What’s in a Name? Getting Gordon ROOP’s Name Right

While writing up last week’s post The Roop Boy Who Died Twice, I found another correction that needs to be highlighted.

Some people might consider this nitpicking. However, I would like to get this error corrected. I know that hundreds of family trees on the internet have this error and it is unlikely that it will disappear. But at least I can try to show why I made this minor correction to my database – changing the name of my 3rd great-grandfather from Gordon H. ROOP to Gordon ROOP.

A More Intense Focus on the Sources

Gordon ROOP was born in about 1838. This was before they began recording birth information in Virginia.1 There is no known family Bible.

The 1850 census

The first written document with his name was the 1850 census of Floyd County, Virginia. He was in the household of his parents James ROOP and Elizabeth CARROLL.2

In 1850 Gordon’s name was on the census for the first time.

An 1856 marriage record

On 10 March 1856, Gordon ROOP married Emaline LESTER. My 60-year-old 5th great-grandfather Rev. Owen SUMNER was the person who filled out the blank certificate after performing the marriage ceremony. His handwriting leaves much to be desired. The loop in the letter d is not closed. A comparison with other words on the page show it is a lowercase D. His first name is written Gorden and there is no middle initial.3

Name of the groom on the marriage record of Gorden Roop and Emaline Lester.

His children’s birth records

Gordon and Emaline were the parents of three children. Entries in the county register of births were found for Dollie in 1857 (father Gorden ROOP)4 and for John in 1859 (father Gordon ROOP).5

Name of father on the birth register entry for Dollie E. Roop.
Name of father on the birth register entry for John T. Roop. The first name is Gordon. The clerk ended many words with a swirl up and over the last letter. This is not a lowercase d.

A birth record for the youngest son Gordon Washington ROOP born in 1862 has not been found.

The 1860 census

By 1860 Gordon, Emaline, and their two children were found on the census.6

Gordon Roop on the 1860 census.

The Civil War documents

In 1861 Gordon didn’t wait to be drafted and enlisted in Jacksonville on 10 September 1861. An index card and a bundle of six cards were found. His name was spelled Gordon ROOP or Gorden ROOP and always without an initial.7,8

Index Card
Card 1 of 5
Card 2 of 5
Card 3 of 5
Card 4 of 5
Card 5 of 5

His children’s marriage records

When Dollie married in 1873 Gordon ROOP was listed as her father in the entry in the marriage register.9

Gordon ROOP’s name from the marriage record of Dollie and Giles

In 1876 when John married, his father was listed as Gordon ROOP in the register.10

Gordon ROOP’s name from the marriage record of John and Ardelia

In 1880 Gordon’s youngest son Gordon Washington ROOP married. On the marriage license with the minister’s return, his parents are listed as Gordon & Emaline.11

Gordon ROOP’s name from the marriage record of Gordon W. and Milla

Also in 1880, Gordon’s son John married a second time. The father’s name was spelled Gorden.12

Gorden and E. (Emaline) Roop were listed as the parents of John on his 1880 entry in the marriage register.

John married a third time in Raleigh County, West Virginia, in 1889. The information in the entry didn’t include the names of the parents.13

Gordon W. ROOP married a second time in 1894. The Kanawha County marriage register didn’t include a field for the names of parents.14

His children’s death records

In 1902 when his son John died, the entry in the register of death named Gordon ROOP as his father.15

Gordon Roop’s name on the death register entry of his son John T. Roop

In January 1930 my great-grandfather Walter Farmer ROOP was the informant for the death of his father Gordon Washington ROOP. Walter gave Ham ROOP as the name of his grandfather.16 This is plainly an error as Hamilton N. “Ham” ROOP (1853-1918) was Gordon W.’s uncle, his father’s younger brother. Hamilton was not yet 9 years old when Gordon W. ROOP was born.

The last surviving child of Gordon ROOP was his daughter Dollie. She died in 1937 in Raleigh County, West Virginia. The names of her parents were not known by the person filling out the certificate of death. No informant’s name was given.17

Obituaries were not found for Gordon’s three children.

Garten H. ROOP in an abstract

“Garten H. ROOP” was found in an abstract from The Virginia Regimental Histories Series, the source for the above collection of Civil War soldiers. It was determined that the information came from Jeffrey C. Weaver’s 54th Virginia Infantry as this book is part of the series and the only one dealing with the regiment named.

Weaver used the service records of the soldiers and supplemented the information with other sources, including family and county histories, cemetery records, county records, pension lists, pension application files, and PWR (post-war rosters or records).18

I didn’t know how the information in the book was presented until I received a photo of the book page with the ROOP entries. The information in the compilation could only be used to help with the search for the actual records.

The entry for “Garten H. ROOP” as seen in Weaver’s 54th Virginia Infantry

Gordon ROOP’s enlistment on 10 September 1861 and his presence on 1 January 1862 are correct and were supported by the carded records. The 1860 Floyd County census information is correct. His date and place of death are partially correct. He died in Cassville in Flewellen Hospital. This is a very important fact that was misconstrued. The name of the hospital was listed as his cause of death.

What about these scenarios?

As seen in all of the above, no record was found with a middle initial or middle name for Gordon ROOP. Only one record was found to have a different name for Gordon ROOP. The name Ham ROOP for Gordon W. ROOP’s father on his death record is obviously a mistake. We have no birth record but his father’s name was seen as Gordon ROOP on his marriage record. Is it possible that someone assumed Gordon ROOP’s middle name was Ham and gave him the middle initial H.?

Or did Mr. Weaver view the 1880 marriage record of Gordon W. ROOP and Milla Susan PETERS and interpret the |& (vertical line and ampersand) as an H.?

Gordon ROOP’s name from the marriage record of Gordon W. and Milla

In Weaver’s compilation, Garten is clearly a mistake. Further, the entry in the book and the abstract cannot be deemed reliable considering all of the records found for Gordon and his children. There are no trees with Garten as his name. The middle initial and not the first name Garten is where my problem lies. Someone’s misinterpretation of the handwriting on a record may have been the culprit that caused my third great-grandfather Gordon ROOP to be named Gordon H. ROOP.

All instances of Gordon H. ROOP have been changed to Gordon ROOP in the posts on this blog (and there were quite a few). While examining the “source of the source” for his name (with a middle initial) and reviewing all known records that he was named in, I found that there were no records to support a middle initial and all records showed that his name was Gordon ROOP.

© 2023, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. Virginia passed a law requiring counties to record births in 1853.  Further information on https://www.familysearch.org/en/wiki/How_to_Find_Virginia_Birth_Records. 
  2. 1850 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8054/), citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll: M432_943, Virginia, Floyd County, sheet 445A, household 938-938, lines 5-16, James Roop (accessed 17 October 2014). 
  3. Rena Worthen & Barbara Reininger (co-project), “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” index and images, part of the Floyd County, Virginia, The USGenWeb Project online https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/floyd.htm, citing the images of Floyd Co., VA marriages downloaded by Rena Worthen from the Library of Virginia Microform indexed by Barbara Reininger, Marriage License of Gordon Roop age 18 and Emeline Lester age 20 married 10 Mar 1856. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1856/FCVA1856RoopLester.jpg : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  4. “Virginia, U.S., Birth Registers, 1853-1911,” (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/418338:62153), citing Virginia, Birth Registers, 1853–1911at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Floyd County Register of Births 1857, page 49 (stamped), line 34, 24 Feb 1857, Doll__ E. Roop, female, white, Gorden Roop and Emaline Roop, informant E R, mother (image 509 of 599). (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/417852:62153 : accessed 3 January 2023). 
  5. Ibid., Floyd County Register of Births, page 4 (stamped), line 43, 6 Mar 1859, John R. Roop, male, white, Gordon Roop and Emaline Roop, informant E R, mother (image 473 of 599). (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/416365:62153 : accessed 13 October 2022). 
  6. 1860 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7667/), 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_1345, Family History Library Film: 805345, Virginia, Floyd County, page 101, sheet 535 (handwritten), lines 33-36, household 723-680, Gordon Roop (accessed 26 February 2011). 
  7. “Index to compiled service records of Confederate soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Virginia,” index and images, Fold3 (https://www.fold3.com/publication/872/civil-war-service-index-cmsr-confederate-virginia), NARA Series M382 (62 rolls), citing United States Adjutant General’s Office, The National Archives, Washington, D.C., General Index Card, Gorden Roop, Company A, Fifty-fourth Infantry, enlistment rank Private, discharge rank Private. (https://www.fold3.com/image/307677383 : accessed 12 February 2014). 
  8. “Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Virginia,” database with images, Fold3 (https://www.fold3.com/publication/42/civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia), citing The National Archives, NARA microfilm publication M324, Company A, Fifty-fourth Infantry, Gorden Roop/Gordon Roop, page 1 through 5 (https://www.fold3.com/image/12913722 and 4 subsequent images : accessed 12 February 2014). 
  9. Worthen and Reininger, Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940, FCVA1873_0087, Marriage License and Minister’s Return of Marriage dated 7 Nov 1873 for the marriage of Giles Sumner of Dolly E. Roop. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1873/FCVA18730087.jpg
    accessed 11 January 2023). 
  10. “Virginia, U.S., Marriage Registers, 1853-1935,” (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i> (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/62154/), citing Virginia, Marriage Registers, 1853–1935 at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Floyd County Register of Marriages 1876, page 119, line 84, 11 November 1876, John T. Roop and Ardelia E. Waitman (accessed 6 June 2022). 
  11. Worthen and Reininger, Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940, FCVA1879_0137, register 3, page 61, Marriage License dated 29 Dec 1879 and Minister’s Return of Marriage dated 1 Jan 1880 for Gordon Washington Roop and Milla Susan Peters (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1879/FCVA18790137.jpg : accessed 11 January 2023). 
  12. “Virginia, U.S., Marriage Registers, 1853-1935,” Montgomery County, 1880, Register of Marriages, page 239, line 37, 18 May, Jno Thos Roop, 23, divorced, b. Floyd to Gordon & E Roop, Va. Tomlinson, 24, single b. Rockbridge to Jas. & N. Tomlinson, married by J. L. Weaver. (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/288387:62154 : accessed 11 January 2023. 
  13. “Marriages, 1890-1969; marriage index, 1850-1969,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/93137), citing microfilm of original records at the Raleigh County courthouse, Film 598428, DGS 7499395, Marriage index, v. 1-2 1850-1937, image 93 of 651, Register of Marriages, page 45, line 11, 9 Mar 1889, Jno T Roop, 30 yrs 3 days, born Floyd, Ellawiser Burgess, 33 yrs, born Roanoke, res. of Raleigh, married by Jas. P. Thompson. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89Z5-FP17?i=92&cat=93137 : accessed 13 January 2023). 
  14. West Virginia Vital Research Records Project (database and images), West Virginia Division of Culture and History citing county records in county courthouses, West Virginia (A collaborative venture between the West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah to place vital records online via the West Virginia Archives and History Web site accessible at https://archive.wvculture.org/vrr), West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 521720, image 432, West Virginia, Kanawha County Register of Marriages 1894, page 350-351 (stamped), line 276, 25 Aug 1894, Gordon W. Roop and Nancy E. Johnson, citing Kanawha County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/521720/00432.jpg : accessed 14 March 2022). 
  15. Ibid., West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 598425, image 298, West Virginia, Raleigh County Register of Deaths, page 81, entry 56, Jno F Roop (sic), age 46 y 6 m 5 d, 11 Sep 1902, citing Beckley, Raleigh County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/598425/00298.jpg : accessed 7 March 2022). Age at death: 46y 6m 5d, calculates to date of birth: 6 March 1856. This is off by exactly 3 years. 
  16. Ibid., West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 1953605, image 484, Certificate of Death, State File No. 465, Gordon W. Roop, 30 January 1930, citing Kanawha City, Kanawha County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/1953605/0000484.gif: accessed 2 February 2022). 
  17. Ibid., West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 1983330, image 883, West Virginia Standard Certificate of Death 18364, Mrs. Dollie Sumner, 14 December 1837, citing Clear Creek, Raleigh County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/1983330/0000883.gif : accessed 16 January 2007). 
  18. Weaver Jeffrey C and G. L Sherwood. 54th Virginia Infantry. 2nd ed. H.E. Howard 1993. 

The Roop Boy Who Died Twice

There are family stories I wish I had tried to prove before passing them on to the next generation. This post is about one of these family traditions that I believed to be true until I discovered conflicting evidence.

American Civil War (4 Feb 1861-23 Jun 1865)

Two of my ancestors served in the military during the American Civil War. Alexander CLONCH served on the Union side. He was my grandmother Myrtle Hazel ROOP‘s maternal grandfather. Gordon ROOP served on the Confederate side. He was Myrtle’s paternal great-grandfather.

Although only two of my ancestors served, entire families were affected by the war. Gordon ROOP’s parents James ROOP and Elizabeth CARROLL had four sons who served in the Confederacy as well as three sons-in-law. Their three youngest sons were too young to enlist. Two of their daughters were unmarried at the time of the war.

The seven men served in the 54th Virginia Infantry Regiment, six in Company A and one in Company E. They were:

● Gordon ROOP, husband of Emaline LESTER
● Floyd ROOP, husband of Mary L. BLACKWELL
● Giles Henderson ROOP, unmarried
● William H. T. ROOP, unmarried
● George Washington LESTER, husband of Amanda ROOP
● Sylvester MILLS, husband of Peradine ROOP
● Mathias RATLIFF, husband of Evaline ROOP

The ROOP boys, Gordon, Giles, and William, died in Georgia while serving the Confederacy. Their brother Floyd was captured at Bentonville on 19 March 1864. He was the only brother to come home after the war. The ROOP sisters’ husbands survived and returned home.

The 54th Virginia Infantry Regiment fought in the Battle of Chickamauga in Georgia on 19 and 20 September 1863. Giles Henderson ROOP died on 19 September 1863 in Chickamauga. Civil War cards were found to confirm his death.1

Civil War Carded Record for Jiles H. Roop courtesy of Fold3

William H. T. ROOP and William ROOP

Giles’ brother William H. T. ROOP died the following day during the same battle as seen in this collection of data without images:2

US Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865 courtesy of Ancestry

On the 1860 census of Floyd County, Virginia, Wm H. T. ROOP is the name seen for the son of James and Elizabeth ROOP.3

Conflicting evidence

William T. ROOP, son of James and Elizabeth ROOP, died in May 1862 in Floyd County at the age of 19 of ensipilas (sic, erysipelas).4

If William H. T. ROOP died in Chicamauga in 1863 and William T. ROOP died in Floyd County in 1862, how could they be the same person?

William ROOP (1850 census age 6)3, Wm H. T. ROOP (1860 census age 17), and William T. ROOP (death 1862 age 19) were the names found for the son of James and Elizabeth ROOP. In the 1850 and 1860 censuses, the relationship is inferred while the death record includes his parental relationship with James and Elizabeth.

It must be noted that James and Elizabeth ROOP were the only couple in the Floyd and Montgomery counties area with a son named William born about 1843.

Who was the man named William H. T. ROOP killed in Georgia?

In the carded records showing the military service of soldiers who fought in Confederate organizations during the Civil War on Fold3, I found three cards for William ROOP in the 54th Virginia Infantry. None of these give the full name with initials. Only one had information about his enlistment and presence.5 His period of enlistment was only one year.

Civil War Carded Record for Willliam ROOP courtesy of Fold3

As there was no card showing his presence after 1 January 1862, where does the information that he was killed on 20 September 1863 come from?

What is the source of the source?

By elimination, I determined the source for the indexed data was a book in The Virginia Regimental Histories Series: 54th Virginia Infantry by Jeffrey C. Weaver. The book is searchable on Google Books but the full view is not available. Only snippets of the two pages with ROOP were available.6

In the Floyd County Genealogy Group on Facebook, I requested a lookup for page 213 that included two ROOP men in the snippet view. Within two hours, a snapshot of the page was sent to me so that I could evaluate the information.

I learned that six ROOP men were listed on page 213. Floyd, Gordon, William, Giles (listed twice), and a first cousin of the four brothers, George W. C. ROOP.

ROOP, WILLIAM H. T.: Co. A, Enl. on 9/10/61 at Jacksonville. Pres. on 1/1/62. KIA at Chickamauga, Ga. on 9/20/63. Res. Floyd Co. Age 17, Farm Laborer, 1860 FCC.

William H. T. ROOP, as he is listed in the compilation, enlisted in Company A of the 54th Virginia Infantry on 10 September 1861 (the date noted on the card above for William ROOP). He was present on 1 January 1862 (as noted on the card above for William ROOP).  The 1860 Floyd County census was used to determine his residency. The only William ROOP in the 1860 Floyd County census was Wm. H. T. ROOP seen in the household of James and Elizabeth. The author listed the soldier with the full name from the census and this is how it appears in the data abstract at the beginning of this post. No records were found to confirm the “KIA at Chicamauga, Ga. on 9/20/63” statement.

I respect the compilation work by Jeffrey C. Weaver. However, the entries are only as reliable as the sources he used. He appears to have used the service records and supplemented the information with other official and unofficial sources, including possibly family histories, county histories, cemetery records, county records, pension lists, pension application files, and PWR (post-war rosters or records). The names of soldiers in various sources may not have been consistent causing duplications, as was the case with Giles Henderson ROOP listed twice (Giles H. ROOP and Henderson ROOP), or a wrong name, as was the case with Gordon ROOP seen as Garten H. ROOP. In all records for Gordon ROOP, he was never seen with a middle initial or name. His first name was spelled Gordon or Gorden, never Garten, an obvious transcription error from the carded records.

The above-mentioned inconsistencies for the ROOP men lead me to believe the date of death Weaver listed for William H. T. ROOP may have been misattributed. “KIA at Chicamauga, Ga. on 9/20/63” was also listed for Giles H. ROOP in the book. This is not correct. His carded records show that he was killed in action in Chicamauga on 19 September 1863, not the 20th.

The ROOP boy didn’t die twice

William H. T. ROOP, the son of James and Elizabeth, died in May 1862 and could not have served in the 54th Virginia Infantry after this date. The lack of evidence for William ROOP or William H. T. ROOP dying in September 1863 blows the story of two brothers dying in the Battle of Chicamauga right out of the water.

Family Tradition Updated

James ROOP and Elizabeth CARROLL had four sons and three sons-in-law who served in the 54th Virginia Infantry. Their youngest son William died in Floyd County eight months after enlisting. Their three older sons continued to serve. Giles died in action during the first day of the Battle of Chicamauga. Gordon died six weeks later of unknown causes at Flewellen Hospital in Cassville, Georgia. Floyd was taken prisoner nearly five months later in Bentonville, North Carolina. He was confined for three months at Point Lookout, Maryland until he took the oath of allegiance and was released. Floyd and his three brothers-in-law survived the Civil War and came home to their families.

© 2023, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. “Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Virginia,” database with images, Fold3 (https://www.fold3.com/publication/42/civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia), citing The National Archives, NARA microfilm publication M324, Giles H Roop, 6 pages (accessed 12 February 2014). 
  2. “U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865,” (no images), Ancestry, data compiled by Historical Data Systems, Inc.; Duxbury, MA 02331; American Civil War Research Database, The Virginia Regimental Histories Series, entry for William H.T. Roop (accessed 1 June 2022). 
  3. 1850 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8054/), citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll: M432_943, Virginia, Floyd County, sheet 445A, household 938-938, lines 5-16, James Roop (accessed 17 October 2014). 
  4. “Virginia, U.S., Death Registers, 1853-1911, ” index and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/250856:62152), citing original data: Virginia, Death Registers, 1853–1911 from the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia, Floyd County Register of Deaths for 1862, page 27, line 30, William T Roop, male, age 19, died May 1862, parents James & Elizabeth Roop, informant father. (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/251118:62152?ssrc=pt&tid=164805854&pid=102139722136 : accessed 16 May 2022). 
  5. “Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Virginia,” database with images, Fold3 (https://www.fold3.com/publication/42/civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia), citing The National Archives, NARA microfilm publication M324, Fifty-fourth Infantry, William Roop. (http://www.fold3.com/image/12913851: accessed 12 February 2014). 
  6. Weaver Jeffrey C and G. L Sherwood. 54th Virginia Infantry. 2nd ed. H.E. Howard 1993. 

The Last Will and Testament of Henry RUPE 1765-1845

lunareclipse

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.”[1]

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.[2] 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
attest
John M. Walters
Danile his mark Peterman
Aaron Terry
At a Court held for Montgomery County the 1st day of December 1845

MRIN00553 1845 Henry Rupe Will 1tiny
Montgomery County, Virginia, Will Book 7, page 285 [3]

MRIN00553 1845 Henry Rupe Will 2tiny
Montgomery County, Virginia, Will Book 7, page 286 [3]
The Last Will and Testament of Henry ROUPE, as his name was written, was photocopied by Louise Akers and included in her book.[3] 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[3]
  • 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.[3]
  • WB 8:284 final estate settlement. It showed a balance of 1204.07 and dated 31 Dec 1850.[3]

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.

bedstiny
[4]
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.

stove
[5]
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.

cows3tinyburrotinysheeptiny

loomandwheel
[6]
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.”[2]

To be continued….

bestwishescathy1

Sources:
[1] 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)
[2] Everette L. McGrew, My Mother Was A Rupe (revised edition August 2000).
[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 Book 7 on pages 25 and 286.
[4] 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)
[5] 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)
[6] 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)

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.

52 Ancestors: #45 Cynthia SUMNER abt. 1815-aft. 1880

“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

This is entry #45 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

A Note of Appreciation
I am extremely grateful to Barb Reininger for transcribing the images of the Floyd County, Virginia Marriages for the years 1831 to 1900 from copies of the microfilmed records made by Rena Worthen and for making the transcription available online. Rena wrote on 7 Oct 2014 in a comment on the Facebook group Floyd County Virginia Genealogy, “It was a big project, took a lot of work and money to make it possible.” From Barb’s transcription, I was able to make a list of 218 marriages performed by my 5th great-grandfather Owen SUMNER during the years 1838-1874, one-tenth of which were performed at his residence. Imagine 218 events that I know he participated in!

#45 Cynthia SUMNER abt. 1815-aft. 1880

Cynthia SUMNER, my 4th great-grandmother, went by many names during her lifetime. From the time she was little until her death her first name was spelled in several different ways – Sintha, Cintha, Cyntha, Sinthy, Sintia, Cynthia – but she was never known as Cindy. She went from using her maiden name SUMNER to using her married name LESTER until the death of her husband. She then married again and took the surname of her second husband, COX.

Cynthia was the daughter of the Reverend Owen SUMNER (1796-1874) and his first wife Sarah “Sally” NEWTON (1800-1860). Owen and Sally were married on 23 November 1813 in Montgomery County, Virginia.1 This was during the War of 1812 (18 Jun 1812-24 Dec 1814), a war that Owen served in.2 Sally was from neighboring Patrick County. [I’m impatiently waiting for them to get around to digitizing the War of 1812 Pension Records for names beginning with P for Peters and S for Sumner.]3

Cynthia SUMNER was born about 1815 in what was then Montgomery County, Virginia. She was the first of eleven known children born to Owen and Sally. Her siblings were:

◉ Sib 2: Sarah “Sary” SUMNER (1817-1842) was born about 1817 in Montgomery County. She married Joel ROSS (1801-aft.1870) on 24 September 1835 in Floyd County.4 They were the parents of two children. Sarah died on 20 February 1842 in Floyd County.5 When Joel remarried two years later his father-in-law (from his first marriage) Owen SUMNER performed the wedding.6

◉ Sib 3: Joel “Owen” SUMNER (1820-1900) was born January 1820 in Montgomery County.7 He married Lucinda E. THOMPSON (1826-1900) on 15 February 1844 in Floyd County.8 They were the parents of eleven children. Joel died between 1900-1910.

◉ Sib 4: Jesse SUMNER (1824-1861) was born 14 March 1824 in Montgomery County.9 He married Timandra SUMPTER (1826-1912) on 9 December 1845 in Floyd County.10 They were the parents of seven children. Jesse died on 10 November 1861 in Floyd County.11

◉ Sib 5: Susan A. SUMNER (1828-1913) was born on 24 March 1828 in Montgomery County.12 She married Jacob CORRELL (1817-1888) on 22 January 1852 in Floyd County.13 They were the parents of six children. Susan died on 19 August 1913.14

◉ Sib 6: John G. “Jehu” SUMNER (1835-1880) was born about 1830 in Montgomery County. He married Elizabeth SOWERS (1841-1915) on 20 August 1863 in Floyd County at the home of Owen SUMNER.15 They were the parents of six children. John died between 1880 and 1900.

◉ Sib 7: Joshua SUMNER (1833-1919) was born in 19 December 1832 in Floyd County.16 Joshua married(1) Mary G. EARLY (1821- ) on 19 July 1854 in Floyd County.17 They were the parents of three children. He married(2) the widow Joe Ellen CRENSHAW (maiden name unknown) on 24 Aug 1892 in Bedford County, Virginia.18 They had one son. Joshua died on 19 November 1919 in Bedford County.19

◉ Sib 8: Joseph L. SUMNER (1835-1888) was born on 17 January 1835 in Floyd County.20 He married Julia Ann HARRIS (1837-1889) on 4 September 1856 in Floyd County.21 They were the parents of six children. Joseph died on 30 January 1888 in Brookline, Greene County, Missouri.22

◉ Sib 9: Jonathan Newton “Jathan” SUMNER (1838-1882) was born about 1838 in Floyd County. He married Sarah Ann BOOTH (1836-1893) on 18 September 1855 in Floyd County.23 They had eight children. Even though he was married, Jathan had a “permanent liaison” with Fannie DUNCAN. He eventually left his wife to settle in Tennessee with Fannie and their children. He died about 1882 in Kingsport, Sullivan County, Tennessee.

◉ Sib 10: Jubal SUMNER (1841-1892) was born about 1841 in Floyd County. He was never married. Jubal died on 8 November 1892.24

◉ Sib 11: Jane SUMNER (1845-1900) was born about 1845 in Floyd County. She married Jacob WADE (1849-1937) on 5 December 1867 in Floyd County, at Owen SUMNER’s residence.25 They were the parents of six children. Jane and Jacob divorced before 24 August 1879. Jane died between 1900 and 1910.

Cynthia’s known siblings “fit” into the family group of Owen SUMNER as seen in his pre-1850 and 1850 census listings. However, from 1826 to 1830 the family may have grown by another 2 boys as reflected in the 1830 and 1840 censuses but they remain unknown.

Owen and Sally named all their boys with names beginning with a J. – Joel, Jesse, Joshua, Joseph, John or Jehu, Jonathan or Jathan, and Jubal. Only their youngest daughter Jane was given the same honor. If we consider that Cynthia’s name was also spelled with an S, it could be said that they named all their girls, except Jane, with names beginning with an S – Syntha, Sarah, and Susan.

Getting back to the unnamed boys, could this mean that there are two SUMNER men born between 1825 and 1830, perhaps with names beginning with a J, who did not remain in Floyd County in 1850 or later? Did these boys die before the 1850 census? Could one of them have married a lady named Nancy? A 20-year-old girl named Nancy SUMNER is seen in Owen’s household in 1850. She does not fit into the family group as seen in the pre-1850 census.

1820censussumner
1820 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Montgomery > Blacksburg [ancestry.com]
1820 U.S. Federal Census26
Montgomery County, Virginia
Blacksburg
Page No. 183
Owen Sumner
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 1 (Joel)
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 1 (Owen)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 2 (Cynthia and Sarah)
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 1 (Sally)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons – Under 16: 3
Total Free White Persons: 5
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 5

1830censussumner
1830 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Montgomery > Christiansburg [ancestry.com]
1830 U.S. Federal Census27
Montgomery County, Virginia
Christiansburg
Page No. 91
Owen Sumner
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 3 (John, 2 unknown b. bet. 1826-1830)
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 2 (Joel and Jesse)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (unknown, too old to be a son)
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 (Owen)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (Susan)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 1 (Sarah)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 (Cynthia)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Sally)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 8
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 3
Total Free White Persons: 11
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 11

1840censussumner
1840 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Floyd [ancestry.com]
1840 U.S. Federal Census28
Floyd County, Virginia
Page No. 186
Owen Sumner
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 3 (Joseph, Jonathan, and 1 unknown)
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1 (Joshua)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 2 (John and 1 unknown, seen in 1830)
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 2 (Jesse and 1 unknown, seen in 1830)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (Joel)
Free White Persons – Males – 40 thru 49:  1 (Owen)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 1 (Susan)
Free White Persons – Females – 40 thru 49: 1 (Sally)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 5
White Persons – Deaf and Dumb – Under 14: 1 (son John)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 9
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 3
Total Free White Persons: 12
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 12

1850censussumner
1850 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Floyd > Western District 15 [ancestry.com]
1850 U.S. Federal Census29
Floyd County, Virginia
The Western District No. 15
Enumerated the 21st day of August, 1850. Joseph Howard, Ass’t Marshal.
Page No. 431
HH #759-759
Owen Sumner 54 M Bapt. Minister $2500
Sarah Sumner 49 F
Joshua Sumner 17 M Laborer attended school within year
Joseph Sumner 15 M
John Sumner 20 M cannot read & write Deaf & Dumb
Jonathan Sumner 12 M
Jabell Sumner 9 M
Susan Sumner 21 F cannot read & write
Jane Sumner 4 F
Nancy Sumner 20 F (does not fit into the family group, a daughter-in-law?)

Note: All persons in the household were noted as born in North Carolina. I believe that the place of the birth column was incorrectly filled out by the enumerator. In later years they are listed as born in Virginia.

Let’s Talk About Cynthia

Jacob LESTER and Owen SUMNER went bond on 18 August 1834 for the intended marriage of Jacob to Cynthia SUMNER.30 Cynthia was about 19 years old when she married 22-year-old Jacob on 4 September 1834 in Floyd County.31 They were married by Jesse JONES. Elder JONES had baptized Cynthia’s father Owen on 17 March 1822 when he united with the Primitive Baptist Church at West Fork, in Floyd County.32

A couple of years later Cynthia became a mother for the first time when she gave birth to her daughter, my 3rd great-grandmother, Emaline LESTER about 1836. Another year later her son George Washington LESTER was born. Both children were born in Floyd County and were reflected in the 1840 census record of their father Jacob LESTER.

1840censuslester
1840 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Floyd [ancestry.com]
1840 U.S. Federal Census33
Floyd County, Virginia
Page No. 181
Jacob Lester
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (George W.)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (Jacob)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (Emaline)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Cynthia)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 4

Cynthia was only 27 when her husband Jacob died in about 1842 in Floyd County leaving her with two small children.34 She was not a widow for long as she married John W. COX on 1 June 1843 in Floyd County.35 She had one child with John, a daughter Susan L. COX (1846-1861) born about 1846. She was not born in North Carolina as seen on the following census listing:

1850censuscox
1850 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Floyd > Western District 15 [ancestry.com]
1850 U.S. Federal Census36
Floyd County, Virginia
The Western District No.15
Enumerated the 21st day of August, 1850. Joseph Howard, Ass’t Marshal.
Page No. 431
HH # 758-758
John W. Cox 30 M Laborer North Carolina
Cintha Cox 35 F North Carolina cannot read & write
Susan Cox 4 F North Carolina
Emeline Lester  14 F North Carolina

The enumerator noted North Carolina as the state of birth for John W. COX and then “do” (ditto) for the rest of the family and the following household, that of Cynthia’s father Owen SUMNER. Cynthia, her daughters, and everyone in her father’s household were born in Virginia.

In the mid-1850s Cynthia saw her two older children marrying a daughter and a son of James ROOP and Elizabeth CARROLL:

◉ George Washington LESTER married Amanda “Manda” ROOP (1831-1894) on 23 March 1855 in Floyd County.37

◉ Emaline LESTER married Gordon ROOP (1838-1863) on 10 March 1856 in Floyd County.38

Both couples had two children each before the 1860 census, giving Cynthia her first four grandchildren, all born in Floyd County. Unfortunately, life was not all about marriages and births as Cynthia lost her second husband, John W. COX sometime during the 1850s. Her older children had their own households leaving her along with her youngest daughter Susan.

1860censuscox
1860 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Floyd [ancestry.com]
1860 U.S. Federal Census39
Floyd County, Virginia
Enumerated the 23/25 June, 1850. Geo. M. Wells, Ass’t Marshal.
Flat Head Post Office, Page No. 48, Sheet No. 482
HH #345-324
Cyntha Cox 45 F Farming $0 $50 Virginia cannot read & write
Susan Cox 14 F Virginia

Following the enumeration of the 1860 census, another death took place. Cynthia’s mother  Sarah “Sally” NEWTON died 22 September 1860 in Floyd County.40

The years of the American Civil War (1861-1865) brought more marriages, births, and deaths in Cynthia’s life.

Five months after her mother died, Cynthia’s daughter Susan L. COX married Marshall Elijah Francis MOORE (1841-1862) on 7 February 1861 in Floyd County.41 A month later another wedding took place. Cynthia’s father Owen (65) married Lucinda SOWERS on 11 March 1861 in Floyd County.42 Even though Lucinda (26) was young when they married, they would not have any children during their nearly fourteen years of marriage.

Cynthia’s daughter Susan became pregnant as soon as she married. She gave birth to a daughter Cynthia MOORE (1861-1861) on 7 November 1861 in Floyd County.43 The child, named after her maternal grandmother, lived less than three weeks, dying on 24 November 1861.44 The mother Susan died the next day.45

Three more grandchildren were born, including my second great-grandfather Gordon Washington ROOP (1862-1930) on 6 May 1862 in Floyd County.46 His father Gordon ROOP, Cynthia’s son-in-law, would not come home from the war to see his wife Emaline LESTER holding their youngest babe. He died on 1 November 1863 in Georgia.47

After the end of the Civil War, Cynthia’s widowed daughter, Emaline LESTER married Pleasant D. EPPERLY (1848-1920) on 8 February 1869 in Floyd County.48 Their marriage of eight years would remain childless.

In 1870 Cynthia had a young lady named Dolly Ann ELDRIDGE in her household. I believe that this may be her granddaughter Dollie Ann Ellen ROOP but have no explanation as to why she would be listed with the Eldridge surname. There were no other people with this surname in Floyd County. Although Dollie and her two brothers were enumerated with their mother Emaline in 1870, it’s possible that Dollie was with her grandmother. Also with Cynthia was her baby sister Jane SUMNER and Jane’s first-born daughter Elizabeth WADE.

1870censuscox
1870 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Floyd > Alum Ridge [ancestry.com]
1870 U. S. Federal census49
Floyd County, Virginia
Alum Ridge Township, Page No. 8
Enumerated the 4th day of August, 1870. B. P. Elliott, Ass’t Marshal.
Floyd Court House Virginia Post Office, Sheet No. 4B
HH #55-53
Cox, Cynthia 50 F W Keeping House $0 $100 Virginia
Eldridge, Dolly Ann 15 F W At Home Virginia
Wade, Jane 23 F W without occupation Virginia
Wade, Elizabeth 1 F W Virginia

The first of Cynthia’s grandchildren to marry was Dollie Ann Ellen ROOP. She married Giles SUMNER (1855-1929) on 7 November 1873 in Floyd County.50 A year later Cynthia’s father Owen SUMNER died 20 November 1874 in Alum Ridge, Floyd County.51

Cynthia would lose her oldest daughter Emaline LESTER to consumption on 3 December 1877 in Floyd County.52 This left her with only one living child, her son George W. LESTER who moved to Raleigh County, West Virginia, with his family before 1880.

Although her son was no longer in Floyd County, her deceased daughter Emaline’s three children were married and still living in the area. Cynthia had only a servant with her in 1880 but some of her siblings lived nearby. Her baby sister Jane, who was living with their stepmother Lucinda, was divorced, and, unusual for the times, the children were living with her ex-husband who had remarried. Her youngest brother Jubal, still a bachelor, was living with their sister Susan’s family. Her brothers Joel and John were in the county with their families. Joshua had left Floyd County for Bedford County sometime in the 1870s. Jonathan had finally left his wife and moved to Tennessee to be with the second family he had with the “other woman” Fannie DUNCAN. Cynthia had most likely not seen her brother Joseph since he moved to Tennessee in about 1859.

1880censuscox
1880 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Floyd > Alum Ridge [ancestry.com]
1880 U. S. Federal Census53
Floyd County, Virginia
Alum Ridge Township, Pge No. 31
Enumeration District No. 25, Sheet No. 276B
Enumerated the 25th day of June, 1880. H. M. Booth, enumerator.
HH # 278-278
Cox, Cynthia W F 67 widowed Keeping House Virginia Virginia Virginia
Iddings, China W F 24 single Servant Virginia Virginia Virginia

Cynthia’s stepmother Lucinda SOWERS died in 1886 at the age of 50. Was Cynthia still living? She died sometime between 1880 and 1890 in Floyd County. Family tradition recounted on 22 February 1999 by Peggy Burton Rich:

“It is said that Cynthia (Sumner) would light her pipe by the rays of the sun and that she died of smoker’s cancer.”

After her death, Cynthia’s only living child, George left his wife and married Lucy Diane DILLON (1868-1948) on 12 November 1890 in Carroll County, Virginia. They had seven children before George died. The last child was born in 1905. The family was not found in 1910. By 1920 Lucy was with a much younger George E. LESTER. It is not known when George died. Family tradition according to Charlotte Bristow goes like this:

“According to my mother, Lucy married George’s cousin who lived nearby, but she cannot recall his name. As a child, she was told that the second marriage didn’t last long because the cousin died from a gunshot. She believes someone thought he was an intruder. I don’t know of any documentation on this marriage. Lucy married for the third time in 1922 to Albert Burdick, who was the father of my maternal grandfather, Carl Burdick…..My mother thinks this may have been a marriage of convenience, so that Dessie’s mother [Lucy] and Carl’s father [Albert] could share a home.”

Now wouldn’t that be a story worth documenting?

This Post was Updated on 6 November 2022Missing source citations were added, images were scaled, and some corrections were made to the text and format.

© 20142022, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. “Register of marriages, Montgomery County, Virginia, 1777-1853,” (browse-only images), FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, Film 32633, DGS 7579015, Index of marriage register, 1777-1853 — Register of marriages, 23 Nov 1813 Owen Sumner and Polly Newton. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-FXT7?cc=4149585 : accessed 31 October 2022). 
  2. “U.S., War of 1812 Pension Application Files Index, 1812-1815,” database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/1133/), citing original data: War of 1812 Pension Applications. Washington D.C.: National Archives. NARA Microfilm Publication M313, 102 rolls. Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group Number 15., Roll M313_90; Pension Number – #1: WO 15611; Soldier: Owen Sumner; Widow: Lucinda Sumner; Military Service Location: Virginia. (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/55072:1133 : accessed 4 November 2014). 
  3. As of February 2021 images for surnames A-Shaw were available at Fold3 (https://www.ngsgenealogy.org/preserve-the-pensions/ : accessed 31 October 2022). 
  4. Rena Worthen & Barbara Reininger (co-project), “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” index and images, part of the Floyd County, Virginia, The USGenWeb Project online https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/floyd.htm, citing the images of Floyd Co., VA marriages downloaded by Rena Worthen from the Library of Virginia Microform indexed by Barbara Reininger., FCVA1835_23: Joel Ross and Owen Sumner went bond on the marriage of Joel Ross and Sarah Sumner. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1835/FCVA1835_23.jpg : accessed 31 October 2022). 
  5. Barbara Reininger, Families of Floyd County, Virginia (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/BarbR_FCVAResearch/zz_main_surnames.htm), Surnames of Families of Floyd Co., Virginia > R > Ross > Ross, Joel > Joel Ross 1st m. Sarah “Sary” Sumner 24 Sep 1835 Floyd Co., VA. Married by Jesse Jones. Sarah d. 20 Feb 1842. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/BarbR_FCVAResearch/ross.htm : accessed 31 October 2022). 
  6. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” FCVA1844_49: Minister Return of Owen Sumner including the marriage of Joel Ross and Elizabeth Holliday. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1844/FCVA1844_49.jpg : accessed 31 Octboer 2022) 
  7. 1900 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7602/), citing Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T623, 1854 rolls, Roll: T623_1708, FHL microfilm: 1241708, Virginia, Floyd County, Alum Ridge, Enumeration District 10, Sheet 8A, lines 20-22, household 129-129, Owen Sumner (accessed 4 November 2014). 
  8. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” FCVA1844_49: Owen Sumner celebrated the marriage of Joel Sumner and Lucinda Thompson on 15 Feb 1844. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1844/FCVA1844_49.jpg : accessed 31 October 2022). 
  9. Handwritten biographical sketch of Elder Jesse Sumner by J. C. Hall, page 393 (stamped). Source unknown. 
  10. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” FCVA1845/MR2: Owen Sumner’s minister return including the marriage of Jesse Sumner and Timandra Sumpter on 9 Dec 1845. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1845/MR2.jpg : accessed 1 November 2022). 
  11. “Virginia, U.S., Death Registers, 1853-1911,” index and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/250856:62152), citing original data: Virginia, Death Registers, 1853–1911 from the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Floyd County Register of Death 1861, page 21, 10th entry, Jesse Sumner, white, male, 10 Nov 1861, Floyd, consumption, age 33, farmer, father Owen Sumner informant. “.” (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/250891:62152 : accessed 30 October 2022). 
  12. Find A Grave, database and images, (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/136390629/susan-correll: accessed 01 November 2022), memorial page for Susan Sumner Correll (14 Mar 1828–20 Aug 1913), Find a Grave Memorial ID 136390629, citing Huffville Cemetery, Huffville, Floyd County, Virginia, USA; Maintained by John Tippet (contributor 47295921); photo of the marker by Tracy C. (contributor 48269220). Date of death on the marker conflicts with date on certificate of death. 
  13. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” FCVA1852_CorellSumnerMar: Owen Sumner’s minister’s return for the 11 Jan 1852 marriage of Jacob Correll and Susan A. Sumner dated 9 Feb 1852. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1852/FCVA1852_CorellSumnerMar.jpg : accessed 1 November 2022). 
  14. “Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014,” index and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/9278/), citing Virginia Department of Health, Richmond, Virginia,
    Certificate Number: 1913019456, Susan Correll, female, white, age 81, born abt 1832, died 19 Aug 1913 in Locust Grove, Floyd County, Virginia. (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9278/images/43004_162028006053_0025-00144?pId=219859 : accessed 1 November 2022). 
  15. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” FCVA1863_SumnerSowers: Marriage license, certificate, and minister’s return for the marriage of Jehu Sumner and Elizabeth Sowers on 20 Aug 1863. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1863/FCVA1863_SumnerSowers.jpg: accessed 1 November 2022). 
  16. “Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014,” index and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/9278/), citing Virginia Department of Health, Richmond, Virginia,
    Certificate Number: 1919026620, Joshua Sumner, male, white, age 86, born 19 Dec 1832, died 19 Nov 1919, Otter, Bedford, Virginia. (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9278/images/43004_162028006053_0093-00205 : accessed accessed 7 August 2018). 
  17. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” FCVA1854SumnerMiller_neeEarlyMar: Marriage license, certificate, and minister return for the marriage of Joshua Sumner and Mary G Miller née Early on 19 July 1854. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1854/FCVA1854SumnerMiller_neeEarlyMar.jpg : accessed 1 November 2022). 
  18. “Marriage registers, 1854-1909, 1976; general indexes to marriage registers, 1854-1976,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/785673), citing microfilm of original records at the Bedford County Courthouse in Bedford, Virginia, Film 30597, DGS 7578831, Marriage registers, v. 1-2 1854-1909, image 303 of 583, 1892 Register of Marriages, page 218 (double-spread), line 5252, 24 Aug, Joshua Sumner 58 widower and Joe E. Crenshaw 30 single. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99XF-2P6V?i=302 : accessed 1 November 2022). 
  19. See Note #16, supra 
  20. Find A Grave, database and images,  (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/42501258/joseph-lorenzo-sumner: accessed 01 November 2022), memorial page for Joseph Lorenzo Sumner (17 Jan 1835–30 Jan 1888), Find a Grave Memorial ID 42501258, citing Brookline Cemetery, Brookline, Greene County, Missouri, USA; Maintained by JD Day (contributor 46967895). Photo of marker by Gomer and Judy (contributor 47255402) confirms the dates listed. 
  21. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” FCVA1856/FCVA1856SumnerHarris: Marriage license, certificate, and minister return for the marriage of Joseph Sumner and Juliann Harris on 4 Sep 1856. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1856/FCVA1856SumnerHarris.jpg : accessed 1 November 2022). 
  22. See Note #20, supra 
  23. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” FCVA1855SumnerBoothMar%20Dark: Marriage license, certificate, and minister’s return for the marriage of Jathan Sumner and Sarah Booth dated 18 Sep 1855. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1855/FCVA1855SumnerBoothMar%20Dark.jpg : accessed 1 November 2022). 
  24. “Virginia, U.S., Death Registers, 1853-1911,” Floyd County Register of Death 18892, page 2, line 45, Daniel Sumner, male, white, age 50, born abt 1842, died 8 Nov 1892, Floyd. (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/253648:62152 : accessed 1 November 2022). 
  25. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” FCVA1867_WadeSumner_129: Marriage license, certificate, and minister’s report for the marriage of Jacob Wade and Jane Sumner on 5 Dec 1867. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1867/FCVA1867_WadeSumner_129.jpg : accessed 1 November 2022). 
  26. 1820 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i> (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7734/), citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll: M33_130, Virginia, Montgomery County, Blacksburg, sheet 183A, line 3, Owen Sumner (accessed 4 November 2014). 
  27. 1830 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i> (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8058/), citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, Nara Roll M19_198, FHL Film: 0029677, Virginia, Montgomery County, Christiansburg, page 91 (double-page spread), line 23, Owen Sumner (accessed 20 June 2013). 
  28. 1840 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8057/), citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, Roll: 704_555, FHL Film: 0029685, Virginia, Floyd County, page 186 (stamped, double-page spread), line 30, Owen Sumner (accessed 20 June 2013). 
  29. 1850 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8054/), citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll: M432_943, Virginia, Floyd County, District 15, sheet 431B (stamped), household 759-759, lines 8-17, Owen Sumner (accessed 22 October 2014). 
  30. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” FCVA1834_LesterSumnerBond: Jacob Lester and Owen Sumner went bond on the marriage of Jacob Lester and Sintha Sumner on 18 Aug 1834. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/1_Marriages%20of%20Floyd%20County.htm : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  31. Ibid., FCVA1834_zMR1: Owen Sumner’s minister return for the marriage of Jacob Lester and Syntha Sumner of 4 Sep 1834. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/1_Marriages%20of%20Floyd%20County.htm : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  32. Pittman, R. H. (Reden Herbert), 1870-1941, Biographical history of primitive or old school Baptist ministers of the United States; including a brief treatise on the subject of deacons, their duties, etc., with some personal mention of these offices,Anderson, Ind., Herald Printing Co (1909) , pp. 259-260, biographical sketch of Elder Owen Sumner
    (https://archive.org/details/biographicalhist01pitt/page/258/mode/2up?q=Sumner : accessed 1 November 2022). 
  33. 1840 U.S. Federal Census, Roll: 704_555, FHL Film: 0029685, Virginia, Floyd County, page 181 (stamped, double-page spread), line 15, Jacob Lester (accessed 29 October 2014). 
  34. Jacob was found on the PPT list up until 1842 when no tithe was listed suggesting he was deceased. An inventory and sale of his estate took place on 8 March 1844 and the current account was dated 22 October 1850. 
  35. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” FCVA1844_14: Michael Howry’s minister return for the marriage of John W. Cox and Cynthia Lester daughter of Owen Sumner on 1 Jun 1843. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1844/FCVA1844_14.jpg : accessed 2 November 2022). 
  36. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Roll: M432_943, Virginia, Floyd County, District 15, Sheet 431B, household 758-758, lines 4-7, John W. Cox (accessed 20 June 2013). 
  37. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),”  1855 George W. Lester and Amanda Roop marriage. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1855/FCVA1855LesterRoopMar%20Light.jpg : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  38. Ibid., Marriage license, certificate, and minister’s return for the marriage of Gordon Roop age 18 and Emeline Lester age 20 on 10 Mar 1856. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1856/FCVA1856RoopLester.jpg : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  39. 1860 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7667/), 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_1345, FHL Film: 805345, Virginia, Floyd County, page 48, sheet 482, household 345-324, lines 16-17, Cyntha Cox (accessed 4 November 2014). 
  40. “Virginia, U.S., Death Registers, 1853-1911,” Floyd County Register of Death 1860, page 18, line 12, w, f, 22 Sep 1860, Floyd County, fever, age 60, parent Pasta Nuton, born Patrick County, farmer, married, Owen Sumner husband and informant . (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/250796:62152 : accessed 30 October 2022). 
  41. “Virginia, U.S., Marriage Registers, 1853-1935,” (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/62154/), citing Virginia, Marriage Registers, 1853–1935 at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Floyd County Register of Marriages 1861, page 49, line 1, Marshal E F Moore and Susan L Cox (accessed 6 June 2022). 
  42. “Marriage registers, 1843-1925,” browse-only images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/363663), citing microfilm of original records at the Floyd County Courthouse in Floyd, Virginia, Film 31345 Item 2, DGS 7578964, image 145 of 606, Register of Marriages, page 14, entry 11, 11 Mar 1861, Owen Sumner 64 widowed and L. Sowers 26 single both of Floyd. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99XF-K9MX-Q?i=144 : accessed 2 November 2022). 
  43. “Virginia, U.S., Birth Registers, 1853-1911,” index and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/418338:62153), citing Virginia, Birth Registers, 1853–1911at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Floyd County Register of Births 1861, page 61, line 5, 7 November 1861, Cintha Moore, white, female, alive, father E F Moore, farmer, mother Susan Moran (sic), informant father (accessed 6 June 2022). 
  44. “Virginia, U.S., Death Registers, 1853-1911,” Floyd County Register of Death 1861, page 20, line 25, Cinthia Moore, white, female, age 21 days (sic, 17), died 24 Nov 1861 in Floyd County, Virginia, of diphtheria, parents: E & Susan Moore (accessed 6 June 2022). 
  45. Ibid., Floyd County Register of Death 1861, page 20, line 24, Susan Moore, female, white, age 16, died 25 November 1861 Floyd County, Virginia, of diphtheria, consort of Elijah Moore, informant E. Moore, husband (accessed 6 June 2022). 
  46. Find A Grave, database and images. (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/209078601/gordon-w-roop: accessed 28 February 2022), memorial page for Gordon W. Roop (6 May 1862–31 Jan 1931), Find a Grave Memorial ID 209078601, citing Rich Creek Cemetery, Jodie, Fayette County, West Virginia, USA; Maintained by Jennifer Nottingham (contributor 49369720). 
  47. “Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Virginia,” database with images, Fold3 (https://www.fold3.com/publication/42/civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia), citing The National Archives, NARA microfilm publication M324, Fifty-fourth Regiment Virginia Infantry, Gordon Roop, 1 Nov 1863 in Flewellen Hospital, Cassville, Georgia. (https://www.fold3.com/document/12913782/roop-gorden-page-4-civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia: accessed February 2014). Note: His name appears on a Register of Officers and Soldiers of the Army of the Confederate States who were killed in battle, or who died of wounds or disease. 
  48. “Virginia, U.S., Marriage Registers, 1853-1935,” Floyd County Marriage Register 1869, page 88, line 12, 8 February 1869, P. D. Epperly and Emaline Roop (accessed 5 June 2022). 
  49. 1870 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7163/), citing Ninth Census of the United States, 1870 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T132, 13 rolls, Roll: M593_1646, Virginia, Floyd County, Alum Ridge, page 8, sheet 4B, household 55-53, lines 16-19, Cynthia Cox (accessed 18 October 2014). 
  50. “Marriage registers, 1843-1925,” browse-only images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/363663), citing microfilm of original records at the Floyd County Courthouse in Floyd, Virginia, Film 31345 Item 2, DGS 7578964, page 43, entry 86, 7 Nov 1873 Giles Sumner 20 Floyd son of John and Mahala and Dolly E. Roop 21 Floyd daughter of Gordon and Emeline. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-KB5Y?i=173&cat=363663 : accessed 2 November 2022). 
  51. “Virginia, U.S., Death Registers, 1853-1911,” Floyd County Register of Death 1874, no page number, line 4, Owen Sumner, male, white, age 78y4m7d, died 20 Nov 1874, Alum Ridge, farmer, parents Hezekiah and Isabelle, Wm T Lester informant. (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/251782:62152 : accessed 1 November 2022). 
  52. “Virginia, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Death Records, 1853-1912” database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of the original records at the Virginia State Library at Richmond, Virginia, Death registers, 1853-1906 (Virginia), Film 2056980, DGS 4225427 > Floyd County, 1853-1896> image 153 of 673 > Register of Deaths 1877, line 7. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DRMQ-65R?cc=3940896 : accessed 14 March 2022). 
  53. 1880 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/6742/), citing Tenth Census of the United States, 1880 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls, Roll:T9_1365; Virginia, Floyd County, Alum Ridge, Enumeration District: 25, page 31, sheet 276B, lines 38-39, household 278-278, Cynthia Cox (accessed 4 November 2014). 

52 Ancestors: #44 Jacob LESTER 1812-1842

“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

This is entry #44 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

#44 Jacob LESTER 1812-1842

Jacob Hiley LESTER or Jacob LESTER? Strange how for years you accept a person’s name without wondering where it came from.

Marguerite Tise in her book The Lester Family of Floyd and Montgomery County Virginia refers to my 4th great-grandfather as Jacob LESTER – without a middle name or initial.

Jerry Curtis Lester, who thinks of Marguerite as the “Queen of Lester Genealogy,” wrote:

“Remarkable, Marguerite did not use a computer to produce the manuscript of her book. She did it on a typewriter! And, she included the most complete index I have ever seen! Every person mentioned in the text is in the index with all the page numbers where the person is mentioned. At least, I’ve not found any exceptions. I’ve seen no “typos” or misspelled words or inconsistent formatting, and the formatting is very systematic with numbering, letters and indenting to delineate the various generations. I’m blown away by what she was able to do in her late 80’s. Her mind was so good.”1

Door16Jacob’s Parents and Siblings

Jacob’s parents were born during the American Revolutionary War (19 April 1775-14 January 1784). His father, John LESTER Jr. (1776-1851) was born on 7 March 1776 in Montgomery County, Virginia.2 This was the year that Fincastle County became extinct as it was divided to form Montgomery, Washington, and Kentucky (now the state of Kentucky) counties. His mother, Mary Ann “Polly” TERRY (1781-1862) was born on 3 February 1781, also in Montgomery County.3

On 30 September 1802 John LESTER Jr. was granted 190 acres “on Cockpitt branch waters of Brush Creek and some of the waters of Little River a branch of New River in Montgomery County.”4

1802marriage
05 Oct 1802 Lester-Terry Marriage record 007579015_00333 [received 3 Nov 2014 per email from FamilySearch’s “Request Photo Duplication” service]
John and Polly married a few days later, on 5 October 1802 in Montgomery County.5 They lived near his parents for the first 18 years of their marriage. “In 1820 John bought the large home tract of Charles Simmons and moved to present Floyd County. He lived about six miles north of the present town of Floyd. The house stood some distance behind the white frame house of George Simmons which was built years later and is now seen on the hill on present Route 8. Lester Cemetery #5 was on his place. It has since been destroyed.”6

In the late summer of 1997, Jerry Lester and Marguerite Tise made a trip around the Little River area. Jerry wrote, “I spent most of a day with Marguerite driving around Floyd Co., Va., at her direction while she pointed out family sites of interest to me (and her). I used my notebook computer with map software and GPS connection to record on the map the places of interest.”7 Jerry made voice recordings of this trip down memory lane with Marguerite Tise. [27 October 2022: The webpage they were stored at was crawled by the Wayback Machine but did not include the links to the recordings.]

map
NW of Floyd, Floyd County, Virginia. Courtesy of Jerry Curtis Lester, used with permission.

John and Polly were the parents of nine children, all born in Montgomery County as Floyd County would not be formed until 1831:8

◉ Child 1: Hulen “Hugh” LESTER (1803-1880) was born about 1803. Hulen married(1) Margaret SNYDER ( -1847) on 20 February 1823 in Montgomery County. They were the parents of 6 children. He married(2) Mary _____ (1814-1870) before 1847 in Shelby County, Indiana. They were the parents of 3 children. Hulen died in 1880 in Shelby County, Indiana.

◉ Child 2: Matilda LESTER (1805-1826) was born about 1805. Matilda married Archelaus WEDDLE (1799-1870) on 23 September 1825 in Montgomery County. She died bet. 1826 and 1829 in Virginia. John LESTER Jr. left a bequest of $100 to his granddaughter, Julia Ann WEDDLE, daughter of Matilda. It is believed that she was the only child of this marriage.

◉ Child 3: Malinda LESTER (1807-1890) was born about 1807. Malinda married Riley BOOTHE (1801-1878) on 26 May 1831 in Floyd County (marriage bond). They were the parents of 3 children, one died young. She died bet. 1890 and 1900 in Floyd County.

◉ Child 4: John LESTER (1808-1852) was born on 1 November 1808. John married Mary GARDNER (1812-1881) on 30 November 1832 in Montgomery County. They were the parents of 10 children. He died on 1 April 1852 in Floyd County, Virginia.

◉ Child 5: Amos Terry LESTER (1810-1890) was born on 30 November 1810. Amos married his first cousin Susannah Jane LESTER (1814-1888) on 19 March 1835 in Floyd County. They were the parents of 10 children. He died on 14 February 1890 in Brown County, Indiana.

◉ Child 6: Jacob LESTER was born about 1812. More about this child below.

◉ Child 7: Bird LESTER (1815-1864) was born in 1815. Bird married(1) Matilda SIMMONS (1820-1858) on 16 December 1835 in Floyd County. They were the parents of 8 children. He married(2) Rowena Mahulda LAMBERT (1818-?) on 6 July 1858 in Wyoming County, (West) Virginia. They had no known children. Bird died about 1864 in West Virginia.

◉ Child 8: William Terry LESTER(1818-1890) born 18 Jan 1818. William married Mary Amanda “Polly” SIMMONS (1824-1887) on 2 March 1840 in Floyd County. They were the parents of 9 children. William died on 4 March 1890 in Floyd County, two days after his 50th wedding anniversary.

◉ Child 9: Catherine Jane LESTER (1823-1902) was born on 13 March 1823. Catherine married James BOOTHE (1820-1863) on 10 October 1842 in Floyd County. They were the parents of 10 children. By 1863 four of these children were dead. James became deranged and shot himself. At the inquisition, Bird LESTER, Catherine’s brother, and Hulin BOOTHE, his 10-year-old son, testified. Catherine died on 30 January 1902.

In 1831, when Floyd County was formed, John LESTER was appointed a Justice of the Peace by the Governor of Virginia making him a member of the first Floyd County Court. He served the community in that capacity until his death. He also served as Sheriff of Floyd County from 1844 to 1845. He was a prominent and influential citizen, a successful farmer, a large landowner, and a slave owner.9

Courtship and Marriage

If you take another look at the map above you’ll see that John LESTER’s neighbor was the Rev. Owen SUMNER. Living in such close proximity, their children must have known each other growing up after John moved to the area. Owen’s oldest daughter Cynthia caught the attention of John’s son Jacob. We don’t know how long they courted but by the time Cynthia was 19 and Jacob was 22, they were united in marriage by Jesse Jones. The marriage bond was taken out in Floyd County on 18 August 1834 and the marriage took place on 4 September 1834 in Floyd County. Cynthia SUMNER’s name was spelled “Sintha” on the marriage register and “Senthy” on the bond.10,11

A year and a half after Jacob married he was a witness to a land transaction. On 9 May 1836, his first cousin Champ LESTER bought land from George and Nancy REED. Although others named on the deed have middle initials his name is seen as Jacob LESTER.12

At about the same time, Jacob and Cynthia had their first child Emaline LESTER (1836-1877) born about 1836 in Floyd County. About a year later their son George Washington LESTER (1837- ) was born, also in Floyd County.

Once again in 1840 when the census was enumerated we see only Jacob’s first and last name listed – no middle initial.

1840censuslester
1840 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd (ancestry.com)

1840 U.S. Federal Census13
Floyd County, Virginia
Page No. 181
Jacob Lester
1 male under 5 yo (George W.)
1 male 20 & under 30 yo (Jacob)
1 female under 5 yo (Emaline)
1 female 20 & under 30 yo (Cynthia)
4 persons in household
1 person engaged in agriculture

A Short Life Ends

Jacob LESTER died about 1842 in Floyd County, Virginia. His widow remarried in June of 1843.14

“Jacob Lester died about the age of 30, cause of death unknown. John Lester III* was appointed administrator of the estate in Feb. 1844. The appraisers, Isaac Moore, Riley Boothe, Topal O. Watkins, reported their appraisal of the estate as $106.12 1/2. The sale was held on March 8, 1844, which amounted to $105.75. There was a delay of two years in settling the estate of Jacob Lester, and his wife had remarried in the meantime. The reason for the delay is not known.” 15

As noted the inventory and bill of sale of the estate were dated 8 March 1844.16,17 The current account was not settled until 22 October 1850.18

*After John LESTER Jr.’s father passed away in 1825 he was known as John LESTER Sr. in the census and his son John was given the suffix Jr. To avoid confusion, John LESTER Jr., father of my Jacob, has been named John LESTER II by earlier researchers. His father was John LESTER I and his son was John LESTER III.

Jacob’s father, John LESTER Jr. (aka John LESTER II) died on 21 September 1851 in Floyd County, Virginia.

“His will, dated April 19, 1851, probated October 16, 1851, names his wife Mary and his nine children. He appointed his sons John III and William T. as executors of his estate. John III died suddenly seven months after his father’s death and the administration of the estate passed through several hands. The estate was not properly settled and much of it was dissipated. In 1890, years after John’s death, some of the heirs brought suit to gain possession of their inheritance. Nearly all of the principals had died by that time but eventually a satisfactory settlement was reached. The suit furnished some previously unknown information about the family.”19

The will of John LESTER dated 19 April 1851 and proved 16 October 1851 names wife Mary; children Malinda Booth, Katherine Booth, Hewline, John, Amos, Bird, and William; grandchildren, George Washington and Emaline Lester (children of a deceased son, Jacob); four sons and two daughters of his son Hewline and his first wife, Margaret, are mentioned but not by name; Juliann Weddle (daughter of his deceased daughter Matilda); and Noah L. Lester, a bound boy.20

Was Noah a son of Jacob?

John LESTER names Noah L. LESTER in his will as a bound boy and doesn’t indicate a relationship.

This will brings up the question: Who was Noah L. LESTER? Some people believe that he was a son of Jacob as he is seen in the 1850 census listing of John LESTER along with Jacob’s son George. This was after Jacob’s death. His widow had remarried and was seen in 1850 with her 2nd husband John W. COX, their 4-year-old daughter Susan COX, and Cynthia’s daughter Emaline from her marriage to Jacob LESTER.

In the 1840 census, Jacob had only one son listed in his household. His father John had a young male in his home in 1840 who could have been Noah who was born in about 1834. Marguerite Tise did not mention Noah LESTER in her book. John’s wife Polly, who had her last child at age 43, could not have been the mother of Noah as he was born when she was 53 years old. Polly was living with her son William T. LESTER, one of the executors of John’s estate in 1860. Polly died on 14 February 1862 in Floyd County. By 1860 Noah was married with 4 children. Noah and his family have not been located after the 1860 census.

Further digging brought to light the permission slip for Noah to marry Mary H. BOLLING in 1853. Being under 21, he was not of age to marry. His mother Catherine TOLBERT signed the slip.  Catherine SHEW married Alexander TOLBERT in 1838. She signed her own permission slip. It is not noted if she was single or a widow. In all likelihood, her son Noah S. took the LESTER surname when he was bound to John LESTER.

Jacob’s Name

We still have the unresolved problem of Jacob’s middle name. His son George’s 1855 marriage record to Amanda ROOP includes his name as Jacob LESTER.21 When his daughter Emaline married Gordon ROOP in 1856 her father was listed as Jacob LESTER by her grandfather Owen SUMNER who performed the marriage.22

So where does the middle name Hiley come from? Do you remember when you first began doing your family history? Everything and anything was added to your family tree. And, let’s be honest, back then when we were new to genealogy we believed everything that we found on Ancestry.

FDCJacobThe death date on this should set off all kinds of warning bells. How could Jacob have died in 1845 when his estate was appraised in March 1844 and his widow remarried in June 1843? I clicked on Learn more…

FDCinfoThe Family Data Collection was compiled for genetic research and did not require the same type of documentation as traditional genealogical research. The information came from “birth, marriage and death records; obituaries; probate records; books of remembrance; family histories; genealogies; family group sheets; pedigree charts; and other sources.”

A family group sheet or other compilation was submitted on the Jacob LESTER family and included the middle name, Hiley. As long as a primary source for his middle name is missing, I will consider it speculation. If anyone reading this knows of a document (entry in a family Bible, official record, etc.) that lists Hiley as the middle name of my 4th great-grandfather Jacob LESTER, I would appreciate hearing from you.

UPDATE 29 October 2022: The Personal Property Tax Lists for Floyd County, Virginia for 1831 to 1850 were viewed. Jacob LESTER was found on the PPT lists from 1835 to 1841. In 1842 he was seen as Jacob Lester Reps. A Hiley LESTER was found on the 1842 to 1846 lists. This overlaps the period when Jacob died (abt. 1842) and when his estate was settled (1844-1845).23

This Post was Updated on 30 October 2022Missing source citations were added, images were scaled, and some corrections were made to the text and format.

© 20142022, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. Jerry Lester, 28 Jan 2005, a webpage dedicated to Marguerite Tise (1913-2002) and her book The Lester Family of Floyd County and Montgomery County Virginia.  (https://web.archive.org/web/20210211234555/http://jerrylester.com/Tise%20Introduction/ : accessed 25 October  2022). Several links on the page are broken. 
  2. Marguerite Tise, comp., The Lester Family of Floyd and Montgomery County Virginia,  second (revised) printing 1997 (Copyright 1996 Marguerite Tise, P.O. Box 343, Floyd, VA 24091-0343). The book is available here: https://www.familysearch.org/library/books/records/item/193107-redirection : accessed 29 October 2022. 
  3. Ibid. 
  4. “Land Office/Northern Neck Patents & Grants” (index and images from microfilm), Library of Virginia Archives (https://lva-virginia.libguides.com/land-grants), citing Virginia State Land Office, the collection is housed in the Archives at the Library of Virginia, Land Office Grants No. 51, 1802-1803, p. 113 (Reel 117), Land grant 30 September 1802, John Luster Jr. grantee, 190 acres on Cockpitt branch waters of Brush Creek and some of the waters of Little River a branch of New River (Montgomery County). (https://lva.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/01LVA_INST/altrmk/alma990007873230205756 : accessed 25 October 2022). 
  5. “Marriage bonds, 1773-1857,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Christiansburg, Virginia, Film 2047124, DGS 7740794, Marriage bonds, 1796-1803, images 818+819 of 968, John Lester and Josiah Terry went bond on 5 Oct 1802 for the marriage of John Lester and Polly Terry. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C91D-33K9-Y?i=818&cc=2134304&cat=1135007 : accessed 29 October 2022). 
  6. Tise, page 11. 
  7. See Note 1, supra. 
  8. Information on the children of John and Polly was taken from Tise’s The Lester Family of Floyd and Montgomery County Virginia. I am in the process of searching for and evaluating the documentation to support her work. This will include census, marriage, and death records. 
  9. See Note 6, supra. 
  10. Rena Worthen & Barbara Reininger (co-project), “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” index and images, part of the Floyd County, Virginia, The USGenWeb Project (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/floyd.htm), citing the images of Floyd Co., VA marriages downloaded by Rena Worthen from the Library of Virginia Microform indexed by Barbara Reininger, FCVA1834_zMR1. 1834, Jacob Lester and Sintha Sumner marriage record. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/1_Marriages%20of%20Floyd%20County.htm : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  11. Ibid., FCVA1834_LesterSumnerBond, 1834 Jacob Lester and Sintha Sumner bond. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/1_Marriages%20of%20Floyd%20County.htm : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  12. “Deed books, 1831-1900; general indexes, 1831-1980,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/399119?availability=Family%20History%20Library), citing microfilm of original records at the Floyd County Courthouse in Floyd, Virginia, Film 31338, DGS 8572237, Deed books v. A-C 1831-1844, image 226 of 751, Book A page 417, 9 May 1836 George Reed and Nancy his wife to Champain Lester 145 acres. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C373-N9NN-1?i=225&cat=399119 : accessed 27 October 2022). 
  13. 1840 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8057/), citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, Roll: 704_555, FHL Film: 0029685, Virginia, Floyd County, page 181 (stamped, double-page spread), line 15, Jacob Lester (accessed 29 October 2014). 
  14. Barbara Reininger, compiler and website owner of “Families of Floyd County, Virginia”, Floyd Co., Virginia Marriages, (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/BarbR_FCVAResearch/zz_marriages.htm), transcribed from images of microfilm records obtained by Rena Worthen from the Library of Virginia, FCVA1843_0003; FCVA1843_0026. Register: 2. Page: 11. “John W. Cox (2) m. Cynthia Lester 06-01-1843 Floyd Co., VA by Michael Howry. She d/o Owen Sumner per bond and marriage return.” 
  15. Tise, page 20. 
  16. “Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983,” (index and images), Ancestry, citing original data of Virginia County, District, and Probate Courts, Floyd County, Will Books, Vol A-B, 1831-1854, Will Book A, page 246, 8 Mar 1844 appraisal of the estate of Jacob Lester (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9085/images/007644621_00139 : accessed 23 October 2022). 
  17. Ibid., Floyd County, Will Books, Vol A-B, 1831-1854, Will Book A, page 247-248, 8 Mar 1844 bill of sale of the estate of Jacob Lester (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9085/images/007644621_00140 : accessed 23 October 2022). 
  18. Ibid., Floyd County, Will Books, Vol A-B, 1831-1854, Will Book B, page 186, 22 Oct 1850 current account of the estate of Jacob Lester (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9085/images/007645229_00474 : accessed 27 October 2022). 
  19. See Note 6, supra. 
  20. “Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983,” Floyd County, Will Books, Vol A-B, 1831-1854, Book B, page 242-243, 19 Apr 1851 Will of John Lester proved 16 Oct 1851.  (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9085/images/007645229_00502 : accessed 27 October 2022). 
  21.   Worthen & Reininger, “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” 1855 George W. Lester and Amanda Roop marriage. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1855/FCVA1855LesterRoopMar%20Light.jpg : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  22. Ibid., Marriage License of Gordon Roop age 18 and Emeline Lester age 20 married 10 Mar 1856. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1856/FCVA1856RoopLester.jpg : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  23. Virginia Commissioner of the Revenue (Floyd County), “Personal property tax lists, 1831-1850,” (browse-only images), FamilySearch Microfilm of original records at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, Film # 008249437, image 220 of 533, 1842 list, page 14, line 25, Jacob Lester Reps (s superscript), 0001 and line 19, Hiley Lester, 1001. [See images 83 (1835), 103 (1836), 122 (1837), 142 (1838), 158 (1839), 176 (1840),  and 193 (1841) for Jacob’s other listings. See images 251 (1843), 285 (1844), 319 (1845), and 355 (1846) for Hiley Lester’s listings.] (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSPG-G3CQ-Q?cat=776059 : accessed 30 October 2022). 

52 Ancestors: #43(2) Elizabeth’s parents Robert and Anne CARROLL

“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

This is entry #43(2) in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

I might be breaking a rule by doing this ancestor in two parts in one week. My posts for this challenge are not spontaneous. I have this planned out to the end of the year. For me, an ancestor’s childhood and parents are part of her life. In the case of this ancestor, it became so complicated that I’ve broken this up into two parts. For the first part, please see 52 Ancestors: #43(1) Elizabeth CARROLL abt. 1808-bet. 1880-1890

#43(2) Elizabeth’s parents Robert and Anne CARROLL

I thought this would be an easy write-up until I started taking a closer look at what I have on the CARROLL family of Montgomery County, Virginia. To begin with, the name was found with many different spellings: CARL, CAREL, CARLE, CAROL, CARRIL, CARREL, CARRELL, CARROLL.

To add to the confusion the George Valentine “Feltha” CORRELL family moved to the area soon after the 1810 census from Augusta County. They were of German heritage and the surname was sometimes spelled CARRELL. Fortunately, I’ve already looked into this family as Feltha’s wife Kate was a WEAVER, daughter of George WEAVER and Barbara RUPP (sister of my Henry RUPE), and granddaughter of my 1752 immigrants (6th great-grandparents) Johan Jacob RUPP and Maria Barbara NONNENMACHER.

CARROLL Marriages

According to family tradition, three of Henry RUPE’s sons married CARROLL sisters. Let’s take a look at the CARROLL marriages that took place in Montgomery and Floyd counties from 1830 to 1850:

◉ 1. My fourth great-grandparents James ROOP and Elizabeth CARROLL married on 23 July 1830. In the abstract of the marriage, his last name was spelled RUPE and her maiden name was indexed as EARL.1 As mentioned last week RUPE and ROOP were used interchangeably. The names of the bride’s and groom’s parents were not included in the transcript. To-do list: request copy of marriage record because….I believe that EARL is an indexing error and her maiden name was most likely spelled CARL as it was for her sister Mary the following year: The entry in the marriage record was found as FamilySearch added new records to their collections. Elizabeth’s maiden name in the record was spelled CARL as it was for her sister Mary the following year. No mention of parents was given.2

◉ 2. “I do hereby certify that I celebrated the rites of matrimony between Joseph Roop & Mary Carl of Montgomery Cty on the 13th day of September 1831 by virtue of a publication given under my hand this 26th day of June 1832. Richd Buckingham”3,4

◉ 3. Richard Buckingham also celebrated the rites of matrimony between John CARL and Theodocia WILSON of Floyd County on the 27th day of November 1832, published 4 Dec 1832.5 John died on 1 October 1881 in Floyd County. The abstract of his record of death shows his name as John CARRIL and his parents as Robert and Anne.6

◉ 4. Peninah CARROLL married Henry KEMPLIN on 26 November 1835 in Floyd County, Virginia. The marriage was performed by Michael Howry. The parents of the couple were not listed in this source.7 Robert CARROL and Henry KEMPLIN went bond the same day for the marriage of Peninah CARROL and Henry Kemplin.8 The relationship between Robert to Peninah was not given. Robert signed his name CARRELL. This couple went to Kentucky before 1840.

◉ 5. Nancy Carroll married Andrew DAME on 5 September 1844 in Montgomery County, Virginia.9 No information found on this couple.

◉ 6. On 4 November 1846 William ROOP gave bond with Robert CARRELL as security for the marriage of William to Robert’s daughter Catherine CARRELL.10 In 1850 Anne CARLE age 62 was in the household of William and Catherine ROOP. The relationship is not listed however Anne would appear to be Catherine’s mother.

◉ 7. Rose CARROLL married James JUSTICE on 21 October 1848. The abstract of this record includes the name of the bride’s father, Robert CARROLL.11 At this point things become complicated. Rose may have had two daughters before this marriage. Sarah CARROLL who is seen with her in 1850 and Drusilla CARROLL. The second daughter later took the surname JUSTICE. Sallie/Sarah RATLIFF was seen as Drusilla’s grandmother in 1880 suggesting that Rose’s children’s father was a RATLIFF. Sarah CARROLL was also found with Sarah RATLIFF in 1850 and with Robert CARROLL in 1860. Like her sister Drusilla, Sarah CARROLL appears to have had a child out of wedlock and is seen in 1880 as Sarah JUSTIS.

◉ 8. Joseph R. CARRELL and Sarah KROPFF were married by Thomas G. Shelor on 6 August 1846 in Floyd County, Virginia. Sarah was the daughter of Barbary KROPFF per permission note. The parents of the groom were not mentioned.12

◉ 9. Robert R. CARRELL and Evaline M. RATLIFF were married by Owen Sumner on 9 July 1848 in Floyd County, Virginia. Evaline was the daughter of Benjamin RATLIFF per bond. The parents of the groom were not mentioned.13

From the family tradition and the above marriages that list a parent, the following children are Robert’s: *Elizabeth, *Mary, *John, *Catherine, and *Rose. This leaves Peninah, Nancy, Joseph, and Robert as possible children.

CARROLL in the Census

The Robert CARROLL family was NOT always the only family of that name in Montgomery County per the earliest censuses. In 1810 there was also a Samuel CARREL Sr. age over 45 and in 1820 a James CARRELL age 26-44. Samuel was not on the 1820 census or later and James was not found in Montgomery in 1830 or later. After this time, in 1830, Robert was the only CARROLL in Montgomery County. Robert and his son John were the only CARROLLs in Floyd County in 1840. Note that Floyd County was formed from Montgomery in 1831.

Since Robert was the only CARROLL in Montgomery County after 1820 I believe that it is possible that 8 of the 9 (if not all) marriages found above may be his children. Using these young people (*proven) I analyzed the pre-1850 census:

1810censuscarrel
1810 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Montgomery > Christiansburg (ancestry.com)

1810 U.S. Federal Census14
Montgomery County, Virginia
Christiansburg
Name: Robt Carrel
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 1 (John)
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44 : 1 (Robert 26-29)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 2 (
Elizabeth and *Mary)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 1 (unknown b. bet. 1795-1800)
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1 (Anne 26-29)
Number of Household Members Under 16: 4
Number of Household Members Over 25: 2
Number of Household Members: 6

1820censuscarrell
1820 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Montgomery > Blacksburg (ancestry.com)

1820 U.S. Federal Census15
Montgomery County, Virginia
Blacksburg
Name: Robert Carrell
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 1 (John, wrong column?)
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1 (Robert age 36-39)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 4 (
Mary, Rose, Peninah, *Catherine)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 1 (
Elizabeth)
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1 (Anne age 36-39)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons – Under 16: 6
Free White Persons – Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 8
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 8

1830censuscarle
1830 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Montgomery > Christiansburg (ancestry.com)

1830 U.S. Federal Census16
Montgomery County, Virginia
Christiansburg
Name: Robert Carle
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (Robert)
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1 (Joseph)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (John)
Free White Persons – Males – 40 thru 49: 1 (Robert age 46-49)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (Nancy)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 1 (
Catherine)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 2 (*Rose, Peninah)
Free White Persons – Females – 40 thru 49: 1 (Anne age 46-49)
Free White Persons – Females – 50 thru 59: 1 (older woman?)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 6
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 3
Total Free White Persons: 10
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 10

Up until 1830, the analysis of the census went well except for son John (b. abt. 1806) having slipped into the wrong column in 1820. The children fit the CARROLL marriages seen above. Then 1840 blows everything out of the water.

1840censuscarel
1840 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd (ancestry.com)

1840 U.S. Federal Census17
Floyd County, Virginia
Name: Robert Carol
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1 (??)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 2 (Joseph and Robert)
Free White Persons – Males – 50 thru 59: 1 (Robert age 56-59)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 1 (Rose’s dau Sarah)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 5 (Nancy, 4x??)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 (*Rose, *Catherine)
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1 (poss. mother of younger children)
Free White Persons – Females – 50 thru 59: 1 (Anne age 56-59)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 2
Persons Employed in Manufacture and Trade: 1
Free White Persons – Under 20: 10
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 1
Total Free White Persons: 13
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 13

Robert and Anne are with their unmarried children but there is another young woman with them and it looks like she may have brought five children with her. Could she be the girl aged 10-15 seen with the CARROLL family in 1810? Was she Robert’s sister? Was she the mother of all the younger children?

1850censuscarle
1850 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Montgomery (ancestry.com)

In 1850 Robert CARROLL was not found in the census. However, Anne CARLE age 62 was in the household of her son-in-law William ROOP (above) and her daughter Catherine.18 Eight of the nine CARROLL children were found in their own households. As mentioned earlier, no record was found for Nancy who married Andrew DAME.

In 1860 we find Robert CARROLL age 74 in the census with young people who may be grandchildren.

1860censuscarrell1
1860 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Montgomery > Christiansburg (ancestry.com)
1860censuscarrell2
1860 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Montgomery > Christiansburg (ancestry.com)

1860 U.S. Federal Census19
Montgomery County, Virginia
Christiansburg
Robert Carroll 74 wheelright
Robert Carroll 22 laborer (1850 age 22)
Sarah Carroll 21 (1850 age 14/15, poss. a daughter of Rose Carroll)
Elisha Carroll 14 (1850 age 0, son of Ruth Ratliff Rose)
Isaac Rose 35 basket maker (husband of Ruth)
Ruth Rose 20 (1850 age 22, daughter of Sarah Carroll Ratliff)
Malinda Rose 7
Druscilla Rose 1
Note: ages of persons in the household are off by 5-10 years

The young Robert seen in this household may be his son but the age is off by 10 years. A Robert CARROLL age 12 was not found in the 1850 census. In 1850 Robert’s son Robert R. CARROLL age 22 was in prison; his wife Evaline had her own household with their son Jesse. She has not been located in 1860 but in 1868 she was a widow and remarried. She had her last child about 1862 and he was named Giles Gordon CARROLL.

Sarah CARROLL seen in Robert’s household in 1860 was found twice in 1850, in the household of Rose Carroll JUSTICE and in the household of Sarah Carroll RATLIFF.

Elisha CARROLL was the son of Ruth CARROLL (aka Ruth RATLIFF) per his marriage record. Ruth, the wife of Isaac ROSE, was listed as Ruth RATLIFF, daughter of Sarah RATLIFF when she married in 1853. Ruth and Isaac have not been found after 1860. Why would Ruth’s son Elisha have the CARROLL surname if his mother was a RATLIFF? Could it be that Ruth’s mother Sarah RATLIFF was actually a CARROLL as she is seen in 1870? Is Sarah the young girl seen in Robert’s household in 1810 and then again in 1840? Could she be Robert’s sister?

Sarah RATLIFF in Census

1850 U.S. Federal Census20
Montgomery County, Virginia
Sarah Ratliff F 55 Virginia
Ruth Carroll F 22 Virginia (daughter of Sarah per marriage record)
Sarah Carroll F 14 Virginia (daughter of Rose?)
Drusilla Carroll F 10 Virginia (daughter of Rose per 1880)
Elijah Carroll M 0 Virginia (son of Ruth per marriage record)
Lucinda Norris F 30 Virginia (relationship unknown)
Julia A. Norris F 10 Virginia (relationship unknown)
Harvey Norris M 2 Virginia (relationship unknown)

1860 U.S. Federal Census
Sarah Ratliff aka Sarah Carroll was not found.

1870 U.S. Federal Census21
Montgomery County, Virginia
Christiansburg
Justice, Rose M. 46
Justice, Drucilla 26 (daughter of Rose per 1880)
Justice, Ellen 11 (daughter of Drusilla per 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930)
Carroll, Sallie 84 (aka Sarah Ratliff)
Rose, Amanda 3 (poss. daughter of Ruth and Isaac Rose who disappeared aft. 1860)

1880 U.S. Federal Census22
Montgomery County, Virginia
Auburn
Justis, Drucilla 37 single (died bet. 1930-1940)
Justis, Rosa M. 63 widowed mother (died bet. 1880-1900)
Ratliff, Sallie 90 widowed grandmother (died bet. 1880-1900)

Wrinkle in my timeline

The 1880 census listing for Sallie RATLIFF threw me. I thought at first glance that “Sallie” was the mother of “Rosa” but this would put a wrinkle in my timeline for the Robert CARROLL family and add complications.

I’ve spent hours going back and forth with this information. My problem is a riddle: If Rose CARROLL was the daughter of Robert CARROLL and Sarah RATLIFF was the grandmother of Rose’s daughter Drusilla CARROLL aka Drusilla JUSTICE, then either Sarah was the mother of Rose or she was the mother of Drusilla’s unknown father. I would much rather think that she was not Drusilla’s mother as this would mean that Robert and Sarah (who was not his wife) had a child together.

Can I trust the census records that show these people using one surname and then changing to another without marrying? Can you see my predicament? I hope that by putting all the information into this post someone will see it and hopefully have the answers. I may have to take Diane Gould Hall’s advice and get images of the marriage records in hopes of finding more information than is transcribed. [As seen above, I took her advice and cited them when I revised this post.]

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that Robert and Anne CARROLL were the parents of John, Elizabeth, Mary, Rose, and Catherine and they may have had four more children. Speculation on my part is that Peninah, Nancy, Joseph, and Robert were these four children.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to go back in time and talk to Mary, the daughter of Robert and Anne CARROLL, who lived to be 100 years old and could vividly tell of events that happened when she was young?

Mrs. Mary Roop, the last living child of Robert and Anne CARROLL d. 1909

Two newspaper clippings were found documenting the long life of Mrs. Mary ROOP born Mary CARROLL.23,24

1907article

“Christiansburg” (paragraphs 2+3)
Mrs. Mary Roop, of Auburn, in this county, has been quite ill for several days, but her friends have strong hopes of her recovery, although she is quite advanced in years, having celebrated her ninety-eighth birthday on New Year’s Day. She was born on the first day of January, 1809, a few miles from her present residence, and so far as is known she is the oldest person in the county. Her husband, the late Joseph Roop, died of a cancer in 1876, and she has lived with her youngest daughter at the old home place ever since. She can tell of events which happened ninety years ago as vividly as if she were speaking of things which took place only a year ago, and her memory is the wonder of the community.

All five of her sons fought in the late Civil War, one of whom lost his life in the service and the other four are still living in the county, as are three daughters, the youngest having died one year ago. She has a large number of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and some half a dozen great-great-grandchildren, in all the greatest number of descendants of any living person in this county.

1909obit

Mrs. Mary Roop
[Special to The Times-Dispatch.]

Christiansburg, VA., January 8. – Mrs. Mary Roop died at her residence, near Riner, in Montgomery county, yesterday after an illness of several months, aged 100 years and six days, being the oldest person in this county. She was born within a few miles of Riner on the first day of January, 1809. She was a remarkable woman, having never suffered any illness of consequence until a short time ago, and was clear in mind and memory until a few days before her death.
Her husband, the late Joseph Roop, died in 1876, and she continued to live at the old Homestead until her death, refusing to leave to live with any of her children, although often urged to do so. She leaves three sons and three daughters living, three of her children having died, the oldest living child now being nearly eighty years old. She also leaves over 100 descendants, embracing six generations. R. I. Roop, of this place, is one of her grandsons. The burial took place to-day at the family burying ground, near her home.

This Post was Updated on 23 October 2022Missing source citations were added, images were scaled, and some corrections were made to the text and format.

© 20142022, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. “Virginia, Marriages 1740-1850,” (index-only), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/3723/), original data: Dodd, Jordan R., et al., Early American Marriages: Virginia to 1850. 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). 
  2. “Marriage records, 1785-1861,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1135002), citing microfilm of original records at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Christiansburg, Virginia., Film 2047122 (item 3), DGS 7740792, Marriage record, 1812-1841, image 101 of 854, right page, 7th entry, 8 Jun 1830, James Roop and Elizabeth Carrol (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C91C-TPS4?cc=2134304 : accessed 23 December 2021). Note: “Marriage record, 1812-1841” collection was copied from the ministers’ returns. 
  3. Louise Roop Anderson Akers, comp., The Family Rub, Rup, Rupe, Roop, Roope (2001 Printed by Jamont Communications, 339 Luck Ave., Roanoke, VA 24016). Photocopy of the page with marriages by Richard Buckingham. Note: same image as found in footnote 4. 
  4. “Marriage records, 1785-1861,” Film 2047122 (item 3), DGS 7740792, Marriage record, 1812-1841, image 111 of 854, left page, 2nd entry, Joseph Roop and Mary Carl married 13 Sep 1831 by Richd Buckingham who published it 26 Jun 1832 (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C91C-TPSM?cc=2134304 : accessed 25 December 2021). 
  5. Barbara Reininger, compiler and website owner of “Families of Floyd County, Virginia,” Floyd County, Virginia Marriages, (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/BarbR_FCVAResearch/zz_marriages.htm), transcribed from images of microfilm records obtained by Rena Worthen from the Library of Virginia, Minister’s return for the 27 Nov 1832 marriage of John Carl and Theodocia Wilson of Floyd County, published 4 Dec 1832 by Richd Buckingham. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1832/FCVA1832_36.jpg : accessed 18 October 2022). 
  6. “Death registers, 1853-1906 (Virginia),” browse-only images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/780106), Virginia Bureau of Vital Statistics, citing microfilm of the original records at the Virginia State Library at Richmond, Virginia, Film 2056980, DGS 4225427, Death registers Floyd County, 1853-1896, image 165 of 673, 1881 Register, entry 17, John Carrel, m w, 1 Oct, farmer, 75 yrs, Robert + Anne Carrel (parents), b. Montgomery, consort of Dosha Carrel, informant: Jacob Carrel, son. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DRMQ-DYQ?i=164&cc=3940896 : accessed 14 October 2022). 
  7. Reininger,  Floyd County, Virginia Marriages, Minister’s return for the 26 Nov 1835 marriage of Peninah Carroll and Henry Kemplin in Floyd County by Michael Howry. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1835/FCVA1835_4.jpg : accessed 27 April 2022). 
  8. Ibid., Robert Carrol and Henry Kemplin went bond on 26 Nov 1835 for the marriage of Peninah Carrol and Henry Kemplin. Robert signed his name Carrell. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1835/FCVA1835_32.jpg : accessed 27 April 2022). 
  9. Virginia State Library (Richmond, Virginia) and Montgomery County (Virginia). County Clerk, “Register of marriages, Montgomery County, Virginia, 1777-1853,” (browse-only images), <i>FamilySearch</i>, citing microfilm of original records at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, Film 32633, DGS 7579015, Index of marriage register, 1777-1853 — Register of marriages, 1777-1853, image 528 of 673, 5 Sep 1844 Andrew Dame and Nancy Carroll, Nancy Dame mother, Samuel Dame and Philip Anderson witnesses. “.” (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-FX8W?i=527 : accessed 23 December 2021). 
  10. Louise Roop Anderson Akers, comp., The Family Rub, Rup, Rupe, Roop, Roope (2001 Printed by Jamont Communications, 339 Luck Ave., Roanoke, VA 24016). Photocopy of marriage bond of William Roop and Catherine Carrell. 
  11. “Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XR8J-69S : accessed 21 Oct 2014), James Justice and Rose Carroll, 21 Oct 1848; citing Montgomery County, Virginia, reference P 308; FHL microfilm 32633. 
  12. Floyd County, Virginia, Marriages 1831-1900; transcribed by Barbara Reininger from images copied from microfilm by Rena Worthen; online http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~barbr/zz_marriages.htm.&#160;
  13. Floyd County, Virginia, Marriages 1831-1900; transcribed by Barbara Reininger from images copied from microfilm by Rena Worthen; online http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~barbr/zz_marriages.htm.&#160;
  14. 1810 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7613/), citing Third Census of the United States, 1810 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M252, 71 rolls, Roll M252_70, Film 181430, image 102, Virginia, Montgomery County, Christiansburg, page 653 (handwritten on right margin), image 36 of 52, line 10, Robt Carrel (accessed 13 March 2013). 
  15. 1820 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7734/), citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll: M33_130, Image: 329, Virginia, Montgomery County, Blacksburg, Page: 171A, Line 18, Robert Carrell (accessed 13 March 2013). 
  16. 1830 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8058/), citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, Roll: M19_198, FHL Film: 0029677, Virginia, Montgomery County, Christiansburg, Page: 60, Line 7, Robert Carle (accessed 13 March 2013). 
  17. 1840 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8057/), citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, Roll M704_555, FHL Film 0029685, Virginia, Floyd County, image 32 of 49, page 15 (handwritten), line 17, Robert Carol (accessed 26 December 2021). 
  18. 1850 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8054/), citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll: M432_962, Virginia, Montgomery County, sheet 52B, household 708-708, lines 23-27, William Roop (accessed 22 October 2014). 
  19. 1860 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7667/), 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_1363, FHL Film 805363, Virginia, Montgomery County, Christianburg; Page No. 55+56, lines 38-40 and lines 1-5, household 395-375, Robert Carroll (accessed 13 March 2013). The official enumeration day of the 1860 census was 1 June 1860. 
  20. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Roll: M432_962, Virginia, Montgomery County, sheet 7A (stamped), household 80-80, lines 1-8, Sarah Ratliff (accessed 22 October 2014). 
  21. 1870 U.S. Federal Census, M593_1664; Virginia, Montgomery, Christiansburg, page no. 25, sheet 133A, lines 24-28, household 137-166, Rose M. Justice (accessed 27 October 2014). 
  22. 1880 U.S. Federal Census, Roll: T9_1378, Virginia, Montgomery County, Auburn, Enumeration District 56, page 26, sheet 487B, lines 45-47, household 218-227, Drucilla Justice (accessed 22 October 2014). 
  23. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, The Library of Congress, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/, The Times Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia), 13 January 1907, page 4, column 1, “Christiansburg,” 2nd and 3rd paragraph. (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85038615/1907-01-13/ed-1/seq-18/ : accessed 4 April 2016). 
  24. Ibid., The Times Dispatch (Richmond, Va.), 09 January 1909, page 2, column 7, “Mrs. Mary Roop” (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85038615/1909-01-09/ed-1/seq-2/ : accessed 4 April 2016). 

52 Ancestors: #43(1) Elizabeth CARROLL abt. 1808-bet. 1880-1890

“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

This is entry #43(1) in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

I might be breaking a rule by doing this ancestor in two parts in one week. My posts for this challenge are not spontaneous. I have this planned out to the end of the year. For me, an ancestor’s childhood and parents are part of her life. In the case of this ancestor, it became so complicated that I’ve broken this up into two parts.

#43(1) Elizabeth CARROLL abt. 1808-bet. 1880-1890

I thought this would be an easy write-up until I started taking a closer look at what I have on the CARROLL family of Montgomery County, Virginia.

According to family tradition, three of Henry RUPE’s sons married CARROLL sisters. My fourth great-grandparents James ROOP and Elizabeth CARROLL married on 23 July 1830.1,2 In the abstract of the marriage his last name was spelled RUPE and her maiden name was indexed as EARL.

Update (6 January 2022): They Married Six and a Half Weeks Earlier!

As mentioned last week RUPE and ROOP were used interchangeably. The names of the bride’s and groom’s parents were not included in the transcript. To-do list: request a copy of the marriage record as I believe that EARL is an indexing error and her maiden name was most likely spelled CARL as it was for her sister Mary the following year:

“I do hereby certify that I celebrated the rites of matrimony between Joseph Roop & Mary Carl of Montgomery Cty on the 13th day of September 1831 by virtue of a publication given under my hand this 26th day of June 1832. Richd Buckingham”3

On 4 November 1846, William ROOP went bond with Robert CARRELL as security for the marriage of William to Robert’s daughter Catherine CARRELL.4 In 1850 Anne CARLE age 62 was in the household of William and Catherine ROOP. The relationship is not listed however Anne would appear to be Catherine’s mother.5

I had planned on including all information on the CARROLL family to show how everything I’ve found fits together. I wrote up 1500 words and then decided that it was too complicated to include here. So we are back to family tradition: the parents of the girls who married the ROOP boys were Robert and Anne CARROLL. These names are also seen on the abstract of their brother John CARROLL’s death in 1881 entry in the 1881 death register for their brother John CARROLL.6

My 4th great-grandmother Elizabeth CARROLL was born about 1808.7 Most likely this was at the same place as her sister Mary who was born on the 1st day of January in 1809 “within a few miles of Riner” in Montgomery County, Virginia. Mary lived to be 100 years old and her memory was the wonder of the community.8,9

After Elizabeth and James ROOP married in 1830 they started a family that grew until they had their 12th child in 1854. A dozen children in two dozen years! By this time they were living in their new home in Floyd County. The children were: (Births and marriages of these children were cited in the article of their father James ROOP.)

◉ Ch 1: Amanda “Manda” ROOP (1831-1894) was born in September 1831 in Montgomery County, Virginia. She married George Washington LESTER (1837-aft 1900) on 23 March 1855 in Floyd County, Virginia. They were the parents of four children, one of who died at the young age of 4 years. It has been speculated that this was a troubled marriage and they may have divorced as George was married again in 1890.10 Manda died of dropsy on 10 February 1894 in Raleigh County, West Virginia.11 The person giving the information was her sister Barbie THOMPSON who gave Manda’s marital status as “married.” George was seen as widowed in the 1890 marriage and it could be that he left Manda without divorcing her.

◉ Ch 2: Floyd ROOP (1833-1923) was born on 12 May 1833 in Montgomery County, Virginia. He married(1) Mary L. BLACKWELL (1832-bef. 1900) on 5 April 1855 in Floyd County. Mary gave Floyd six children before she died. He married(2) Lucinda WILLSIE (1855-1913) about 1901. This marriage was without issue. Floyd died on 3 February 1923 in Auburn, Montgomery County, and was buried in White Oak Grove Cemetery, near the home that he grew up in, in Floyd County.12

◉ Ch 3: Evaline ROOP (1835-aft.1890) was born on 3 March 1835 in Montgomery County, Virginia. She married Mathias RATLIFF (1836-1888) on 4 March 1856 in Floyd County. They were the parents of ten children. Evaline likely died after being mentioned in her father’s will dated 13 January 1890 was written and before the 1900 census.13

◉ Ch 4: Peradine ROOP (1835-1909) was born on 30 November 1835 in Montgomery County, Virginia. She married Sylvester MILLS (1832-1909) on 30 August 1855 in Floyd County. They were the parents of eight children. Peradine died two months after her husband in March 1909 in West Virginia and was buried in Simmons Cemetery, Mountview, Raleigh County, West Virginia.14

◉ Ch 5: Gordon ROOP (1838-1863) was born about 1838 in Montgomery County, Virginia. He married Emaline LESTER (1836-1877) on 10 March 1856 in Floyd County. They were the parents of three children. Gordon died on 1 November 1863 in Flewellen Hospital, Cassville, Bartow County, Georgia, and was buried in Cassville Cemetery.15

◉ Ch 6: Barbary Ellen “Barbie” ROOP (1839-aft.1910) was born on 28 June 1839 in Montgomery County, Virginia. She married(1) Nathaniel THOMPSON (1840-1896) on 12 September 1888 in Raleigh County, West Virginia. She married(2) Henderson BECKELHEIMER (1840-1905) on 20 December 1898 at her residence in Raleigh County. She married(3) Charles COCHRAN (1825-1910) on 21 August 1906 in Summers County, West Virginia. Barbary died after April 1910. She never had children.

◉ Ch 7: Giles Henderson ROOP (1841-1863) was born on 2 February 1841 in Montgomery County, Virginia. He died on 19 September 1863 in Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia.16

◉ Ch 8: William H. T. ROOP (1843-1863) was born on 6 November 1843 in Montgomery County, Virginia. He died either May 1862 in Floyd County, Virginia, or on 20 September 1863 in Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia.17,18

◉ Ch 9: Rachel Monacha ROOP (1845-1901) was born about 1845 in Montgomery County, Virginia. She married William Lee SIMMONS (1843-1923) on 8 March 1866 in Floyd County. They were the parents of twelve children. Rachel died on 16 December 1901 and is most likely buried alongside her husband in the Simmons Cemetery at Mountview in Raleigh County, West Virginia.19

◉ Ch 10: James Anderson ROOP (1849-aft.1920) was born in September 1849 in Floyd County, Virginia. He married(1) Elizabeth Jane BURK (1848-1919) on 26 November 1868 in Montgomery County. They were the parents of six children. James married(2) Almeda Jane HOLLANDSWORTH (1876-1951) on 5 July 1919 in Fayette County, West Virginia.20 This was only a few months after the death of his first wife. There are no known children from this second marriage. James died on 16 May 1928 in Altavista, Campbell County, Virginia.21

◉ Ch 11: Hamilton N. ROOP (1853-1919) was born about December 1853 in Floyd County, Virginia. He married Mary Elizabeth EPPERLY (1852-1926) on 15 August 1872 at the residence of Owen SUMNER in Floyd County. They were the parents of seven children. Hamilton died in 1919 and was buried in Surface Cemetery in Riner, Montgomery County.22

◉ Ch 12: Charles Monroe ROOP (1854-1928) was born on 10 August 1854 in Floyd County, Virginia. He married Sarah Martha EPPERLY (1853-1933) on 17 March 1873 in Floyd County. They were the parents of four children, one dying at age 2. Charles died on 22 December 1928 and was buried in Fairview Cemetery, Roanoke, Virginia.23

Four of Elizabeth’s sons and two of her sons-in-law served in Company A, 54th Infantry Regiment Virginia: Floyd ROOP, Gordon ROOP, Giles Henderson ROOP, William H. T. ROOP, George Washington LESTER, and Sylvester MILLS. Her son-in-law Mathias RATLIFF served in Company E of the same regiment. Seven men in the family served and three did not come home: my third great-grandfather Gordon and his brothers Giles and William died in Georgia in 1863 while serving. Gordon was fighting his last battle at Chickamauga when his brothers Giles and William died within 24 hours of each other during the battle on the 19th and 20th of September 1863.24 On 1 November 1863, Gordon died in Flewellen Hospital, in Cassville, Bartow County, Georgia. His cause of death was not mentioned on his Civil War card.25

The deaths of these sons meant many grandchildren and descendants were not to be. I was lucky in that my 2nd great-grandfather Gordon Washington Roop was born “just in the nick of time.”25

Elizabeth CARROLL died before her husband James ROOP, who died on 2 November 1890 in Floyd County, Virginia.26 She was last seen in the 1880 census. It’s possible that she died shortly before her husband made his will on 31 January 1890. It seems plausible that his wife’s death might have prompted James to write his will and take care of unfinished business.

Assuming that she died about 1889-1890, Elizabeth was survived by her children Manda, Floyd, Evaline, Peradine, Barbie, Rachel, James, Hamilton, and Charles.

She left 55 grandchildren: John, George, and Cordelia LESTER; Amos, Manda, James, Mary Ellen, Sarah, and Jennie ROOP; Virginia, Cephas, Giles, Sarah, Charles, William, Landon, Mary, and Matthew RATLIFF; Mary, James, Rhoda, Giles, Julina, Susan, Laura, and Amos MILLS; Dollie, John, and Gordon ROOP; Charlton, Angeline, Samuel, Amon, Laura, Dillard, Cora, John, Woodson, Tempey, and Frank SIMMONS; Lucy, Bill, James, Cephas, Maggie, and John ROOP; Giles, Ham, Silas, John, Ella, Mattie, and Charles ROOP; Charles and William ROOP. One last grandchild Bertha ROOP would be born in 1898, the youngest child of her youngest child.

She left 40 great-grandchildren: Laura, Susan, John, and Juber LESTER; Louvina, Minnie, Roxie Ann, James, and Amelia HUTCHINSON; Flora ROOP; Lucy ROOP, Arthur and Frank BISHOP; Lillie and Edgar ROOP; Mary, Lucy, Alice, Frank, James, and Arthur STUMP; Victor, Archie, and Aaron RATCLIFFE; Sadie RATCLIFFE; Calla MILLS; Hattie, Ezra, Posey, Luverna, and Adford SUMNER; Tillitha, Martin Otis, and Dolly Ann ROOP; George, Walter Farmer, Charles, and James ROOP; Maggie and Betty DeLUNG. About 180 more great-grandchildren and at least 550 great-great-grandchildren would be born after her death. A true report of her descendants is not possible as not all great-grandchildren and their families have been researched.

This Post was Updated on 23 October 2022Missing source citations were added and some corrections were made to the text and format.

Part Two:
52 Ancestors: #43(2) Elizabeth’s parents Robert and Anne CARROLL

© 20142022, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. “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). This is indexed information. The actual record was found on 23 December 2021. The date of marriage was Wednesday, 8 June 1830. The marriage was published on Saturday, 23 July 1830 by Richd Buckingham. The bride’s maiden name was Carrol and not Earl as indexed. See Footnote 2. 
  2. “Marriage records, 1785-1861,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1135002), citing microfilm of original records at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Christiansburg, Virginia, Film 2047122 (item 3), DGS 7740792, Marriage record, 1812-1841, image 101 of 854, right page, 7th entry, 8 Jun 1830, James Roop and Elizabeth Carrol. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C91C-TPS4?cc=2134304 : accessed 23 December 2021). Marriage record, 1812-1841, were copied from the ministers’ returns. 
  3. Ibid., Film 2047122 (item 3), DGS 7740792, Marriage record, 1812-1841, image 111 of 854, left page, 2nd entry, Joseph Roop and Mary Carl married 13 Sep 1831 by Richd Buckingham who published it 26 Jun 1832. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C91C-TPSM?cc=2134304 : accessed 25 December 2021). 
  4. “Marriage bonds, 1773-1857,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Christiansburg, Virginia, Film 2047132, DGS 7740802, Marriage bonds, 1844-1848, images 405+406 of 699, William Rupe and Robert Carrell went bond on 4 Nov 1846 for the marriage of William Rupe and Catharine Carrell. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C91C-53V2-M?cc=2134304 : accessed 25 December 2021). 
  5. 1850 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8054/), citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll: M432_962, Virginia, Montgomery County, sheet 52B, household 708-708, lines 23-27, William Roop (accessed 22 October 2014). 
  6. “Death registers, 1853-1906 (Virginia)” browse-only images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/780106), Virginia Bureau of Vital Statistics, citing microfilm of the original records at the Virginia State Library at Richmond, Virginia., Film 2056980, DGS 4225427, Death registers Floyd County, 1853-1896, image 165 of 673, 1881 Register, entry 17, John Carrel, m w, 1 Oct, farmer, 75 yrs, Robert + Anne Carrel (parents), b. Montgomery, consort of Dosha Carrel, informant: Jacob Carrel, son. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DRMQ-DYQ?i=164&cc=3940896 : accessed 14 October 2022). 
  7. Ages estimated from census: 1850 age 42, 1860 age 50, 1870 age 62, 1880 age 71. 
  8. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, The Library of Congress, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/, The Times Dispatch  (Richmond, Virginia), 13 January 1907, page 4, column 1, “Christiansburg,” 2nd and 3rd paragraph  (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85038615/1907-01-13/ed-1/seq-18/ : accessed 4 April 2016). 
  9. Ibid., The Times Dispatch (Richmond, Va.) 1903-1914, 09 January 1909, page 2, column 7, “Mrs. Mary Roop”  (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85038615/1909-01-09/ed-1/seq-2/ : accessed 4 April 2016). 
  10. “Virginia, U.S., Marriage Registers, 1853-1935,” (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/62154/), citing Virginia, Marriage Registers, 1853–1935 at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Carroll County Marriage Register 1890, page 78 (stamped), line 97, 12 Nov 1890 Geo. W. Lester 53 widowed and Lucy D. Dillon 22 single by Isaac Webb. (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/121504:62154 : accessed 29 May 2022). 
  11. West Virginia Vital Research Records Project (database and images), West Virginia Division of Culture and History citing county records in county courthouses, West Virginia (A collaborative venture between the West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah to place vital records online via the West Virginia Archives and History Web site accessible at https://archive.wvculture.org/vrr), West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 598425, image 277, Raleigh County Register of Deaths, page 61, line 48, Manda Lester, w, f, 10 Feb 1894, dropsy, age 64, parents James & Eliza Roop, born Montgomery VA, Barbie Thompson sister informant. (http://images.wvculture.org/598425/00277.jpg : accessed 12 October 2022). 
  12. “Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014,” index and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/9278/), citing Virginia Department of Health, Richmond, Virginia, Certificate of Death No. 4986, Registration Area No. 601A. Floyd Roop, male, white, age 89, born 14 May 1833, died 4 Feb 1923 in Montgomery, Virginia, registration date 8 Feb 1923, father James Roop, mother Betsy, spouse Mary. (accessed 28 December 2015). 
  13. “Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983,” (index and images), Ancestry, citing original data of Virginia County, District, and Probate Courts, Floyd County, Virginia, Will Book F, page 486, Last Will and Testament of James Roop dated 31 January 1890.(https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9085/images/007645227_00302 : accessed 14 March 2022). 
  14. Find A Grave, database and images. (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/116584501/peradine-mills: accessed 12 October 2022), memorial page for Peradine Roop Mills (15 May 1836–30 Mar 1909), Find a Grave Memorial ID 116584501, citing Simmons Cemetery, Mountview, Raleigh County, West Virginia, USA; Maintained by Walter Pack Family (contributor 47557175); photos of marker by D. Mack (contributor 46909657) confirm the dates of birth and death. 
  15. “Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Virginia,” database with images, Fold3 (https://www.fold3.com/publication/42/civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia), citing The National Archives, NARA microfilm publication M324, Fifty-fourth Regiment Virginia Infantry, Gordon Roop, 1 Nov 1863 in Flewellen Hospital, Cassville, Georgia. (https://www.fold3.com/document/12913782/roop-gorden-page-4-civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia: accessed February 2014). Note: His name appears on a Register of Officers and Soldiers of the Army of the Confederate States who were killed in battle, or who died of wounds or disease. 
  16. “Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Virginia,” database with images, Fold3 (https://www.fold3.com/publication/42/civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia), citing The National Archives, NARA microfilm publication M324, Giles H Roop, 6 pages (accessed 12 February 2014). Cards 5 and 6 note the 19 September 1863 death (killed in action). 
  17. “Virginia, U.S., Death Registers, 1853-1911, ” index and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/250856:62152), citing original data: Virginia, Death Registers, 1853–1911 from the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Floyd County Register of Deaths for 1862, page 27, line 30, William T Roop, male, age 19, died May 1862, parents James & Elizabeth Roop, informant father. (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/251118:62152?ssrc=pt&tid=164805854&pid=102139722136 : accessed 16 May 2022). 
  18. “U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865,” (no images), Ancestry, data compiled by Historical Data Systems of Kingston, MA, The Virginia Regimental Histories Series. Name: William H.T. Roop, Enlistment Age: 17, Birth Date: abt 1844, Enlistment Date: 10 Sep 1861, Enlistment Place: Jacksonville, Virginia, Enlistment Rank: Private, Muster Date: 10 Sep 1861, Muster Place: Virginia, Muster Company: A, Muster Regiment: 54th Infantry, Muster Regiment Type: Infantry, Muster Information: Enlisted, Muster Out Date: 20 Sep 1863. Muster Out Place: Chickamauga, Georgia, Muster Out Information: Killed, Side of War: Confederacy, Survived War?: No, Occupation:Farm Laborer.
    This is conflicting information to a death record found in Floyd County, Virginia, for William T. Roop, son of James and Elizabeth who died in May 1862. 
  19. Find A Grave, database and images, (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/142274044/rachel-manacha-simmons: accessed 17 October 2022), memorial page for Rachel Manacha Roop Simmons (28 Jun 1845–16 Dec 1901), Find a Grave Memorial ID 142274044, citing Simmons Cemetery, Mountview, Raleigh County, West Virginia, USA; maintained by James E. Snyder (contributor 47214013); photo of the marker by D. Mack (contributor 46909657) confirms the dates of birth and death. 
  20. WVCulture.org, West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 494264, image 230, Register of Marriages, entry 17, 5 Jul 1919, J.A. Roop and Alemta J Hollandsworth. (http://images.wvculture.org/494264/00230.jpg : accessed 12 October 2022). 
  21. “Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014,” State file no. 10617, Registration Area no. 152A, Registered no. 14, 17 May 1928. 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 Conal, spouse Almeda J Hollandsworth. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 January 2016). 
  22. Ibid., Certificate of Death No. 40835, Registration District No. 601B. Ham N. Roop, male, white, age 63, born 10 Aug 1855, died 8 Dec 1918 in Montgomery, Virginia, registration date 9 Dec 1918, father James Roop, mother Mary Carl. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 December 2015). 
  23. Ibid., Certificate of Death No. 29331, Registration District No. 802. Charles Monroe Roop, male, white, age 73, born Aug 1855, died 22 Dec 1928 in Roanoke, Virginia, registration date 31 Dec 1928, father James Roop, mother Rachael Carroll, spouse Martha Roop. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 December 2015). 
  24. This declaration has to be retracted as William, the son of James Roop and Elizabeth Carroll, died in Floyd County in May 1862. More research needs to be done to determine who William Roop died at Chickamauga was. 
  25. Find A Grave, database and images,  (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/209078601/gordon-w-roop : accessed 28 February 2022), memorial page for Gordon W. Roop (6 May 1862–31 Jan 1931), Find a Grave Memorial ID 209078601, citing Rich Creek Cemetery, Jodie, Fayette County, West Virginia, USA; Maintained by Jennifer Nottingham (contributor 49369720). 
  26. The date of death of James ROOP needs to be proven. 

52 Ancestors: #42 James ROOP 1808-1890 – Found on 8 Consecutive Censuses!

“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

This is entry #42 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

#42 James ROOP 1808-1890 – Found on 8 Consecutive Censuses!

Descendants of the 1752 immigrant Johann Jacob RUPP used different spellings of the surname — RUPP, RUPE, ROOP, ROUP, ROOPE, ROUPE, RUPPE — from one generation to the next, even in the same family and same generation.

James ROOP was the baby of the RUPE family until his brother Joseph was born three years later. They were the 13th and 14th children of Henry RUPE and Catherine Barbara NOLL.

I can’t imagine my 4th great-grandfather James ROOP being called Jimmie. I think he may have been given the nickname “Jimmie” after his death, maybe from a well-meaning descendant. When he was old enough to marry, have his own household, see his children marry, and make his will – he was always James ROOP, without a middle initial. This will be discussed, below, after the 1880 census listing.

James was the youngest of 17 people in his father Henry RUPE’s household in 1810.1

1810censusroop
1810 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Montgomery > Henry Rupe [ancestry.com]
1810 U.S. Federal Census
Montgomery County, Virginia
Christiansburg
Page 18
Henry Rupe
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 4 (James 2, Samuel 9, William 10, and ?)
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 3 (George 19, John 21, Henry 21, William 24)
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 2 (Henry 45 and ?)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 2 (Nancy 4, Rachel 6)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 1 (Mary 8)
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 3 (Barbara 18, Catherine 15, and Elizabeth 22)
Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over : 2 (Catherine 42 and ?)
Number of Household Members Under 16: 7
Number of Household Members Over 25: 4
Number of Household Members: 17

Living next door to Henry RUPE was his nephew Jacob WEAVER with his wife Elizabeth, their son Soloman, two brothers, his sister Barbara, and his mother Barbara who was Henry’s sister. It has often been asked if the other couple (45 and over) in Henry’s household could have been his parents who would have been 87 and 88 years old. No evidence has been found to prove or disprove this.

James’ parents Henry and Catherine were born in Virginia per census listings of their four living children William, Rachel, Nancy, and James in 1880.2,3,4,5,This is not correct. Family tradition is that Heinrich Thomas “Henry” RUPE (1765-1845) was born about 1765 in Baltimore County, Maryland. We know that his wife Catherine Barbara NOLL (1768-aft. 1845) was born on 24 February 1768 and christened on 13 March 1768 in Manchester, Baltimore County, Maryland per church records.6 Manchester was originally part of Baltimore County, before the creation of Carroll County in 1837.

Following the end of the American Revolutionary War (19 April 1775-14 January 1784), Henry married Catherine in Baltimore County, Maryland. Catherine was a Lutheran and Henry was German Reformed. The church they attended was called Zion and was a union church. Both the Lutherans and the Reformed used the same building. The births and christenings of their first five children were recorded at this church: Jacob born 15 June 1786 and christened 30 July 1786, Elizabeth born 4 September 1787 and christened 31 October 1787, twins Henrich “Henry” and Johannes “John” born 27 February 1789 and christened 26 April 1789, and Barbara born 29 October 1792 and christened after 29 October 1792.7

James’ father Henry owned 100 acres of land in Baltimore County, Maryland, that he had bought from his father Johann Jacob RUPP who had acquired 115 acres in 1770 with Pennsylvania money. The land was known as Rhineharts Folly and was sold to Jacob Boblitz in 1793. Henry and Catherine were preparing to move their family farther south.8

They left Maryland in 1793 and made at least one stop along the way in Rockbridge County before continuing on to their destination. They arrived in Montgomery County, Virginia, in 1800. There is an interesting anecdote about why it took them so long.9,10

Traveling on what was once the Baltimore and Memphis Turnpike, the Rupe caravan crossed the Potomac at Harper’s Ferry in 1796. The caravan included Henry, his wife Catherine, and their family of several sons and daughters, the three older brothers of Henry, and their families. In crossing the Potomac the cattle and other larger animals were forced to swim, and the sons of Henry held the ropes attached to the horns of the cows. One wild cow pulled one of the unsuspecting Rupe boys overboard while crossing and he might have been lost had they not missed the cow, which finally reached shore with the boy swinging to her tail some distance downstream. The three brothers of Henry split with one of them going to Ohio, one to Western North Carolina, and the other to Georgia. Henry and family journeyed through the Shenandoah Valley and into Rockbridge County, bound for the southwestern section of the state, then rather sparsely settled. When they reached Buffalo Creek, four miles north of Natural Bridge, a great flood overtook them and they were forced to remain for several days. A report reached them that Natural Bridge had washed away, and it being the only passage, it would require four years to restore the bridge. They settled on Buffalo Creek and built a mill there, which they operated for years before they learned that the report of the bridge destruction was like Mark Twain’s comment on the first report of his death, considerable exaggereated. Early in the year 1800 they left Rockbridge Co. and wound up in Lunenburg Co., VA where they had at least one child before settling on Pelham’s Branch, near Little River, about eight miles southwest of Christiansburg, Montgomery Co., VA. The first recorded document for Henry in this area was the purchase of 326 acres on Aug. 17, 1804 from Abner Lester, to whom it had been granted by the Commonwealth in 1795.

During their travels, three more children were born: George P. in about 1794, Catherine in about 1795, and William in 1800 in Rockbridge. Once in Montgomery (or along the path they took), the family continued to grow. Samuel B. was born in 1801, Mary “Polly” about 1802, Rachel about 1804, and Nancy about 1806 before the two youngest, James about 1808 and Joseph about 1811 were born.

After Joseph was born, James’ parents must have decided that fourteen was enough. The oldest of their brood were beginning to have a look around at possible spouses in preparation for marrying and starting families of their own. Before the 1820 census, six marriages took place and two of James’ sisters had illegitimate children:

◉ Elizabeth ROOP married James COMPTON about 1811.11

◉ John RUPE and Elizabeth THOMPSON (1795-1870) were married by Jonathan HALL on 14 January 1813 in Montgomery County, Virginia.12

◉ Jacob ROOP and Susannah ALLEY (1790-1860) were married by Jonathan HALL on 20 April 1815 in Montgomery County, Virginia.13

◉ Catherine “Caty” RUPE married Jacob AKERS (1775-1860) on 27 June 1815 in Montgomery County, Virginia.14

◉ George RUPE married Margaret BALDWIN (1799- ) on 5 December 1818 in Jefferson County, Tennessee.15

◉ William RUPE married Ester AKERS (1802-1846) on 7 June 1820 in Montgomery County, Virginia.16

◉ Barbary RUPE created a bit of a scandal by giving birth to a male bastard child on 20 November 1815. Barbary signed a statement on 25 July 1816 that George PETERMAN got her with a child. They did not marry.17

◉ Mary “Polly” ROOP had a daughter in about 1818. Per the daughter’s marriage record her father was L. DOBBINS.18

One would think with so many children marrying Henry’s household would be shrinking. This was not the case as his two unmarried daughters and their children remained in the home. James was twelve in 1820 and may have been responsible for chores that his older married brothers once took care of. His single brothers Henry 31 and Samuel 18 were living at home and may have taken James along when they went hunting or worked their father’s land.

1820censusroop
1820 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Montgomery > Newburn > Henry Roop Sr. [ancestry.com]
1820 U.S. Federal Census19
Montgomery County, Virginia
Newburn Township
Henry Roop Sr.
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 2 (Joseph 9 and George 5, s/o Barbara)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15: 1 (James 12)
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 18: 1 (Samuel 18)
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 1 (Samuel 18)
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1 (Henry 31)
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over: 1 (Henry 55)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 1 (Barbary 2, d/o Mary)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 1 (Nancy 14)
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 3 (Rachel 16, Mary 18, Barbara 28)
Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over : 1 (Catherine 52)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 3
Free White Persons – Under 16: 5
Free White Persons – Over 25: 3
Total Free White Persons: 12
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 12

In 1823 James saw two more of his siblings marry. Henry ROOP Jr. married Mary “Polly” THOMPSON (1802-1880) on 7 June 1823.20 Rachel RUPE married John B. PHARIS (1797-1866) on 20 October 1823.21 Both marriages took place in Montgomery County, Virginia.

When John R. Charlton came around the RUPE place in June of 1830, James was 23 and still living at home. His parents were growing old and his sisters Barbara, Mary, and Nancy were unmarried mothers of 5 boys and 3 girls and still living in the RUPE household. Jacob, Henry Jr., John, and William had their own households.

1830censusroop
1830 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Montgomery > Henry Roope Sr. [ancestry.com]
1830 U.S. Federal Census22
Montgomery County, Virginia
Blacksburg
Enumerated by John R. Charlton
Page 89
Henry Roope Sr.
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 3 (grandsons: Byrd 3, s/o Barbara; Henry 4, s/o Mary; and James R. 4, s/o Mary)
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1 (grandson Crockett 7, s/o Mary)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 1 (grandson George 15, s/o Barbara)
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19:    1 (Joseph 19)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 2 (James 23, Samuel 29)
Free White Persons – Males – 60 thru 69: 1 (Henry 65)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9:    2 (granddaughters: Susan 7, d/o Barbara, and Elizabeth 7, d/o Mary)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 1 (granddaughter Barbary 12, d/o Mary)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 2 (Mary 28, Nancy 24)
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 2 (Barbara 38, unknown)
Free White Persons – Females – 60 thru 69: 1 (Catherine 62)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 9
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 8
Total Free White Persons: 17
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 17

James ROOP married Elizabeth CARROLL on 23 July 1830 in Montgomery County, Virginia.23 Did they live with his parents during the early years of their marriage? His father, who did not own slaves, had quite a large amount of land by then and needed his sons’ help to farm it.

The last of James’ brothers married in the 1830s in Montgomery County. Joseph ROOP married Mary “Polly” CARROLL (1809-1909) on 13 September 1831.24 Samuel B. ROOP married Martha “Patsy” TOWNSLEY (1815-1870) on 7 January 1834.25 Joseph and James’ wives were sisters and daughters of Robert and Anne CARROLL.

James and Elizabeth had a half dozen children born in Montgomery County in the 1830s:

◉ Ch 1: Amanda “Manda” ROOP (1831-1894) born September 183126
◉ Ch 2: Floyd ROOP (1833-1923) born 12 May 183327
◉ Ch 3: Evaline ROOP (1835-1888) born 3 March 183528
◉ Ch 4: Peradine ROOP (1835-1909) born 30 November 183529
◉ Ch 5: Gordon ROOP (1838-1863) born about 183830
◉ Ch 6: Barbary Ellen ROOP (1839-1910) born 28 June 183931

In 1840 John R. Charlton once again walked or rode through the division, this time enumerating nine RUPE households. James’ sisters Barbary and Mary had their own households. Their father Henry was not listed as a Revolutionary War pensioner.

1840censusroop
1840 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Montgomery > James Rupe (line 3) [ancestry.com]
1840 U.S. Federal Census32
Montgomery County, Virginia
Page 26
James Rupe
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (Gordon 2)
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1 (Floyd 7)
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 (James 32)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 3 (Avaline 5, Peradine 4, and Barbary Ellen 1)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 1 (Amanda 9)
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1 (Elizabeth 32)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
Free White Persons – Under 20: 6
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 8
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 8

Three more children were born in Montgomery County following the 1840 census:

◉ Ch 7: Giles Henderson ROOP (1841-1863) born 2 February 184133
◉ Ch 8: William H. T. ROOP (1843-1863) born 6 November  184334
◉ Ch 9: Rachel Monacha ROOP (1845-1901) born about 184535

James’ father Henry RUPE prepared a will on 18 November 1845 and died suddenly of heart failure at the age of 80, while out walking on the farm sometime between the date of the will and the date of probate, which was 1 December 1845.36 He was survived by his wife Catherine whose date of death remains unknown. James and his siblings buried their father on the Old Henry Rupe homeplace.

Memorial Plaque
Henry and Catherine Rupe Family Memorial (2003) courtesy of Roger Roop.

Catherine and her daughters Elizabeth Compton, Barbara Rupe, Mary Roop, and Nancy Roop were missing in the 1850 census. Redmond Ira ROOP, a lawyer and great-grandson of old Henry, in his presentation at the 1927 family reunion, said that Catherine died in 1861 at the age of 95. She would have been 93 if she died in 1861, but what’s a year or two when you are in your nineties? She was not found in the 1860 census.

James’ brother William lost his wife, mother of nine children, about the same time as their father died. William then married Catherine CARROLL (1819-1879)  on 4 November 1846 in Montgomery County, Virginia.37 Catherine was the third daughter of Robert and Anne CARROLL to marry one of the ROOP boys.

The year before the 1850 census was an eventful year for James, his wife, and their nine children. Elizabeth was pregnant with her 10th child. James wanted to get his own piece of land as his father’s estate would require several years to be settled. His father had left a large estate and James’ brother Jacob was named as executor in the will. On account of there being so many heirs widely scattered over the country, Jacob almost despaired a number of times before the estate was finally settled. Once in his desperation, he exclaimed, “Well, it has been so troublesome and vexatious that I am almost sorry that old gentleman ever died.”38

James and Elizabeth’s 10th child was born in September of 1849 and was named James Anderson ROOP. He was the first of their children to be born in Floyd County on the land that James would own. He’d made the decision to buy a piece of land containing 600 acres about 9 1/2 miles northwest of Floyd, in Floyd County, Virginia, on what is now known as the White Oak Grove Road. Alvin GRAHAM sold the 600 acres to James ROOP and the deed was recorded on 17 November 1849 in Floyd County’s Deed Book E on page 377.39

James cleared up the land and hewed the logs to build their house. He built a one-room, log structure, about 24 feet by 12 feet. The logs were daubed with mortar. The chimney was located on the southwest end and made with rocks. He built an unusually large fireplace with an arch of homemade bricks over the fireplace and a plain log mantel. The one-story log house had a hip roof with shingles and very plain wood cornices. There was no porch and the entrance was a plain yellow pine door made by nailing large planks together. It had common iron hinges and an old-fashioned door lock on the outside. Two unshuttered windows with 16 7″ by 10″ panes brought light into the single room. The ceiling was 8 feet high. James must have had help to lift the logs so high. Broad even planks made from hand-hewed logs covered the floor. There was no cellar and therefore no stairway. He built the kitchen about 8-10 feet away from the house as was common in those days.40

Years later the building was in such poor condition that it was torn apart and moved. In 1938 it was being used for a cow house by James’ grandson Amos L. ROOP (1855-1941) who lived on the property at the time.

1850censusroop
1850 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd > ED 15 > Page 445 > HH #938-938 >James Roop [ancestry.com]
1850 U.S. Federal Census41
Floyd County, Virginia
The Western District No. 15, Page No. 445A
Enumerated by me, on the 7th day of September 1850. Joseph L. Howard Ass’t Marshal.
HH #938-938
James Roop 42 M Farmer $600 Montgomery cannot read & write
Elizabeth Roop 42 F Floyd cannot read & write
Amanda Roop 18 F Montgomery
Floyd Roop 17 M Laborer Montgomery
Evaline Roop 15 F Montgomery
Peradine Roop 14 F Montgomery attended school within year
Gordon Roop 12 M Montgomery attended school within year
Barbary Roop 10 F Montgomery attended school within year
Henderson Roop 8 M Montgomery
William Roop 6 M Montgomery
Manarca Roop 5 F Montgomery
James Roop 8/12 M Floyd

Starting in 1850 until 1880 James was always seen as a farmer in the census. In 1850 the enumerator Joseph L. HOWARD misread the column “Place of Birth Naming the State, Territory, or Country” and filled in the name of the county that the individual was born in. Thank you, Mr. Howard! This is how I know that little James was the first child to be born on the new homeplace. Two more children were born there:

◉ Ch 11: Hamilton N. ROOP (1854-1919) born abt. December 185342,43
◉ Ch 12: Charles Monroe ROOP (1854-1928) born 10 August 185444

Five marriages took place in 1855-1856. Manda, Floyd, and Peradine married in 1855, the year before the White Oak Grove Church was built by neighbors of the community about a mile southeast of the James ROOP home.45,46,47 The first pastor of the church was my 5th great-grandfather, Rev. Owen SUMNER (1796-1874). The church was used as a school during the week. Evaline and Gordon may have married too early in 1856 to have their marriages performed in the new building but they were married by Rev. SUMNER, the grandfather of Gordon’s wife Emaline LESTER.48

More information on the marriages of James and Elizabeth’s children will be included in Elizabeth’s story next week.

1860censusroop1
1860 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd > HH#712-669 [ancestry.com]

1860roopcensus2
1860 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd > HH#712-669 [ancestry.com]
1860 U.S. Federal Census49
Floyd County, Virginia
Page No. 99+100, Sheet No. 533+534
Enumerated by me, on the 16th day of July, 1960. Geo M. Well, Ass’t Marshal.
Post Office Floyd C.H. Va.
HH #712-669
James Roop 50 M Farmer $2000 $292 Virginia
Elizabeth Roop 50 F Virginia cannot read & write
Amanda Lester 28 F Virginia
Giles H. Roop 19 M Virginia attended school
William H. T. Roop 17 M Virginia attended school
Barbary C. Roop 20 F Virginia attended school
Rachel M. Roop 14 F Virginia attended school
Jas Roop 10 M Virginia attended school
Hamilton N. Roop 7 M Virginia attended school
Charles M. Roop 5 M Virginia attended school
Jas R. Lester 4 M Virginia (son of Amanda)
Lafayette Lester 2 M Virginia (son of Amanda)

American Civil War (4 Feb 1861-23 Jun 1865)

At the beginning of the War Between the States, the soldiers were gathered in the White Oak Grove Church and mustered. The ladies of the community prepared food and took it to the church for the men. Four of James ROOP’s sons (Floyd, Gordon, Giles Henderson, and William H. T.) and two of his daughters’ husbands (Amanda’s husband George Washington LESTER and Peradine’s husband Sylvester MILLS) served in Company A, 54th Infantry Regiment Virginia. Daughter Evaline’s husband Mathias RATLIFF served in Company E of the same regiment. Seven men in the family served and three did not come home: my third great-grandfather Gordon and his brothers Giles and William died in Georgia in 1863 while serving.

James and Elizabeth’s daughter Rachel married at home in 1866. Rev. SUMNER came to the house to perform the ceremony.50 Their son James married in 1868 in Montgomery County.51

1870censusroop1
1870 U. S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd > Alum Ridge > 5B > HH#68-66 [ancestry.com]

1870censusroop2
1870 U. S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd > Alum Ridge > 5A > HH#68-66 [ancestry.com]
1870 U. S. Federal Census52
Floyd County, Virginia
Page No. 9+10, Sheet 5A+5B
Alum Ridge Township
Enumeratd by me on the 5th day of August, 1870. B. P. Elliott, Ass’t Marshal.
Post Office Floyd C. H. Va.
HH #68-66
Roop, James 62 M W Farmer $1,500 $430 Virginia male US citizen over 21 yo
Roop, Elizabeth 62 F W Keeping house Virginia cannot read & write
Roop, Hamilton N. 17 M W farm laborer Virginia cannot read & write
Roop, Charles M. 15 M W farm laborer Virginia cannot read & write
Roop, Barbara E. 30 F W without occupation Virginia cannot read & write

In 1870 James’ household included his wife, two youngest sons, and Barbara Ellen who was on her way to being an old maid. James and Elizabeth’s youngest sons Hamilton and Charles were married by Rev. SUMNER at his home in 1872 and 1873.53,54 This left James and Elizabeth alone in 1880 as Barbary was living with her sister Rachel and her family.

1880censusroop
1880 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Montgomery > Christiansburg > ED 50 Sheet 356B > HH#151-153 [ancestry.com]
1880 U.S. Federal Census55
Montgomery County, Virginia
Page No. 18
Christiansburg Magisterial District
Enumeration District No. 50, Sheet No. 356B
Enumerated the 11th day of June, 1880. John C. Wade, enumerator.
HH #151-153
Roop, James Sr. W M 71 married Farmer cannot read & write VA VA VA
Roop, Elizabeth W M 71 wife married Keeping House cannot write VA VA VA

James ROOP was never listed with a middle initial in any of the above censuses or on the marriage records of his children. Ancestry has him indexed as James W. ROOP in the 1880 census. A close look at the census image shows that he was listed as Sr. and his son James A. ROOP who lived next door was listed as Jr. This does not mean that James shared the same middle initial or middle name with his son. The abbreviation Sr. was misread for a W. [I needed to get that straightened out!]

The last of James and Elizabeth’s children finally married in 1888. Barbary was 49 years old the first time she married.56 It would not be the last. She was widowed twice and married again in 1898 and 1906.57,58 She didn’t remain an old maid after all.

James’ wife Elizabeth passed away during the 1880s. James most likely was enumerated on the Montgomery County census in 1890 as he is not seen on the substitute used for Floyd.59 The actual 1890 Floyd County, Virginia, census was among those destroyed in the fire/flood in Washington in 1921. An abbreviated copy was made before the original was sent off and can be found in the Court House in Floyd. In 1890 James made his will, dated 31 January 1890, in Floyd County and died there on 2 November 1890.60 If he had been on the 1890 substitute for Floyd he would have been found in nine consecutive censuses.

James Roop’s Will
Recorded in Floyd County, Virginia
Will Book F, Page 486

Will and Testament of James Roop – In the name of God, Amen. I James Roop of the County of Floyd and State of Virginia, being weake of body, but of mind and memory and calling to mind the mortality of my body make and ordain this my Will and Testament – and as vouching my worldly estate. When with it has pleased God to bless me with this life – I deaded to Floyd Roop, my son, he being heir of my body one hundred akers of land being part, this land lying in the County of Floyd and the State of Virginia, joining land of James Simmons and John Altizer and others. – I also bond James Roop, my son, being heir of my body, one hundred akers of land, this land being sold to George W. Lester of said James Roop and this deed were made to George W. Lester instead of James Roop, this land joining Cornelius Altizer. – I also bond Hamilton N. Roop, my son, being heir of my body, one hundred and twenty akers of land, said Hamilton N. Roop sold to A. L. Roop and this dead being made to A. L. Roop instead of Hamilton N. Roop, this land joining George Nixon. – I also deaded Charley Roop, my son, one hundred akers of land, he being heir of my body, this deed were made to his wife and heirs instead of said Charley Roop, this land joining Perdine Peterman.
I allso desire Gordon Roop, my son, he be heir of my body, his heirs to have fifteen dollars, a peace, there names being Thomas Roop, and Gordon Roop and Dolley Roop.
Perdine Roop, my daughter, she being heir of my body, has received her part in land this dead was made to Silvester Mills her husban instead of said Perdine his wife, This land is none (sic, known) as the Canaan Simons land lying on the Waters of Little River joining lands of C. D. Lester, this land lying in the County of Floyd and State of Virginia. – The amount of Perdine money that I paid for this land is mention in Silvester’s deed.
I allso desire at my death for the rest of my estate to be eaqely divided amongst my four daughters. They being heirs of my body, Amanda Roop, and Avealine Roop, and Barbery Roop, and Rachel M. Roop. My requests is that A. L. Roop to be my Administrator. – This 31st day of January 1890.
                                                      His
                                                        James X Roop
                                                                  Mark
Witness: James A. Simmons
                H. D. Simmons

Virginia – In Floyd County Court held on this 14th day of September 1897, a paper in writing, purporting to be the last Will and Testament of James Roop, deceased, was produced  in court proven by the Oaths of James A. Simmons and H. D. Simmons, the Subscribing Witnesses thereto. Admitted to probate and ordered to be recorded. Thereupon,  A. L. Roop, the Executor named in same Will. Together with Ira S. Hylton and J. M. Roop, his surieties, entered unto said acknowledged a Bond in the Penalty of $1000.00 conditioned according to law. A certificate is granted said A. L. Roop for obtaining probate of said will in due form.

The final settlement of James ROOP’s will was made on 18 September 1897 in Floyd County, Virginia.

This Post was Updated on 16 October 2022Missing source citations were added, images were scaled, and some corrections were made to the text and format.

© 20142022, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. 1810 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7613/), citing Third Census of the United States, 1810 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M252, 71 rolls, NARA Roll M252_70, Vam252_70-0085; FHL Roll: 0181430, Virginia, Montgomery County, Christiansburg, page 641, line 10, Henry Rupe (accessed 17 October 2014). 
  2. 1880 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/6742/), citing Tenth Census of the United States, 1880 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls, Roll: T9_433; Kentucky, Menifee County, Ridge, Enumeration District: 74, page 39-40, sheet 668C lines 47-50 and sheet 668D lines 1-2, household 327-344, Smith Roop with father William in the household (accessed 7 March 2011). 
  3. Ibid., Roll: T9_1378; Virginia, Montgomery, Auburn, Enumeration District: 56, page 22, sheet 485B, lines 41-45, household 183-191, James R. Pharris (accessed 9 Jan 2005). 
  4. Ibid., Roll:T9_1375; Virginia, Lee County, Jonesville, Enumeration District: 41, page 26, sheet 202B, lines 32-41, household 217-218, Asa Roop (accessed 19 December 2010). 
  5. Ibid.,  Roll: T9_1378; Virginia, Montgomery County, Christiansburg, Enumeration District: 50, page 18, sheet 356B, lines 45-46, James Roop Sr. (accessed 18 October 2014). 
  6. C. T. Zahn and Frederick S. Weiser, translators and editors, Maryland German Church Records Volume 10, Zion Church “The German Church”, Manchester, Carroll County — today Trinity United Church of Christ Records, 1760-1836 and Immanuel Lutheran Church Records, 1760-1853  (published by the Historical Society of Carroll County, Westminster, Maryland). 
  7. Ibid. 
  8. Where I Found the Land Records of my RUPE Ancestors in Maryland 
  9. Redmond Ira ROOP (1869-1947), a report given at the 1927 family reunion in Carroll County, Maryland, by Henry’s great-grandson Redmond as noted in the research of Linda P. (Dickey) Roop (1943-1994). Linda’s source is unknown. 
  10. Update as of 10 Oct 2022: Personal Property Tax lists of Rockbridge, Botetourt, and Montgomery counties were consulted. Henry was found in Rockbridge from 1794 to 1800 with a possible entry for 1793 (surname spelled Rupert). Henry was in Montgomery as of 1804. The gap between 1800 and 1804 indicates a possible stopover. The only county between Rockbridge and Montgomery County was Botetourt where no listing for Henry was found. The Lunenburg PPT lists are not listed in the FamilySearch catalog. The information that Mary ROOP was born in Lunenburg was given by her oldest son Crocket ROOP in 1868 when he reported her death. This record has not been found. I find it hard to believe the family traveled to Lunenburg and then back west to Montgomery. All counties contained in the triangle formed by Rockbridge, Lunenburg, and Montgomery need to be checked to confirm the tale. 
  11. No record of the marriage has been found. James Compton was first seen on the 1810 Montgomery County PPT indicating he had just turned 21 years of age. Henry Compton, the first known child of Elizabeth and James was born about 1812. As Elizabeth appears to have been living at home in 1810, I’ve estimated the marriage at about 1811. 
  12. “Register of marriages, Montgomery County, Virginia, 1777-1853,” (browse-only images), FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, Film 32633, DGS 7579015, Index of marriage register, 1777-1853 — Register of marriages, 1777-1853, image 603 of 673, page 361, John Roup and Betsy Thompson married by Jonathan Hall on 14 Jan 1813. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-FXT7?i=602&cc=4149585&cat=361831 : accessed 11 October 2022). 
  13. Ibid., Film 32633, DGS 7579015, Index of marriage register, 1777-1853 — Register of marriages, 1777-1853, image 604 of 673, page 362, 20 April 1815 Jacob Rupe and Susannah Alley married by Jonathan Hall. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-FXQT?i=603&cc=4149585&cat=361831 : accessed 12 October 2022). 
  14. Ibid., Film 32633, DGS 7579015, Index of marriage register, 1777-1853 — Register of marriages, 1777-1853, image 384 of 673, page 146, 27 Jun 1815 Jacob Acres and Caty Rupe, witness/security Henry Rupe. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-FFNX?i=383&cc=4149585&cat=361831 ; accessed 12 October 2022). 
  15. “Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002,” index and images, Ancestry, citing “Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002,” (microfilm) Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee. George Roupe, male, married 5 Dec 1818 in Jefferson County, Tennessee, spouse Margaret Baldwin. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 March 2016). 
  16. “Register of marriages, Montgomery County, Virginia, 1777-1853,” Film 32633, DGS 7579015, Index of marriage register, 1777-1853 — Register of marriages, 1777-1853, image 408 of 673, page 170, 7 Jun 1820 William Rupe married Ester Akers, father of groom Henry Rupe, father of bride Blagburn Akers, 5 securities/witnesses. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99XF-F6Q8?i=407&cc=4149585&cat=361831 : accessed 12 October 2022). 
  17. Louise Roop Anderson Akers, comp., The Family Rub, Rup, Rupe, Roop, Roope (2001 Printed by Jamont Communications, 339 Luck Ave., Roanoke, VA 24016). Photocopy of a document dated 25 July 1816 concerning the examination of Barbary Roop by E. Howard concerning the bastard child she delivered on 20 November 1815 and naming George Peterman as the father. 
  18. “Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XRS5-Z9D : accessed 6 April 2016), Wm. Lane and Barbara Roop, 02 Jul 1856, bride’s father’s name reputedly L. Dobbins; citing Montgomery, Virginia, reference n 44; FHL microfilm 2,048,462. Images not available online 12 October 2022. 
  19. 1820 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7734/), citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll M33_130, image 349, Virginia, Montgomery, Newburn, sheet 181A, line 16, Henry Roop Sr. (accessed 16 December 2004). 
  20. “Register of marriages, Montgomery County, Virginia, 1777-1853,” Film 32633, DGS 7579015, Index of marriage register, 1777-1853 — Register of marriages, 1777-1853, image 423 of 673, page 185, 7 Jun 1823 Henry Rupe married Polly Thompson, Elswick Thompson father of bride was security/witness. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99XF-F6Q6?i=422&cc=4149585&cat=361831 : accessed 12 October 2022). 
  21. Ibid., Film 32633, DGS 7579015, Index of marriage register, 1777-1853 — Register of marriages, 1777-1853, image 426 of 673, page 188, 20 Oct 1823 John B. Pharis and Rachel Rupe, Henry Rupe security/witness. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-FXVN?i=425&cc=4149585&cat=361831 : accessed 12 October 2022). 
  22. 1830 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8058/), citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, Roll M19_198, Family History Library Film: 0029677, Virginia, Montgomery County, Blacksburg, page 89, line 14, Henry Roope Sr. (accessed 17 October 2014). 
  23. “Virginia, County Marriage Records, 1771-1989,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing Marriage, Virginia, United States, Circuit court clerk offices, Virginia, Marriage records, 1785-1861, DGS 7740792, Film 2047122 (item 3), Marriage record 1812-1841, image 101 of 854, right page, 7th entry, 8 Jun 1830, James Roop and Elizabeth Carrol, citing Montgomery County, Virginia. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C91C-TPS4?cc=2134304 : accessed 23 December 2021). 
  24. Ibid., Marriage records, 1785-1861, DGS 7740792, Film 2047122 (item 3), Marriage record 1812-1841, image 111 of 854, left page, 2nd entry, Joseph Roop and Mary Carl married 13 Sep 1831 by Richd Buckingham who published it 26 Jun 1832. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C91C-TPSM?cc=2134304 : accessed 25 December 2021). 
  25. Ibid., Marriage records, 1785-1861, DGS 7740792, Film 2047122 (item 3), Marriage record 1812-1841, image 113 of 854, left page, last entry, 7 Jan 1834 Saml Roop and Patsy Townsley married by Richd Buckingham and published 14 Jan 1834. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C91C-TPQW?i=112&cc=2134304&cat=1135002 : accessed 23 December 2021). 
  26. Marguerite Tise, comp., The Lester Family of Floyd and Montgomery County Virginia (copyright 1996 Marguerite Tise, P.O. Box 343, Floyd, VA 24091-0343), pg. 20. 
  27. “Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014,” index and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/9278/), citing Virginia Department of Health, Richmond, Virginia, Certificate of Death No. 4986, Registration Area No. 601A. Floyd Roop, male, white, age 89, born 14 May 1833, died 4 Feb 1923 in Montgomery, Virginia, registration date 8 Feb 1923, father James Roop, mother Betsy, spouse Mary. (accessed 28 December 2015). 
  28. Find A Grave, database and images. (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/39327168/eveline-ratliff: accessed 12 October 2022), memorial page for Eveline Roop Ratliff (3 Mar 1835–1 Mar 1900), Find a Grave Memorial ID 39327168, citing Edgemont Church Cemetery, Montgomery County, Virginia, USA; Maintained by Cardsfan23 (contributor 49145760). Photos by Gayle Fisher (contributor 47054020) confirm the dates of birth and death. 
  29. Ibid., (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/116584501/peradine-mills: accessed 12 October 2022), memorial page for Peradine Roop Mills (15 May 1836–30 Mar 1909), Find a Grave Memorial ID 116584501, citing Simmons Cemetery, Mountview, Raleigh County, West Virginia, USA; Maintained by Walter Pack Family (contributor 47557175); photos of marker by D. Mack (contributor 46909657) confirm the dates of birth and death. 
  30. Rena Worthen & Barbara Reininger (co-project), “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” index and images, part of the Floyd County, Virginia, The USGenWeb Project online https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/floyd.htm, citing the images of Floyd Co., VA marriages downloaded by Rena Worthen from the Library of Virginia Microform indexed by Barbara Reininger, Marriage License of Gordon Roop age 18 and Emeline Lester age 20 married 10 Mar 1856. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1856/FCVA1856RoopLester.jpg : accessed 2 March 2020). The groom’s birth is estimated at about 1838: 1850 age 12 (census), 1856 age 18 (marriage), and 1860 age 22 (census). 
  31. The source for the date of birth of Barbary Ellen is at this time unknown. It may have come from one of the two books on the Roop families. Both need to be checked for confirmation. 
  32. 1840 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8057/), citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, Roll: 704_567; FHL Film: 0029689, Virginia, Montgomery County, page 26, line 22, James Roop (accessed 16 December 2004). 
  33. The source for the date of birth of Barbary Ellen is at this time unknown. It may have come from one of the two books on the Roop families. Both need to be checked for confirmation. 
  34. Ibid. 
  35. Estimated from age at the time of the census and other documents. 
  36. “Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983,” (index and images), Ancestry, citing original data of Virginia County, District, and Probate Courts, Montgomery County > Mixed Records, Vol 7-8, 1842-1856 > Will Book 7, page 285-286, 1845 Will of Henry Roupe (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9085/images/007645480_00161 : accessed 11 October 2022). 
  37. “Virginia, County Marriage Records, 1771-1989,” Marriage bonds, 1844-1848, Film # 007740802, images 405+406 of 699, William Rupe and Robert Carrell went bond on 4 Nov 1846 for the marriage of William Rupe and Catharine Carrell. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C91C-53V2-M?cc=2134304 : accessed 25 December 2021). 
  38. Everette L. McGrew, My Mother Was A Rupe (revised August 2000). 
  39. “Deed books, 1831-1900; general indexes, 1831-1980,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/399119?availability=Family%20History%20Library), citing microfilm of original records at the Floyd County Courthouse in Floyd, Virginia, Film 31339, DGS 8572238, Deed books, v. D-F 1844-1853, image 485 of 790, Deed Book E, page 377, Roop from Graham deed for 600 acres in Floyd County. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C373-GH5Q?i=484&cat=399119 : accessed 13 October 2022). 
  40. “Virginia Historical Inventory,” Library of Virginia (https://lva-virginia.libguides.com/historical-inventory), Peters, Genevieve H. et al.,
    Jimmie Roop homeplace : survey report, 1938 Jan. 12, call number VHIR/10/0586, 4 image files (Library of Virginia, 1999). This write-up is a part of the Virginia W.P.A. Historical Inventory Project sponsored by the Virginia Conservation Commission under the direction of its Division of History. (https://lva.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/01LVA_INST/altrmk/alma990006904200205756 : accessed 11 September 2007). 
  41. 1850 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8054/), citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll: M432_943, Virginia, Floyd County, sheet 445A, household 938-938, lines 5-16, James Roop (accessed 17 October 2014). 
  42. On the 1900 census his month and year of birth were noted as December 1854. He was seen in 1860 as age 7 and in 1870 as age 17 and later became younger. As the early census could be more reliable than the later, I estimate his birth at about December 1853. The date of birth on the death certificate, 10 August 1855, was written in two different hands. See footnote 43. 
  43. “Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014,” Certificate of Death No. 40835, Registration District No. 601B. Ham N. Roop, male, white, age 63, born 10 Aug 1855, died 8 Dec 1918 in Montgomery, Virginia, registration date 9 Dec 1918, father James Roop, mother Mary Carl. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 December 2015). The informant may have confused his date of birth with that of his brother Charles who was born on 10 August 1854. 
  44. “Virginia, U.S., Birth Registers, 1853-1911,” (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/418338:62153), citing Virginia, Birth Registers, 1853–1911at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Floyd County Register of Births 1854, page 27 (stamped), line 19, 10 August 1854, Charles M Roop, male, white, 10 Aug 1854, James Roop and Elizabeth Roop (accessed 13 October 2022). 
  45. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” 1855 George W. Lester and Amanda Roop marriage. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1855/FCVA1855LesterRoopMar%20Light.jpg : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  46. Ibid., 1855 Floyd Roop and Mary Blackwell marriage. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/1_Marriages%20of%20Floyd%20County.htm : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  47. Floyd County (Virginia) County Clerk, “Marriage registers, 1843-1925” (browse-only images), FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Floyd County Courthouse in Floyd, Virginia., Film 31345 (Items 3), DGS 7578964, image 138 of 606, Floyd County Register of Marriages 1855, line 16, 30 Aug 1855, Sylvester Mills and Peradine Rupe. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-K9SM-B?i=137&cat=363663 : accessed 13 October 2022). 
  48. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” Marriage License of Gordon Roop age 18 and Emeline Lester age 20 married 10 Mar 1856. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1856/FCVA1856RoopLester.jpg : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  49. 1860 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7667/), 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_1345, Family History Library Film 805345, Virginia, Floyd County, sheet 533-534, page 99+100, lines 30-40 and line 1, household 712-669, James Roop (accessed 8 January 2016). 
  50. “Marriage registers, 1843-1925,” Film 31345 (Items 3), DGS 7578964, image 152 of 606, Floyd County Register of Marriages 1855, line 33, 8 Mar 1866, Wm L Simmons and Rachel M Roop. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-K9SM-4?i=151&cat=363663 : accessed 13 October 2022). 
  51. “Virginia, U.S., Marriage Registers, 1853-1935,” (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/62154/), citing Virginia, Marriage Registers, 1853–1935 at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Montgomery County Marriage Register 1868, page 202, line 107, 26 Nov 1868 James Roop 20 and Elizabeth J Roop 25 married by Amos Dickerson. (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/286910:62154 : accessed 13 October 2022). 
  52. 1870 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7163/), citing Ninth Census of the United States, 1870 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T132, 13 rolls, M593_1646; Virginia, Floyd, Alum Ridge, page 9+10, sheet 5A+5B, line 39+40 and lines 1-3, household 68-66, James Roop (accessed 8 January 2016). 
  53. “Marriage registers, 1843-1925,” Film 31345 (Items 3), DGS 7578964, image 171 of 606, Floyd County Register of Marriages 1872, line 55, 15 Aug 1872 Hamilton N Roop and Mary E Epperley married by Owen Sumner. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-KBT7?i=170&cat=363663 : accessed 13 October 2022). 
  54. Ibid., Film 31345 (Items 3), DGS 7578964, image 173 of 606, Floyd County Register of Marriages 1873, line 33, 17 Mar 1873 Chas M Roop and Martha Epperley married by Owen Sumner. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-K99Y-G?i=172&cat=363663 : accessed 13 October 2022). 
  55. 1880 U.S. Federal Census, Roll: T9_1378; Virginia, Montgomery County, Christiansburg, Enumeration District: 50, page 18, sheet 356B, lines 45-46, James Roop Sr. (accessed 18 October 2014). 
  56. “West Virginia, U.S., Compiled Marriage Records, 1863-1900,” index-only, Ancestry https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/4484/), original data: Dodd, Jordan, comp. West Virginia Marriage Records, 1863-1900, Nathaniel Thompson, male, married Barbara E. Roop, female, 12 Sep 1888 in Raleigh County, West Virginia, citing Raleigh County, West Virginia Marriages, 1865-1900. County court records located in Beckley, West Virginia, or Family History Library microfilm #0598403 (unavailable online at FamilySearch). Not available on WVCulture.org
  57. West Virginia Vital Research Records Project (database and images), West Virginia Division of Culture and History citing county records in county courthouses, West Virginia (A collaborative venture between the West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah to place vital records online via the West Virginia Archives and History Web site accessible at https://archive.wvculture.org/vrr), West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 598432, image 268, Marriage License of Henderson Beckelheimer and Barbara Ellen Thompson. (http://images.wvculture.org/598432/00268.jpg : accessed 11 October 2022). 
  58. Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 589347, image 37, Marriage Register, line 6, 21 Aug 1906 Charles Cochran and Barbary E. Beckenhamer [Beckelheimer]. (http://images.wvculture.org/589347/00037.jpg : accessed 11 October 2022). 
  59. Barb Reininger (transcribed & annotated by), 1890 Floyd County, Virginia Census, RootsWeb (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/BarbR_FCVAResearch/zz_census_1890_fcva_main1.htm). “Floyd County, Virginia, is nearly unique in that the 1890 Census record for the county is one of the very few surviving census records for that year for the entire country.” 
  60. “Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983,” index and images, Ancestry, citing original data of Virginia County, District, and Probate Courts, Floyd County, Virginia, Will Book F, page 486, Last Will and Testament of James Roop dated 31 January 1890.(https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9085/images/007645227_00302 : accessed 14 March 2022). 

52 Ancestors: #25 Rachel PROFFITT 1817-1899, Widow of War of 1812 Pensioner

“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

This is entry #25 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

Note: The Distributed Denial of Service attack (DDoS) on ancestry.com and its sister sites last Monday took the site down for two days. This is still being felt in the genealogy world as several of the “minor” sites are still down. My apologies for links to Rootsweb pages in this post that are not working.

#25 Rachel PROFFITT 1817-1899, Widow of War of 1812 Pensioner

Rachel PROFFITT, my third great-grandmother, was born about 1817 in Franklin County, Virginia. Although her married life is well documented, the names of her parents have not been found in any written records. Her maiden name is seen on the death certificate of her youngest child Nannie Ellen CATES who died in 1942.1

1942 Nannie Ellen Cates death
Certificate of Death for Mrs. Nannie Ellen Cates

Many online GEDCOMs show that she was the daughter of David PROFFITT and Sarah “Sally” COCKRAM who married on 21 October 1813 in Franklin County, Virginia.2 Another possibility is that she was the daughter of Austin PROFFITT and Martha RAKES who married on 4 June 1813 in Franklin County, Virginia.3 Austin and David were brothers and the only children of Austin PROFFITT who died before 1803. Their mother “Betsey Prophet” is enumerated with her two young sons ages between 10 and 15 years on the 1810 census of Franklin County4 and may also be reflected in the household of her son Austin in 1820 and 1830.4,5,6 The ages found for the brothers in the 1850 and later censuses show they were quite young when they married in 1813.

Since I believe that there are unresolved questions concerning Rachel’s parentage, I’ll begin her story with her marriage to Jordan N. PETERS. This will give me time to do further research for my blogposts on her parents which are scheduled for weeks #48 and #49.

Rachel Marries at 24

Jordan N. PETERS, twice widowed with 10 children at home between the ages of 2 and 20 years [Peninah 2, William 6, Martha 8, Jane 10, James 12, Jonathan 14, Mary 16, Stephen 17, Zachariah 19  and Henry 20] needed a wife and a mother for his children. He was 45 years old when he married Rachel PROFFITT who was 24 years old. Jordan’s second wife Sarah COX had died five months earlier after giving birth to a child who did not survive.7 Rev. John Turner of the Hard Shell Baptist Church married Jordan and Rachel on 8 December 1841 in Franklin County. There is no official record of marriage as we learned in Jordan’s War of 1812 pension papers.8

Eleven months later Rachel gave birth to her first child Sarah “Sallie” on 2 November 1842.9 The child may have been named for her father’s second wife, as the first daughter born to a new marriage was often named after the deceased wife. A second possibility, which earlier researchers may have assumed, is that she was named after her maternal grandmother. This would explain why Rachel is consistently seen as the daughter of David and Sarah, not Austin and Martha.

Rachel continued having children less than two years apart: Joseph W. on 12 May 1844, Moses Samuel on 25 January 1846, Keziah Lucy about 1847, and Amanda Angeline on 2 October 1850.10 At the time of her 10th wedding anniversary, Rachel was finally getting a rest from caring for her extra-large family. She had five young ones of her own and nearly all of her step-children were married or old enough to take care of themselves. The time between the births grew to 3-4 years for the next four daughters: Caroline “Callie” was born on 13 June 185311, Milla Susan on 6 December 185612, Mary Elizabeth on 25 March 186013, and Nancy Ellen “Nannie” on 20 July 1864.14

Before the Civil War (1861-1865) Rachel’s oldest daughter Sallie married her first cousin David C. PETERS (1838-1906) on 21 January 1859 in Franklin County. An error was made on the marriage record. The names of the mothers of the bride and groom were switched and read Willis & Rachel and Jordan & Ruth instead of Willis & Ruth and Jordan & Rachel.15

The Civil War Years

As with so many other families during these times, Rachel and her husband Jordan would have sad memories of the Civil War. Both sons served on the Confederate side during the war between the states. Joseph enlisted on 8 March 1862 and was admitted to the hospital in Harrisonburg, Rockingham County, Virginia, where he died of unknown causes on 18 April 1862.16,17 Moses enlisted two years later on 22 April 1864 as a private in Company H, Virginia 4th Infantry Regiment.18 Rachel would see Moses come home after the war, marry and raise a large family.

Not only did Jordan and Rachel lose their son Joseph during the war, but their home was burned down in February of 1865, the year of the surrender. In later years, as they fought for Jordan’s War of 1812 pension, they would be reminded of this loss as the family bible and other important papers went up in smoke. The death of daughter Milla Susan ROOP and her young daughter in a house fire in 1891 most likely also brought sad memories of these times to Rachel after she lost her husband in 1890.19

Rachel’s Children Marry

Following the Civil War, Rachel’s children began to marry:

Ch 3: Moses Samuel PETERS married Elizabeth A. “Betty” TRUSLER (1854-1936) on 10 August 1869 at Jesse Edward’s in Floyd County, Virginia.20

Ch 5: Amanda Angeline “Mandy” PETERS married William Pascal BEVERLY (1844-1924) on 20 February 1873 in Montgomery County, Virginia.21

Ch 4: Keziah Lucy PETERS married Elkanah Yates MASSEY (1845- ) on 8 November 1874 in Patrick County, Virginia.22

Ch 6: Caroline “Callie” PETERS married Edward CLARK (1858-1930) on 3 November 1877 at the bride’s residence in Floyd County.23

Ch 7: Milla Susan PETERS married Gordon Washington ROOP (1862-1930) on 1 January 1880 at Jordan Peters’ residence in Floyd County.24

Ch 8: Mary Elizabeth F. “Emma” PETERS married James Thomas PRICE (1848-1938) on 10 October 1881 at Jordan Peters’ residence in Floyd County.25 She divorced him and married Peter ROTOLO in 1894.26 She was widowed and married Bernet James TILLEY in 1902.27

Ch 9: Nancy Ellen “Nannie” PETERS married John J. CATES (1864-1921) on 28 December 1882 in Patrick County.28

Rachel and Jordan’s Later Years

By the time Rachel’s youngest daughters had married, her elderly husband Jordan was in his early 80s and finally receiving his well-earned pension. They would have less than eight years to enjoy their first time alone as a couple. Jordan N. PETERS died on 14 October 1890 at Nettle Ridge in Patrick County of old age – he was 94.29 Rachel and Jordan would have celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary a few months later. They were married twice as long as Jordan was married to his first two wives.

Rachel Has Difficulties Getting her Widow’s Pension

The year following Jordan’s death his widow Rachel began giving evidence in order to claim her widow’s pension. The government was not able to identify the claim “from the data given.” The government files were still in disorder.

The Government would not grant Rachel a pension unless she could prove that she had been lawfully married to Jordan. Rachel was determined to provide some evidence but the Family Bible had turned to ashes in the 1865 fire that destroyed the Peters’ home. It was common practice at that time for people to pack up their Family Bibles and send them to the Government to verify marriages and other relationships in order to obtain their pensions. Complicating matters, the Clerk of Court in Franklin County could find no record of their marriage.

In order to prove her case, this elderly lady, 74 years old, walked many miles in the rain over muddy mountain roads to get sworn statements from friends, neighbors, the Clerk of Court and the Justice of the Peace. In March 1891, Rachel sent a letter to her law firm in Washington, D.C.: “…If you want the evidence of a U.S. Marshal, I can get it from Han Woolwine of this county who knows me well, but he resides at Stuart 13 miles from here…The Judge of the court lives 27 miles from here and the Clerk of the court 13 miles. This is a long and mountainous county and the mud in the roads are hardly passable…I have to walk around to get up this evidence, and you see my age, I am old…it is raining almost every day…”

MRIN00056 Rachel Proffitt Peters letter from War of 1812 package
Rachel’s 1891 letter to her law firm in Washington D.C. found in Jordan N. PETER’s War of 1812 pension file. Courtesy of Paula Kelley Ward.

Rachel’s friends and neighbors were indignant that she had to go to such lengths to prove her marriage. The Justice of the Peace, Mr. W. H. Cooper, was a friend who had known Jordan and Rachel for several years. Before he signed his name to his own testimony in her behalf, he added the following crusty comment: “…and I have known them for 9 or 10 years and they lived together as man and wife in this community and if they had not been so, I should have had them indicted for unlawful cohabitation and tried.”

Rachel’s effort was successful and within six months she was granted a pension of $12.00 per month plus the accrued pension due her from the date of Jordan’s death.30

Rachel PROFFITT received her pension for eight years before dying on 5 March 1899 near Nettle Ridge at the age of 82.31

Pension Odyssey Continues Following Rachel’s Death

You would think that this would be the end of the pension odyssey for the PETERS family, however, the story continues. I’ll let Paula Kelley Ward tell how the story finally ends.

It began on the day before Rachel Peters died. She was living with her daughter and son-in-law, Ellen and John Cates, in a house on the Taylor farm. For a time Rachel had been receiving her mail through the Post Office at Bassil, Virginia. The Post Mistress, Fannie L. Taylor, knew that Rachel had been ill with pneumonia for about ten days. Mrs. Taylor and her husband went to visit Rachel on Saturday, March 4, 1899. They brought Rachel’s pension vouchers for her to sign. Rachel could not write but she made her mark on the papers. “She was then in her right mind,” Mrs. Taylor said.

The next morning Abe and Lucy Pickrel visited John and Ellen Cates. Rachel told Lucy that she wanted her daughter, Ellen, to have her check. Lucy wrote a short statement which said: “Please let John Kates have my check when it comes, Rachel Peters” and Rachel made her mark on this paper. Later that same day, at sundown, Rachel passed away.

Eleven days later John and Ellen Cates went to the Bassil Post Office, gave Mrs. Taylor the statement that Rachel had signed, and Mrs. Taylor gave them the pension check. Lucy Pickrel met them at the Post Office and endorsed the check in Rachel’s name. John Cates later cashed the check in Rella, North Carolina.

When the Government learned that Mrs. Peters had died on March 5, but that her pension check had been cashed about two weeks later, it went into action. A special examiner for the Bureau of Pensions in Washington, D.C., E. H. Carver, was sent to Patrick County to investigate.

This was the Government that had prevented Jordan N. Peters from obtaining his rightful pension for ten years. It was the Government that had misfiled, lost, and was not able to read Jordan’s pension claims and testimony, the Government that had been responsible for Jordan’s widow having to walk all over the mountains to procure testimony in her behalf. Now this same Government was miraculously keeping an intact record of its so-called “Criminal Case.” The Bureau of Pensions had suddenly become efficient. Carver was sent to roam the Blue Ridge Mountains of Patrick County, Virginia to chase down witnesses in an attempt to indict Jordan’s son-in-law for forgery.

Carver obtained testimony from four people: Lucy Pickrel; Mrs. Fannie L. Taylor; Levi J. Lackey, the merchant from Rella, North Carolina who had cashed the check; and Joseph H. Brown, a blacksmith and general mechanic who had made Mrs. Peters’ coffin.

After taking signed statements under oath, the result of his interrogation of these people, Carver sent his report to the Bureau of Pensions charging John Cates with forgery. He wrote that John Cates “had fleeced everyone whom he had any dealings with,” but there was no evidence of this. John Cates had received $36.00 when he cashed the pension check, and $8.00 of that amount had been used to pay for Mrs. Peters’ funeral expenses. Carver claimed that the balance “was used on riotous living.” There was no proof of this allegation, either. Indeed, one wonders just how much “riotous living” could be bought with $28.00 in Patrick County, Virginia in 1899. It is a stretch of the imagination to conceive of Patrick County residents indulging in Carver’s idea of “riotous living,” whatever that was.

Shortly after the check was cashed, John and Ellen Cates moved to Winston, North Carolina. Carver naturally viewed this as an act of fleeing to avoid prosecution. One witness testified, however, that John Cates “got dissatisfied here. I do not suppose that he went there on account of the draft.”

Four months later the Federal Government brought its case before the Grand Jury in Danville, Virginia. For background, it also provided the Grand Jury with Jordan N. Peters’ pension records and the records of Jordan’s widow. Did the Grand Jury observe Jordan’s ten-year struggle to get his pension? Did it note that Rachel Peters had supplied an unusual amount of evidence to prove her marriage? The deliberations of the Grand Jury are not contained in Jordan’s pension file. All that is known is the Government’s attempt at indictment, which failed. The Grand Jury’s decision was “Not a true bill.” John Cates was not indicted.

The Government pursued the case, bringing it before a second Grand Jury at Lynchburg, Virginia. Again, the Grand Jury refused to indict John Cates for forgery. Was he guilty? It is true that he had cashed the pension check, but two of the four witnesses who had given their sworn statements to Carver had provided conclusive evidence that John Cates had not forged the check. Lucy Pickrel admitted that she herself had endorsed the check in Rachel Peters’ name.

Twice defeated, the Government decided to close its case because “it was futile and unnecessarily expensive.” That was an understatement since it must have cost the Government considerably more than $36.00, the amount of the pension check, to investigate the case and take it before two Grand Juries.

A final insult to Jordan’s service was found in his pension file on a slip of paper dated June 5, 1919. Twenty years after Rachel Peters had died, the Government added: “Rachel, widow of Jordan N. Peters…Papers found in Claim of Lucy A. Loveland, widow of Samuel W. Loveland…”

The War of 1812 Pension Application Files

Rachel and Jordan’s stories could not have been written without the help of the War of 1812 pension file that Paul Kelley Ward obtained in 1977 from the National Archives and Records Administration. Genealogists, historians, teachers, patriotic societies, and history buffs will soon have easier access to these wonderful records. The War of 1812 Pension Application Files are being digitized, indexed, and placed online as they are in grave danger of deterioration. As of today, 17% of the documents can be accessed FREE at Fold3. I would not be surprised if by the time the project is finished Jordan’s papers may have a few more pages than when Paula received her copy in 1977.

This Post Was Updated on 19 June 2022Missing source citations were added, images were scaled, and some corrections were made to the text and format.

© 2014-2022, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. “North Carolina, Death Certificates, 1909-1975,” index and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/1121), citing original data: North Carolina State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics. North Carolina Death Certificates. Microfilm S.123. Rolls 19-242, 280, 313-682, 1040-1297. North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina., Forsyth, 1942, February, Certificate of Death 153, Nannie Ellen Cates (accessed 20 June 2014). 
  2. Franklin County (Virginia). County Clerk, “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Franklin County Courthouse in Rocky Mount, Virginia, and at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia., Film 1977991, DGS 7490230, Marriage bonds 1813-1818, images 45 and 46 of 880, 1813 David Profit and Elisha Rakes bond for the marriage of David Profit and Sarah Cockram. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99ZG-84FM?i=45&cat=765574 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  3. Ibid., Film 1977991, DGS 7490230, Marriage bonds 1813-1818, images 43 and 44 of 880, 1813 Austin Prophet and Elisha Rakes bond for the marriage of Austin Prophet and Patsey Rakes. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-84KZ?i=43&cat=765574 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  4. 1810 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7613/), citing Third Census of the United States, 1810 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M252, 71 rolls, Roll 68, FHL Film 0181428, image 608, Virginia, Franklin County, page 315 (stamped), line 13, Betsey Prophet (accessed 7 February 2020). 
  5. 1820 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7734/), citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll: M33_136, image: 177, Virginia, Franklin County, page 159 (stamped), line 22, Austin Proffit (accessed 29 October 2013). 
  6. 1830 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8058/), citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, Nara Roll M19_192, FHL Film: 0029671, Virginia, Franklin County, page 86 (double-page spread), line 16, Austin Proffitt (accessed 7 February 2020). 
  7. Letter written by James Peters to his brother Zachariah Peters, (Boone County, West Virginia, 4 July 1864, 4 pages), a digital copy of a photocopy of the original letter received per email dated 8 June 2014 from Paula Kelley Ward, page 4 of the letter with dates of birth for the children of Jordan N Peters, including the date of death of his second wife, “…and the one dyed without being named was born July the 1st 1841 and dyed the same day and its mother died the 8th of July 1841.” 
  8. “War of 1812 Pension Files,” database and images, Fold3, citing “War of 1812 Pension and Bounty land Warrant Application Files,” compiled ca. 1871–1900, documenting the period 1812–ca.1900, National Archives, Washington, D.C., original data from The National Archives (http://www.archives.gov), RG15-1812PB-Bx2693, National Archives Catalog ID: 564415, service of Jordan N. Peters (Pvt Capt Robert Hairston Va Militia, War of 1812), widow Rachel Proffitt. (https://www.fold3.com/image/642937397 : accessed 27 March 2022). Conflicting dates of marriage were found in the pension file. On page 2, a cover sheet, the year of marriage was 1843. Jordan N. Peters states that he married on 8 December 1844 (page 18) and 8 December 1840 (page24). He married after the death of his 2nd wife in 1841 and before the birth of his daughter Sarah in November 1842 therefore I have assumed the marriage took place on 8 December 1841. 
  9. Letter written by James Peters to his brother Zachariah Peters, (Crook Township, Boone County, West Virginia, 4 July 1864, 4 pages), page 4 of the letter with dates of birth for the children of Jordan N Peters. 
  10. Ibid. 
  11. Ibid., The letter from her half-brother James wrote to her half-brother Zachariah listed her birth date as 13 June 1853. Her grave marker has 31 January 1855 as her date of birth. 
  12. West Virginia Vital Research Records Project (database and images), West Virginia Division of Culture and History citing county records in county courthouses, West Virginia (A collaborative venture between the West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah to place vital records online via the West Virginia Archives and History Web site accessible at https://archive.wvculture.org/vrr), West Virginia Births, 1853-1930, FHL microfilm 598415, image 71, Raleigh County Register of Births, page 10 (double-page spread), line 44, 6 Dec 1856, Milla S. Peters, citing Hughes Creek, Raleigh County, Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/598415/00071.jpg : accessed 23 June 2014). 
  13. Discrepancy concerning her date of birth. She was three months old at the time of the 1860 census (b. abt. March 1860). In 1933 when she applied for a widow’s pension she noted that she was 75 on March 25, 1933 (b. 25 March 1858). On her death record, her grandson Earl E. Cundiff gave 22 March 1852 as her date of birth. The census being the most reliable and closest to the actual event, it has been assumed that her date of birth was 25 March 1860. 
  14. “North Carolina, Death Certificates, 1909-1975,” Forsyth, 1942, February, Certificate of Death 153, Nannie Ellen Cates (accessed 20 June 2014). Note: She is listed as born on 20 July 1870 in Floyd County, Virginia. The year of birth is an error. She was 6 years old on the 1870 census and 15 years old on the 1880 census, therefore her date of birth has been estimated at 20 July 1864. 
  15. “Registers of births, marriages, deaths, 1853-1915; index to births, marriages, deaths, 1853-1898,” browse-only, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Franklin County Courthouse in Rocky Mount, Virginia., Film 31523 (Items 2-3) DGS 7578970, Register of marriages, nos. 1-2 1853-1915, image 144 of 608, line 6, 21 Jan 1859, David Peters and Sarah Peters, parents of groom Willis and Rachel, parents of bride Jordan and Ruth, married by Michael Howery. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-VXZ2?i=143 : accessed 18 June 2022) Note: An error was made on the marriage record. The names of the mothers of the bride and groom were switched. 
  16. John D. Chapla, 42nd Virginia Infantry: The Virginia Regimental History Series, 3rd edition (1983), published by H.E. Howard, pg. 118, “Peters, Joseph W.: Pvt., Co. B. Enlisted 8 March 1862 Floyd Court House, Floyd Co., age 21. Hospitalized Harrisonburg by 4/18/22 (sic, typo in the book, probably supposed to be 18 April 1862) when died unspecified cause.” 
  17. United States. Adjutant General’s Office, “Index to compiled service records of Confederate soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Virginia,” index and images, FamilySearch, NARA Series M382 (62 rolls), citing The National Archives, Washington, D.C., Film 881437, DGS 8920385, M382 Roll 43, Index Pau – Ph, image 3315 of 14230, John W. Peters, 1861-1865. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QHV-13PK-L7F1?i=3314&cat=281165 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  18. Ibid., image 3324 of 14230, Moses Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QHV-13PK-L76P?i=3323&cat=281165 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  19. Everette L. McGrew, My Mother Was A Rupe (revised copy dated August 2000), page 104, family Rflec, Gordon Washington Roop, family tradition shared by Linda Pearl Dickey Roop (1943-1994). Linda Pearl Dickey Roop (1943-1994) collaborated with Everette Llavon McGREW (1923-2008) on a book on the ROOP family in the early 1990s. In the summer of 1994, she was diagnosed with cancer and died a month later. Everette took over the task of finishing the book which he titled My Mother Was A Rupe. He gave me an updated copy in 2002. “Milla and the young daughter died in a house fire in 1891.” 
  20. Floyd County (Virginia). County Clerk, “Marriage registers, 1843-1925” (browse-only images), FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Floyd County Courthouse in Floyd, Virginia., Film 31345 (Items 3), DGS 7578964, image 162 of 606, Floyd County Register of Marriages 1869, line 48. Moses Peters and E. A. Truslow. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-K99T-6?i=161&cat=363663 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  21. Ibid., Film 31345 (Items 3), DGS 7578964, image 173 of 606, Floyd County Register of Marriages 1873, line 26, Wm Beverly and Amanda Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-K99Y-G?i=172 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  22. Patrick County (Virginia). Clerk of the County Court, “Marriage registers, 1791-1923 ; index to births, marriages, deaths 1853-1912” (browse-only images), FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Patrick County Courthouse in Stuart, Virginia., Film 33351, DGS 7579037, Register of marriages, no. 3, 1853-1912, image 242 of 457, Patrick County Register of Marriages 1874, line 17, 8 Nov 1874, E Y Masses and L K Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-RLMK?i=241 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  23. Floyd County, Virginia, “Marriage registers, 1843-1925,” Film 31345 (Items 1-3), DGS 7578964, image 186 of 606, Floyd County Register of Marriages 1877, line 85, 3 Nov 1877, Edward Clark and Callie Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-K9S3-H?i=185 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  24. Ibid., Film 31345 (Items 3), DGS 7578964, image 193 of 606, Floyd County Register of Marriages 1879-1880, line 137, 1 Jan 1880, Gordon Washington Roop and Milla Susan Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99XF-K9M8-L?i=192 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  25. Ibid., Film 31345 (Items 3), DGS 7578964, image 203 of 606, Floyd County Register of Marriages 1881, line 82. 10 Oct 1881, Thomas Price and Mary E. Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-K99T-X?i=202 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  26. Tazewell County (Virginia). County Clerk, “Marriage registers, 1800-1920 ; index to marriages, 1800-1939” (browse-only images), FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Tazewell County Courthouse in Tazewell, Virginia., Film 34214 (Items 5), DGS 4284960, Register of marriages, no. 3, 1853-1920, Tazewell County Register of Marriages 1894, page 110, line 57, 30 Apr 1894, Peter Rotolo and Emma Price. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6LC9-VXV?i=532&cat=473283 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  27. WVCulture.org, West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 800736, image 328, Mercer County Marriage Register, page 155 (stamped), line 1, 4 June 1902, B J Tilly and Emma Rotolo. (http://images.wvculture.org/800736/00328.jpg : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  28. Patrick County, Virginia, “Marriage registers, 1791-1923; index to births, marriages, deaths 1853-1912,” Film 33351, DGS 7579037, Register of marriages, no. 3, 1853-1912, image 276 of 457, Patrick County Register of Marriages 1882, line 3, 28 Dec 1882, John Cates and N.E. Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-RLSD?i=275 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  29. “War of 1812 Pension Files” service of Jordan N. Peters (Pvt Capt Robert Hairston Va Militia, War of 1812), widow Rachel Proffitt, image 2, pension file cover form 1501 with the dates of death of the soldier and his widow. (https://www.fold3.com/image/642937397 : accessed 27 March 2022). 
  30. Paula Kelley Ward, “Jordan’s Story,” p. 24-29, Wherever We Wander, compiled, designed, and edited by Carolyn Hale Bruce; cover designed by Charles Randolph Bruce. All stories in this book are copyrighted, 2005, by their authors and may not be reproduced in any form without written permission from the author(s), except for brief quotes in reviews or for publicity purposes. Note: Paula shared a revised version of “Jordan’s Story” in 2012 in a PDF. Excerpts are included here with her permission. 
  31. “War of 1812 Pension Files” service of Jordan N. Peters (Pvt Capt Robert Hairston Va Militia, War of 1812), widow Rachel Proffitt, image 2, pension file cover form 1501 with the dates of death of the soldier and his widow. (https://www.fold3.com/image/642937397 : accessed 27 March 2022). 

52 Ancestors: #24 Jordan N. PETERS 1796-1890 – War of 1812 Pensioner

“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

This is entry #24 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

#24 Jordan N. PETERS 1796-1890 – War of 1812 Pensioner

Update (21 June 2014): A correction has been made to the name of this ancestor. Jordan N. PETERS’ supposed middle name, “Nichols,” has never been proven. His records only include the middle initial “N.” The middle name “Nichols” has been removed/changed to the middle initial in this blogpost.

My 3rd great-grandfather Jordan N. PETERS was born in Amherst County, Virginia, on 10 October 1796 to Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah LIVELY.1 Zach and Kesiah were married nearly two years when Jordan was born.2,3 Following his birth, the PETERS family continued to grow and moved to Franklin County, Virginia, sometime before the 1810 census.4 By 1810 Jordan, 14 years old, had 7 brothers and sisters. Four more would be born by the end of the War of 1812.

1810peterscensus
1810 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Franklin

Of the dozen children born to Jordan’s parents, the names are not known for two girls and two boys, however, they are documented in the pre-1850 census statistics. Jordan’s known siblings were Mary, William, Betsy, Lucy, Willis, Joseph, and Susannah.

War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 18 February 1815)

In 1977 Paula Kelley Ward obtained Jordan’s complete War of 1812 file from the National Archives and Records Administration. She transcribed and typed all the documents in the file. The complete transcription and the full story contained in the records came to nearly 50 typewritten pages. With information gleaned from his War of 1812 records, Paula wrote “Jordan’s Story.”5

In the years I’ve been doing genealogy, I learned that it is very important to share with other researchers. We can’t do everything on our own. A different perspective often helps push past the problems we have in our research. Paula, my 4C1R and 4C, has kindly allowed me to use the images of documents she found. Excerpts from “Jordan’s Story” are included here to allow Jordan to tell his story, through Paula, in his own voice.

Jordan said he enlisted in 1814 “to keep my father from being drafted.” He was about 17 years old then, six feet tall, with black hair, black eyes, and a dark complexion. He gave his occupation as “farmer” when he volunteered at Franklin Court House under Captain William Jones…..During his first term of service, Jordan said he “worked in the trenches and mustered every day for two months and 22 days.” He then became ill with the “bloody flux” and at about the same time his shoulder was dislocated…..Jordan was granted a discharge…

1812jordan
Index to War of 1812 Pension Application Files [https://archive.org/stream/indextowarof0074unit#page/n381/mode/2up : accessed 6 June 2014]
The second time he enlisted he was 18 years old and volunteered at Franklin Court House on February 6, 1815 in Captain Robert Hairston’s Company…. The Company had marched as far as Chester (or possibly Chesterfield), Virginia when word reached them that a Treaty of Peace had been ratified on February 16. “Peace was made, and we marched over the Bridge and were paid for our time,” he said. The Company was discharged at Richmond on February 19, 1815, and Jordan went home to Franklin County.

The Jordan and Polly Era (1817-1837)

MRIN07822 1817 Jordan Peters and Mary Troup permission to marry
1817 Permission slip. Courtesy of Paula Kelley Ward

Mary “Polly” TROUP was 18 years old when she married Jordan N. PETERS on 6 October 1817 in Franklin County, Virginia.6 Her parents Henry and Dorothy TROUP gave permission for their daughter Mary to marry Jordan PETERS.7 He was the first of the PETERS children to marry. His brother William married Polly’s sister Alice in December 1818.

In 1820 Jordan is first seen in the census as the head of household with his wife and young daughter.8 Interesting is that Jordan is enumerated after Austin PROFFITT, the uncle of the young lady he would later marry, have children with, and spend the rest of his life with.

1820peterscensus
1820 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Franklin [Ancestry.com : accessed 9 June 2014]
By 1830 Jordan’s family had grown to include 5 boys and 3 girls. One of these girls may have died young. Could his daughter Jane who is said to have been born on 22 June 1831 actually have been born in 1830 and included in the count of the 1830 census?9

1830peterscensus
1830 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Montgomery [Ancestry.com : accessed 9 June 2014]
Jordan’s wife Mary “Polly” TROUP died on 5 January 1837 in Franklin County, Virginia.10 She died at the age of 37 after bringing ten children into the world. When she died, her oldest child Cynthia was 17 and her youngest William was just 1 year and 3 months.

  • Cynthia was born on 8 Oct 181910
  • Henry T. was born on 17 Mar 182110
  • Zachariah was born on 14 May 182210
  • Stephen was born on 13 Mar 182410
  • Mary was born on 6 Aug 182510
  • Jonathan was born on 23 Apr 182710
  • James was born on 25 Jan 182910
  • Jane was born on 22 Jun 183110
  • Martha Ann was born on 19 Jan 183310
  • William Edward was born on 2 Oct 183510

In a letter written to Zachariah PETERS on 2 July 1864, James PETERS wrote,Dier Brother I comply with your request and send you the register of our ages as furnished me by our father I send it in short hand and you can copy it.” The dates of birth seen above as well as the date of death of the children’s mother followed. I received a transcript of the letter in 2003 and wondered if all information was transcribed correctly. Genealogy research has been Paula’s life work since the age of 16. It was no surprise that she had a photocopy of the original letter that she shared with me. I found that the items I questioned in the transcription were errors. Lesson learned: Do not rely on transcriptions – always verify with an image of the original when available.

Jordan’s Siblings and Parents

Let’s back up here a bit. While Mary and Jordan’s family was growing, his siblings were  marrying in Franklin County and starting their own families:

  • William PETERS married Alice “Alla” TROUP on 12 December 181811
  • Mary PETERS married Samuel SMITH on 18 December 182312
  • Elizabeth “Betsy” PETERS married Jesse EDWARDS on 17 June 182613
  • Lucy PETERS married Joseph JARRELL on 4 October 182714
  • Willis PETERS married Ruth SMITH on 21 March 182915
  • Joseph PETERS married Martha “Patsy” SMITH on 1 September 183016
  • Susan PETERS married Andrew REEL on 16 October 183917

At the time of this writing, a marriage bond index was used. The FamilySearch films are now available (2021-2022) and were checked to verify the above dates.11,12,13,14,15,16,17

Their parents most likely saw most of them marry except for their youngest Susannah. It has been assumed that Kesiah LIVELY and Zachariah PETERS both died between 1830–1840 in Franklin County, Virginia. There is no record of their deaths. Neither was enumerated as a head of household in 1840. None of their “known” children had older individuals in their households in 1840.

Update (6 June 2022): Recently found records prove that Kesiah was living on 16 October 1839. To be discussed in a future post…

The Jordan and Sarah Era (1837-1841)

MRIN07823 1837 Sarah Cox permission to marry Jordan Peters
1837 Permission Slip. Courtesy of Paula Kelley Ward.

Jordan wasted little time in marrying again. Mary TROUP died in January and seven months later on 15 August 1837, he married Sarah COX.18 Her mother Peninah COX gave permission for Sarah to marry Jordan on 9 August 1837.19 We don’t know how old Sarah was but she immediately became the stepmother of ten children. Three months later Jordan’s oldest child Cynthia married Sarah’s brother Moses COX on 26 November 1837.20 Both marriages took place in Franklin County.

MRIN07823 1837 Jordan Peters and Sarah Cox marriage
1837 Marriage Bond. Courtesy of Paula Kelley Ward.

Sarah’s first child, Peninah, born on 14 November 1839, was named after her mother, Peninah WALDEN, widow of Francis COX.21

In 1840 Jordan was enumerated with his second wife, their newborn daughter, and nine of his children from his first marriage.22

1840peterscensus
1840 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Franklin [Ancestry.com : accessed 9 June 2014]
Jordan and Sarah’s second child was born on 1 July 1841 and died the same day without being given a name.23 Sarah died about a week later on 8 July 1841.24

Jordan now had eleven children, all presumably still living at home except for Cynthia who married in 1837. Zachariah would marry in 1846, Henry in 1847, and Stephen and possibly Jane in 1848. The rest of his children from his first marriage were married by 1855.

The Jordan and Rachel Era (1841-1890)

On 8 December 1841, just five months after Sarah’s death, Jordan, age 45, married a third time to my 3rd great-grandmother Rachel PROFFITT, age 24.25 They married in Franklin County. In the next 23 years, she gave him 9 more children while the family moved back and forth between Franklin County, Raleigh County, and Floyd County. This is well documented in the War of 1812 papers, births of children, and census.

  • Sarah “Sallie” PETERS (1842-1899) was born on 2 November 1842
  • Joseph W. PETERS (1844-1862) was born on 12 May 1844
  • Moses Samuel PETERS (1846-1915) was born on 25 January 1846
  • Keziah Lucy PETERS (1847-1934) born abt. 1847
  • Amanda A “Mandy” PETERS (1850-1895) was born on 2 October 1850
  • Caroline “Callie” PETERS (1855-1930) was born on 31 January 1855
  • Milla Susan PETERS (1856-1891) was born on 6 December 1856
  • Mary Elizabeth F. “Emma” PETERS (1860-1944) was born on 22 March 1860
  • Nancy Ellen “Nannie” PETERS (1864-1942) was born in July 1864
1850peterscensus
1850 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Raleigh > District 59
1850censuscoxpeters
1850 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Raleigh > District 59

In 1850 we see Jordan living next door to several COX families in Raleigh County which would later be part of West Virginia. Daniel COX and his family are next door to his mother Peninah and three siblings. Jordan’s daughter Cynthia and her husband Moses COX are in the next household followed by Jordan and his family.26

By 1860 the Peters family was once again in Franklin County.27

1860peterscensus
1860 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Franklin > S.W. District

For reasons unknown today, Jordan did not declare his first term of service when he testified in 1855 to claim the bounty land due him. He received a Bounty Land Warrant for 160 acres in 1856. In later years when he provided sworn statements to the Government in an attempt to prove his first term of service, the records could not be found. In addition, he had received two discharges which would have proven his service but unfortunately these papers were burned along with everything else he owned in a fire which destroyed his house in February of 1865.

The statements made by Jordan and Rachel Peters concerning the fire could be interpreted today as suggesting that the house was burned deliberately. “The year of the Surrender we got our house and Family Record Bible of Ages and Marriage and Deaths all burnt up with everything else we had,” said Rachel. When the Civil War began, it must have been a sad event to those who had served in the War of 1812. Witness Jordan’s statement: “I loved the Stars and the Stripes that was the old Flag I went under. When I saw them pull them down [the old flag] and raise the Rebel Flag, I could not hardly keep…from shedding tears. I told them they would get enough of it, so they did. When I lived in Floyd County, Virginia, I got my house burnt up and all my papers.”

Jordan and Rachel were in Floyd County with their five youngest daughters for the 1870 census.28

1870peterscensus
1870 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd > Jacksonville

Congress approved the Act to provide a pension for service in the War of 1812 on 14 February 1871.29 Jordan, 74 years old, submitted his first pension claim.

In 1874, after three years of testimony and correspondence, the Government notified Jordan that his claim was rejected on the grounds that “evidence of 60 days service” was not proven.

Following the rejection notice there is a four-year gap in Jordan’s file, indicating that the Government may have misfiled or lost the records during those years. Then on February 23, 1878 at the age of 81, Jordan submitted another pension claim. Seven years had passed since he had first declared his service for a pension in 1871.

The Pension Office seems to have processed this claim hurriedly. In July of 1878 he was granted a pension of $8.00 per month. Then a Government examiner reviewed the claim and recommended that “this case should be rejected and certificate cancelled.” In October of that year Jordan’s name was dropped from the pension rolls and payment of pension was suspended because of “insufficient service.”

With persistence Jordan once again declared his service of two terms. Throughout 1879 and 1880 the Government offices inspected the muster rolls again. Several months passed before the Auditor reported to the Pension Office: “There are no rolls of Capt. Mackhenry, Mackhaney, McHoney or McHaney’s Company of Virginia Militia. Nor are there any rolls of Capt. Jack or John Wade’s Company of Virginia Militia on file in this office.”

While Jordan was fighting for his pension his children from his third marriage were growing and old enough to marry. Several of his children are seen marrying at his residence in Floyd County. One of these was my great-great-grandmother Milla Susan PETERS who married Gordon Washington ROOP (1862-1930) on 1 January 1880 in Floyd County, Virginia.30

1880peterscensus
1880 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd > Alum Ridge

By 1880 only Jordan’s two youngest daughters were still living at home.31 In two years they also would be married.

It was not until April of 1881 that someone was kind enough to listen carefully as Jordan told his story. That person was Mr. C. M. Stigleman. He interviewed Jordan and wrote down Jordan’s words on the letterhead of the Floyd County Superintendent of Public Schools. Jordan was 84 years old by this time and Mr. Stigleman remarked that “his memory is not good.” Even so, Jordan recalled the names of soldiers who had served with him in Captain William McHaney’s Company in Norfolk……

Mr. Stigleman seems to have been solely responsible for providing the information that at long last resulted in a pension. For ten years Jordan had steadfastly pursued his pension and finally in 1881 the Government restored his payments of $8.00 per month. In addition, he received the accrued pension from the time in 1878 when his name had been dropped from the rolls.

Jordan died of old age on October 14, 1890 near Nettle Ridge in Patrick County, Virginia. He was 94 years old. This is not the end of the story.

Jordan’s Story – page 24
Jordan’s Story – page 25
Jordan’s Story – page 26
Jordan’s Story – page 27
Jordan’s Story – page 28
Jordan’s Story – page 29

Update on links (7 June 2022): The links above are from snapshot captures by the Wayback Machine, an initiative of the Internet Archive. The original links to “Jordan’s Story” have been broken since Ancestry temporarily took RootsWeb offline on 23 December 2017 due to a security breach.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Jordan N. PETERS
Parents: Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah “Keziah” LIVELY
Spouses: 1. Mary TROUP, 2. Sarah COX, and 3. Rachel PROFFITT(*)
Whereabouts: Virginia and West Virginia
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 3rd great-grandfather

    1. Jordan N. PETERS
    2. Milla Susan PETERS
    3. Walter Farmer ROOP
    4. Myrtle Hazel ROOP
    5. Fred Roosevelt DEMPSEY
    6. Cathy Meder-Dempsey

This Post Was Updated on 13 June 2022: Missing source citations were added, images were scaled, and some corrections were made to the text and format.

© 2014-2022, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.


  1. “War of 1812 Pension Files,” database and images, Fold3, citing “War of 1812 Pension and Bounty land Warrant Application Files,” compiled ca. 1871–1900, documenting the period 1812–ca.1900, National Archives, Washington, D.C., original data from The National Archives (http://www.archives.gov), RG15-1812PB-Bx2693, National Archives Catalog ID: 564415, service of Jordan N. Peters (Pvt Capt Robert Hairston Va Militia, War of 1812), widow Rachel Proffitt, images 42 and 43 of 218, affidavit of T. G. Tatum, dated 18 April 1891, with information Jordan N. Peters requested him to write down before his death as his house was burnt up and all papers lost. This includes his date of birth, two previous marriages, deaths of his previous wives, his pension certificate number, and his date and place of death. (https://www.fold3.com/image/642937438 and https://www.fold3.com/image/642937439 : accessed 27 March 2022). 
  2. “Register of marriages, Amherst County, Virginia, 1763-1853” (browse-only images), FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, Film 30273, DGS 7578824, image 382 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 97, entry 9, 1794 November 18, Zacherias Peters and Keziah Lively, each of Amherst Parish, security and witness Austin Woody. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-NC7R?i=381&cat=680855 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  3. Ibid., image 738 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 453, Ezekiel Campbell marriage returns for the year 1794, entry 8, Zachariah Peters and Keziah Lively. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-N8GX?i=737&cat=680855 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  4. 1810 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7613/), citing Third Census of the United States, 1810 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M252, 71 rolls, Roll 68, FHL Film 0181428, image 43, Virginia, Amherst County, page 492, line 1, Zachariah Peters (accessed 16 November 2014). 
  5. Paula Kelley Ward, “Jordan’s Story,” p. 24-29, Wherever We Wander, compiled, designed, and edited by Carolyn Hale Bruce; cover designed by Charles Randolph Bruce. All stories in this book are copyrighted, 2005, by their authors and may not be reproduced in any form without written permission from the author(s), except for brief quotes in reviews or for publicity purposes. Note: Paula shared a revised version of “Jordan’s Story” in 2012 in a PDF. 
  6. Franklin County (Virginia). County Clerk, “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Franklin County Courthouse in Rocky Mount, Virginia, and at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia., Film 1977991, DGS 7490230, Marriage bonds 1813-1818, image 638 to 641 of 880, 1817 Jordan N Peters and Jacob Troup bond for the marriage of Jordan Peters and Mary Troup (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZG-87MT?cat=765574 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  7. Ibid., Film 1977991, DGS 7490230, Marriage bonds 1813-1818, image 641 of 880, 1817 Jacob and Dorothy Troup’s permission for daughter Mary to marry Jordan Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZG-8Q57?i=640&cat=765574 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  8. 1820 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7734/), citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll: M33_136, image: 177, Virginia, Franklin County, page 159 (stamped), line 21, Jordan N Peters (accessed 29 October 2013). 
  9. 1830 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry  (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8058/), citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, Nara Roll M19_198, FHL Film: 0029677, Virginia, Montgomery County, Blacksburg, page 87 (double-page spread), line 1, Jordan Peters (accessed 10 Feb 2007). 
  10. Letter written by James Peters to his brother Zachariah Peters, (Boone County, West Virginia, 4 July 1864, 4 pages), a digital copy of a photocopy of the original letter received per email dated 8 June 2014 from Paula Kelley Ward, page 4 of the letter with dates of birth for the children of Jordan N Peters, including the dates of death of his first two wives. 
  11. “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” (Franklin County, Virginia), Film 1977991, DGS 7490230, Marriage bonds 1813-1818, image 818 to 821 of 880, 1818 William Peters and Jacob Troup bond for the marriage of William Peters and Alla Troup and Henry Troup and his wife Dorothy’s permission for their daughter Alla to marry William Peters.  (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99ZG-84X2?i=817&cat=765574 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  12. Ibid., Film 1977993, DGS 7490232, Marriage bonds 1823-1827, images 42+43 of 855, 1823 Samuel Smith and William Peters bond for marriage of Samuel Smith and Mary Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-D91X?i=42&cat=765574 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  13. Ibid., Film 1977996, DGS 7490235, Marriage bonds 1835-1838, images 548-549 of 784, 1826 Jesse Edwards and Zachariah Peters bond for the marriage of Jesse Edwards and Betsy Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-D37H?i=548&cat=765574 : accessed 12 June 2022). 
  14. Ibid. Film 31523 (Item 1), DGS 7578970, Marriage bonds register 1786-1853 (Gives husband’s name, wife’s name, date of bond, name of surety, name of minister), image 82 of 608, No. 2167, Jarrell Joseph and Peters Lucy 4 Oct 1827 Peters Zachariah security. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-VXYJ?i=81 : accessed 12 June 2022). 
  15. Ibid., Film 1977994, DGS 7490233, Marriage bonds 1828-1831, images 407-410 of 873, 1829 Willis Peters and John Powers bond for the marriage of Willis Peters and Ruth Smith and Gideon Smyth’s permission for his daughter Ruth to marry Willis Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-YW7?i=406&cat=765574 : accessed 12 June 2022). 
  16. Ibid., Film 1977994, DGS 7490233, Marriage bonds 1828-1831, images 630-633 of 873, 1830 Joseph Peters and Samuel Grimmett bond for the marriage of Joseph Peters and Patsy Smith and the Gideon Smith’s permission for his daughter Patsy to marry Joseph Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-T6FC?i=629&cat=765574 : accessed 13 June 2022). 
  17. Ibid., Film 1977997, DGS 7490236, Marriage bonds 1838-1841, images 210-213 of 838, 1839 Andrew Reel and William Hixson bond for the marriage of Andrew Reel and Susan Peters and Kisiah Peters’ permission for her daughter Susan to marry Andrew Reel. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZG-HFP6?i=209&cat=765574 : accessed 13 June 2022). 
  18. Ibid., Film 1977996, DGS 7490235, Marriage bonds 1835-1838, images 526-527 of 784, 1837 marriage bond of Jordan N Peters and Sarah Cox. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZG-HQTW?i=526&cat=765574 : accessed 8 June 2022). 
  19. Ibid., Film 1977996, DGS 7490235, Marriage bonds 1835-1838, images 528-529 of 784, 1837 permission slip for bride. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-H779?i=528&cat=765574 : accessed 8 June 2022). 
  20. Ibid., Film 1977996, DGS 7490235, Marriage bonds 1835-1838, images 444-445 of 784, 1837 Moses Cox and Cynthia Peters bond. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-H7VD?i=444&cat=765574 : accessed 13 June 2022). 
  21. Letter written by James Peters to his brother Zachariah Peters, (Boone County, West Virginia, 4 July 1864, 4 pages), “Peninah Peters was born Nov the 14th 1839.” 
  22. 1840 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8057/), citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, NARA Roll: M704_559, FHL Film: 0029686, Virginia, Franklin County, page 307 (double-page spread), line 16, Jordon Peaters (sic, Jordan Peters) (accessed 29 October 2013). 
  23. Letter written by James Peters to his brother Zachariah Peters, (Boone County, West Virginia, 4 July 1864, 4 pages), “…and the one dyed without being named was born July the 1st 1841 and dyed the same day.” 
  24. Ibid., “…and its mother died the 8th of July 1841.” 
  25. Conflicting dates of marriage were found in the pension file. On page 2, a cover sheet, the year of marriage was 1843. Jordan N. Peters states that he married on 8 December 1844 (page 18) and 8 December 1840 (page24). He married after the death of his 2nd wife in 1841 and before the birth of his daughter Sarah in November 1842 therefore I have assumed the marriage took place on 8 December 1841. 
  26. 1850 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8054/), citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll: 972, Virginia, Raleigh County, District 59, Page: 10B, lines 29-37, household 135-135, Jordan Peters (accessed 17 May 2021). 
  27. 1860 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7667/), 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_1346; Family History Library Film: 805346, Virginia, Franklin County, South Western District, page 35, lines 17-25, household 234-231, Jordan N. Peters(accessed 29 October 2013). 
  28. 1870 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7163/), citing Ninth Census of the United States, 1870 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T132, 13 rolls, Roll: M593_1646, Virginia, Floyd County, Jacksonville, page 29, sheet 57A, household 213-201, lines 3-9, Jordan Peters (accessed 29 October 2013). 
  29. “U.S., War of 1812 Pension Application Files Index, 1812-1815,” database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/1133/), citing original data: War of 1812 Pension Applications. Washington D.C.: National Archives. NARA Microfilm Publication M313, 102 rolls. Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group Number 15. Information about the collection in the description on Ancestry was taken from the Descriptive Pamphlet to Index to War of 1812 Pension Application Files, Microfilm Publication M313.(accessed 12 June 2022). 
  30. Barbara Reininger, compiler and website owner of “Families of Floyd County, Virginia,” Floyd Co., Virginia Marriages, transcribed from images of microfilm records obtained by Rena Worthen from the Library of Virginia, “Marriage registers, 1843-1925,” film 31345 items 1-3, DGS 7578964, microfilm of original records at the Floyd County Courthouse, FCVA1879_0137, Register: 3. Page: 61, Gordon Washington Roop m. Milla Susan Peters 01-01-1880 at Jordon Peters’, Floyd Co., VA by William L. Simmons. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1879/FCVA18790137.jpg : accessed 12 June 2022). 
  31. 1880 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/6742/), citing Tenth Census of the United States, 1880 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls, Roll: 1365, Virginia, Floyd County, Alum Ridge, enumeration district 25, page 5, sheet 264A, household 38-38, lines 1-4, Jordan Peters (accessed 13 August 2007).