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Do you know the connection?

According to Missy Elder of the Emanuel County Historic Society, the relatives of Eli Roberts are seeking any family info regarding his family before coming to this county. A brief outline of the lineage known today is published below.

Should you have any information about the relatives’ connection to Eli Roberts, Jason Roberts or Cathy Roberts Pierce would like to hear from you. Their email addresses are: and

The Eli Roberts Family

Eli Roberts was the first Roberts to settle on the property that is currently referred to as the “old Roberts’ place” in Emanuel County, living on the same property from around 1820 until his death. Land surveys verified that Eli lived there. He was born about 1798. Within nine years, Eli owned almost 3,000 acres of land bound by the Ogeechee River, Deep Creek and Little Long Creek.

Around 1819, he married Delania Kent, daughter of Thomas Kent and Milly Daniel. Eli and Delania had nine children. Eli added to his family in 1836 through the adoption of orphans, Abetha and Sarah Hendley, who were daughters of William Hendley, who lived in Pulaski County. It is not clear how the Hendley Family is related to Eli.

Another person Eli cared for was a woman named Tabitha. It is not certain what the relationship was between Tabitha and Eli, but it is possible she was his mother. She lived with Eli until she was 70.

Eli is buried on his own property. The original Union Grove Methodist Church, built in 1880, was a small, one-room wooden frame building with glass windows, built in the middle of a vacant field on land adjoining Daniel W. Roberts’ property, Eli’s son. A cemetery was built near the church. In less than 40 years, the congregation had grown and the need for a larger church was established. It was decided to move the church to a new location about a mile away. In July 1918, a new building and cemetery were built. People started calling the cemetery where Eli is buried the “Old Union Grove Cemetery.” Unfortunately, this cemetery has not been maintained over the years, thus Eli’s grave can no longer be identified.

Children of Eli Roberts and Delania Kent:

• Sarah Sallie H. Roberts, born between 1820 and 1838; died February 28, 1919

• Thomas Roberts, born in 1829

• Elizabeth Roberts, born in 1834

• John S. Roberts, born in 1842; died in 1865.

• Adeline “Annie” Roberts, born in 1844; died 1918

• Daniel W. Roberts, born June 15, 1848; died September 21, 1909.

• William Schley Roberts, born August 15, 1850; died September 15, 1889

Daniel W. “Webster” Roberts married Cassanne Hall between 1860 and 1870 in Emanuel County, the daughter of James J. Hall and Jane Spence. She was born 1851 in Emanuel County and died 1925. Daniel died in 1909. He is also buried in Old Union Grove Cemetery.

Children of Daniel Roberts and Cassanne Hall:

• John Roberts, born in 1871

• Mitchell Roberts, born 1873; died April 17, 1940

• Eli Whitney Roberts, born March 15, 1872; died April 17, 1940

• James Roberts, born 1876; died December 30, 1924

• Benjamin Franklin Roberts, born April 17, 1878; died February 16, 1946

• Lena/Arlene Roberts, born May 14, 1880; died April 8, 1967

• Newitt D. Roberts, born about 1884

• Katherine Roberts, born about 1884

There were several Robertses who have been documented as living in Georgia during the late 1700s to the early 1800s. The names most often located are John, James, and Isham Roberts. A positive connection of these early Roberts to Eli Roberts and his family has not been made.