The story of Robert
Pyles and Sheriff Robert S. Pyles is a complex and confusing
one. Two stories were told me of this family, the first being that
Robert Pyles was the half-brother of the Sheriff. The second was that
the Sheriff had an illicit affair with Theresa Blue and fathered
children with her. However, a marriage record exists between Robert
Pyles and Theresa, not to mention she may have married quite a
According to the death
certificate of Robert Pyles filed in Glynn Co., Georgia, he was
born about 1882 and died 7 June 1930 at his home, Fancy Bluff. He was the
son of Robert & Mary Ann (Paldo) Jackson Pyles, and the
informant to his death was Adam Pyles, a possible brother.
The 1870 Camden County,
Georgia census lists a Mary Jackson age 22 years with two children
William age 3 years and Joseph P. age 1 year. I could not
find Robert Pyles, Sr. in the 1870 census, but did find a Robert
Powells age 26 years in Glynn County with a Caroline age 24
1880 Glynn County,
Georgia Census enumerates the household of Robert Pyles mulatto
aged 36 years with wife Mary age 38; son William age 14; son
Joseph age 10; son Thomas age 8 years; son John age 5
years; son Robert age 4 years; and son Adam age 1 year all
born in Georgia. It appears from this census, that Mary Jackson
and her two children are now part of this family. A Robert Pyles
and Mariann Jackson were married in Glynn County on 1 November 1872
(Book B pg. 49).
On 29 December 1900 in
Glynn County (Book D Colored Marriages pg. 100) a Robert Pyles and
Theresa Blue were married, then only two months later a Robert
Pyles and Julia Viola Belcher were married on 27 February 1901
(Book D Colored Marriages pg. 103). It appears from public records that
Robert and Theresa did not stay married long, but did this
Robert marry only two months later to another woman?
So, the question, were
the children listed with Robert Pyles in the 1920 census his and
Theresaís or his and Juliaís? He does not show up in any
census year with a wife but is listed as married in the 1910 census.
The 1910 Glynn County,
Georgia Census lists Fred Blue as the head of household with his
wife Ellen and daughter Theresa Blue and grandchildren
Helen, Estella, Geneva, and Adelia, the same children that are
listed in the 1920 household of Robert Pyles while living next door
to Andrew & Gussie Hippard. Theresa was supposedly
married to him as well, is she the Gussie with Andrew in
My records show, however,
that Augusta Blue was the daughter of a George & Fanny
Blue, that she was a separate person from Theresa. Augusta
Blue was married at least three different times, once to a Mr.
Gilliard, once to Andrew Dunham, and once to Andrew Hippard,
Sr. Not to mention that Theresa has a death certificate where
she is the wife of Andrew and Augusta has one as well.
Sheriff Robert Samuel
Pyles was born 6 September 1865, about 10 years before Robert
Pyles, Jr. The sheriff was the son of Henry W. & Elizabeth
(Berrie) Pyles and he married a woman named Julia Eberly around
1897. To this union was born one known child, Clara E. (Pyles) Curry,
wife of Chapman Kenton Curry. Sheriff Pyles died on 15 June
1935 and is buried in Palmetto Cemetery, his wife died 4 April 1953 buried
next to him.
The prominent Brookman
Community story was that Sheriff Pyles and Theresa Blue had
a long lasting relationship where children were born to them. This story
has been told to me by the white and black community without any
discrepancy. However, a new story was told me, that Sheriff Pyles
and Robert Pyles were brothers.
Iím finding the latter
story hard to believe due to public records information. Not only that,
but Robertís father, Robert Sr. was listed as mulatto in the
1880 census. I believe it probable that Robert Sr. was the brother
of Sheriff Pylesí father, making the Sheriff and Robert Jr.
If Theresa did
have an affair with the sheriff, why were her children living with her in
1910 and Robert Jr. in 1920? It would be a hard pill for him to
swallow, having to take care of his wifeís illegitimate children.
I do believe that some
relationship did exist between the two families, white and black, but the
exact relationship is very unclear. While I will not argue with the
family and their traditions, in my personal experience, most family
stories passed down, are unfounded in fact.