The New Beatty Project

The Three Children of John S. Baty
Submitted by Elizabeth Williams, Beverley Key and Laurel Baty for Lineage 252)

A few Bible pages, public records, and the U. S. census provide our only knowledge of the earliest years. John S. Baty and Mary Alice Copeland Baty were married in White County, Tennessee, on April 24, 1845. Their first child Silas Ledbetter Baty was born on September 18, 1847. The 1850, U. S. Census shows they lived close to the home of Mary's father James W. Copeland in White County, Tennessee. The Baty's second child Margaret Elizabeth was born on February 22, 1850. In the 1850, U. S. Census baby Margaret Elizabeth is found in the nearby Dodson/Denton household. Tragically for this young family, on October 15, 1853, John S. Baty died untimely at age 27. Shortly thereafter Mary gave birth to their third child, a son John A Baty on November 15, 1853. In a few years, misfortune again struck the three Baty children, when their mother Mary also passed away on August 15, 1858.

The orphaned Baty children were then raised in the home of Mary's father James W. Copeland until they were ready to live independently. Our records show the Copeland family relocated from White County, Tennessee, to Morgan County, Alabama, in the fall of 1859. In the U. S. Census for 1860, the three Baty children are in the home of their grandfather in Morgan County, Alabama, together with his own family and the family of his widowed daughter Elizabeth Copeland Sparkman. This caring grandfather and his second wife Margaret made room in their home for a number of family members when needed. However, as time went by, their children and grandchildren moved on, establishing their own homes. By the time of the US Census in 1870, their grandson John A. Baty was the only young person still living in the Copeland's home.

Silas, Sarah, and their first baby, Martha, about 1870

On January 29, 1868, Silas married his beloved Sarah Whitfield in Lawrence County, Alabama. They remained together until her death in 1909. Together they had seven children, five of whom lived to adulthood and survived Silas and Sarah. Two children Martha their first and Johnie died when still toddlers. In 1880, Silas and Sarah resided in Morgan County, AL. In the early 1890's, they relocated to Birmingham, AL. Silas, successful in his occupation as a master brick mason and contractor was able to provide his family with a comfortable life for the times. He was a member of the Methodist Church. Perhaps losing his parents so early taught him to value more dearly and continue contacts with his kin. Numerous snapshots have been passed down showing Silas visiting relatives in North Alabama after he moved to Birmingham. A newspaper article records a family gathering on his birthday, and family photos record continued close ties to his four sons William Copeland Baty, Charles Anderson Baty , James Irby Baty, and Robert Olin Baty and one daughter Mary Alice Baty Burson, throughout his life. Silas Baty died at the home of his daughter in 1931. We have posted pictures of Silas and Sarah including an old tintype about 1871, and a picture from a family gathering about 1908.

  Family gathering in 1908, including Silas and Sarah in the back, William Copeland Baty and his wife Birda, Mary Alice Baty Burson and Walter Burson, Charles Anderson Baty, James Irby Baty and and three Baty grandchildren.


On April 5, 1868, Margaret Elizabeth Baty married George Washington Roberts, in Morgan County, Alabama, and their union lasted until her death in 1894. George Roberts, was born in White County, Tennessee, but settled in Neel, Alabama, on Iron Man Road after the Civil War. In the 1860, U. S. Census, he was in  White County, Tennessee, with his parents. During the Civil War, he was enrolled as a Private of Captain Rufus Dowdy, Company (K), fourth Regiment of Tennessee Mounted Infantry, USA, on January 20, 1865, and served until honorably discharged on August 25, 1865, at Nashville, Tennessee. George W. Roberts later became a prosperous merchant and farmer in Neel, Alabama. A mother of eleven children, Margaret Elizabeth was a member of the M. E. Church and lived as a consistent Christian up to the day of her death. She professed faith in Christ in early life and was gentle and Christ like, living what she preached. She was buried at Johnson Chapel Cemetery in Morgan County, Alabama, in the presence of a large congregation of relatives and friends. Her funeral was preached by the Rev. G. W. Roberts, assisted by Bro. F. A. Roberts, who said many good things about her life and character, reassuring her husband and children that she had gone home to Heaven where we may one day meet her. Silas and his family remained close to Margaret and her family through the years. Margaret Baty Roberts has many descendants living today, but unfortunately not many pictures of her have survived.

We have an old tintype of Margaret with her children (Margaret holding Johnnie, Ettie, Elisha, and Lona) and have also posted a picture of Margaret's adult children at a reunion.

The Roberts siblings from left to right are John Howell Roberts, William 'Hurd' Roberts, Essie Rosalee Key, Sallie Mae Betterton, Daisy Catharine Woodall, Lona Ann Shaw, Madgie Pearl Edwards, and Ettie Carr Wallace. Two other siblings died before this 1940, photo was made: Elisha Monroe Roberts, Gracie Glenn Neathery.
John A. Baty, tintype taken in the early 1870's
Our family has little information about John A. Baty, after the early 1870's. In the 1870, census he was in the home of his grandfather James W. Copeland. In 1872, he married Sarah M. Bruce in Lawrence County, Alabama. We have an old tintype believed to be of John A. Baty, and are interested in receiving further information about his life and any descendants.


Research and correspondence team for Lineage 252:
Elizabeth Williams (, Beverley Key (, and Laurel Baty (