The Robertses of Northern New England


The Robertses first appeared in New England in 1614, six years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. For anyone with a Roberts ancestor in New Hampshire, Maine or Vermont, this will be the first reference to check. It lists over 8,000 individual Robertses, indexed and organized in twelve generations from 1600 to 1995. It is based on decades of research by the author and others into vital, court and property records of these three states. This book focuses on all of the known Roberts-surnamed descendants of Thomas and Rebecca Roberts of early Dover, New Hampshire, and George and Mary Roberts of early Exeter, New Hampshire.

A number of major questions about these founders of New Hampshire are addressed in this book: 1.) It examines the roles of Thomas Roberts (commonly known as the “first governor of NH”) and his two sons in the seventeenth century and their struggles with the Mason Estate, Massachusetts Bay Colony and the Quakers. 2.) Documents Roberts’ involvement in the founding of Somersworth, Rollinsford, Rochester, and Brentwood, New Hampshire; Buckfield and Brooks, Maine; and scores of other towns. 3.) Finally solves the question of who were the ancestors of the two brothers Jonathan and Joseph Roberts who founded large Roberts clans in Maine in the 1760s. It carefully traces them from Brentwood, New Hampshire, to Windham, Maine; follows them as they served in the Revolution; and then to Buckfield and Brooks, Maine. 4.) Chronicles the saga of a third brother, Eliphalet (“The Tory”) Roberts, who went to Vermont in the 1760s, fathered twenty-five children, fought on both sides in the Revolution, and lived to be nearly a hundred years old. 5.) Brings to light the role of Robertses in the Civil War. Nine of them from the tiny town of Brooks, Maine, marched off; only four came back.

The author has a bachelor’s degree in history, with emphasis on the colonial and Civil War periods in New England in particular. He has been an amateur genealogist for over thirty-three years.

Thomas A. Jacobsen

(1995, 2007), 2023, 5½x8½, paper, index, 464 pp