Historic Archeological Investigations at Roberts Cemetery Near Troy, Bell County, Texas
A preliminary archeological investigation was conducted in 2008 at Roberts Cemetery near Troy, Texas, as part of the Texas Department of Transportation’s planned expansion of Interstate Highway 35. Mechanical trenching discovered one unmarked grave near the highway right of way, and this led to an extensive mechanical search of the eastern edge of the cemetery in 2012. Following the removal of the southbound access road and thick layer of artificial fill, five additional unmarked graves were discovered. Of the six unmarked graves, two are located in the cemetery property and were left in place, but the four burials inside the highway right of way were exhumed. They were reinterred in a nearby plot in Roberts Cemetery. Analyses of the mortuary items and skeletal remains indicate that the three adult males and one child were interred between 1895 and the late 1930s. DNA analyses were used to try and match the four interred individuals with possible living relatives, but the results were negative or inconclusive. Archival research provided historical context for Roberts Cemetery and defined the sequence of road expansions that impacted the east side of the cemetery in the twentieth century.