Currituck County Photographs
Alma Mae (Owens) Roberts
22 July 1907 - 11 Feb. 1981
Owens (b. 22 July 1907 - d. 11 Feb 1981) was born in Olds, NC and was the
daughter of Nathan O’Neal Owens (b. 30 Jan 1866 - d. 5 Apr 1933) and
May Walker (b. 1 May 1881 - d. 25 Oct 1945) who were married 13 Aug 1902.
Alma’s father, Nathan Owens was appointed as the first "Bird and Game
Warden" for Currituck County on 29 Oct 1904 by Governor Charles B. Aycock.
Alma had one brother, Samuel Walker Owens (b. 3 Aug 1917 - d. 13 Apr 1996), also born in Olds, NC. Sam Owens married Rae Sarah Clay Seward (b. 12 Jul 1921) and they had two boys and two girls. Sam and Alma and their families maintained a close relationship throughout their lives.
Alma graduated from Poplar Branch High School in 1924. She attended Southern Shorthand and Business University in Norfolk, VA boarding with a cousin, Ree Land, for a while before returning home.
Alma Owens married George Frank Roberts (b. 23 Apr 1903 - d. 27 Nov 1989) on 16 July 1927. Frank was the oldest of 12 children of James Monroe Roberts (b. 10 Jan 1878 - d. 1 Feb 1962) and Ida Charlotte Perkins (b. 15 Jan 1881 - d. 14 Dec 1961). Frank and Alma had three children, George Frank Roberts, Jr. (b. 10 Nov 1933), Elizabeth Halstead Roberts (b. 31 July 1936), and Nathan Monroe Roberts (b. 23 Jan 1940 - d. 26 Apr 1985) Frank, Jr. married Rebecca Hamlen and they had one son. Elizabeth married Vernon Burgess, Jr. and they had a daughter and a son. Nathan married Sandra Capps and they had two daughters.
Frank was a farmer and in 1943 he purchased the home built by and farm formerly owned by the late J. L. DeCormis located at Corner Gum, NC between Shawboro and Sligo. This is where Frank and Alma lived, farmed, and reared their children. The family attended Providence Baptist Church in Shawboro.
It is interesting to note that the DeCormis house is located across the road from the site of the former Corner Gum Academy where both Frank and Alma's mothers, Ida Perkins Roberts and Bessie Walker Owens, both attended school and graduated in the same year. Ida and Bessie were the same age and married in the same year, 1902. They were lifelong friends. Frank and Alma first met when Frank drove his mother in a Model-T from Shawboro to see Alma's mother in Jarvisburg.
Alma was a free lance reporter and wrote and took photographs for The Ledger Dispatch and The Virginian Pilot. She was a charter member of the Currituck Historical Society. She did extensive research on the genealogy of many of the families of Currituck. She had a keen interest in local history and was extremely well read. In 1960 she collaborated with Alice Flora photographing and writing descriptions and brief histories of all the homes in Currituck thought to be 100 years old or older at that time. She was also a collector of local historical artifacts and documents. She would often receive queries from people searching for information about their Currituck ancestry and wrote letters and short stories prolifically.
After Frank retired from farming, he and Alma began to spend winters in Lake Wales, FL. Alma was active in the local writers club there. During the winter months she maintained close contact with her family and friends in Currituck and elsewhere by way of frequent letters. In the summer months she corresponded from Currituck with her friends who wintered in Lake Wales. Alma died in Lake Wales, FL. Her funeral was at Providence Baptist Church in Shawboro and she and Frank are both buried in West Lawn Cemetery in Elizabeth City, NC. Many families in Currituck are greatly appreciative of all the work that Alma O. Roberts did researching, documenting, and preserving the rich heritage of Currituck County, NC.
Photo and information kindly submitted by Anne Burgess Jennings. No part of this document may be used for any commercial purposes. However, please feel free to copy any of this material for your own personal use and family research. Images are for personal use only, not for redistribution.