Born at Bron-y-llan, Mochdre, Montgomeryshire, 11 February 1769. His father was EVAN ROBERTS (1729 - 1813, obituary by his son John in Y Dysgedydd, May 1831), whose grandmother had been servant-maid to the old Puritan minister Henry Williams of Ysgafell. George's mother, Evan Roberts's first wife Mary (1734 - 1777, née Green — the Greens were also connected with Ysgafell), had a sister Elizabeth who married William Newell and became the grandmother of Richard Newell. Of the seven children of Evan Roberts's first marriage, John (1767 - 1834) is separately noticed; Elizabeth (Lewis) had two sons, of whom the elder became a justice of the peace at Ebensburg, Pa., and the younger a minister in Indiana; and Mary (Williams) was the mother of William Williams (Gwilym Cyfeiliog, 1801 - 1876) and of Richard Williams (1802 - 1842), and the grandmother of the antiquary Richard Williams (1835 - 1906). John Roberts's three sons, and his daughter Maria's son John Griffith (1821 - 1877), all separately noticed, round off the tale of this exceptionally interesting family.
George Roberts's autobiography, written at intervals (1827, 1835, 1846, and 1850), begins with a very full account of his family and connections, and a long account of his early religious experiences. Up to the age of 17, he remained at the loom with his father, but afterwards served on farms at Carno and Llanbryn-mair. In May 1795 he married Jane Edwards, of Llanerfyl, and in July, in company with Ezekiel Hughes and others, emigrated to America — their troubles with press-gangs and with storms at sea are recounted in the autobiography. They landed at Philadelphia on 26 October, remained there till September 1796, and then ‘wandered on foot’ till 19 November, when George and his family settled in the ‘Cambria County’, founded by M. J. Rhys. There, Roberts found it for several years impossible to extricate himself from debt. But in 1807 he was appointed one of the two salaried justices of the county, and in 1808 a remunerative land-agency fell to his lot; thenceforth he prospered, and purchased lands. In 1805 he had been encouraged to preach, and in June 1806 he was ordained co-pastor of the congregation at Ebensburg, where in 1834 he published A View of Primitive Ages, an English version of the famous classic of Theophilus Evans. He died in November 1853 at Ebensburg.
Published date: 1959
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