Discovery of the Year….of the Decade!

Tuesday’s Child’s Family Heirlooms series has been preempted for this breaking news story. 🙂

doorwithbrickstinyDear Cuz Bill “BJ” Bernath,

As you know one of my ancestors was looking out for me during the holidays when I got a great deal on the 6-month subscription to Ancestry. The ROOP branch is the first to get worked on. We’ve been working on your brick wall since you first contacted me in 2005 so I can say this is the discovery of the decade.

James Anderson Roop (1849-1928) courtesy of James Elkins via BJ Bernath

It might have even been your James Anderson ROOP who was looking out for me. But I don’t think he was happy with me. This morning, out of the blue, my access to the site was switched to Guest member. The polite and friendly person on their Facebook page helped solve the problem.

As soon as I had access I went to search for Archer ROOP’s death record. I could not believe who popped up in the lists of indexed hits. Since there were no hits for Archer I got ROOP individuals with A. initials including James A. ROOP, husband of Almeda J. HOLLANDWORTH (sic, indexed spelling).

BJ, your great-grandfather James A. ROOP died in Altavista, Campbell County, Virginia, on 16 May 1928 of angina pectoris. His widow was the informant and although she signed Mrs. J. A. ROOP she gave her full maiden name as Almeda J. HOLLANDSWORTH in the field for name of spouse.

James and Almeda must have been living in Altavista from as early as 1 November 1927 as the attending physician had been seeing him from that date until his death. The undertaker Finch & Colbert planned to have his burial take place on 19 May 1928 in Dothan, West Virginia. Finch & Colbert are still in business and have been since 1905.

“Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014,” index and digital images,, citing Virginia Department of Health, Richmond, Virginia, State file no. 10617, Registration Area no. 152A, Registered no. 14. James A Roop, male, white, age 78, born 16 Sep 1849, died 16 May 1928 in Altavista, Campbell, Virginia registration date 17 May 1928, father James A Roop, mother Betty Corral, spouse Almeda J Hollandsworth. ( : accessed 5 January 2016).

I still haven’t found his widow Almeda in the 1930 and 1940 census but, I must be honest with you Cuz BJ, I was too excited to get this off to you to do a thorough search.

Best wishes,
Cousin Cathy

Genealogy Sketch

Name: James Anderson ROOP
Parents: James ROOP and Elizabeth CARROLL
Spouse: Elizabeth Jane BURK(*) and Almeda Jane HOLLANDSWORTH
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 3rd great-granduncle

  1. James Anderson ROOP
  2. brother of Gordon H. ROOP
  3. uncle of Gordon Washington ROOP
  4. grand-uncle of Walter Farmer ROOP
  5. great-grand uncle of Myrtle Hazel ROOP
  6. 2nd great-grand uncle of Fred Roosevelt DEMPSEY
  7. 3rd great-grand uncle of Cathy Meder-Dempsey

© 2016 Cathy Meder-Dempsey