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Below is a family biography included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.   These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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JOSEPH FRANKLIN ROBERTS, railroad conductor, post office Turtle Creek, was born at West Newton, Pa., April 16, 1851, a son of John Roberts, who was a native of Wales, but reared in London, England. John was a tin-worker, and when twenty-six years old came to this country and located at West Elizabeth, Allegheny county, where his wife, Elizabeth, died. He afterward married Anna Catherine Keck, who was born in Germany and came with her father, Michael Keck, to this country when she was six years old. For a time Mr. Roberts kept a large store at West Newton, and afterward engaged in farming near there. In 1863 he removed with his family to Turtle Creek, where he died in 1876, aged sixty-three; his widow died in 1885, aged fifty-eight. They had ten children, seven now living, of whom Joseph F. is the third. Rosetta, the eldest, died when six years old, and Charles Samuel and Daniel at four years and fourteen months, respectively. The others are named as follows: George Oliver, Matthias Mansell, Mary Melvina (Churchfield), Margaret Ann (Gilliland), Homer Clark and Sarah Ellen (Church). In 1870 Joseph Roberts engaged as brakeman on the Brinton coal train on the Pennsylvania railroad, and after six weeks’ service was given charge of the train. With the exception of two years each at East Liberty and Brinton, as yardmaster, he has occupied the same position ever since. He is a member of the Conductors’ Brotherhood of the Pennsylvania railroad, relief department, and of the Royal Arcanum. His first vote was cast with the democrats, but he afterward became a republican, and is a supporter of the prohibition movement. In 1876 he married Margaret Kidd, who was born in Scotland. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Roberts are Andrew Kidd, John Franklin, Homer Clark and Isabella Bowman. Mr. Roberts and family are members of the M. E. Church.

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This family biography is one of 2,156 biographies included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.

View additional Allegheny County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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