The beautiful Eclipse on Thursday night took us by surprise. The weather has been so charming, that we had no occasion to consult the Almanac for “signs,” and hence the first intimation of the phenomenon we derived from the darkened face of the Moon herself. It was almost a total eclipse, a very narrow rim of light appearing on the lower edge of the Moon. The shadow passed oft about half-past 9. Tough the shrouded Queen of Night threw a cold and melancholy light on the ground, it did not , as far as we saw, affect, in the least, the minds or feelings of our fellow-citizens. There was as much joyous laughter or brooding discontent, as if there had really been no no eclipse. Very few persons, in these days of steam, are subject to “skyey influences.”
The lunar eclipse took place on 14 November 1845, less than a week later Henry RUPE would sit down to write his last will and testament on 19 November 1845.
A very short time later, at the age of eighty, Henry died suddenly of heart failure while out walking on the farm. He was buried on the homeplace. His death took place between the writing of his will on 19 November 1845 and 1 December 1845, the day of probate.
The Last Will and Testament
In they name of God Amen.
I Henry Roupe seigneor of they County of Mountgomery and State of Virginia, now
being in my perfect mind and memmory, and Knowing that it is so appointed
for man once to dye, dwo heareby make and ordain this my last Will and
Testatment that is to say after all my just debts and funeral charges are paid
I gave and bequeath unto my beloved wife Catherine they one third parte of
all my lands, one cow, one bed, and one flax whele, also all they grain
“Will Book 7, pg 285” was written on the photocopy by Louise or the clerk who copied the page
pg. 286 “Examined” was written in the margin
and weate that I now have, and one small oven. I also gave unto
Nancy Roupe one bauro, one loome and all they reads and harness belonging
thereto and all my part of they shepe, and one pot and oven also one cow
and yearling and one flax whele, they ballance of my personal estate to be
sold on a creaddet of one yeare and if William Roupe my sone will take they
hundred akers of land that he is now living on for his part of they hole of
my estate, he has they priveeledges so to dwo and if not that is to be sold
with they rest of my lands on as creaddet of one and two years by they purchased
giving bod [bond] and approved security and they money arising from they proceeds
of such sails to be eaquelly dividded amoungst all my children and
at they decese of my wife Catherene Roope they ballance of they lands
that is now left oft to her to geather with they personal estate that may
bee in hur hans to bee sold as above mentioned and they money arising
from such sails to beaqually divided amongst all my children as above
mentiond. I also enommenate, constitute and appoint my son Jacob Roupe
my trew and lawful executor. In witness whereof I have heareunto set my
hand and seal this 18th day of November 1845.
Henry his mark Roupe seal
John M. Walters
Danile his mark Peterman
At a Court held for Montgomery County the 1st day of December 1845
The Last Will and Testament of Henry ROUPE, as his name was written, was photocopied by Louise Akers and included in her book. Although she placed a transcription in the front of the book, I did my own from the photocopy in the book in hopes of perhaps finding a missing clue and to better understand the many misspellings. [To-do: A better copy of the document needs to be obtained. Check the next page of the Will Book for a possible continuation of the last line.]
Other Probate Records
Following the transcript of the will Louise also included the Will Book number and page of associated probate records. She abstracted the names of persons who bought items of the estate but did not include a list of these items or prices paid. Images of these records were not included in the book.
- WB 7:301 is a list of personal estate
- WB 7:307 is a sale bill. Some names listed are Joseph ROOP, Daniel PETERMAN, Martin DOBBINS, Jos. W. ROOP, Gaspar ALBRIGHT, James AKERS, Wm ROOP, Elswick AKERS, Christopher WILLART, Wm C. BOOTH, Paul T. WOODARD, J. B. PHARES, Wm SMITH, Edward AKERS, Catherine ROOP, Elizabeth COMPTON, Joseph ROOP, Joel W. PEPPER, Charles HOWARD, Isom DOBBIN, Crockeett ROOP, John ELLIOTT.
- WB 8:284 final estate settlement. It showed a balance of 1204.07 and dated 31 Dec 1850.
What Henry’s Will Told Me
Transcribing makes the words sink in. I don’t have an inventory of his estate or a copy of the sale bill of his estate, but I realized in his last will my 5th great-grandfather Henry told me a bit about the work the ladies in his household did.
To his wife Catherine he left one cow, one bed, one flax wheel, all the grain and wheat, and one small oven. To his youngest daughter Nancy he left one burro, all his part of the sheep, one cow and yearling, one loom with its reeds and harnesses, one pot and oven, and one flax wheel.
What kind of beds did the family have? Single, three-quarter, or full sized? Walnut, maple or pine? Four poster beds with trundle beds underneath? High, low, turned, ringed or carved bedposts? Plain or shaped headboards? Home-made or bought? Being a large family they probably hand-made all their furnishings and may not have had the time or inclination after all the hard work to fancy up the bedposts with carvings.
A housewife’s work included hours in the kitchen working the stove or oven. Baking, frying, roasting, and boiling pails and pails of water for bathing, washing, and even scalding pigs for slaughter. Cleaning, butchering and preparing game brought home by the men. Caring for the animals, milking cows, producing butter, tending the garden, shearing sheep, spinning and weaving cloth. All the time with children afoot.
In his last will and testament Henry mentioned only his wife Catherine, daughter Nancy, son William and his oldest son Jacob whom he named executor. The money arising from the sale of the estate was to be equally divided among all his children but they were not named. Linda Pearl Dickey Roop wrote in her research notes, “Named in his will and settlement of the estate (Floyd Co, Va.3-Feb-1850) were his wife Catherine, sons: Jacob, John, Henry Jr., William, Samuel, James, Joseph, and George. Daughters: Barbary, Catherine Jr., Mary, Rachael, Nancy, and Elizabeth.” Henry’s son James ROOP, my 4th great-grandfather, was living in Floyd County at the time of his father’s death. Could probate records have been included in the county due to James’ living there?
He left a large estate and his son, Jacob, was named as Executor in his will. On account of there being so many heirs widely scattered over the country it required several years to wind up the estate. It was said that Jacob almost despaired a number of times before the estate was finally settled and once in his desperation exclaimed “Well, it has been so troublesome and vexatious that I am almost sorry that old gentleman ever died.”
To be continued….
 Richmond enquirer. (Richmond, Va.), 18 Nov. 1845. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84024735/1845-11-18/ed-1/seq-4/ : accessed 1 April 2016)
 Everette L. McGrew, My Mother Was A Rupe (revised edition August 2000).
 Louise Roop Anderson Akers, comp., The Family Rub, Rup, Rupe, Roop, Roope (2001 Printed by Jamont Communications, 339 Luck Ave., Roanoke, VA 24016). Citing Montgomery County, Virginia, Will Book 7 on pages 25 and 286.
 William Lowing Kimerly, How to Know Period Styles in Furniture; A Brief History of Furniture from the Days of Ancient Egypt to the Present Time, Grand Rapids Furniture Record Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan 1912. (https://archive.org/stream/howtoknowperiods00kimeiala#page/140/ : accessed 13 April 2016)
 New-York Tribune. (New-York [N.Y.]), 01 Dec. 1841. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030212/1841-12-01/ed-1/seq-4/ : accessed 13 April 2016)
 History of American Textiles : With Kindred and Auxiliary Industries (illustrated), publisher Frank P. Bennett, Boston, Mass. 1922.(https://archive.org/stream/historyofamerica1922bost#page/20/mode/2up : accessed 13 April 2016)
© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.