About Jessie Roberts

Roberts, Jessie Mary


Jessie was born in Deniliquin on 31st May 1876, the daughter of Mary Ann (Marianne) (1831-1885) and John Roberts (1811-1889), a Baker from Linlithgow Scotland. Her parents were married in Deniliquin in 1872.

Her sister Isabel Rose Roberts (1872-1877) was born in Deniliquin in 1872 but died there four years and eight months later in 1877.

Her mother died when she was just eight and a half and her father died 4 years later. Both are buried in the Deniliquin Cemetery. Her mother’s grave was renewed in 2011 and celebrated in a “cemetery walk” that year.

It is believed that Jessie was then taken in under the wing of a Perrin family member, who would have been her step brothers and sisters from her mother’s first marriage to Mark Perrin.

She won a book prize for scripture at school at about the age of 13, and later moved to Hay to take up employment in about 1898.

Jessie was employed at Mr. Rawnsley’s Confectionary store and was provided with accommodation adjoining the business there.  In July 1900, aged 23 years old and not yet married, she appeared in the Hay Court as a witness in a matter regarding a theft by a Mr.  Carter. (The Riverine Grazier, Hay, NSW, Friday 3 Aug 1900, page 2.)

While working in Hay she met, and later in 1902 married, local builder Harry Rowley Emerson.

They had two daughters Marion Isobel and Jean Alva. She spent many years doing volunteer work for the Red Cross. In 1947 Harry sold his building business and retired and they moved to the sea side suburb of Cronulla on the southern side of Sydney.

Jessie maintained contact with her Deniliquin Perrin step-family throughout her lifetime and loved to receive visits from them when living in Cronulla. She died in a nursing home at Lindfield, Sydney on the 4th August 1973 at the ripe old age of 97. Her ashes have been interred at the Woronora Cemetery, Sutherland along with those of her husband’s, Harry Emerson.


(Courtesy – Pamela Bryant and David Brunker.)

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