Charles was the fourth child of Charles and Maggie Goodman Roberts, and my grandfather's brother. His is a tragic tale. He left these shores for America, arriving in New York in 1911. Things did not work out for him, and he died tragically at the home of his aunt, Elizabeth Storms at Solsville in 1918.



1887 - 1918

Cae Merddyn, Penmon
reproduced here by kind permission of illustrator
Kim Selene Davies
great great niece of Charles Goodman Roberts

More of Kimmy's Custom Art work can be found at;

A couple of years before my grandfather Owen John Roberts died, he spoke to me about his brother Charles. He told me that Charles had left home and had emigrated to America, where he died.

Taid gave me Charles' gold watch, and told me I could have it, with a request that I take good care of it. He also gave me a photograph of Charles' grave in New York.  

Charles Goodman Roberts

What Taid did not tell me was the tragic circumstances in which Charles died. No living member of the family knew the sad tale when it came to light as a result of my research into our family history.

Charles Goodman Roberts was born on the 18th March 1887, the fourth child of Charles and Maggie Goodman Roberts, of Cae Merddyn, Penmon.

Cae Merddyn

1891 census; Charles Goodman Roberts 39 of Beaumaris, lived at Cae Merddyn with wife Margaret 34 of Llangoed, Joseph T. G. 11 of Beamaris, Jabez 7, Charles G. 4 and Catherine 1, all of Penmon.

1901 census; Charles Goodman Roberts 49 a gardener, born in Beaumaris, lived at Cae Merddyn, (pictured left) with his wife Maggie Goodman Roberts 44, bricklaying son Jabez Lloyd Roberts 18, Charles Roberts 14, Katie Goodman Roberts 11, and Owen John Goodman Roberts 6. Maggie and their children were born in Penmon. All spoke both languages

Charles is pictured here with his mother at about the time of the 1901 census.

Charles, standing centre back with brothers Owen John (left), Jabez (right) and sisters
Katy (left) and Maggie (right) 

Charles Goodman Roberts.

The above photos are in memory of Eluned Mee, daughter of Jabez Lloyd Roberts, and supplied by Eluned's daughter, Judy Jones

In 1911, the family living at Cae Merddyn consisted of Charles Goodman Roberts, 58 was a gardener at a Gentleman's Residence, wife Maggie Goodman Roberts was 53, Jabez Lloyd Robers, 26 was a bricklayer, Charles Goodman Roberts, 24 was a carpenter, Katie Goodman Roberts was 21, and Owen John Roberts 16, was a gamekeeper. Charles and Maggie's grandson, Joseph Thomas Roberts aged 3 was also living with tyhem. He was the son of Joseph and Georgina Roberts.

At some point, Charles decided to leave home and travel to America, where he would stay with his Aunt Elizabeth Storm, wife of Albert V. Storm. Elizabeth was his mother's sister.

(Click here to read Lizzie's full story)

Lizzie was born on the 1st March 1857, daughter of Joseph and Margaret Jones, Cae Merddyn, Penmon. Around 1877, she married Owen Jones and they were tenants at Cae Merddyn. They moved to Llanberis.
Owen died. Lizzie returned to the Penmon area, and she and her young family were evicted from their home by the Massey family.
Lizzie married John Hughes and moved to Beaumaris. In 1901 the family were living in an Almshouse in Llanfaes. John died in 1908.
A year later, Lizzie emigrated to America, having replied to a job advert by Albert V. Storm for a housekeeper

Charles left home via Liverpool for New York on the 6th May 1911, travelling on The Arabic. The ship's records gives us this information about him.

Name    Charles Goodman Roberts
Ethnicity British, Wales
Place of Residence Beaumaris, Wales
Age on Arrival 22
Gender M
Marital status M
Ship of Travel Arabic
Port of Departure Liverpool, England 

Charles' marital status is given as married, although I have no evidence of a marriage.
The following Steerage Passenger entry for The Arabic, relates to Charles

to the United States Immigration Officer
by the Commanding Officer of any vessel having such passengers on board upon arrival at a port in the United States
Arriving at the Port of New York, May 15th 1911

Number on list 27
Whether having a ticket to such final
By whom was passage paid Self
Whether in possession of $50, and if less,
how much
Whether ever before in US, if so when
and where
Whether going to join a relative or friend;
and if so, what relative or friend,
and his name and complete address
Uncle Albert Storm, 
Leigh Centre, Oneida, NY
Polygamist No
Anarchist No
Condition of health, mental and physical Good
Deformed or crippled No
Height; 5'9"  Complexion; Fair  Hair;Fair
Marked ID; None 
Eyes: Brown
Father; Charles Roberts, Cae Merddyn, Penmon, Beaumaris, Wales
Final Destination; Rome New York
Read; Yes     Write; Yes
Departing from Liverpool; May 6th 1911

on which Charles crossed to America can be found at 


Click here to visit the NORWAY-HERITAGE site to read more
about life on board ship

The conditions for steerage passengers improved through time, as new ships were introduced by the great lines. On the White Star line ship Arabic, built in 1881, the steerage accommodation was in three sections, approached by separate entrances, and provided with separate lavatories, with an ample water supply kept in constant circulation by a pulsometer pump. The single men were all quartered in the main and lower deck forward, and between them and the married people there was a saloon accommodation and engine space. The single women were still further aft, and had their quarters entirely to themselves, and as they were in charge of experienced matrons and fully qualified surgeon, they were thoroughly well cared for in every respect. A hospital replete with every requirement was provided for every section and in addition there were two on deck for infectious cases. The steerage berths were of canvas. When not in use the berths could be compactly stowed away, the space vacated becoming available for tables and seats during the day. The steerage was also provided with a pantry, from which the emigrants could be supplied with tea and coffee made on the same principal as in the saloon, and for the women who wanted to make their own there was an ample supply for teapots and hot water. The invalid and sea sick passengers were not lost sight of, beef tea, chicken broth, and arrowroot being freely provided for them. The main deck, fore and aft, formed a promenade and recreation for the steerage passengers, while the saloon passengers had a special separate deck amidships, all mixing of classes thus being avoided.
Around the turn of the century it became more common to use the term "3rd class" for the low price accommodation, some ships even had "4th class"

Emigrants on route to America


Charles arrived at Ellis Island, New York, May 15th, 1911
Ellis Island is a place of names. Here millions of immigrants called out theirs for the first time - proud names, long names, names that would twist the tongue - before they stepped ashore onto America's soil. To most, Ellis Island was an Isle of Hope, a brief stopping point on the
way to a better life. To an unfortunate few, it became an Isle of Tears, a place of detention and possible rejection.
Click here to see a very informative site on Ellis Island


Charles sent 5 postcards to my grandfather, his brother Owen John Roberts.
Only 4 of them remain. In the 5th card he wrote 'I have every confidence that things will improve soon.' His concerns may well have been written on the 4th, missing card.
My grandfather was injured during the Great War. He returned to a Manchester hospital

Card 1.
229 West 23 St. N.Y. Dear brother,
I had your address from Jeb the other day. I was pleased to learn that you had arrived safely and that you had been sent by them to Manchester.
There will therefore be a better opportunity for Mam and others to come and see you. It was a shame that you didn't receive the letters I sent you because they were good ones. But perhaps some other little creature

Card 2.
enjoyed them having a smoke at the side of a trench or something. I had thought of sending you a letter, but after starting it, I thought you would like to see views of this town at the same time. Some six years or more ago when I arrived, I was moved from Oneida to the station for Rome immediately, because I came over in the third class

Card 3.
and my destination was Rome. I had no chance at all to see the town. I've been here two weeks so far, and have had good fun as there are three of us - one lad from Penmachno and the other from Llandwrog. This is an enormous place, and I've seen thousands of people, but I only know a few of them.
Well I was sorry to learn that you had been injured so badly

Card 4 is missing
Card 5.
going up in an elevator anf the men were at the bottom, visible only as spots moving around the town.
There are Welsh Chapels, one belonging to the Calvinitic Methodists, and the other to the Independents. You can see there are a lot of Welsh people about.
There are also different nationalities and languages. I have every confidence that it will get better soon. There are dozens of things I've never seen before. Thinking about you a lot,
Regards, your brother

Charles was lodging at 818 Floyd Avenue, with a William Thomas in 1918.
He had suffered with mental health problems and was about to be committed to the  State Hospital. One June day in 1918, he visited his Aunt and Uncle at Solsville, where a tragedy occurred

 UTICA, N.Y. Daily Press. June 27, 1918
Charles G. Roberts of Floyd Avenue
Takes Life on Farm Near Solsville

Rome June 24 - Charles G. Roberts, who boarded with William Thomas, 818 Floyd Avenue, hanged himself at the farm af Mrs Elizabeth Storm about a mile east of Solsville, Madison County tonight. The body was found by a nephew of the woman, John Hughes who made a statement to Coroner H. W. Thomasssen of Utica, who was summoned.
Mr Hughes stated that Mr Roberts, who had been a resident of Rome for the past six years, came to the farm a few days ago to visit. He had been feeling blue, but gave no indication that he contemplated taking his life.
Today he ate dinner and the last Mr Hughes saw of him alive was about 5 o'clock this afternoon, when he saw Roberts cutting wood near the barn. 
About 9 0'clock tonight, Mr Hughes passed the barn and looking in saw a body hanging from a rafter. He went in and found Roberts dead, Dr Grant Pollard of Oriakany Falls was summoned, who in turn notified the coroner
It is stated that several months ago, commitment papers were prepared to send Roberts to the State Hospital, but the man who prepared them died and nothing further was done about it.
Mr Roberts was a carpenter by trade and 31 years old. He leaves a mother, Mrs Margaret Roberts, a sister Kate and two brothers, Jabez and Owen J. Roberts in Wales 

The newspaper article does not mention his father, Charles Goodman Roberts, nor his brother Joseph Thomas G. Roberts, who were both alive at the time.

June 28,1918 Friday

Roberts; In Solsville, on Wednesday, June 26, 1918, Charles G. Roberts, aged 31 years.
Funeral at the home of Mrs Elizabeth Storm, in Solsville on Saturday at 1:00pm. The remains will be taken by automobile to Evergreen Cemetary, Stokes, for internment, leaving the home at 1:30 and reaching Rome at 2:45 


BORN MAR 18 1887
DIED JUNE 26 1918


Hotel Stanwix Hall, Rome ,New York

North James Street, Rome, New York

Y.M.C.A. Rome, New York

Bankers Trust Company Building
New York

Grace Church
New York City

Manhattan Hotel
New York City

St Paul's Chapel
New York City

Bowery, North of Grand Street, New York

North from Great Street. Formerly being a
place of congregation for many of the notorious
habitues of the underworld. The street is now a
thoroughfare that is an exit to the famous East
Side of New York. It is controlled very largely
by the Jewish and foreign element. The Bowery
has not yet lost its interest to the stranger, and
the name still holds as an old land-mark which
should be visited, tho many of its famous resorts
are no longer

Dear Sis, I am coming to see you tomorrow (Sunday)
So I would be pleased if you will meet the 3.45 train in Northgate.
I shall be alone as Walter is coming by a later train to the General S(tation).
Yours in haste with fond love
Katie x

Entrance to Central Park at 5th Avenue and
59th Street, New York City

   Lake and Boat House. Central Park, New York City

Hall of Records, New York City

Hotel Astor, New York City

Custom House, Boston, Mass.