Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday ~ My great grandparents John Roberts and Emma Warren from Leeds, England

1863 - 1925
1865 - 1927

This gravestone was photographed at the North Beverly Cemetery, located at 685 Cabot Street in Beverly, Massachusetts.  It is located beside the Second Congregational Church at 35 Conant Street (on the corner of Cabot Street).  This is a municipal cemetery run by the City of Beverly.

Just as I described in last week's "Tombstone Tuesday" post, where we wandered around Central Cemetery in Beverly and couldn't find our ancestor's gravesites, this also happened to us at the North Beverly Cemetery.  I underestimated the size of the cemetery, and we couldn't find our great grandparents John Peter Bowden Roberts and Emma Frances Warren.  I contacted the Cemetery Department and Kerrin Cotter sent me these maps to find the gravesite.  This is absolutely essential in large urban cemeteries, especially for flat stones like this one.

Ms. Cotter marked the grave with #5 and purple highlighter

When I was a child, this grave was marked with a simple, wooden cross painted white, with the names painted on in black paint.  When I was about ten or twelve years old my Dad and his brother replaced the wooden marker with this gravestone.  I remember going to visit the new gravestone, and my Dad removed the cross and put it in the back seat with my little sister and me for the ride home.  We were a little scared to be riding with a grave marker!

John Peter Bowden Roberts, son of Samuel Roberts and Mary Anne Stott, was born in August 1865 in Leeds, Yorkshire, England.  He married on 24 May 1890 in St. Clement's church, Sheepscar, Leeds, to Emma Frances Warren, the daughter of Obed Warren and Betsey Hannah Stinson.  She was born about 1865 in Peterborough, Northamptonshire.  They had four children, one died young.   Their daughter Hilda, my great aunt, married a first cousin, Herbert Pogson, and came to Beverly, Massachusetts to live.  She encouraged the rest of the family to join her in the United States.

In 1915 John, Emma, and their two other children, Horace, aged 20, and Bertha, aged 18 (my grandmother),  left Liverpool on board the Orduna for New York.  They came through Ellis Island and took the train to Beverly, Massachusetts.  John worked in the United Shoe Corporation factory, and they bought a house at 7 Dearborn Avenue.  This is the same house where my father and his brothers grew up, and where I lived until I was about seven years old.

John Peter Bowden Roberts died on 23 August 1925, at home, of colon cancer. My grandmother was married at the house on Dearborn Avenue on Thanksgiving Day, 26 November 1926, to my grandfather, Donald Munroe Wilkinson.  The following year, 1927, my great grandmother, Emma Frances (Warren) Roberts, died in Lynn, Massachusetts.  John and Emma were buried in this double plot at the North Beverly Cemetery.

Beverly, Massachusetts Cemetery Department:

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Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. Heather! My Steele parents, sister, and paternal grandparents, cousins are right across the roadway. My maternal grandparents are in the same section, but the names are not showing on the name map. The cemetery dept. has done a nice job with their new map and name list.

  2. Hi My ggrandfather was named john bowden roberts b 1859 in devon, died in new zealand in 1907. i have trying to find his family, and i see the connection with his middle name, is he any relation?

    1. Hi Amanda! As far as I know the ROBERTS family always lived in Leeds in Yorkshire. However, my great grandfather John Peter Bowden Roberts had a brother who went to New Zealand before he went to America. Another coincidence? This blog post has my ROBERTS lineage back a few more generations in Yorkshire http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2014/03/surname-saturday-roberts-of-leeds.html

  3. Hi, my ggrandfather was john bowden roberts b 1859 in plympton, devon and i am searching for his parents and family. Died 1907 in new zealand. I noticed your Bowden Name and wondered if you see any relation?