married in Moore County (which may be likely) there were two "Silor" families listed there in 1820 (but none before), including a Benjamin and Frederick Silor, but neither listed close by Bright Roberts. Leslie listed Frederick as Mary's father, so this seems to fit.
Neither Benjamin Silor, nor Frederick Silor, not Bright Roberts were found in 1830 Moore Co, NC, nor did I find them listed anywhere else that I searched (I did find a Benjamin Siler in Shelby Co, IL and one in Whitley Co, KY in 1830).
Though Dr. Roberts refered to Bright dying in 1827 in Marshall Co, TN, this doesn't work exactly, as there was no Marshall Co, TN at that time. It was part of Bedford, Lincoln and Maury Co, TN until 1835 when Marshall was created from parts of those three counties. So technically, Bright would have died in one of those three parent counties. In 1830 Bedford, there were several Roberts families listed, but none familiar to me. 1830 Lincoln also had several Roberts, but none familiar. Maury was also a bust in 1830. If Bright's widow and children were in one of these counties then, they were residing with another family.
So far, I've found no evidence regarding a marriage or children for Bright Roberts. Dr. Merrit E. Roberts' book shows Bright with three children. Leslie Hood has also provided information on these children. See the register report for info on them.
Persons researching this family (click here for data on how to get on or off of this list):
1. Bright1 Roberts , born 1790/94 in Wayne Co, NC; died 10 Dec 1827 in Marshall Co, TN, son of John Roberts and Nancy (---). He married in 1810/20 in Moore Co, NC or Moore Co, NC Mary Silar , born 1794/1804; died abt 1837 in Marshall Co, TN, daughter of Frederick Silar .
Children of Bright Roberts and Mary Silar were as follows:
3 ii Nancy Ann2 Roberts , born 1826 in Marshall Co, TN. She married on 25 Aug 1842 in Marshall Co, TN James L Reed .
4 iii (---)2 Roberts . She married in Marshall Co, TN William B Holden .
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