Roberts, Ellis, Griffin, Phillips, and Murphy Family

Submitted by

Jonelle Ellis Russell




Roberts, Ellis, Griffin, Hill, Phillips, and Murphy Family  



     Georgianne (ROBERTS) ELLIS born 18 Aug 1865 in TN, daughter of Ben H. ROBERTS (1842 – circa 1901) and Sallie Lerzne Matilda (GRIFFIN) Roberts.  Her daughter Artie and other family members recalled her being buried in Blevins Cemetery.  Aunt Artie (ELLIS) Cohen, her niece Geneva (ELLIS) Lewis, nor I could not locate the grave.

     Ben H. (Henry) ROBERTS, son of Ben Roberts Jr. (circa 1808 -  ) and Mary HILL (circa 1806 - ),   was born 16 Apr 1842 in Virginia.  He, his father, and grandfather migrated to TN, where 25 Jul 1864, Ben married Sallie Lurzine Matilda GRIFFIN (24 NOV 1848 - 5 Jun 1929).  The family passed through several states before arriving in TX in the late 1890s. Ben is not identified in the 1900 Census of TX.

     Oral history indicates Ben H. ROBERTS had left his family in TX and traveled to OK before 1900.  The story is that he hanged himself in the woodshed of the "Lady" he was living with at the time.  His granddaughter told me the sons had his body shipped by to Texas for burial in Blevins Cemetery. The only record I found of a Ben H. Roberts in TX was a tax payment for one horse.

     Sally and some of the children moved to Collin County.  There are still a number of descendents still living in or near Falls County.  I think the only one I met was "Buddy" Roberts, who had a car dealership in Waco.   I think he died about 5 years ago.  I know some of the Roberts descendents are living in the area.  I met M. L. "Buddy" Roberts, son of Luther Roberts, grandson of Martin B. Roberts & Mrs. Mary Blagg nee? at his used car lot in Waco several years ago.

     My great aunt remembered when her mother died. Her description of the sounds of her mother's breathing lea me to believe she had a lung disorder.

     While I don't with any certainty that Georgianne and Ben are buried in the Blevins Cemetery, the oral family history strongly suggest they are.  Given the family economic status, I seriously doubt they could have afforded more than a field stone to mark the graves.  Joshua ELLIS was a share cropper.  Joshua Thomas with his sister, Sarah Clementine ELLIS are buried east of Waco in the in Robertson, Cemetery.  Sarah Clementine ELLIS never married.


     Joshua Thomas ELLIS, born 18 Feb 1844 in Cherokee County GA, migrated with his family to AR in the late 1850's with his parents. His parents originally settled on the Washington/Benton County line.  I am told that the soil in that area was poor and the property was sold and the family moved into Madison County.  He and two of his three brothers served in the Confederate Army.  He first married Mary Palestine Phillips (daughter of Capt. Samuel Grover & Lela Elizabeth (Johnson) PHILLIPS). Capt. Phillips was Joshua T's commending officer during the Civil War.

     Mary Palestine died in AR between 1880 & 1884, leaving her husband with five children.

     Joshua Thomas married Georgianne ROBERTS 1844. He moved to McLennan County some time after Georgianne's death.

     At least two of Georgianne's brothers, Walter & Claude and her Mother moved to Collin County, TX and are buried there.

     Their first child (my grandfather) Edward Marshall ELLIS is believed to have been born 20 Jan 1885. The family did not read or write and no record has been located to document birth dates of Joshua and Georgianne's children: Edward Marshall 1885 (AR)- 3 Oct 1947 in Waco burial Rosemond Cemetery.

     • Tom, b. 11 Sep 1886 (AR) – d. 1865 in Collin County TX, burial near his Uncle Claude Roberts and his grandmother, Sallie Lurzine Matilda (Griffin) Roberts in Melissa, TX

     • Leonard Lee, b. 4 Mar 1887 AR d. Dec 1970 Fort Worth, Tarrant County, TX

     • Ora Mae (Mrs. M. F. Murphy), b. 20 Jan 1888 AR d. 6 Sep 1984 San Antonio, Bexar County, TX

     • George Harl b. 11 May 1890 d. Feb 1967 Sherman, Grayson County, TX

     • Artie Delena (Mrs. Wm H. Cohen, divorced), b. 16 Sep 1893 AR d. 30 Sep 1979 Houston, Harris County, TX

     • Claud Duval b. 27 Mar 1900 TX d. 1977 - probably Nueces County TX