Roberts Elementary School opened in August 2010 in the city of Suwanee, joining the North Gwinnett Cluster. In naming the school, the Gwinnett County Board of Education honored a prominent family in early Gwinnett County - the Roberts family. Historical Society records, dating back to 1822, indicate that James and Sarah (Sallie) Roberts were among the First Families in Gwinnett County.
Family lore shares that Sallie Wisdom was a daughter of a wealthy Virginia planter. When she and James married in 1818, her dowry included four slaves. As James objected to slavery, he did not accept the dowry. He moved his new bride to North Carolina where the couple started their family. A few years later, James, Sallie, and their two small children left North Carolina in a two-wheel cart. They headed toward a new home, saying they, "would stop where the grass hits the horse’s belly." That apparently happened just north of Suwanee in Gwinnett County where the family put down roots. Looking at today's map, the old home-place, where James and Sallie raised their children, was located one-quarter mile east of Highway 23 on Roberts Road. In fact, Roberts Elementary School is built on land that was once part of the Roberts’ estate, previously owned by descendant John Henry Roberts.
James and Sallie Roberts are buried in the Old Suwanee Baptist Church Cemetery, but their legacy lives on. They were the forebears of a long line of descendants who would reside in Gwinnett County over the next 180 years as productive citizens. Many generations of the Roberts family lineage have contributed to the community as teachers and local business owners. A number of their descendants extended their contributions beyond Gwinnett County, serving our nation during World War I and in later conflicts, fighting for American freedom and liberty. The Roberts' descendents continue to make Gwinnett County their home today, carrying on a long tradition of commitment and dedication to the communities they serve in Gwinnett County.
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