Henry RUPE’s Estate and his Widow Catherine’s Last Days

“Well, it has been so troublesome and vexatious that I am almost sorry that old gentleman ever died.” ~ Jacob ROOP, executor of the last will and testament of Henry RUPE [1]

Henry RUPE’s last will and testament did not mention how much land he had when he died. In At Home on the Old Henry Roop Place we learned Henry RUPE had acquired at least 1,147 acres between 1804 and 1826 in Montgomery County, Virginia. Although the RUPP, RUPE, ROOP line has been researched by at least a half a dozen serious researchers[2] I have not heard of a single land record which refers to Henry RUPE selling or gifting land in Virginia during his lifetime. A visit to the county court house and/or state archives is not planned for anytime in the near future. I would however be grateful to anyone willing to share new record finds.

It is not known if Henry gave each of his children land outright or allowed them to live on his land when they married, became independent, or started families (as three of his daughters did without bothering to marry). In his will he mentioned only a tract of 100 acres which his son William lived on:

…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…[3]

Perhaps 100 acres was the amount of land he subdivided for his children to use until they decided to settle elsewhere.

The earliest map I could find gives “the names and locations of many of the early a adventurers in the territory – from 1750 to 1865” but does not show the location of Henry Rupe’s mill. I did however find several Civil War period maps which have Roope’s Mill marked to the west of Ryner and southwest of Auburn which would later become Riner.

Civil War – Map of Montgomery County.[4]

Old Henry Roop Place on Google MyMaps

Zoom in (blue marker above) to see the Old Henry Roop place (below)

MRIN00553 Henry Rupe homeplace
The “Old Henry Roop Place.” Photo courtesy of Roger S. ROOP. Used with permission.

The First Census Following Henry’s Death

Before we go on to the records left after the death of Henry RUPE I would like to discuss a peculiarity of the 1850 census.

In 1850 Henry’s children Jacob, Henry Jr., Caty’s widower Jacob Akers, William, Samuel, Rachel Pharis, and Joseph were living in Montgomery County. James was in Floyd County and John was in Pulaski County. These nine were found on the census. George was living in Indiana but has not been located on the census. Widow Catherine and daughters Elizabeth Compton, Barbara, Mary, and Nancy were not located in 1850. The daughters were still living as will be seen below and should have been enumerated with under-aged and/or unmarried children. Three of William’s sons aged between 14-18 were also missing from the 1850 census. As this seems quite peculiar I would like to throw out a theory: Henry’s widow Catherine, her widowed daughter Elizabeth, her three unmarried daughters and their children, and William’s unmarried sons (their father had remarried in 1846) may have all been living together and working on the home place in 1850 but were missed by the census taker. Is this too farfetched? Why else would they have been missed?

Old Henry Roop Place is Mentioned in These Deeds

Louise Akers included three deeds in her compilation[3] on the family which show Henry RUPE must have owned 406 acres at the time of his death and his wife Catherine had use of 1/3 or 138 acres until her death. It must be noted that these three deeds do not mention all of the children of Henry RUPE and Catherine Barbara NOLL.

MRIN00553 1851 Apr 12 sale of land from Barbara Roop to Henry Roop deedtinyBarbara ROOP and Henry R. ROOP sold their share of the tracts of land know as the old Henry Roop place to Jacob ROOP, executor of his father’s will, on 12 April 1851. [3]

Deed Book 8 p. 52 (Examined is written in the margin)
Roop & al to Jacob Roop
This deed made this 12th day of April 1851 between Barbara Roop and Henry R. Roop of the county of Montgomery and state of Virginia of the one part and Jacob Roop of the other part witnesseth that in consideration of the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars to them paid by the said Jacob Roop the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged the said Barbara Roop and the said Henry R. Roop do grant unto the said Jacob Roop all the right title and interest in and to these tracts of land know as the old Henry Roop place and which descended from him to his Heirs lying on the head waters of mill creek in the county of Montgomery adjoining the lands of William Smith, George Surface and others. Together by estimation containing about four hundred and six acres be the same more or less and the said Henry R. Roop and Barbara Roop covenant that they will _ a warrant the property hereby conveyed. Witness the following signatures and seals the day and date first above written.
.                                                       Barbara her x mark Roop Seal
.                                                       Henry R. Roop Seal
Signed sealed delivered in the presence of us
Wm Smith
John Whaland

In the clerks office of Montgomery County Court the 5th day of May 1851. This deed of bargain to ale from Barbara Roop and Henry R. Roop of to Jacob Roop was delivered to me and proven by the oath of the witnesses thereto __ and admitted to ___.
R. D. Montague C.

MRIN00553 1851 June 14 sale of land to Jacob Roop by siblings deedtinyElizabeth COMPTON, John ROOP, Henry ROOP, Nancy ROOP and Polly ROOP sold their interest in the Old Henry Roop place to their brother Jacob ROOP on 14 June 1851.[3]

Deed Book, pg. (not given)
Cumpton & al to Jacob Roop
This deed made this 14th day of June in the year 1851 between Elizabeth Cumpton, John Rupe Roop, Henry Roop, Polly Roop and Nancy Roop one part and Jacob Roop of the other part. Witnesseth that for and in consideration of full value paid by the said Jacob Roop, to the said John Rupe, Henry Roop, Polly Roop, Nancy Roop & — the acceipt whereof is hereby acknowledged and of a grant onto the said Jacob Roop by deed with general warranty a ? and each of rights, title & Interest in and to three tracts or parcels of land known as the old Henry Roop place the same lately owned by Henry Roop and which descended from him to his heirs lying on the head waters of mill creek in the county of Montgomery adjoinging the lands of William Smith, George Surface & others together containing by estimation about 406 acres more or less Witness the following signature & seals.
Charles Litten
William Roop                           Elizabeth her x mark Cumton Seal
.                                                   John his x mark Roop Seal
.                                                   Henry his x mark Roop Seal
.                                                   Nancy her x mark Roop Seal
.                                                   Polly her x mark Roop Seal
Montgomery County to wit
I William C. Taylor a Justice of the peace in the county aforesaid in the state of Virginia do hereby certify that Polly Roop a party to (the rest of this line was cut off on the photocopy as well as some text along the right side of the deed)

Are Henry R. ROOP, in the deed dated 12 April 1851, and Henry ROOP, in the deed dated 14 June 1851, the same person? Henry R. ROOP appears to have signed his name while Henry ROOP left his mark. Could the middle initial have been copied incorrectly into the record book? Could this have been George’s son Henry B. RUPE who may have been taking care of business for his father who lived in Indiana?

MRIN00553 1860 Jan 12 Jacob Roop to Joseph Roop land deedtinyOn 12 January 1860 Jacob ROOP sold 138 acres, a part of the Old Henry Roop place, to his brother Joseph ROOP.[3]

Deed Book (number illegible), pg. 520
Jacob Roop to Joseph Roop
This deed made the 12th day of January 1860 between Jacob Roop of the first part and Joseph Roop of the other and both of the County of Montgomery and State of Virginia. Witnesseseth that in consideration of the sum of three hundred and eighteen dollars paid in hand by the said Joseph Roop to the said Jacob Roop the said Jacob Roop doth doth grant unto the said Joseph Roop all his interest consisting of two thirds in a certain tract piece or parcel of land lyin and being in the county aforesaid on the waters of Mill creek known as the Widow’s Dower in the tract of land of Henry Roop decd and containing one hundred and thirty eight acres and Bounded as follows. Beginning at a stake at the foot of a hill and runing N 50 1/2° 134 pl. to two white oaks & a black oak N 1° E 28 pl. to a white oak N 51° E 70 po. to a stake on a hill and N 62 E 20 po. to a stake near the top of a ridge N 47° E 36 po. to 2 pines corner to Smiths land and with it N 35 W 14 po. to 2 red oaks N 39 W 46 po to a black oak, white oak and hickory on Smith’s line. S. 61 W 116 po. to a stake in a field thence S. 46 W 187 po. cross the mill dam to a stake in a field by a road S 36 E 11 po. to a white oak by a road S 7 E 21 po. to a white oak sapling S 23° E 60 po. to the begining. And the said Jacob Roop doth convenant to and with the said Joseph Roop to warrant the aforementioned land with general waranty. Witnesseth the following signatures and seals.
.                                                                         Jacob Roop seal
State of Virginia
Montgomery County to-wit:
I William A. Stone a Justice of the peace for the county aforesaid in the state of Virginia do certify that Jacob Roope whose name is signed to the writing above bearing date the 12th day of January 1860 has been acknowledged before me in my County aforesaid. Given under my hand this 14th day of January 1860.                                                                   W. A. Stone J.P.
In the Clerks Office of Montgomery County Court the 21st day of June 1860
In the left margin: Examined & delivered to Jos. Roop

When Did Henry’s Widow Catherine Die?

Henry’s son Jacob ROOP was still settling his father’s estate in January 1860 when the Widow’s Dower went to the youngest son Joseph. Could this mean their mother was recently deceased?

There has been much speculation about when Catherine Barbara NOLL died. She was not found in the 1850 census, as discussed above, the 1860 census, or the Mortality Schedule for 1859-1860, the year prior to the enumeration of the 1860 census.

Redmond Ira Roop his speech in 1927 said she died in 1861 at the age of 95. It is unlikely she died after her son Joseph bought the Widow’s Dower. Could she have died just before 12 January 1860? I hope her death may have been noted in a batch of chancery records which are not yet available online.

After Catherine’s death a chancery case was “going on” up until 1870 between John ROOP etc. and Jacob ROOP, Executor of Henry’s will. I found this indexed on the Library of Virginia site however the scanned images are not yet available online. The will of Henry RUPE was submitted as evidence per the index. The surnames mentioned are AKERS, CHANDLER, COMPTON, PHARIS, ROOP (various spellings), SILVERS, and SMITH. Akers, Compton and Pharis were the married names of daughters Caty, Elizabeth and Rachel. Chandler was the married name of Caty’s daughter Catherine and Silvers was the married name of her daughters Narcissa, Ruth and Lucinda. Caty’s children are most likely mentioned as she died before 1850. This is, of course, speculation on my part as I have not seen the images with the surnames which were indexed.

The Henry and Catherine Rupe Family Cemetery

Using Google MyMaps (above) I was able to pinpoint the exact location of the cemetery on the old homeplace using the Civil War period maps with the location of the “Roope Mill,” the descriptions on the land deeds mentioned in At Home on the Old Henry Roop Place, and Roger S. Roop’s photos.

MRIN00553 Henry Rupe Family Cemetery courtesy of Roger S. Roop
The family cemetery on the “Old Henry Roop Place.” Photo courtesy of Roger S. ROOP. Used with permission.
MRIN00553 Henry_Catherine_Null__Rupe_Family_Memorial1
Photo courtesy of Roger S. ROOP. Used with permission.

Catherine was buried on the Old Henry Roop place next to her husband Henry. Louise Roop Anderson Akers used the proceeds from her book The Family Rub, Rup, Rupe, Roop, Roope (2001) to buy a memorial marker for the spot believed to be the final resting place of Henry RUPE and his wife Catherine Barbara NOLL. Although it includes the names of all of their children only Henry, Catherine, their youngest son Joseph and some of his family were buried in the Henry & Catherine Rupe Family Cemetery outside of Riner, Virginia.

This concludes the family history of Henry RUPE, the youngest son of the immigrant Johann Jacob RUPP. It is now time to cross the Atlantic Ocean and go back to the roots of the Rupp family in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg in present-day France.

[1] Everette L. McGrew, My Mother Was A Rupe (revised edition August 2000).
[2] Researchers: Linda Pearl Dickey Roop, Everette Llavon McGrew, Louise Roop Anderson Akers, Theron Arvel Rupe, Helen Dale Roop Osborne, Lois Rowe Johnsten, Delores Roberta Dees Springer
[3] 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 Books.
[4] Confederate States Of America. Army. Dept. Of Northern Virginia. Chief Engineer’s Office, et al. Map of Montgomery County. [S.l.: Chief Engineer’s Office, D.N.V, 1864] Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <https://www.loc.gov/item/gvhs01.vhs00348>.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Henrich “Henry” RUPE Sr.
Parents: Johann Jacob RUPP and Maria Barbara NONNENMACHER
Spouse: Catherine Barbara NOLL
Parents of spouseJohan Anton “Anthony” NOLL and Maria Magdalena BRENTEL
Whereabouts: Baltimore MD, Rockbridge VA, Montgomery VA
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 5th great-grandfather

    1. Henrich “Henry” RUPE Sr.
    2. James ROOP
    3. Gordon ROOP
    4. Gordon Washington ROOP
    5. Walter Farmer ROOP
    6. Myrtle Hazel ROOP
    7. Fred Roosevelt Dempsey
    8. Cathy Meder-Dempsey

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

When I’m not doing genealogy and blogging, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful Luxembourg countryside.

26 thoughts on “Henry RUPE’s Estate and his Widow Catherine’s Last Days”

  1. Incredible research, Cathy! It’s amazing to me that these documents exist. And that is a lot of land! I wonder what it would be worth in today’s dollars. And who owns it now!


    1. A good part of the land owned by Henry, the youngest son of the immigrant Jacob, went to his youngest son Joseph. The home continued to pass on to the youngest daughter of Joseph, Julia E. (Roop) Thompson, her youngest son Charles Wade Thompson, his youngest son Fred Jackson Thompson, whose only child lives on the homeplace as far as I know. Thank you Amy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, so it is still owned by the family. That’s incredible! And I love how they reversed the practice of primogeniture. Even though I am an oldest child, I think it’s nice that the youngest child kept inheriting the land. Do you know the current owners?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It may not have been intended but logical since the families were large and the youngest may have remained at home longer to take care of elderly parents. The size of the parcel is probably only a fraction of what it was originally. I don’t know the present owner.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow just seeing a connection in family line this looks like land that connects to Abner Lester that married Martha Arthur….Abner sold 326 acres to Henry Rupe for 200 pounds…I have been researching Lester family from this area for over 28 years thank you for this info you posted

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I descend from John LESTER and Catherine PLICKENSTALVER. I haven’t done much research on the LESTER line but have a paper and digital copy of Marguerite Tise’s book on the Lester family. Abner and John may have been brothers so we are likely related. Thank you Linda.


  3. You are so good at this and because of you and others like you, I now know from where I came from.Thank you for sharing your wonderful research on this family and others that I too descend from. I love reading everything you share and appreciate it and you, very much!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This information is so fantastic!!! It appears that I also am a descendant of Henry & Catherine’s (William & Esther Akers are my 4th great grandparents) if my information is all correct. Do you actually have a copy of Louise Aker’s book and know how I can get it? I have been dying to have that book for a long time. Once upon a time I found pieces of it posted online, but it no longer exists at the link that I had. I had contacted her at the last known email I found YEARS ago, but of course received no reply because it appeared she was no longer actively on the site that I found the information.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Stephanie. Louise is now deceased. She gifted me a hardcover edition. At the time she said she had had a certain number of hardcover editions printed to give to the libraries. I believe the Library of Virginia and the libraries in Floyd and Montgomery counties must have copies. I think the soft cover was being printed on demand. I did not know parts of it were online. Have you checked the FamilySearch catalog? If you need a lookup let me know.


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