Friday, December 14, 2018

A Second Albert

...and possibly a third.

In trying to zero in on the possibilities of which Albert Roberts might have gone to Council Bluffs, Iowa, to get his picture taken with his wife, I've gleaned every available mention of the name in the local newspaper from the 1880s through the mid 1950s. Yesterday, we took a look at the abbreviated timeline we could extract from the newspaper mentions for one Albert Roberts who lived just outside Council Bluffs in a city called Riverton. Today, we'll apply the same process to all the other Albert Roberts I found mentioned in the same newspaper over that same time span.

At first, I thought we'd be dealing with just one other Albert. Now that I've constructed this other timeline, I'm wondering if we are adding two other men with the same name.

As we did yesterday for the Albert Roberts from Riverton, here's the rundown on what I found in The Daily Nonpariel, beginning with the first mention of that name in 1900. Only with today's entries, I'll include the approximate (or estimated) location for each man mentioned.
  • January 11, 1900: Albert Roberts and Hattie Eshelman are granted a marriage license on January 10 in Atlantic
  • July 18, 1917: Albert Roberts and wife "of Grant" visit his father, James Roberts; no location specified (assume Council Bluffs)
  • May 8, 1919: Notice of Referee's Sale, Albert L. Roberts, plaintiff, against Fannie and I. M. Binns; minors Dwight, Emmet, and Frances and their guardian Nellie Roberts, defendants; property (identified by city lot numbers, not addresses) to be sold on the courthouse steps in Council Bluffs
  • July 21, 1922: Roberts family reunion held in Elliott, Iowa, at former home of Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Roberts, who now live in Long Beach, California; surnames of relatives in attendance included Roberts, Neary, Hully, Berg, Proctor; included in the Roberts siblings was Mr. and Mrs. Albert Roberts of Atlantic; missing from the celebration was a sister, Mrs. H. S. Leonard, prevented from attending due to heavy rains and bad roads
  • July 22, 1926: A daughter, weighing only three pounds, was reported born to Mr. and Mrs. Albert Roberts of 1905 Third Avenue, an address in Council Bluffs
  • November 26, 1926: Funeral service for Wauneta Louise Roberts, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Albert L. Roberts, from the home—this time, address given as 1908 Third Avenue—with burial in Walnut Hill Cemetery
  • September 9, 1937: Funeral service in Grant, Iowa, for Mrs. H. S. Leonard of Elliott, Iowa; surnames of sisters listed were Hully and Neary; Albert Roberts of Atlantic was listed as a brother
  • January 12, 1950: Fiftieth wedding anniversary celebrated in Atlantic for Mr. and Mrs. Albert Roberts; they had been residents in Atlantic since 1917

Now that we've uncovered a list of names to include in the various Roberts family constellations, that will help lead us to the right families. Simply logging on to a genealogical website and searching, say, the 1900 census for anyone named Albert Roberts in Council Bluffs, for instance, might not lead us to the right person. For whatever reason, when I first jumped in to this search, that was exactly what I tried, without any helpful leads.

Next, I'll cluster names associated with each Albert Roberts to see what groups emerge. We'll take a look at the results next week. Some will yield more obvious connections—like the first and last entries on today's timeline, for instance. Others will require additional research to corroborate the casual mentions in the newspaper itemized here. Hopefully, out of this mess of data, we'll gain some clues to lead us to the right identity for this Council Bluffs photograph of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Roberts—but be prepared for more questions to sprout, as well.  


  1. Replies
    1. Yes, but even then, it reminds me of my core mission: to learn and preserve the stories of all these people. Can't have a tangled web without some interesting stories!

  2. Replies
    1. Not to worry on this one, Far Side. All those names are still helping me clump some people together. As to which one is the right Albert Roberts, however, will require some additional steps. But in the end, it still may come down to guess work.


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