Roberts descendants settled in Florala

Published 1:23 am Saturday, October 31, 2015

Descendants of the Roberts family appeared in Covington County, Ala., circa 1850.

Several began to purchase land from the government during the early 1850s. In 1853, Daniel Roberts acquired 40.03 acres of land in the Panther Creek Township.

In 1854 Thomas H. Roberts acquired 80 acres of land in the Chapel Hill Township from a Military Grant of 1850.

He added an additional 40 acres in 1855 in the same area.

Many members of these families resided in Florala and the southeast corner of Covington County.

The earliest ancestor this writer has identified for this family is Samuel Roberts.

Among his children was a son named Thomas Harrison Roberts, mentioned above, who was born in 1818 in Irwin County, Ga.

Thomas Harrison Roberts migrated to Coffee County, Ala., at some point and was married circa 1840 to Elizabeth “Eliza” Ann Garrison (1828-1872). Eliza was also born in Georgia.

They had the following 11 children before her death: Martha M., b. 1842; Mary Jane, b. 1843, d. 1920, m. Wilson Mason Goolsby; William Harrison, b. 1845; Daniel D., b. 1848, d. 1894, m. Lavinia Ann Henderson; Josiah R., b. 1850; Ellen A., b. 1853; John Wesley b. 1854, d. 1946; Georgia Ann, b. 1855, m. Elias B. Davis; Henry H., b. 1858; Sarah O., b. 1863; and Walter L., b. 1866, d. 1897.

After Eliza’s death Thomas Harrison Roberts was married in 1873 to Mary Ann Davis (1832-1893), daughter of Thomas Davis (1800-1855) and Catharine (Stiles). Thomas and Mary Ann had the following two children together: Ida Victoria, b. 1874, d. 1950; and Mary Susannah G., b. 1877, d. 1896.

Mary Ann had been previously married to Thomas Duff Jeffcoat, and they had several children.

Thomas Harrison Roberts lived for some years in Coffee County and then moved to Geneva County during the 1860s and finally to Leon in Crenshaw County in the early 70s.

Thomas H. Roberts’s, second oldest daughter, Mary Jane Roberts, was married to Wilson Mason Goolsby, son of Hezekiah and Catherine “Cassie” Goolsby.

By 1900 they had moved from Crenshaw County to Hopkins, Tex., where they both died. They reared the following children: Unknown; Martha Ada, b. 1872, d. 1930; Emma P., b. 1872; Thomas H., b. 1873; John D., b. 1875; Laura S.G., b. 1877; and Stella, b. 1884, d. 1935.

Thomas H. Roberts’s second oldest son, Daniel D. Roberts, was born in 1848 in Coffee County. He was married to Lavinia Ann Henderson (1841-1903), daughter of Richard William Henderson (1806-1883) and Cinderella Hutto (1812-1887).

Daniel D. died in 1894 in Geneva and was buried in the Corner Creek Upper Cemetery in Hacoda. He and Lavinia reared at least the following three children: Thomas Richard, b. 1874, d. 1953, m. 1894 Amanda Harriett Clark (1867-1906); John Gray Ingram, b. 1878, d. 1934, m. 1895 Mary Etta Leonard (1877-1943); and Jo Anna, b. 1881, d. 1956, m. John Ezra Powell (1874-1953). Some records list a fourth child, John H, b. 1878, d. 1934, but this appears to be the same as John Gray Ingram.

Thomas Richard Roberts, oldest son of Daniel D. Roberts, was born in 1874 in Alabama, probably in Coffee County. He was married in 1894 to Amanda Harriett Clark, but she died fairly young in 1906. He was left a widower with young children, but it appears he did not remarry. His family resided in the Hughes community and Florala. In 1900 he was enumerated in the federal census for Hughes, and in 1910 he was in Florala and already a widower. He supported his family primarily by working as a carpenter. In 1920 and 1930 he was living in the household of his daughter, Mary Alma and her husband, Henry Grover Johnson. In 1940 he was living alone. Thomas Richard served as Postmaster for the Tabitha Post Office from 1900 until it was closed in 1902. Then in 1908, he became Postmaster for the McRae Post Office, which was located on the Central of Georgia Railroad between Florala and Hacoda in Geneva County. This post office was discontinued in 1912.

Thomas Richard and Amanda Harriett Roberts had the following children: Bertha A., b. 1896; Mary Alma, b. 1898, m. Henry Grover Johnson; Daniel David (or Drue Daniel), b. 1901, d. 1965, m. Lilian ? Roberts; and Thomas Monroe, b. 1903, d. 1957, m. (1) Edith ? (2) Frances Mary Lewis.

Thomas Richard died in 1953 in Florala and was buried in the Greenwood Cemetery.

Daniel D. Roberts’ daughter, Jo Anna Roberts, was married in 1895 to John Ezra Powell (1874-1953). They lived mostly in the Opp area and reared the following children: John Wright, b. 1896, d. 1967, m. Burie Mae Adams (1890-1951); Mary Magdalene, b. 1898, d. 1913; Luanna, b. 1905; Daniel Hardy Sr., b. 1909, d. 1988, m. Nancy Jewel Wilson (1910-2004); and Dewey, b. 1913. The family lived early on in the Hughes community and then moved to McRae. They eventually settled in Opp where Jo Anna died in 1956, but she was buried in the Mt. Gilead Church Cemetery in Hacoda. A member of the Roberts family operated an early store in the Town of Opp, but this writer did not find the person’s name.

There are a number of Roberts descendants who continue to reside in Covington County. Hopefully one of these will be able to provide additional genealogy to cover later generations and any other pertinent information.

Sources for the above writing included the following:; Wyley D. Ward’s Original Land Sales and Grants in Covington County, Alabama; Gus and Ruby Bryan’s Covington County History, 1821-1976;

Anyone who might recognize an error in the above history or genealogy is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email:


The Covington Rifles Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will be meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 5, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library. Anyone interested in preserving Confederate heritage, especially those interested in joining the S.C.V., is urged to attend.