About 1854, William Matison Roberts/Robbirds/Robirds (my 2-grandfather) first married Franky Elizabeth Hendrix, the daughter of David Abraham “Abraham” Hendix and Mary Elizabeth Perkins. This family is reported to have just moved to Texas County, MO from Georgia not long before the marriage of Billy and Franky.
The 1850 census for Murray County, Georgia lists:
Abraham Hendrix age 41 born in North Carolina farmer
Mary A. Hendrix age 41 born in Virginia
Frankey Hendrix age 16 born in Tennessee (female)
Francis M. Hendrix age 13 born in Tennessee (male)
John C. Hendrix age 11 born in Tennessee
Mahala Hendrix age 4 born in Tennessee
Martha F. Hendrix age 6m born in Tennessee
Other researchers show an older son and younger children, also later children born in Georgia. Murray County, Georgia is close to Hamilton County, so it is possible the families might have already known each other. Alternate spelling is Hendricks.
The 1860 census for Texas County, Missouri lists:
David Roberts age 22 born in (James David Roberts/Robbirds, brother)
Nancy Roberts age 20 born in (wife Nancy Jane Bell)
Eliza J. Roberts age 4 born in Missouri
Nancy R. M. Roberts age 2 born in Missouri
Wm. A. Roberts age 60 born in (father aka Robbirds)
Jane H? Roberts age 45 born in (Jane R. Bunch, mother)
Wm. H. Moody age 3 born in Missouri (grandson, son of Eliza Jane Roberts)
- Hamilton age 19 born in (farm hand)
Wm. M. Roberts age 26 born in (Roberts/Robbirds/Robirds)
Franky E. Roberts age 27 born in (wife)
William H. Roberts age 4 born in Missouri
James M. Roberts age 3 born in Missouri
Samson D. age 2 born in Missouri
It is somewhat unusual that that Billy and Franky did not name a son after her father, though Sampson’s middle name is David. Did they have an earlier son named Abraham or David that died before the 1860 census?
Billy and his brother James David joined the Missouri State Guard under General Price and fought in the Battle of Wilsons Creek on August 10, 1861. Confirming the family story, both "Billy" and James David "David" are listed as being injured, and can be found in various records under the spelling Roberts.
Billy’s father William A. “Humpy” Roberts-Robbirds was killed by horse thieves (Alsup gang?) in NE Howell County. After several days Humpy was found by his wife Jane (Bunch) and daughter-in-law Nancy Jane (Bell) who buried him near where he fell.
Sometime after the Battle of Wilsons Creek, Billy took his family to “his mother’s brother’s in Grason (sic) County, Texas”. The 1860 census for Grayson County, Texas only lists one Bunch family, that being David Bunch born in Tennessee about 1812. There was a “guerilla fighter” James Henry Bunch from Missouri that was also reported in Grayson County during the war.
Billy did not get along with his uncle (David Bunch), and the family soon moved to Honey Springs, Texas. Franky Elizabeth Hendrix and newborn son Price probably died sometime in late 1863 or early 1864 somewhere between Ft. Smith, Arkansas, and Iron County, Missouri.
William Mattison “Billy” Robirds and Franky Elizabeth Hendrix are known to have had the following children (all except Price should have been born on father’s farm on Big Piney River, near Cabool, Ozark County, Missouri):
1. William Harrison Robirds born Sept 20, 1855; married Martha Haley “Mattie” Berry (the widow of Henry Whitaker); died July 29, 1930 in Longrun, Ozark Co., Missouri. One step-son, 9 more children, all survived to adulthood.
2. James Mattison Robbirds born March 13, 1857; married Mary Adeline Dickens/Dekins; died February 9, 1949. They had 6 daughters that survived to adulthood, the obituary of one of them claims there were seven daughters and two sons. This was the last known use of the spelling Robbirds in our family.
3. Sampson David Roberts born June 1, 1858; married Sarah Margaret Robbirds (first cousins, daughter of James David Robbirds); died April 13, 1936 in Ava, Missouri. Nine children, one son died young. Son William David Roberts author of “Historical Sketch of Roberts Family”.
4. Mary Jane Robirds born April 2, 1860; married James Clark Berry; died August 28, 1886 in Cabool, Texas County, Missouri. Survived by husband and three children.
5. Price (son) named after General Sterling Price of the Missouri Sate Guard. According a 1950s written history, Franky Elizabeth and her newborn son Price died sometime shortly after his birth somewhere in Arkansas or Missouri while the family was returning north (probably late 1863 or early 1864).
On July 13, 1864, Billy married Martha Clementine Flowers, listed as the daughter of Arthur Flowers and Martha Cundiff. Leend suggests there may have been a child, but they were soon divorced. I have not found any evidence of a surviving child. I believe it is probable that Billy already knew the Flowers family and they had been traveling together during the Civil War. Interestingly, Martha remarried to a John Peck in 1869 Texas County, and she and John Peck later relocated back to Grayson County, Texas where they both died.
1860 Census for Piney Township, Texas County, Missouri lists:
Wm. Flowers age 30 born Tennessee – farmer
MahalaFlowers age 28 born Tennessee
Martha Flowers age 16 born Tennessee
Lenu? (m) Flowers age 12 born Tennessee
Haden Flowers (m) age 9 born Missouri
Francis Flowers (m) age 6 born Missouri
N.B. Flowers (m) age 6/12 born Missouri
I always thought the Flowers connection back to Grayson Co. was odd.
Billy married third in 1868 in Texas Co. to Martha Ann/Joanne Elmore. She was the widow of an unknown Davis (Green C. Davis was an Elmore neighbor her age). The 1870 census suggests she might have had a daughter with Davis about 1866, but is missing by 1880. Billy and his third wife had 8 children, of which half of them died young. Billy's eleventh child and youngest to survive was my g-grandfather.
I was lucky to find what I have on Hendrix, but notice they were in Tennessee also. The names Davis and Jones seems to have been common to Tennessee, Texas and Missouri - but I haven't even tried to chase any down.
David Bunch's son-in-law Erastus Blue was killed by Indians while serving in the Confederate Army in Cooke Co. Search Erastus Blue and you will find several accounts of it and the official War Dept. record. I don't know if fighting Indians was preferrable to the bushwackers back in S. Missouri.