Ardelle Barbadoes Roberson

Eileen and Ardelle Wanso (later Roberson). circa 1901 in Worcester, MA
William Bullard, Mrs. Ardel C. Wanso and her daughter Eileen, courtesy of Frank Morrill, the Worcester Art Museum, and Clark University.

Ardelle was born on 30 April 1868 in Boston, MA. She married William Gloster Wanso (1872-1905) on 23 December 1897 in Worcester, MA. The couple had one child, Eileen Wanso (also recorded as Arlene Roberson), who was born about 1899. The couple divorced and William moved to Philadelphia where he later died in 1905. 

Ardelle then married John Roberson on 8 November 1901 in Clinton, MA. Their son, Ralph Roberson, married Nipmuc Julia Almira Hazzard. 

Ardelle was the granddaughter of well-known community leader and abolitionist, James George Barbadoes. James was one of the founders of the Massachusetts General Colored Association and supported William Lloyd Garrison in the founding of the New England Antislavery Society. In 1833, Barbadoes traveled to Philadelphia  as a delegate to the 1st Annual Convention of Free People of Color. The American Antislavery Society, with Garrison as its head, was formed as a result of this convention and its delegates.

The last record I have of Ardelle is the 1920 Federal Census for Worcester, MA where she is listed as the head of her household with daughters Arlene and Millie Roberson and son Ralph Roberson.


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