Roberts of Glassenbury
Sunday, March 10, 2002
      ( 5:56 AM ) stephen  
Sir Thomas Roberts had issue by his wife Frances James.

Their second son was Thomas Roberts, baptised at Cranbrook, Kent, October II 1590. He made his Will 23 November 1644 and it was proved by Walter Roberts 2 December 1647. In the Cranbrook Church Register there is an entry for a burial of a Thomas Roberts on May 3. 1645, which we may reasonably conclude refers to this man. His father had left him by Will the sum of £50 a year, which in 1641/2 became the subject of Chancery Proceedings {Charles 1st, R315}. In these proceedings reference is made to the complainant, Thomas Roberts, gentleman; to Sir Thomas Roberts, knight & baronet, his father and to Sir Walter Roberts. Peter Courthope is another party to the dispute. There are other Chancery Proceedings on more or less the same subject and with the same parties in 1641 {Charles 1st, R8/4} as in 1639 {Charles 1st, R38/50}.

The Will of this Thomas Roberts "of Glassenbury, Kent, Esqr." {ref: P.C.C. 247 Fines}, mentions Sir Walter Roberts and "the Lady Roberts" his mother. He was unmarried. and had no children.

Thus, the Thomas Roberts born in Woolaston, Worcestershire (about 1600) and emigrated to America, where he died in 1673 after having had issue through his wife (evidently married about 1627) Rebecca Hilton, cannot have been the second son, nor any son, of Sir Thomas Roberts of Glassenbury, Kent, and his wife Frances James. The various American and French web-sites which claim this relationship take into consideration neither the fact that their Thomas Roberts was born in Worcestershire, the only claimed child of this Kent family to have been born there; nor that Worcestershire is a long way from Kent; nor that the Roberts of Glassenbury had no ancestral connection with that western county. Worcestershire is, on the other hand, nearer Wales, where Roberts was and is one of the commonest names, as is Thomas.
Neither have they taken into account the fact that the Irish Roberts of Glassenbury family of baronets (now resident in the USA) used to claim descent from the very same Thomas Roberts that the American websites claim. That descent was considered not capable of proof by Garter King at Arms, and accordingly a new Baronetage was created for the Irish Roberts family in 1809. The latest (1999) "Burke's Peerage" entry for the family claims no such descent.

The erroneous Woolaston-New Hampshire descent has been enshrined in the International Genealogical Index of the Mormon Church and is leading astray various amateur genealogists who do not have access to fuller sources. The probably reason for this is that, according to, amongst others, Col. J. W. Tyler, in his articles on the Kent and Sussex family in "Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica", vols. 6 & 7 (1927/8), various royal descents are traceable through this family, and thus the various web sites claim connections with Charlemagne and many many others.

Common sense, as well as a two volume typescript by Dorothy Wyndham on the family, which is deposited in the Society of Genealogists library in London, show that neither the Irish Roberts nor the American ones, can claim descent from this Thomas, and that if there is some reason for believing that the Irish family may be a branch of the Kent and Sussex one, there is no reason to suppose that the American family is in any way connected to them.

29th May 2002:
Please also look at the following succinct web site which proves that the father of the American Thomas Roberts of Woolaston was a John Roberts and not Sir Thomas of the Glassenbury family: www.imt.net/~toss/Roberts.html
(2nd December 2002)
You might also look up my subsequent Blogger site, which has a promising fruitful line of ascent for the Roberts of Woolaston: RobertsofWoolaston.blogspot.com



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Thomas Roberts (1590-1644)

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