Roberts Surname Genealogy

Roberts is a patronymic name from the personal name
Robert that was introduced to England by the Normans.  It appeared
Rodbertus, Rotbert, and Robert in the 1086 Domesday Book.
Roberts emerged as a
surname in the latter part of the 13th century.  An early record
Richard Roberdes in the 1327 Worcestershire subsidy rolls.  The
Roberts name is
to be
found in both
England and Wales.

Roberts Resources on

Wales.  The
name became particularly common in Denbighshire in
NW Wales (now Clwyd) – where the pronunciation tended to be “Robaits”
– and then in Lancashire where there was a strong connection through
trade and
the movement of people.  John Wyn
Roberts, the son of Hywel ap Dafydd and Margaret Verch ap Robert, was 
born in
Denbighshire in 1516.

Gabriel Roberts,
the son of Lewis ap Rhisiart, was a
Welsh trader in Beaumaris in the late 1500’s who bought produce in
Chester for
the local populace in Anglesey.  His son
Lewis and grandson Gabriel expanded their trading activities to the
Orient with
the Levant Company and the East India Company.

John Roberts moved from Llanwrst in Denbighshire to
Liverpool in the 1850’s to build up a timber business there.  He
to Wales to be an MP.  His descendants became Baron Clwyd.  A
Methodist family from Anglesey
produced another John Roberts who prospered in Manchester as a merchant
and was
its Mayor in 1896

England.  There
were Roberts lines
elsewhere in

SE England.  In
the 12th century
William Rookherst alias Roberts appeared at Goodhurst in Kent and he is
to have been the forebear of the Roberts of Glassenbury Manor in
Cranbook.  The Roberts line there began in
the 1430’s
and their manor house was built in 1473.
Sir Walter Roberts rebuilt this manor as a Georgian mansion in
1730 and
it remained with the Roberts family until recently.

SW England.  John
Roberts, a Bristol draper, married well and
purchased Sayes Manor at Westerleigh in Gloucestershire in 1578. But later Roberts of this family ran into
debt and were forced to sell.  John’s
brother Henry was a sea captain with a keenness for dueling.  His descendants were to be found at Kingswood
in Gloucestershire. John Roberts, the
17th century Quaker at Siddington in Gloucestershire, may have been
related to
this family.

line in Cornwall began with Robert Roberts aka Jenken at Gwithian in
mid-1500’s.  A Roberts (sometimes
Robertes) family of Truro became wealthy money-lenders in the early
1600’s and
built their family estate in 1630 at Lanihydrock; while a
Roberts family from Penzance, first recorded with Richard Roberts in
1691, were emigrants to Australia in the mid-1800’s

Ireland.  There was one well-known Roberts family in
Waterford.  Thomas Roberts was “a Welshman of property” who had
settled there in 1680.  His grandson John
was an architect responsible for many of Waterford’s
today, including its Cathedral.  Field Marshal Earl Roberts came
from this

Francis Roberts was granted Britfieldstown in
county Cork in 1667.  The estate remained
in Roberts hands until debts forced its sale in 1851.
These Roberts claimed a descent from the
Roberts of Glassenbury in Kent and, although they secured a baronetage
out of
it, the case may not be proven.

A Roberts family was first recorded in Stradibally
in what is now Laois county in 1740.   Many
of these Roberts emigrated to Canada in the 1840’s


Thomas Roberts from Woolaston in Worcestershire was an early arrival in
England.   He moved to Dover, New
Hampshire where he was made Governor in 1640.
William Roberts from Wiltshire settled in Hartford, Connecticut
in the 1680’s.

In 1683 the Welshman John Roberts acquired land
from William Penn as part of the Welsh tract in Merion township,
Pennsylvania.  He named his stone house there Pencoyd after
his family
home back in Wales.  The property stayed with his descendants
until 1964.

Margaret Roberts left
her home in Montgomeryshire to join her brother George in Ohio in 1801.  On the voyage across her husband died.  But when she arrived in Ohio she met an old
sweetheart Edward Bebb and they married a year later.
Their eldest son William became Governor of
Ohio in 1846.

was a Huguenot name
and Protestant Huguenots by the name of Robert were in South Carolina
as early
as 1700 in an area known as the English Santee.
Their name soon became anglicized to Roberts.
Later migration saw these Roberts in Alabama
and the Wiregrass region of Georgia.

Jewish.  Roberts
in America may be Jewish.  Ralph
Roberts, the co-founder of Comcast
Corporation, grew up in a Jewish family in New Rochelle; while Doris
one of the TV stars of Everyone Loves
, is also Jewish.

Australia.  Cornish
Roberts miners came to Australia after the mining depression in

  • Thomas
    Roberts came from Penzance with his
    family to South Australia in 1839.  He
    went to work at the Burra Burra copper mine.  
  • while
    Abraham Roberts made it with his family to Bendigo in the Victorian
    goldfields in 1853.  He set up an
    iron foundry business there which continued with his son Abraham until

Roberts Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Select Roberts Names

Bartholomew Roberts, known as Black
Bart, was the Welsh pirate who raided shipping in the Americas in the
early 1700’s.
Frederick Roberts, later EarlRoberts, was one of the most successful British Army
generals during the Victorian era.  He was of Anglo-Irish
Elizabeth Anne Roberts was one
of the first female missionaries (in the 1880’s) of the Presbyterian
Church in Wales.   Andrew Roberts is a British
historian and conservative commentator.
John G. Roberts is the 17th and
current Chief Justice of the United States.
Julia Roberts is a well-known
American actress.

Select Roberts Today

  • 220,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Yorkshire)
  • 142,000 in America (most numerous in Texas)
  • 71,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)

Roberts is the #10 ranked surname in the UK.




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