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History and Genealogy of the RoBards Family (1910) Part 1
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of the

RoBards Family

Compiled by
James Harvey Robards
Whiteland, Indiana

[image of log cabin]



THIS humble volume is the results of mere fragments of time, covering a period of five years, and I do not claim perfection and can not hope to evade the eye of the shrewd critic.  I believe the most fastidious will find this book at least entertaining.  In writing this history I do so with the full knowledge that it is not complete as I would like to have it.  But I shall endeavor to write this work making no attempt at romance or a great literary production, but in my own plain blunt way, will endeavor to gather some incidents that happened during the lives of our forefathers and mothers, and the many trials and hardships they had to undergo in blazing the trail and hewing the way to one of the granddest and most productive regions of the United States.  Every reader of this historical sketch will think it should have been better than it is.  (I think so too.)

To all those who gave me information and assistance have my sincere thanks.  The time of births and deaths of some of the older people are lost and the dates given, if wrong, may be corrected at some future time.  To John L. RoBards of Hannibal, Mo., Miss Lillian RoBards of Madisonville, Ky., Mrs. Ella M. RoBards of Louisville, Ky., Miss Willie Cooper RoBards of Charksdale, Mississippi, Mrs. Betie RoBards, Shepherdsville, Ky., and Mrs. Nannie RoBards, St Louis, Mo., I make my acknowledgments in giving me the history of the different families and to them I am under very strong obligations.

Yours truly,


The RoBards Family

THE history of the remote ancestry of the RoBards Family is meagre, vague and unsatisfactory.  It seems clear and positive that the paternal ancestor who first came to this country emigrated from Wales, England, and who were his ancestors there is no reliable information.  Tradition has it that one William RoBards, a Welchman, came to the United States and settled in Goochland county, Virginia, and there he met and married Miss Sallie Hill of the well known Hills who were kin of the Imboden and Mosby families of Virginia, and North Carolina.  (We think this is a mistake.) John RoBards came to Virginia about 1710.  We have a certified copy of his will dated May 20, 1755 (see his will). John RoBards probably married Sarah Hill and had one son, William RoBards, but as to the time of John RoBards' marriage we have no record and the birth of William RoBards and his marriage to his first wife little is known.  But beginning with William RoBards we pass out of the domain of tradition and can trace their history with a reasonable degree of certainty up to and during the revolutionary war and down to the present time.

In the Beginning

In all this vast region of country lying east of the Mississippi river and south of the great lakes France at one time claimed a nominal ownership, until the defeat of the French in 1759, when it passed into possession of the British crown.  When the war for independence came on the British agents were active in stirring up the Indians to make war on the frontier.  The Kentuckians were the principal sufferers.  In 1778 Patrick Henry, then governor of Virginia, sent an army to attack the British posts in the west on the Illinos river.  Providence favored this enterprise.  The English were expelled from the Illinois country and the vast country became a part of Virginia.  In 1784 Virginia ceded to the United States all her claim northwest of the Ohio river.  Various changes in the territorial government were made from time to time and state after state was admitted into the union.  In June, 1792, Kentucky, then a part of Virginia, was made a state.

The town of Harrodsburg, Ky., was established June 16, 1774, by James Harrod and about forty companions who found their way down the Ohio river near where Louisville, Ky., now stands, then by land to the central part of Kentucky, now Mercer county.  From the settlement of Harrodsburg in June, 1774, to the admission of Kentucky as a state in June, 1793, was eighteen years.

In 1784 Mrs. Elizabeth RoBards came to the district of Kentucky, then a part of Virginia, bringing with her a large family of children and many slaves.  Her husband, William RoBards, having died in December, 1783, in Goochland county, Virginia, and made provisions in his will for expenses of her removing to Kentucky.  (See will on page 14.)

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