WELCOME TO THE FAMILY!
We are humbled by a mist that hides much of the past from our eyes. Whence came we? What can we hope for tomorrow and for the future generations? These questions and gleanings from the past should inspire and challenge us as a family . . . Read More
Those words were written by one of our founding fathers, and they begin a story that is filled with amazing pride, elegant history, reverence, and a love for family that runs deep within our bones. Join us as we celebrate and marvel at our glorious family heritage.
Each year the members of this large and illustrious family gather together in the North Carolina counties of Cleveland and Mecklenburg to celebrate their heritage, and marvel at their growth and accomplishments. The 109th reunion of the Roberts, Borders, Mauney, Howell, Briggs and Related Families will take place on August 1st - 3rd, 2014 at the Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel and the Shelby City Park in Shelby, North Carolina.
Family members from far away as Washington state, and as near as the counties of Cleveland and Mecklenburg of North Carolina will gather again for the annual weekend of fellowship and remembering. We hope you will join us again also.
109th Reunion - August 1-3, 2014
See the complete lineup of events on the Events page.
As retold each year in the Family Reunion program. Photo from the 100th Reunion Souvenir Journal
The ancestors of the Roberts, Borders, Mauney, Howell, Briggs and Related Families were not all kin, but were fellow slaves from various plantations in Cleveland County, North Carolina. We are the descendants of these former slaves and former slave owners. Our history records include the slave owner family names of Roberts, Borders, Fulenwider, Magness, Weir, Mauney, Beam, and Briggs.
The matriarch of our family is Silvy Fulenwider Magness Roberts who had seven daughters (known as the "Seven Sisters") and one son, born between the late 179O's and the early 1800's. The "Seven Sisters" were named Sylvia Roberts, Delilah Dillingham Beam (b.1799), Fannie Briggs (b.1803), Kitty Bird Roberts (b.1804), Betsy Forney (b.1806), Priscilla Mauney (b.1814), and Martha Roberts Howell (b.1819). Her son Josh did not reach maturity.
The patriarchs of our family were the male slaves named Emanuel Roberts, Big George Roberts, Isaac Roberts (b.1794), Big Bob Roberts (b.1815), Aaron Roberts, Simpson Roberts, and Little Bob Roberts. Big George and Simpson married two of Silvy's daughters, Kitty Bird and Martha. Martha's second husband was Solomon Howell.
The descendants of these seven sisters and seven male slaves toiled together as family and developed a kinship for one another so much so that Wesley Mauney (b.1846), John Wesley Roberts (b.1862), and Eli Borders Roberts (b.1840), all descendants of related slaves, organized a family reunion to include as one family all descendants of the "Seven Sisters" and "Great Slave Fathers". Wesley Mauney was the son of Priscilla Mauney, Eli was the son of Martha Roberts, and J.W. Roberts was the grandson of Big George and Kitty Bird Roberts. The wife of J.W. Roberts (Ida Roberts) was the granddaughter of Emanuel Roberts.
The first reunion was held at the home of Wesley and Naomi Mauney in 1906. For many years, the reunion was held at the homestead of Mason and China Roberts (son of Eli and Sarah Roberts) in Cleveland county. The accomplishments of this great family are numerous. Wesley Mauney is credited for building numerous schools and churches, and dedicating his life to improving the quality of life for his people. John Wesley Roberts was an elder in the CME Zion Church and founded Roberts Tabernacle CME church in Shelby, NC. Eli Roberts was a great land owner who donated land for the Borders School and Holly Oak Park in Shelby.
Members of our family have become preachers, teachers, doctors, nurses, lawyers, legislators, engineers, pilots, artists, writers, and in general, outstanding American citizens.