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 H. 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

52ancestors“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 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!

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

Cynthia SUMNER, my 4th great-grandmother, went by many names during her lifetime. From the time that 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 and her remarriage when she 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. This was during the War of 1812 (18 Jun 1812-24 Dec 1814), a war that Owen served in. 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.]

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) born about 1817 in Montgomery County, Virginia. She married Joel ROSS (1801-aft.1870) on 24 September 1835 in Floyd County. They were the parents of two children. Sarah died 20 February 1842 in Floyd County. When Joel remarried two years later his father-in-law (from his first marriage) Owen SUMNER performed the marriage.
  • Sib 3: Joel “Owen” SUMNER (1820-1900) born January 1820 in Montgomery County, Virginia. He married Lucinda E. THOMPSON (1826-1900) on 15 February 1844 in Floyd County, Virginia. They were the parents of eleven children. Joel died between 1900-1910.
  • Sib 4: Jesse SUMNER (1824-1861) born about 1824 in Montgomery County, Virginia. He married Timandra SUMPTER (1826-1912) on 9 December 1845 in Floyd County, Virginia. They were the parents of six children. Jesse died 10 November 1861 in Floyd County, Virginia
  • Sib 5: Susan A. SUMNER (1828-1913) born 24 March 1828 in Montgomery County, Virginia. She married Jacob CORRELL (1817-1888) on 22 January 1852 in Floyd County, Virginia. They were the parents of six children. Susan died 20 August 1913
  • Sib 6: John G. “Jehu” SUMNER (1835-1880) born about 1830 in Floyd County, Virginia. He married Elizabeth SOWERS (1841-1915) on 20 August 1863 in Floyd County at the home of Owen SUMNER. They were the parents of six children. John died between 1880-1900.
  • Sib 7: Joshua SUMNER (1833-1919) born December 1832 in Floyd County, Virginia. Joshua married(1) Mary G. EARLY (1821- ) on 19 July 1854 in Floyd County, Virginia. 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. They had one son. Joshua died 19 November 1919 in Bedford County, Virginia
  • Sib 8: Joseph L. SUMNER (1835-1888) born 17 January 1835 in Floyd County, Virginia. He married Julia Ann HARRIS (1837-1889) on 4 September 1856 in Floyd County, Virginia. They were the parents of six children. Joseph died 30 January 1888 in Brookline, Greene County, Missouri
  • Sib 9: Jonathan Newton “Jathan” SUMNER (1838-1882) born about 1838 in Floyd County, Virginia. He married Sarah Ann BOOTH (1836-1893) on 18 September 1855 in Floyd County, Virginia. They had eight children. Even though he was married, Jathan had a “permanent liason” with Fannie Duncan. He eventually left his wife to settle in Tennessee with Fannie and their children. He died about 1882 Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee.
  • Sib 10: Jubal SUMNER (1841-1892) born about 1841 in Floyd County, Virginia. He never married. Jubal died 8 November 1892.
  • Sib 11: Jane SUMNER (1845-1900) born about 1845 in Floyd County, Virginia. She married Jacob WADE (1849-1937) on 5 December 1867 in Floyd County, Virginia, at Owen Sumner’s residence. They were the parents of six children. Jane and Jacob divorced before 24 August 1879. Jane died between 1900-1910.

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 giving the same honor. If we consider that my 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 boys, could this mean that there are two SUMNER men b. bet. 1825-1830, 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 years old girl of this name is seen in Owen’s household in 1850 – but 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 Census
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 Census
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 Census
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 Census
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 birth column was incorrectly filled out by the enumerator. In later years they are listed as born in Virginia.

Let’s Talk About Cynthia

Cynthia SUMNER was about 19 years old when she married 22 years old Jacob LESTER on 4 September 1834 in Floyd County, Virginia. 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, Virginia.

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. About a 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 Census
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 about 1842 in Floyd County leaving her with two small children. She was not a widow for long as she married John W. COX on 1 June 1843 in Floyd County, Virginia. 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 Census
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 wrote in North Carolina for state of birth for John W. COX and then “do” (ditto) for the rest of the family and the next household, that of 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:

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 Census
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, Virginia.

The American Civil War year (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. A month later another wedding took place. Cynthia’s father Owen (65) married Lucinda SOWERS on 11 March 1861 in Floyd County. 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 as she gave birth to a daughter Cynthia MOORE (1861-1861) on 7 November 1861 in Floyd County. The child, named after her maternal grandmother, lived less than three weeks, dying on 24 November 1861. The mother Susan died the next day.

Three more grandchildren were born, including my second great-grandfather Gordon Washington ROOP (1862-1930) who was born on 6 May 1862 in Floyd County. His father Gordon H. 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 the 1st of November 1863 in Georgia.

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. Their marriage of eight years would not bare fruit.

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 census
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. A year later Cynthia’s father Owen SUMNER died 20 November 1874 in Alum Ridge, Floyd County.

Cynthia would lose her oldest daughter Emaline LESTER to consumption on 3 December 1877 in Floyd County. 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 step-mother Lucinda, was divorced and, strange 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 and 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 about 1859.

1880censuscox
1880 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Floyd > Alum Ridge [ancestry.com]
1880 U. S. Federal Census
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 step-mother Lucinda SOWERS died in 1886 at the age of 50. Was Cynthia still living when 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, and 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 finding documentation on?

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

52 Ancestors: #44 Jacob LESTER 1812-1842

52ancestors“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.

52 Ancestors: #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 (copyright 1996) 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 Apr 1775-14 Jan 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, Virginia.[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.

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:

  • Child 1: Hulen “Hugh” LESTER (1803-1880) 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 [–?–] LESTER (1814-1870) before 1847 in Shelby County, Indiana. They were the parents of 3 children. Hulen died 1880 in Shelby County, Indiana.
  • Child 2: Matilda LESTER (1805-1826) born about 1805. Matilda married Archelaus WEDDLE (1799-1870) on 23 September 1825 in Montgomery County. She died bet. 1826-1829 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) born about 1807. Malinda married Riley BOOTHE (1801-1870) on 26 May 1831 in Floyd County (marriage bond). They were the parents of 3 children, one died young. She died bet. 1890-1900 in Floyd County.
  • Child 4: John LESTER (1808-1852) born 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 1 April 1852 in Floyd County, Virginia.
  • Child 5: Amos Terry LESTER (1810-1890) born 30 November 1810. Amos married Susannah Jane LESTER (1814-1888) on 19 March 1835 in Floyd County. They were first cousins and parents of 10 children. He died on 14 February 1890 in Brown County, Indiana.
  • Child 6: Jacob LESTER born about 1812. More about this child below.
  • Child 7: Bird LESTER (1815-1864) born 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) born 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 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 in 1844-1845. He was a prominent and influential citizen, a successful farmer, a large land owner, and a slave owner.[8]

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 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.[9]

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:

Floyd County, VA DB A, pg. 417:
9 May 1836 between George Reed and Nancy his wife of Floyd County, VA and Champain Lester of Patrick County, VA for $350 land containing 145 acres on the gap fork of Beaver Creek, a branch of Little River bounded . . . on Andrew E. Reeds line. In presents of: And. E. Reed, Amos T. Lester, Jacob Lester signed: George (his x mark) Reed, Nancy (her __ mark) Reed (left blank) recorded: Floyd June Court 1836.[10]

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 Census
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.

“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.” [11]

Two other sources also refer to the appraisal of Jacob LESTER’s estate being made in March 1844.[12], [13]

*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 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.”[14]

The abstract of the will of John LESTER proved October 1851 names wife Mary; children Malinda Booth, Katherine Booth, Noah L., Hewline, John, Amos, Bird and William; grandchildren, George Washington and Emmeline Lester (children of deceased son, Jacob); two daughters of his deceased son Hewline and his first wife, Margaret; and Juliann Weddle (daughter of Matilda Weddle).[15]

Was Noah a son of Jacob?

This abstract brings up the question: Who is Noah L. LESTER? Some people believe that he was a son of my 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 years old daughter Susan, and Cynthia’s daughter Emaline from her marriage to Jacob LESTER.

However in the 1840 census Jacob had only one son listed in his household. His father John had a young male in his household in 1840 who could have been Noah who was born abt. 1834. A copy of the will needs to be obtained, or a true wording of the document, to determine the relationship of Noah to John and Polly. Marguerite Tise does 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. By 1860 Noah was married with 4 children. Polly was living with her son William T. LESTER, one of the executors of John’s estate. Polly died 14 February 1862 in Floyd County. Noah and his family have not been located after 1860.

Jacob’s Name

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

FDCJacobSo 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.com.

The 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? So 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.”

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

Sources:
[1] Jerry Lester, 28 Jan 2005, online http://jerrylester.com/Tise%20Introduction/
[2] Marguerite Tise, comp., The Lester Family of Floyd and Montgomery County Virginia  (Copyright 1996 Marguerite Tise, P.O. Box 343, Floyd, VA 24091-0343).
[3] Marguerite Tise, comp., The Lester Family of Floyd and Montgomery County Virginia (1996)
[4] Land Office Grants No. 51, 1802-1803, p. 113 (Reel 117); Luster, John Jr.; Library of Virginia; online http://lva1.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/F/?func=file&file_name=find-b-clas30&local_base=CLAS30.
[5] “Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XR8V-MQT : accessed 02 Nov 2014), John Lester and Polly Terry, 05 Oct 1802; citing Montgomery County, Virginia, reference P 95; FHL microfilm 32633.
[6] Marguerite Tise, comp., The Lester Family of Floyd and Montgomery County Virginia (1996)
[7] Jerry Lester, 28 Jan 2005, online http://jerrylester.com/Tise%20Introduction/
[8] Marguerite Tise, comp., The Lester Family of Floyd and Montgomery County Virginia (1996)
[9] Floyd County, Virginia, Marriages 1831-1900; transcribed by Barbara Reininger from images copied from microfilm by Rena Worthen; FCVA1834_0002; FCVA1834_0048. Register: 2. Page: 128. online http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~barbr/Female_S.htm. Note: Barbara Reininger lists: Jacob (Jacob Hiley) Lester. Cannot tell if she transcribed the middle name from the marriage register or got it from another source.
[10] Susan M. Jurban, Reed Land Deeds – Montgomery County, VA from LDS films 0032611, 0032612, 0032613 read & transcribed  April, 2001. Shared on Barbara Reininger’s site Families of Floyd Co., Virginia, online http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~barbr/zz_research_reed_land_deeds.htm.
[11] Marguerite Tise, comp., The Lester Family of Floyd and Montgomery County Virginia (1996); page 20
[12] Abstracts From Floyd Co, Virginia Will Book I, Barbara Reininger’s Families of Floyd County, Virginia site, online http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~barbr/zz_will_fcva_abstr_book1.htm
[13] Anne Lowry Worrell, Over the Mountain Men: Early Court Records in Southwest Virginia,  (1962), page 53
[14] Marguerite Tise, comp., The Lester Family of Floyd and Montgomery County Virginia (1996)
[15] Abstracts From Floyd Co, Virginia Will Book I, Barbara Reininger’s Families of Floyd County, Virginia site, online http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~barbr/zz_will_fcva_abstr_book1.htm

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks“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.

52 Ancestors: #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[1] his last name was spelled RUPE and her maiden name was indexed as EARL. 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:

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”[2]

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 by virtue of a publication.[3] 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.[4]

4. Peninah CARROLL married Henry KEMPLIN on 26 November 1835 in Floyd County, Virginia. The marriage was performed by Michael Howry. Parents of the couple were not listed on this source.[3] This couple went to Kentucky before 1840.

5. Nancy Carroll married Andrew DAME on 5 September 1844 in Montgomery County, Virginia.[5] 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.[6] 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.[6] 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 without marrying 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. Parents of the groom were not mentioned.[3]

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. Parents of the groom were not mentioned.[3]

From 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 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 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 Census
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 Census
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 Census
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 the 1840 blows everything out of the water.

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

1840 U.S. Federal Census
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 age 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. 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 Census
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)
Elisha Carroll 14 (1850 age 0, son of Ruth Ratliff Rose)
Isaac Rose 35 basket maker
Ruth Rose 20 (1850 age 22, daughter of Sarah Ratliff)
Malinda Rose 7
Druscilla Rose 1
Note: ages of persons in 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 was in prison and the 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 RATLIFF.

Elisha CARROLL was the son of Ruth CARROLL (aka Ruth RATLIFF) per his marriage record. Ruth, 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 Census
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 Census
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 Census
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.

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 ROOP, 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, last living child of Robert and Anne CARROLL d. 1909

1907article
The Times Dispatch. (Richmond, Va.), 09 Jan. 1909. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

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 years 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.[8]

1909obit
The Times Dispatch. (Richmond, Va.), 13 Jan. 1907. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.

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.[9]

If you missed the first part you can find it here.

Sources:
[1] Ancestry.com. Virginia, Marriages, 1740-1850 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999. Original data: Dodd, Jordan R., et al.. Early American Marriages: Virginia to 1850. Bountiful, UT, USA: Precision Indexing Publishers.
[2] 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 page with marriages by Richard Buckingham.
[3] 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.
[4] Ancestry.com. Virginia, Deaths and Burials Index, 1853-1917 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: “Virginia Deaths and Burials, 1853–1912.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010. Index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records.
[5] Ancestry.com. Virginia, Select Marriages, 1785-1940 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc, 2014. Original data: Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013. FHL Film Number: 32633. Reference ID: P 289
[6] 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.
[7] “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.
[8] The times dispatch. (Richmond, Va.), 13 Jan. 1907. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.  (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85038615/1907-01-13/ed-1/seq-18/ : accessed 2014)
[9] The times dispatch. (Richmond, Va.), 09 Jan. 1909. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85038615/1909-01-09/ed-1/seq-2/ : accessed 2014)

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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

52ancestors“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.

52 Ancestors: #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. In the abstract of the marriage[1] his last name was spelled RUPE and her maiden name was indexed as EARL. 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:

“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”[2]

On 4 November 1846 William ROOP gave bond with Robert CARRELL as security for the marriage of William to Robert’s daughter Catherine CARRELL.[3] 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.

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.[4]

My 4th great-grandmother Elizabeth CARROLL was born about 1808. 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.[5],[6]

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:

  • 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 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. Manda  died of dropsy on 10 February 1894 in Raleigh County, West Virginia. The person giving the information was her sister Barbie THOMPSON who gave Manda’s marital status as “married.” George was seen as widowed on the 1890 marriage, so 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. Floyd 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 [–?–] ROOP (1855-bef. 1920) 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.
  • Ch 3: Evaline ROOP (1835-aft.1890) was born on 3 March 1835 in Montgomery County, Virginia. Evaline married Mathias RATLIFF (1836-1888) on 4 March 1856 in Floyd County. They were the parents of ten children. Evaline died after the 1890 and before the 1900 census.
  • Ch 4: Peradine ROOP (1835-1909) was born 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.
  • Ch 5: Gordon H. 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 the 1st of November 1863 in Flewellan Hospital, Cassville, Bartow County, Georgia, and was buried in Cassville Cemetery.
  • Ch 6: Barbary Ellen “Barbie” ROOP (1839-aft.1910) was born 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 2 February 1841 in Montgomery County, Virginia. He died on 19 September 1863 in Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia.
  • Ch 8: William H. T. ROOP (1843-1863) was born 6 November 1843 in Montgomery County, Virginia. He died 20 September 1863 in Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia.
  • Ch 9: Rachel Monacha ROOP (1845-1901) was born about 1845 in Montgomery County, Virginia. She married William Lee SIMMONS (1843-1923) in 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.
  • 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. This was only a few months after the death of his first wife. There are no known children from this second marriage. James died between 1920-1930.
  • Ch 11: Hamilton N. ROOP (1853-1919) was born in 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.
  • 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.

Four of Elizabeth’s sons and two of her sons-in-law served in Company A, 54th Infantry Regiment Virginia: Floyd ROOP, Gordon H. 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. On 1 November 1863, Gordon died in Flewellan Hospital, in Cassville, Bartow County, Georgia. His cause of death was not mentioned on his Civil War card.

The deaths of these sons meant many grandchildren and descendants were not to be. I was lucky in that my 2nd great-grandfather Gordon was born “just in the nick of time.”[7]

Elizabeth CARROLL died before her husband James ROOP, who died on 2 November 1890 in Floyd County, Virginia. 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, Adford SUMNER; Tillitha, Martin Otis, and Dolly Ann ROOP; George, Walter Farmer, Charles, 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.

Sources:
[1] Ancestry.com. Virginia, Marriages, 1740-1850 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999. Original data: Dodd, Jordan R., et al.. Early American Marriages: Virginia to 1850. Bountiful, UT, USA: Precision Indexing Publishers.
[2] 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 page with marriages by Richard Buckingham.
[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 marriage bond of William Roop and Catherine Carrell.
[4] Ancestry.com. Virginia, Deaths and Burials Index, 1853-1917 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: “Virginia Deaths and Burials, 1853–1912.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010. Index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records. John Carril 1 Oct 1881 Floyd, VA.
[5] The Times Dispatch. (Richmond, Va.), 13 Jan. 1907. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. Online http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85038615/1907-01-13/ed-1/seq-18/
[6] The Times Dispatch. (Richmond, Va.), 09 Jan. 1909. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. Online http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85038615/1909-01-09/ed-1/seq-2/
[7] thegenealogygirl; 2 June 2014 comment on 52 Ancestors: #22 Gordon H. ROOP 1838-1863

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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

52ancestors“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.

52 Ancestors: #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, 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. By this time James’ oldest sister Elizabeth had been married about seven years to James COMPTON. Was this couple and their son part of the household?

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 ?)
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, a son, two brothers, a sister, and his mother – Henry’s sister.

James’ parents Henry and Catherine were born in Virginia per census listings of their four living children William, Rachel, Nancy, and James in 1880. 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.[1] Manchester was originally part of Baltimore County, before the creation of Carroll County in 1837.

Following the end of the American Revolutionary War (19 Apr 1775-14 Jan 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 it 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 Heinrich Thomas “Henry” and Johannes “John” born 27 February 1789 and christened 26 April 1789; and Barbara E. born 29 October 1792 and christened after 29 October 1792.[1]

James’ father Henry owned 100 acres of  land in Baltimore County, Maryland, that he had bought from his father Johann Jacob RUPP who 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.

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.

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 down stream. 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. ~a report given by Henry’s great-grandson Redmond Ira ROOP at a family reunion in 1927[2]

During  their travels three more children were born: George P. ca. 1794, Catherine ca. 1795, and William in 1800 in Rockbridge. Once in Montgomery the family continued to grow. Samuel B. was born 1801, Mary “Polly” abt 1802, Rachel abt 1804, and Nancy abt 1806 before the two youngest, James abt 1808 and Joseph abt 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 five marriages took place and two of James’ sisters had illegitimate children:

  • John RUPE married Elizabeth THOMPSON (1795-1870) on 14 January 1813 in Montgomery County, Virginia
  • Jacob ROOP married Susannah ALLEY (1790-1860) 15 April 1815 in Montgomery County, Virginia
  • Catherine “Caty” RUPE married Jacob AKERS (1775-1860) on 27 June 1815 in Montgomery County, Virginia
  • George RUPE married Margaret BALDWIN (1799- ) on on 5 December 1818 in Jefferson County, Tennessee
  • William RUPE married Ester AKERS (1802-1846) on 7 June 1820 in Montgomery County, Virginia
  • Barbary RUPE created a bit of a scandal by giving birth to a male bastard child on the 20th day of November 1815. Barbary signed a statement on the 25th day of July 1816 that it was George PETERMAN who got her with child. They did not marry.
  • Mary “Polly” ROOP had a daughter abt. 1818. Per the daughter’s marriage record her father was a DOBBINS.

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 Census
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 and Rachel RUPE married John B. PHARIS (1797-1866) on 20 October 1823. 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 Census
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. 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 and Samuel B. ROOP married Martha “Patsy” TOWNSLEY (1815-1870) on 7 January 1834. Joseph and James’ wives were sisters, 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 1831
  • Ch 2: Floyd ROOP (1833-1923) born 12 May 1833
  • Ch 3: Evaline ROOP (1835-1888) born 3 March 1835
  • Ch 4: Peradine ROOP (1835-1909) born 30 November 1835
  • Ch 5: Gordon H. ROOP (1838-1863) born about 1838
  • Ch 6: Barbary Ellen ROOP (1839-1910) born 28 June 1839

In 1840 John R. Charlton once again walked or rode through the division, this time enumerating 9 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 Census
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 1841
  • Ch 8: William H. T. ROOP (1843-1863) born 6 November  1843
  • Ch 9: Rachel Monacha ROOP (1845-1901) born about 1845

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. 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. 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.”[2]

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.

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 shingle 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.[3]

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 Census
Floyd County, Virginia
The Western District No. 15, Page No. 445
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 C. Roop 10 F Montgomery attended school within year
Giles Henderson Roop 8 M Montgomery
William H. T. Roop 6 M Montgomery
Rachel Manerva 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 1853
  • Ch 12: Charles Monroe ROOP (1854-1928) born 10 August 1854

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. The first pastor of the church was my 5th great-grandfather, Rev. Owen SUMNER. 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 both were married by Rev. SUMNER, the grandfather of Gordon’s wife Emaline LESTER.

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 Census
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. Their son James married in 1868 in Montgomery County.

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 Census
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. 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 Census
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 marriage records of his children. Ancestry.com 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 straigthened out!]

The last of James and Elizabeth’s children finally married in 1888. Barbary was 49 years old the first time she married. It would not be the last. She was widowed twice and married again in 1898 and 1906. 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. The actual 1890 Floyd County, Virgina, 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. 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.[4]

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

Sources:
[1] 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).
[2] Everette L. McGrew, My Mother Was A Rupe (revised August 2000).
[3] Peters, Genevieve H., “The Jimmie Roop Homeplace” Richmond, Va. : Library of Virginia, 1999. 4 image files. 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.
[4] 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 page from Will Book found in this publication, transcribed 18 Oct 2014.

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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

52ancestors“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.

52 Ancestors: #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.

1942 Nannie Ellen Cates death
Certificate of Death for Mrs. Nannie Ellen Cates [Ancestry.com. North Carolina, Death Certificates, 1909-1975 : accessed 20 June 2014]
Many online gedcoms show that she was a daughter of David PROFFITT and Sarah “Sally” COCKRAM who married on 21 October 1813 in Franklin County, Virginia. Another possibility is that she was the daughter of Austin PROFFITT and Martha RAKES who married on 4 June 1813 in Franklin County, Virginia. 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 County and may also be reflected in the household of her son Austin in 1820 and 1830. The ages found for the brothers on 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. 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.

Eleven months later Rachel gave birth to her first child Sarah “Sallie” on 2 November 1842. 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 and not Austin and Martha (who are a better match when analyzing the pre-1850 censuses).

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. 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 31 January 1853, Milla Susan on 6 December 1856, Mary Elizabeth on 22 March 1860, and Nancy Ellen “Nannie” on 20 July 1864 [Note: 1870 is an error on her death record. She was seen as 6 years old on the 1870 census].

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. On the transcription of their marriage record the mothers of the bride and groom were switched. The original marriage record has not been checked.

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, were he died of unknown causes on 18 April 1862 . Moses enlisted two years later on 22 April 1864 as a private in Company H, Virginia 4th Infantry Regiment. 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, 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.

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.
  • Ch 5: Amanda Angeline “Mandy” PETERS married William Pascal BEVERLY (1844-1924) on 20 February 1873 in Montgomery County, Virginia
  • Ch 4: Keziah Lucy PETERS married Elkanah Yates MASSEY (1845- ) on 8 November 1874 in Patrick County, Virginia.
  • Ch 6: Caroline “Callie” PETERS married Edward CLARK (1858-1930) on 3 November 1877 at the bride’s residence in Floyd County.
  • Ch 7: Milla Susan PETERS married Gordon Washington ROOP (1862-1930) on 1 January 1880 at Jordan Peters’ residence in Floyd County.
  • Ch 8: Mary Elizabeth F. “Emma” PETERS married James Thomas PRICE (1848-1938) on 10 October 1881 at Jordan Peters’ residence in Floyd County. She divorced him and married Peter ROTOLO in 1894. She was widowed and married Bernet James TILLEY in 1902.
  • Ch 9: Nancy Ellen “Nannie” PETERS married John J. CATES (1864-1921) on 28 December 1882 in Patrick County.

Rachel and Jordan’s Later Years

By the time Rachel’s youngest daughters married, her elderly husband Jordan was in his early 80’s 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. 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.[1]

Rachel PROFFITT received her pension for eight years before dying on 5 March 1899 near Nettle Ridge at the age of 82.

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…”[1]

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.

[1] Paula Kelley Ward, “Jordan’s Story”, Wherever We Wander pgs. 24-29; 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.
[Source: Floyd County, Virginia Mailing List Web Site maintained by Rena Worthen; online http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~barbs/]

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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

52ancestors“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.

52 Ancestors: #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. Zach and Kesiah were married nearly two years when Jordan was born. Following his birth the PETERS family continued to grow and moved to Franklin County, Virginia, some time before the 1810 census. 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 [Ancesry.com : accessed 9 June 2014]
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)

1812flagIn 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”.

In the years that I have done genealogy I’ve 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 her images of documents she has found. Excerpts from “Jordan’s Story” are included here to allow Jordan to tell his story in his own voice and through Paula.

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 complextion. 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…[1]

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.[1]

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. Her parents Henry and Dorothy TROUP gave permission for their daughter Mary to marry Jordan PETERS. 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. Interesting is that Jordan is enumerated after Austin PROFFITT, the uncle of the young lady he would later marry, have children 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 OR daughter Jane who is said to have been born 22 June 1831 may have actually been born in 1830 as reflected in the above census.

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. 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 born 8 Oct 1819
  • Henry T. born 17 Mar 1821
  • Zachariah born 14 May 1822
  • Stephen born 13 Mar 1824
  • Mary born 6 Aug 1825
  • Jonathan born 23 Apr 1827
  • James born 25 Jan 1829
  • Jane born 22 Jun 1831
  • Martha Ann born 19 Jan 1833
  • William Edward born 2 Oct 1835

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 followed. I received a transcript of the letter in 2003 but was not sure that all information was transcribed correctly. Genealogy research has been Paula’s life work since the age of 16 so it was no surprise to me that she had a photocopy of the original letter which she shared with me. I found that the things 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 Polly 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 1818
  • Mary PETERS married Samuel SMITH on 18 December 1823
  • Elizabeth “Betsy” PETERS married Jesse EDWARDS on 17 June 1826
  • Lucy PETERS married Joseph JARRELL on 4 October 1827
  • Willis PETERS married Ruth SMITH on 21 March 1829
  • Joseph PETERS married Martha “Patsy” SMITH on 1 September 1830
  • Susannah PETERS married Andrew REEL on 16 October 1839

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.

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. Polly died in January and seven months later on 15 August 1837, he married Sarah COX. Her mother Peninah COX had given permission for Sarah to marry Jordan on 9 August 1837. 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. 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, Penenah, born on 14 November 1839, was named after her mother, Penniah WALDEN, widow of Francis COX.

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. Sarah died about a week later on 8 July 1841.

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. 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) born 2 Nov 1842
  • Joseph W. PETERS (1844-1862) born 12 May 1844
  • Moses Samuel PETERS (1846-1915) born 25 Jan 1846
  • Keziah Lucy PETERS (1847-1934) born Abt 1847
  • Amanda A “Mandy” PETERS (1850-1895) born 2 Oct 1850
  • Caroline “Callie” PETERS (1855-1930) born 31 Jan 1855
  • Milla Susan PETERS (1856-1891) born 6 Dec 1856
  • Mary Elizabeth F. “Emma” PETERS (1860-1944) born 22 Mar 1860
  • Nancy Ellen “Nannie” PETERS (1864-1942) born Jul 1864

1850peterscensus
1850 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Raleigh > District 59 [Ancestry.com : 9 June 2014]
1850censuscoxpeters
1850 U.S. Federal Census [Ancestry.com : accessed 9 June 2014]
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.

By 1860 they were once again in Franklin County.

1860peterscensus
1860 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Franklin > S.W. District [Ancestry.com : accessed 9 June 2014]
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.[1]

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.”[1]

1870peterscensus
1870 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd > Jacksonville [Ancestry.com : accessed 9 June 2014]

Congress approved the Act to provide pension for service in the War of 1812 on 14 February 1871. 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.[1]

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.[1]

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.”[1]

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.”[1]

While Jordan was fighting for his pension his children from his third marriage were growing 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 Jan 1880 in Floyd County, Virginia.

1880peterscensus
1880 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd > Alum Ridge [Ancestry.com : accessed 9 June 2014]
By 1880 only Jordan’s two youngest daughters were still living at home. 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……[1]

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.[1]

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.[1]

[1] Paula Kelley Ward, “Jordan’s Story”, Wherever We Wander pgs. 24-29; 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.
[Source: Floyd County, Virginia Mailing List Web Site maintained by Rena Worthen; online http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~barbs/]

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

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

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

52 Ancestors: #23 Emaline LESTER abt. 1836-1877

52ancestors“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 #23 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

52 Ancestors: #23 Emaline LESTER abt. 1836-1877

My great-great-great-grandmother Emaline LESTER was the first born child of Jacob Hiley LESTER (1812-1842) and Cynthia SUMNER (1815-1880) who married 4 September 1834 in Floyd County, Virginia. Following Emaline’s birth about 1836 her brother George Washington LESTER was born about 1837. Emaline and George, the only children of Jacob and Cynthia, were both born in Floyd County.

When Emaline was about 6 years her father Jacob died of unknown causes. There was a delay of two years in settling his estate during which time his widow Cynthia married John W. COX.

In 1850, while her brother George was with his LESTER grandparents, Emaline was living with her step-father John W. COX, mother Cynthia, and half-sister Susan. On the 21st day of August, 1850, the enumerator Joseph Howard, Ass’t Marshal, filled in North Carolina for the state of birth of John W. COX and then “do” (ditto) for the rest of the family. This is an error as Cynthia and her daughters were born in Virginia. The next household was that of Emaline’s grandfather Owen SUMNER. Everyone in his household was born in Virgina but they also had the “do” (ditto) indicating that they were born in North Carolina.

1850censuscoxlester
1850 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd > District 15> Page 431 > HH #758-758 [Ancestry.com : accessed 3 Jun 2014]
George Washington LESTER, although younger than his sister Emaline was the first to marry on 23 March 1855 to Amanda “Manda” ROOP (1831-1894). A year later, on 10 March 1856, Emaline LESTER married Amanda’s brother Gordon H. ROOP. Both of the couples were married in Floyd County, Virginia.

Emaline gave birth to her first child, a daughter, Dollie Ann Ellen ROOP (1857-1937) on 24 February 1857. A little over two years later she gave birth to a son John Thomas ROOP (1859-1902) on 6 March 1859. Emaline is seen with her husband Gordon and their two children in the 1860 census of Floyd County. She appears to have been better educated than her husband who was listed as not being able to read and write.

1860censusroopgordon
1860 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd > Page No. 101, Sheet No. 535 > HH #723-680 [Ancestry.com : accessed 30 May 2014]
Following the 1860 census times were harder for the little family. Emaline was expecting her third child when her 22 year old husband Gordon enlisted in Jacksonville as a private on 10 September 1861 in Company A, 54th Regiment of the Virginia Infantry, for a period of one year.

Emaline’s half-sister Susan had married earlier that year and was expecting her first child.  Susan gave birth to a daughter on 7 November 1861. Baby Cynthia died of diphtheria when she was 17 days old. Her mother Susan died the next day of the same illness at the age of 16 years. One female relative less whom Emaline could rely on while he husband was gone.

While Gordon was fighting in Virginia and Kentucky, Emaline was going through her pregnancy and caring for her two young children Dollie age 5 and John age 2. Without the help of her little sister she may have relied on her sister-in-law Mary (Blackwell) ROOP, whose husband Floyd had also enlisted. Mary and Emaline’s families were living next door to each other in 1860. Her mother Cynthia also lived in Alum Ridge and most likely gave her support her as she did others. Cynthia had in her household in 1870 her pregnant baby sister Jane age 23 and Jane’s one year old daughter Elizabeth as well as a 15 year old girl Dolly Ann Eldridge whose relationship is unknown.

Emaline gave birth to my great-great-grandfather Gordon Washington ROOP on 6 May 1862. She now had three young children to care for while her husband was away serving in the Confederate Army.

On 1 November 1863 Emaline became a war widow at the age of 27 years. Her husband Gordon H. ROOP died in Flewellan Hospital in Cassville, Bartow County, Georgia. I have no idea how long it took for the news to reach her back in Floyd County, Virginia.

A little over five years after the death of her husband, Emaline ROOP, née LESTER, age 32 married Pleasant D. EPPERLY (1848-1920) age 21 on 8 February 1869 in Floyd County, Virginia. They were married by Michael Howry.

Being a young widow with little children, did she resign to live her life without a husband before she “robbed the cradle?” There were not many single men her age left after the recent war. Nearly 620,000 men were killed in the Civil War, approximately the same amount of deaths as in all other American wars from the Revolutionary War to the Korean War combined. As the death rate was especially great in the Confederacy, the number of men of marriageable age may have been quite low in Floyd County.

A year later Pleasant and Emaline were together with her ROOP children in the 1870 census in Alum Ridge in Floyd County. Once again Emaline appears to have been better educated than her husband Pleasant who could not read or write. Dollie, 13 at the time, could not read or write and John, 11, could not write. This makes me wonder if these children had to work to help support the family instead of attending school before their mother remarried. In later census years Dollie and John are seen as being able to read and write.

1870epperleyroop1
1870 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Floyd > Alum Ridge > Page 2 > HH#13-13; online https://archive.org/stream/populationschedu1646unit#page/n5/mode/1up : accessed 19 March 2014
1870epperleyroop2
1870 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd > Alum Ridge > Page 3 > HH#13-13; online https://archive.org/stream/populationschedu1646unit#page/n6/mode/1up : accessed 19 March 2014

In the 1870s Emaline’s children began to marry. Dollie Ann Ellen ROOP married her 2nd cousin once removed Giles SUMNER (1855-1920) on 7 November 1873. John Thomas ROOP married Ardelia E. WAITMAN (1858- ) on 16 November 1876. Both marriages took place in Floyd County.

This left only my great-great-grandfather Gordon at home with his mother and step-father. A year later he became an orphan at the age of 15 when Emaline died on 3 December 1877 in Floyd County of consumption.

Emaline was survived by her husband Pleasant D. EPPERLY; her daughter Dollie SUMNER; her two sons, John T. ROOP and Gordon W. ROOP; her mother Cynthia COX; her brother George W. LESTER; a granddaughter Hattie SUMNER; a nephew James Russell “John” LESTER; and a niece Cordelia Ann LESTER.

Her widower Pleasant D. EPPERLY remarried nearly 11 months later on 29 October 1878 and fathered four children with his second wife.

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

52 Ancestors: #22 Gordon H. ROOP 1838-1863

52ancestors“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 #22 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

52 Ancestors: #22 Gordon H. ROOP 1838-1863

“When the War cloud of the sixties cast its shadow over our land, a number of our young men went to the battles’ front, never to return. Their loss was keenly felt, yet through the faithfulness of those who remained, a brighter day dawned.”
~ Reverend J. D. Utt, Zion’s Centennial Celebration, 1813-1913, Floyd County, Virginia (1913)

My third great-grandfather Gordon H. ROOP was one of these young men who went to the front and never returned.

Chickamauga
This is a photographic reproduction of a public domain work of art from Wikimedia Commons.

List of battles that Gordon most likely participated in from the time of his enlistment on 10 September 1861 until his death on 1 November 1863:
Fought on 25 December 1861 at Floyd County, VA.
Fought on 10 January 1862 at Middle Creek, KY.
Fought on 30 January 1862 at Suffolk, VA.
Fought on 15 April 1862 at Bourbon County, KY.
Fought on 16 May 1862 at Princeton, WV.
Fought on 09 August 1862 at Cedar Mountain, VA.
Fought on 30 August 1862 at Rocky Gap, VA.
Fought on 20 September 1862 at Kentucky.
Fought on 13 October 1862 at Lexington, KY.
Fought on 14 October 1862 at Kentucky.
Fought on 15 October 1862 at Lancaster, KY.
Fought on 25 October 1862.
Fought on 26 October 1862 at Kentucky.
Fought on 28 October 1862.
Fought on 29 October 1862 at Camp Dick Robinson, KY.
Fought on 30 January 1863 at Blackwater, VA and Kelly’s Store, VA.
Fought on 19 June 1863 at Lenoir Station, TN.
Fought on 01 July 1863 at Elk River, TN and Tullahoma, TN.
Fought on 02 July 1863 at Elk River, TN and Tullahoma, TN.
Fought on 03 July 1863 at Elk River, TN and Winchester, VA.
Fought on 14 July 1863.
Fought on 15 August 1863 at Bell’s Bridge, TN.
Fought on 20 August 1863 at East Tennessee.
Fought on 08 September 1863.
Fought on 11 September 1863 at Perryville, TN.
Fought on 19 September 1863 at Chickamauga, GA.
Fought on 20 September 1863 at Chickamauga, GA.

James ROOP (1808-1890) and Elizabeth CARROLL (1808-1880) married on 23 July 1830 in Montgomery County, Virginia. When my third great-grandfather Gordon H. ROOP was born abt. 1838 they already had four children: Amanda 6, Floyd 5, Evaline 3, and Peradine 2.

Confession: Once upon a time….I saw 30 June 1838 as the date of birth for Gordon H. ROOP, used it, and did not cite the source! I can’t find the original source. I know that I inputted the date into my gedcom before September 2005. I used the search feature in Outlook to check old emails – nada! I checked family trees on ancestry.com for Gordon ROOP with this date. They were either unsourced or cite Ancestry Family Trees as the source. While checking I also turned up a half dozen with the date 30 June 1837, also unsourced. I hope that a descendant may have a family bible or other document with the date of birth for Gordon and will get in touch with me. I can always wish….

Following Gordon’s birth, James and Elizabeth had more children until they had a full dozen: Amanda, Floyd, Evaline, Peradine, Gordon H., Barbary Ellen, Giles Henderson, William H. T., Rachel Monacha, James Anderson, Charles Monroe and Hamilton N.

The five oldest ROOP children married within a year of each other, from March 1855 to March 1856. Gordon H. ROOP age 18 married Emaline LESTER age 20 on 10 March 1856 in Floyd County, Virginia. They had two children before the 1860 census was enumerated:

  • Dollie Ann Ellen ROOP (1857-1937) born 24 Feb 1857
  • John Thomas ROOP (1859-1902) born 6 Mar 1859

1860censusroopgordon
1860 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd > Page No. 101, Sheet No. 535 > HH #723-680 [Ancestry.com : accessed 30 May 2014]
American Civil War (4 Feb 1861-23 Jun 1865)

Roop, Gordon Page 3
Fold3.com : accessed 12 Feb 2014

Gordon enlisted in Jacksonville as a private on 10 September 1861 in Company A, 54th Regiment of the Virginia Infantry, for a period of one year. He was 22 and a farmer. He may not have known at the time that his wife Emaline was pregnant with their third child.

Three of his brothers [Floyd, Giles Henderson and William H. T.] and two of his sisters’ husbands [Amanda’s husband George Washington LESTER and Peradine’s husband Sylvester MILLS] served in Company A, 54th Infantry Regiment Virginia Infantry alongside Gordon. His sister Evaline’s husband Mathias RATLIFF served in Company E of the same regiment.

Gordon must have worried about his young family while he continued to serve in the Confederate army. He was NOT one of the nearly 23 percent of Floyd County men who chose to abandon the cause. The Confederate Conscription Act of April 1862 may have forced him to extend his service, when his initial commitment of one year expired, to a total of three years.

On 6 May 1862 Gordon’s second son and third child, Gordon Washington ROOP (1862-1930), was born in Floyd County, Virginia. It is unknown and unlikely that Gordon was home at the time of his son’s birth.

On the 19th and 20th of September 1863, while young Gordon was learning to walk and beginning to talk, his father Gordon was fighting his last battle at Chickamauga in Georgia and lost two of his brothers.

In 1992 while visiting in the area my youngest brother and his bride-to-be drove us through the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park. We did not stop and take pictures which I regret today. About a decade later I learned about the history of our ROOP family and the role my great-great-great-grandfather Gordon H. ROOP and his brothers and brother-in-law played in this historical battle.

Roop, Gordon Page 4
Fold3.com : accessed 12 Feb 2014

On 1 November 1863, Gordon H. ROOP died in Flewellan Hospital, in Cassville, Bartow County, Georgia. His cause of death was not mentioned on the card at right. His son Gordon, who was a year and a half at the time, may never have met his father.

The ROOP boys, Gordon, Giles and William, died in Georgia while serving the Confederacy. Their brother Floyd was captured at Bentonville six months later on 19 March 1864. He arrived in Newberne, North Carolina, on 30 March 1864, swore allegiance to the United States and was released on 17 June 1865 at Point Lookout, Maryland. He was the only brother to go home after the war.

  • Giles Henderson ROOP died 19 September 1863 in Chickamauga, Walker County
  • William H. T. ROOP died 20 September 1863 in Chickamauga, Walker County
  • Gordon H. ROOP died 1 November 1863 in Flewellan Hospital, Cassville, Bartow County

Gordon’s final resting place is in Cassville Cemetery in Cassville, Bartow County, Georgia. A memorial plaque in the cemetery reads, “In this cemetery are buried about 300 unknown Confederate soldiers who died of wounds or disease in the several Confederate hospitals located in Cassville. These hospitals operated from late 1861 until May 18, 1864, then moved south out of the path of the invading Federal forces. In May 1899, the Cassville Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, to honor these unknown soldiers, placed headstones at each of their graves.”

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey