Discovery of the Year….of the Decade!

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

doorwithbrickstinyDear Cuz Bill “BJ” Bernath,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best wishes,
Cousin Cathy

Genealogy Sketch

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

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

© 2016 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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 Flewellen 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 Flewellen 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.

[1] Virginia, Marriages, 1740-1850 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: 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] Virginia, Deaths and Burials Index, 1853-1917 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: 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
[6] The Times Dispatch. (Richmond, Va.), 09 Jan. 1909. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. Online
[7] thegenealogygirl; 2 June 2014 comment on 52 Ancestors: #22 Gordon H. ROOP 1838-1863

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey