They Married Six and a Half Weeks Earlier!

From the number of posts I’ve written on my paternal grandmother Myrtle Hazel ROOP (1906-1997) and her ancestors, my readers know that the ROOP family is one of my favorites to research.

I created a page, The ROOP Book, on this blog dedicated to these posts set up as a table of content with links.  The name lacks creativity but, if I ever write the book as my second cousin Robert suggested years ago, it can always be changed.

The first post listed on the page is Do you feel responsible for errors in others’ family trees? and explains why I write the stories.

Missing Documentation

While researching the parents of Elizabeth CARROLL, wife of James ROOP, for a future post, I reviewed the information I had on Elizabeth. On my to-do list for Elizabeth and James, I saw that I was still missing a document for their 1830 marriage.

My fourth great-grandparents James ROOP and Elizabeth CARROLL married on 23 July 1830 per Louise Akers1 whose work is found in many online trees.

Louise who did all her research at the courthouse told me that she had not been able to locate a marriage bond for James ROOP and Elizabeth CARROLL. The date of marriage she gave in her book was taken from a list of marriages by Richard Buckingham. I had no idea who he was or where this information might be found.

The same date was found in this abstract of a marriage record on Ancestry.2

Screen clip from Ancestry : accessed 6 January 2022 (see footnote)

The database is for indexed information and no images are available. The groom’s last name was indexed as RUPE and the bride’s maiden name as EARL. The names of the bride’s and groom’s parents were not included in the abstract.

RUPE and ROOP were used interchangeably on many records found for this period. What concerned me was the spelling of the bride’s maiden name. Was this abstract for my ancestors, James ROOP and Elizabeth CARROLL?

As no results were found on Ancestry for marriage collections with images, I checked the FamilySearch catalog for marriages in Virginia and more specifically, in Montgomery County. I found this record by browsing.3

I do hereby certify that I celebrated the rites of matrimony between James Roop and Elizabeth Carrol of Montgomery Cty on the 8th day of June 1830 by virtue of a publication Given under my hand this 23rd day of July 1830.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Richd Buckingham

Richard Buckingham published the notice on 23 July 1830, the date seen for the marriage of the couple. The minister’s return was copied into the Montgomery register by the county clerk and not by Rev. Richard Buckingham, a Methodist minister. The entry may have been copied into the register at a much later date possibly from loose papers as most of the entries are in the same handwriting.

They Married Six and a Half Weeks Earlier!

James ROOP and Elizabeth CARROLL were married on 8 June 1830 in Montgomery County, Virginia, by a Methodist minister six and a half weeks earlier than seen in research by others.

I learned that Richard Buckingham was a minister from his 1860 census listing. His occupation was listed as Methodist Minister. He was living next door to John ROOP, a brother of James ROOP who was married by the reverend.4

One record at a time, I’m correcting or proving data in my family tree thanks to the collections now available on FamilySearch. Hopefully, other misinformation in my database will be corrected sooner than the 21 years it took me to fix this error.

© 2022, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. Louise Roop Anderson Akers, comp., The Family Rub, Rup, Rupe, Roop, Roope (2001 Printed by Jamont Communications, 339 Luck Ave., Roanoke, VA 24016). Note: I bought a copy of Louise’s book 2000. For Christmas 2001, she gifted me a hardcover copy with some new information and photos. I in turn gifted my original copy to my sister without noting differences in the two versions. In my copy, an image of a page of the Buckingham marriage entries is included but it is not for 1830. I suspect that Louise may not have included all images from the first book in my hardcover version. 
  2. “Virginia, Marriages 1740-1850,” (index-only), Ancestry, citing Dodd, Jordan R., et al., Early American Marriages: Virginia to 1850, Precision Indexing Publishers, Bountiful, Utah. James Rupe, male, spouse Elizabeth Earl (sic), female, marriage date 23 Jul 1830 in Montgomery County, Virginia. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 April 2016). 
  3.   “Virginia, County Marriage Records, 1771-1989,” database with images, FamilySearch, Marriage records, 1785-1861 > Digital Folder Number: 007740792 > Items 1 – 3 > A list of marriage licenses issued by the clerk, 1850-1861 — A list of marriages, 1785-1803 — Marriage record, 1812-1841 > image 101 of 854 > right page, 7th entry. 1830 Marriage Record for Elizabeth Carrol and James Roop, 8 Jun 1830; citing Circuit court clerk offices, Virginia. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C91C-TPS4?cc=2134304 : accessed 23 December 2021). 
  4. 1860 U.S. Federal Census, (index and images), Ancestry, citing Eighth Census of the United States, 1860 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls, Roll: M653_1373; Family History Library Film: 805373; Virginia, Pulaski, Western District, page 769, HH #529-530, line 10. (https://www.ancestry.com/ : accessed 9 April 2016). 

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.

13 thoughts on “They Married Six and a Half Weeks Earlier!”

  1. Great catch, Cathy! It shows that those indices are not 100% reliable. Unfortunately I often rely on them as the best possible document I can find when the originals are not online. Some day perhaps those originals will all be scanned and put on line since I (and I assume many others) do not have the resources to order originals for every relative we research or to travel to distant places. But your post does give me serious reasons to view those index entries with skepticism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s only in recent years that I learned to view the index entries with skepticism. The hit and miss indexation of the 1940 census on Ancestry, compared to the work done by indexers on FamilySearch, nailed it for me. I pay much closer attention to the description of the source.
      Like you, I also rely on the indices as I cannot afford to travel or order originals. I now clearly note “index only” when no images are available and mark the quality as unreliable in my source list. Thank you, Amy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve found the need to be better organized, too. Still, I’ve done so much that I can’t review it all and end up repeating searches. But that can be a good thing, since maybe some stuff wasn’t there before.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It is a challenge to keep up with the posts I’ve written so far. From the beginning I noted the link to the post in the notes of the person of interest and am now going back and printing them to PDF to add to the person’s documentation. Thank you, Eilene. My apologies for the delayed response.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Cathy, for your continued efforts to not only improve your own work but also to share your findings with us. I think we all realize that our work will never be completely accurate, but we all need reminders of how worthwhile it is to review work we’ve done in past years. Ever since I began this obsessive “hobby” over 45 years ago, my goal has been to “publish the book.” Along the way, my attention was diverted and I’ve spent several years researching friends’ ancestries and have published two books. Sometimes I’ve felt that this has delayed my own work, but actually, it’s been very educational, especially in reviewing and updating records. I know now that preparing a draft for publication can take a year or longer. New information is coming to light every day. Finding that marriage record of your 4th great-grandparents is exciting! We are a persistent bunch!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know how dedicated you are to your “hobby” from the amazing work you did with our Jordan N. PETERS’ War of 1812 pension file. The story you told influenced the way I look at records and try to find more. Thank you, Paula, for being a wonderful teacher.

      Like

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