Henry RUPE and Catherine Barbara NOLL ~ At Home on the Old Henry Roop Place

We’ve seen the RUPE family in the early years in Baltimore County, Maryland from 1765-1793 and in Rockbridge County, Virginia from 1793-1801. They were in Rockbridge County when Henry’s sister-in-law Polly NULL married on 13 January 1801. Sometime after Henry ROOP gave oath she was of age to marry his family of ten once again gathered up their personal and household goods,  livestock and children and continued south. Did the twins Henry and John celebrate with 12th birthday on 27 February 1801 in Rockbridge or were they already on their way to Montgomery County?

Henry was 36 years old and his wife Catherine was 33 years old and expecting her ninth child when they traveled from Buffalo Creek in Rockbridge County farther south to Montgomery County. The distance was only 80 miles however they were not traveling as we would today. At a rate of 10 to 15 miles a day they may have taken about a week to make the journey by wagon to the area of Auburn in Montgomery County. It may have taken longer if Henry was scouting for a new place to settle along the way. We know only that the family ended up in Auburn which was renamed Riner in 1882 in honor of David Riner, a representative of Montgomery County in the state House of Delegates in 1887-1888.

The trip with eight children, animals, and household goods was not a trip to the store. The oldest son Jacob was fifteen and his brothers Henry and John, the twins, were twelve, all three old enough to help their father. Their little brother George being seven years old probably followed them everywhere they went not wanting to be considered a sissy by sticking around his sisters and mother. Elizabeth, the oldest daughter and fourteen, may have been responsible for keeping her siblings in line, maybe bossing 9 years old Barbara around, and watching over little Caty who was six while their mother cared for baby William.

The family reached Montgomery County in time for Catherine to give birth to Samuel on 4 September 1801.[1] He was the pivotal point in the family’s timeline as his birth is said to have taken place in Montgomery County, placing them there in 1801.

Tracts of Land Acquired by Henry RUPE aka Henry ROOP

“He erected another mill on this farm, as he and a son, Jacob, were both expert millwrights. He and his hardy sons felled the forest and cleared most of this land where they erected a large log dwelling on an eminence overlooking the spring, stillhouse, and mill, and to protect them from a surprise attack by the Indians, who were then quite numerous.”[2]

 

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Although there may have still been raids and skirmishes in the westernmost counties of Virginia in the late 18th century I very much doubt Indians were attacking settlers in Montgomery County in the first decade of the 19th century when Henry was acquiring and making improvements to his land. Peter Wallenstein wrote about Blacksburg which lies 17 miles north of Riner, “Indians surely traveled throughout the New River Valley, and they hunted in the area, but they seem not to have had villages near Blacksburg when white newcomers began to call the area home and to establish their own settlements.”[3]

 

Henry RUPE aka Henry ROOP became a large landowner by purchasing a number of tracts and patenting others. He purchased his first 326 acres in 1804. The history of the tract of land he bought may support my belief that the family lived off of the tract before it was bought.

An early pioneer of Fincastle County, Virginia, Abner LESTER acquired 326 acres of land by grant in Montgomery County, Virginia, in 1796 on Pelham branch of Meadow Creek, a branch of Little River waters of New River of Montgomery County. He lived there for several years before moving to Russell County, Virginia, about 1801. Again he purchased land and settled for a few years before moving to Floyd County, Kentucky, before 1810.[4] The original grant for the land in Montgomery County is described follows:

….a Certain Tract or parcel of Land Containing three hundred and twenty Six acres by Survey bearing date the twenty fourth day of September one thousand seven hundred and ninety four lying and being in the County of Montgomery on Palms branch Waters of Meadow Creek a branch of little River Waters of New River and bounded as followeth to wit. Beginning at a white oak Corner to a Survey of Ezkiel Howards and with the lines there of North forty nine degrees East one hundred and thirty four poles Crossing said branch to two Black oaks on a hill side North four degrees West twenty Six poles to two white oaks North forty seven degrees East seventy poles to two pines North fifty eight degrees East twenty poles to a pine on the north side of a Ridge North forty Seven degrees East thirty poles to two pines thence leaving said line North forty degrees West one hundred and twelve poles to Augustine Akers’s line and with it to a pine and two white oaks North Seventy one degrees West one hundred and fifty Six poles crossing said branch to two white oaks on the top of a Ridge thence leaving said line South twenty five degrees West one hundred and eighteen poles to two pines South thirty eight poles to a pine, South fifteen degrees West forty two poles to three Spanish oak saplings by a path South thirty eight degrees East ninety two poles to two white oaks South nine degrees East twenty poles to a black oak and white oak sapling by a fence, South thirty two and a half degrees East forty poles to the Beginning.[5]

Abner LESTER sold Henry RUPE the 326 acres tract of land on Pelham Branch of Meadow Creek, a branch of Little Waters of the New River in Montgomery County on 17 August 1804 for 200 pounds.[6] Since Abner LESTER had resided on the land until he removed from the county in 1801 there had to have been some kind of dwelling on the tract. Did Henry have use of the land from 1801 until he bought it in 1804? Did he make improvements to the land even before he owned it?

On 19 December 1805 James and Sarah SIMPKINS sold to Henry RUPE of Montgomery County “for $200 being on Mill Creek waters a branch of Meadow Creek water Little River part of a survey of 455 acres.”[7] The deed was recorded in Deed Book D, page 291. As with several other deeds I have only an abstract of this land deed. The “part of a survey” makes me wonder if he acquired 455 acres or only “a part.” Ezekiel Howard, one of Henry’s neighbors, had a land grant for 455 acres “on the waters of Mill Creek waters of Meadow Creek,waters of Little River adjoining Jacob Akers, John Thompson.” Could this be the land SIMPKINS sold to Henry?

Henry continued to acquire land. This time it was 45 acres of land granted to him, Henry ROOP, on 1 September 1809 on the head waters of Meadow Creek a branch of Little River in Montgomery County.

……a certain tract or parcel of Land, containing forty five acres, by survey bearing date, the nineteenth day of march, one thousand eight hundred and seven; lying and being in the County of Montgomery, on the head waters of Meadow creek, a branch of Little river and bounded as followeth, to wit: Beginning at two Spanish oaks corner to Austin Akers land thence with the lines thereof, north thirty nine degrees, west one hundred and thirty two poles to a black oak on a ridge, north seventy degrees, west two hundred and forty two poles crossing a branch to two white oak saplings on a ridge corner to Northup Fullers land thence with a line thereof south thirty nine and a half degrees east one hundred and twenty seven poles to two pine saplings, on a line of his own land, thence with the lines thereof north twenty three degrees, east forty two poles to two white oak saplings on a ridge, south seventy one degrees east one hundred and fifty six poles crossing a branch to a pine and two white oaks and thence, south forty two degrees east one hundred poles to the beginning with its appurtenances…[8]

On 1 August 1820 Henry RUPE purchased from his nephew Jacob WEAVER for $100 46 acres situated on waters of Mill Creek a branch of Meadow Creek.[9]

On 22 August 1821 Henry ROOP acquired a land grant for 65 acres on Little River a branch of New River in Montgomery County.

Thomas M. Randolph Esq., Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia: To all to whom These presents shall come Greeting: Know Ye that in conformity with a survey made on the tenth day of August 1820, by virtue of a Land Office Exchange treasury warrant Number 2158; issued the 14th February 1812; there is granted by the said Commonwealth, unto Henry Roop A certain tract or parcel of Land Containing Sixty five acres Situate in the County of Montgomery on Little River a branch of New river and bounded as followeth to wit: Beginning at a white Oak on a ridge South forty seven degrees East twenty six poles to a mulberry walnut and Sycamore on the River bank and down the Several Courses thereof and binding thereon two hundred and Sixty Five poles to three hickories under a Clift of rocks and thence South thirty nine degrees West One hundred and ninety eight poles to the Beginning. To have and to hold the said tract or parcel of Land with its appurtenances, to the said Henry Roop and his heirs forever. In witness whereof, the said Thomas M. Randolph Esq. Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia hath hereunto set his hand, and Caused the lesser Seal of the said Commonwealth to be affixed at Richmond on the twenty second day of August in the year of Our Lord One thousand eight hundred and twenty One and of the Commonwealth the forty Sixth.
Thos. M. Randolph [10]

On 5 April 1822 Henry RUPE purchased from Elias VANCIL 110 acres known as Wolf Spring in consideration of $200.[11]

On 24 June 1826 Henry ROOP acquired a land grant for 100 acres on the head of the Flag Branch (as seen on the LVA Catalog but not in the transcription below) in Montgomery County.

John Tyler, Esq., Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia: To all ye whom these presents shall come Greeting: Know Ye, That in conformity with a Survey, made on the twelfth day of March 1824, by virtue of a Land Office Treasury warrant No. 7097 issued June 22nd, 1821, there is granted, by the said Commonwealth, unto Henry Roop a certain Tract or Parcel of Land, containing One hundred Acres, situate in the County of Montgomery on the head of New river, and bounded as followeth, to wit: Beginning at a chesnut oak and pine on the head of a hollow on the north side of the Pilot Mountain and near the top South two degrees, East one hundred and forty four poles crossing said branch to a white oak and chesnut on the South side of the mountain and along it South forty three degrees, West Seventy four poles crossing a branch to a pine and white oak, North Seventy one degrees, west one hundred and forty poles to two black oak and a white oak sapling on top of the Mountain, and thence North fifty degrees, East two hundred and thirty four poles to the beginning. To have and to hold the said Tract or Parcel of Land, with its appurtenances, to the said Henry Roop and his heirs forever. In witness whereof, the said John Tyler, Esq., Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, hath hereunto set his Hand, and caused the lesser Seal of the said Commonwealth to be affixed, at Richmond, on the twenty fourth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty Six and of the Commonwealth the fiftieth.                                                            John Tyler[12]

The abstracts of the Montgomery County Deed Book entries included by Louise AKERS in her book[6], [7], [9][11] have the grantee’s name listed as Henry RUPE while the land grants found on the Library of Virginia site were all for Henry ROOP. The later are correct as I have seen the images of the deeds (and transcribed them as seen above) however as the county Deed Books have not been viewed I cannot be sure the abstracted name “Henry RUPE” is correct in all four cases.

The total acres of the above deeds and grants is 1,147 acres. Did all of the land remain in his possession until his death? This may be answered in the next installment when the  source of the name “Old Henry Roop Place” will be revealed.

bestwishescathy1

Disclaimer: The image used in this post is not of the mill on the Old Henry Roop Place. It is a pencilized photograph taken by my husband of an old mill in Germany.

Sources::
[1] Louise Roop Anderson Akers, comp., The Family Rub, Rup, Rupe, Roop, Roope (2001 Printed by Jamont Communications, 339 Luck Ave., Roanoke, VA 24016). Note: My copy of this book is the hard cover copy which the compiler also gave to the Library of Virginia. She made some corrections and additions written in pen before gifting me the book.  On page 6 she wrote in 9-4-1801 for Samuel Roop’s date of birth.
[2] Everette L. McGrew, My Mother Was A Rupe (revised edition August 2000).
[3] Peter Wallenstein, Chapter 2 of A Special Place for 200 Years, A History of Blacksburg, Virginia edited by Clara B. Cox (http://spec.lib.vt.edu/bicent/recoll/histbook/specplac.htm : accessed 31 March 2016).
[4] Anne M. Wynn Laningham and Hattie Byrd Muncy Bales. Early Settlers of Lee County, Virginia and Adjacent Counties. Greenboro, N.C: Media, 1977.
[5] State of Virginia, “Virginia Land Office Patents and Grants/Northern Neck Grant and Surveys,” digital images, Library of Virginia (http://image.lva.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/GetLONN.pl?first=357&last=&g_p=G34&collection=LO Grant : accessed 28 March 2016), Abner Luster grantee, land grant 27 June 1796, Montgomery County; citing Land Office Grants No. 34, 1796, p. 357 (Reel 100).
[6] Akers, Montgomery County Deed Book D, page 204.

[7] Akers, Montgomery County Deed Book D, page 291.
[8] Virginia Land Office Patents and Grants, (http://image.lva.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/GetLONN.pl?first=195&last=&g_p=G59&collection=LO Grant : accessed ), Henry Roop grantee, land grant 1 September 1809, Montgomery County; citing Land Office Grants No. 59, 1809-1810, p. 195 (Reel 125).
[9] Akers, Montgomery County Deed Book G, pg. 483.
[10] Virginia Land Office Patents and Grants, (http://image.lva.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/GetLONN.pl?first=284&last=&g_p=G70&collection=LO Grant : accessed ), Henry Roop grantee, land grant 22 August 1821, Montgomery County; citing Land Office Grants No. 70, 1820-1821, p. 284 (Reel 136).
[11] Akers, Montgomery County Deed Book H, pg. 295.
[12] Virginia Land Office Patents and Grants, (http://image.lva.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/GetLONN.pl?first=110&last=&g_p=G75&collection=LO Grant : accessed ), Henry Roop grantee, land grant 24 June 1826, Montgomery County; citing Land Office Grants No. 75, 1826-1827, p. 110 (Reel 141).

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.

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52 Ancestors: #52 Levina DOSS – Another Unmarried Mother and How She Helped Me Bring This Challenge Finale to an End with a Bang!

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

I’d apologize for the long title but I couldn’t resist! Thank you, Amy Johnson Crow, for a wonderful journey. To all my readers, thank you for coming back time and time again. After reading the last entry for this year, I’d appreciate it if you would please leave a comment letting me know what you liked, disliked, loved or even hated about this challenge. Thank you and Happy New Year!

52 Ancestors: #52 Levina DOSS – Another Unmarried Mother and
How She Helped Me Bring This Challenge Finale to an End with a Bang!

One unmarried mother in my family tree would be easy to take. But two is a bit harder especially since they were mother and daughter. In July I wrote about my 3rd great-grandmother Mary E. “Polly” DOSS being a single mother. Her mother, my 4th great-grandmother, Levina DOSS was also a single mother.

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This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. Accessed online: https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/File:Vapittsylvania.jpg

The Doss family had strong roots in Halifax and Pittsylvania County, Virginia. In 1755 Levina’s grandfather James DOSS Sr. received a land grant for 272 acres in Halifax County, an area soon to become part of the newly created Pittsylvania County in 1767. This land grant was located adjacent to Beechtree Creek and Staunton River.

Pittsylvania County lies in south midland Virginia, bordering on the North Carolina line. Bordering counties are Bedford (northwest), Campbell (northeast), Halifax (east), Caswell in North Carolina (southeast), Rockingham in North Carolina (southwest), Henry (west/southwest), and Franklin (west/northwest).

Parents and Siblings of Levina DOSS

My 4th great-grandmother Levina DOSS was born between 1771-1775 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, to James DOSS Jr. and his wife Elizabeth[1]. James was born about 1742 in Amelia County, he married Elizabeth about 1771 and died 1812 in Pittsylvania. Levina had 5 known siblings:

Sib 1: Elizabeth DOSS (1772-1830) born about 1772. Elizabeth DOSS married Ebenezer ANGEL (1769-1850) on 15 December 1794 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. She died between 1830-1840.
Sib 2: Phillip Valorius DOSS (1775-1814) born about 1775. Phillip married Rhoda Elizabeth THURMAN (1787-1850) about 1804 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. He died before 14 June 1814 (date that his widow Rhoda was mentioned in court records). Descendants of this line might be interested in some old photos that Vickie Beard Thompson posted on her blog I Dig My Roots and Branches.
Sib 3: Mary Ann DOSS (1780- ) born about 1780 [I am not very comfortable with this estimate considering her marriage in 1811]. She married(1) Preston DUDLEY (1773-1816) on 2 January 1811 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. She may have married(2) James BELL about 1820.
Sib 4: William DOSS (1785-1820) born about 1785. William married Martha CREWS (1789- ) on 29 April 1812 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.[1] He died before 1820.
Sib 5: Edward DOSS (1795-1850) born about 1795. Edward married Nancy MITCHELL (1803-1860) on 19 December 1822 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. He died before 1850.

The 1790, 1800, and 1810 census of Pittsylvania County are lost but a substitute is available. The loss is unfortunate and the substitute is wonderful but doesn’t do for me what the 1810 census would have done. I was hoping to see what the household of James DOSS looked like in 1810 and if his daughter Levina had her own household or was living in her father’s home with her three children.

Levina’s father James DOSS Jr. died about 1812 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.

Levina’s Life as a Mother

In 1820 Levina DOSS was living in Pittsylvania County most likely on or near the land granted to her grandfather in 1755. She was an unmarried mother and the head of a household that included her four sons, two daughters, and most likely her mother Elizabeth who was widowed about 1812.

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1820 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Pittsylvania (ancestry.com)

1820 U.S. Federal Census
Pittsylvania County, Virginia
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Levina Doss
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 2 (William b. abt. 1811 & Phillip b. abt. 1814)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15: 1 (unknown son b. bet. 1804-1810)
Note: no males 16-18 yo (therefore Thomas was 19 & under 26 yo)
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 1 (Thomas b. abt. 1801)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 1 (Mary E. b. abt. 1816)
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 1 (unknown daughter born bet. 1795-1804)
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1 (Levina b. abt. 1775)
Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over : 1 (poss. mother Elizabeth b. abt. 1750)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 2
Free White Persons – Under 16: 4
Free White Persons – Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 8
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 8

By 1830 Levina had given birth to another daughter she named after her mother. Young Elizabeth and my 3rd great-grandmother Mary E. were the only children still living at home. Next door was Levina’s son William with his wife and young son. Also next door was her brother-in-law Eben ANGEL, a Baptist minister, with his wife, Levina’s sister Elizabeth and their children.

1830censusdoss
1830 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Pittsylvania (ancestry.com)

1830 U.S. Federal Census
Pittsylvania County, Virginia
Page No. 348
Levina Doss
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 1 (Elizabeth bet. 1821-1825)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 1 (Mary E. b. abt. 1816)
Free White Persons – Females – 50 thru 59: 1 (Levina, b. 1771-1775)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 2
Total Free White Persons: 3
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 3

As can be seen in the above listing Levina’s mother, or the older woman who had been seen in her household in 1820, was no longer with her. Let’s take a look at another person who was very close to Levina on this census.

1830doss
1830 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Pittsylvania (ancestry.com)

1830 United States Federal Census
Pittsylvania County, Virginia
Name: Bettsy Doss
Free White Persons – Females – Under 5: 2 (unknown)
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1 (unknown)
Free White Persons – Females – 70 thru 79: 1 (“Bettsy” widow of James DOSS)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 2
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 1
Total Free White Persons: 4

If the lady who was the head of household was also the older female then her age was 70 and under 80 years and could have been Levina’s widowed mother. Who was the younger lady living with Elizabeth in 1830? Was she a granddaughter with two small children? She couldn’t have been a daughter-in-law with such young children as Phillip and William died before 1820 and Edward was living in Campbell County.

Levina DOSS and her mother Elizabeth both died between 1830 and 1840.

Levina’s Children

In the 1830s Levina’s children Thomas, William, Polly, and Elizabeth moved to Mason County in what would later become West Virginia. The DOSS siblings were a tight bunch. It is not known if their mother Levina was still living and made the move with the group or if she had died before the children moved. Only her son Phillip remained in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.

The only documentation I have found for Levina are the two census listings in which she was named head of household. None of her children’s marriage records have the name of their mother listed. No death records were found for her children. All of her known children died after 1880 and before 1900.

Credits and a New Cousin

While preparing to write this last blogpost for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge I learned that Libbie Griffin started up the Doss Family Association in 1994 for the purpose of sharing information among all Doss descendants. She should be credited for researching and compiling genealogical information that was published in their newsletter The Doss Connection. In our world of social media today it is so easy to find other researchers but what do you do when the person has “retired” her hobby? If I can find my ancestors shouldn’t I be able to find Libbie? In the days prior to Facebook, Twitter, etc. we used the messages boards and mailing lists. I searched through them until I found the most recent email address.

A Christmas Present and the Grand Finale

Saturday before Christmas I got an early present. Libbie replied to my email and told me about a bundle she found that included depositions that proved many connections in the Virginia Doss families.

“On one trip to Richmond for research I discovered that the information I needed to find the original papers was in Lynchburg, more than 100 miles away.  I went there and obtained the detailed title of the case and case number.  When I returned to Richmond the next day with that information I was handed a bundle of papers that had not been opened since a string was tied around them nearly 200 years earlier….I can’t tell you how excited I was!”

Reading this gave me goosebumps. Isn’t it the dream of all genealogists to find the mother lode? She told me that she had written an entire issue of The Doss Connection about the find with transcripts of the important documents. She offered to scan and email it to me. YES! Thank you very much! She also wrote, “It felt wonderful to be reminded of that ‘find’.”

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The Doss Connection, Vol. 2 No. 1 July 1996, bottom of page 2. Used with permission of Libbie Griffith.

What Libbie found was a bundle that has not been scanned and therefore is not available in the Library of Virginia‘s collection of Chancery Records that are online. The case details of the bundle are indexed online here. In the issue of the newsletter Libbie sent to me, pages 2-12, 17-18, and 22 were filled with information on the case and the families involved. A plat drawing of the land in question was included:

ScreenClip
The Doss Connection, Vol. 2 No. 1 July 1996, bottom of page 4. Used with permission of Libbie Griffith.

Although I would love to share all of the information found in this issue of The Doss Connection I have chosen to only share excerpts, with Libbie’s permission, concerning my 4th great-grandmother Levina Doss. First, the deposition given by Levina, spelled Lavina in this excerpt, and second, the deposition of her mother Elizabeth. Words in brackets are Libbie’s and some punctuation and spelling corrections were made for easier reading but doesn’t change the meaning:

The Testimony of Lavina Doss
Deposition taken in Pittsylvania Co., Va., 7 May 1817: Lavina Doss … deposeth and sayeth that in the last sickness of her Grandfather, James Doss Senr. & but a Short time before his death, he sent for her Father James Doss Junr to come & see him, accordingly he went & this deponant went with him & we both went together, into the room where my Grandfather lay alone. He spoke to my father & said I am glad to see you Jamey, I have been uneasy & have sent for you to have some talk with you about our affairs. I am about soon to leave you my son & want you to have your rite. I know that I am owing you money that ought to have been paid before now but it was not in my power to do it, but I have now directed my Ext [Executor] to pay you without putting you to any trouble about it. As to the land, it is yours. It was gave to you & I wish you to have it for you have an undoubted rite to it & cannot be kept out of it after my death, your uncle Edward Nicks, gave you the land by Deed of Gift & I have no Claim to it any longer than I live; altho I have directed the land to [defer?, unclear] other ways than I ought to have done, it is not intended to keep you out of your Rite, but only to try to keep peace a little longer over my old head, for I wish to leave my family in peace & I know you will get the land after my death — altho it may put you to the trouble of goin’ or sending for the deed of gift, which I did no want you to have the trouble of. But for the sake of peace in my family, I could not help doing as I have, you know when I agreed to give you up the land below the Shop branch, what an oneasiness [uneasiness] & interruptions it made in my family, till you consented for the business to rest as it was till my death.

This deponent further sayeth that in the life time of the said James Doss Senr. he frequently said that the land belonged to his son James Doss Junr. after his death, that it was gave to him by uncle Edward Nicks and that he held no claim to it any longer than life. This deponent further states that her grandfather James Doss senr. dec’d., put her father James Doss Junr. into possession of the said land below the Shope branch, as above mentioned, & her father began to run a fence on the said land, but was stopped at the request of his father, on account of the disturbance & uneasiness it made in his family, but told my father, James Doss Junr. he would get the whole of the said land after his death. [signed: Lavina (X) Doss, her mark]

Notes (by Libbie): We should keep in mind that Lavina had something of a vested interest in the outcome of this case, and might have stressed her father’s right in the land a bit overmuch. In addition to providing us with an account of James Sr.’s last day, and his love for and concern for his family, Lavina’s testimony also tells what we had previously suspected: that although Lavina had 5 or 6 children, she never married. More on her family appears later in this issue.”

The Testimony of Elizabeth Doss
“Pittsylvania County, 27 September, 1816 [omitting the beginning]…. the tract of land in the bill mentioned was in the possession of my husband James Doss Junr. at the time of his death but was afterward sold (sometime in the year of 1812) at publick sale to the hightest bidder, subject to my dower, by the defendant Samuel Pannill, under a deed of trust executed by my said husband James Doss Junr. to the said Samuel Pannill to secure the payment of a debt due from my husband….to David Pannill’s Estate … neither the said complainant [Nathan Thurman] nor any other person forbid the sale, but since the sale the said Complainant Nathan Thurmon [sic] hath applied to this Respondent to purchase the dower land she holds in her possession & having thus fully answered this Respondant prayes to be hence  dismissed with her Costs. [signed: Elizabeth (X) Doss, her mark]

Note (by Libbie): Elizabeth was taxed for 56 acres until 1827, when this land was taken by the county (see Pittsylvania Co. Deed Bk. 28, p. 121). She and her children and grandchildren may have continued to live there afterward.”

This post was ready for publication before I heard from Libbie. I did not want to change what was written and have added some remarks concerning things that I numbered.

[1] The wife of James DOSS Jr. is seen in many family trees as Elizabeth LESTER. Libbie Griffin gives strong evidence that she was the daughter of Thomas LESTER, however stressed that the maiden name is unproved. “Thomas LESTER purchased the land of George Wilcocks, adjacent to James Doss Sr., in 1779 (Pittsylvania Deed Bk. 5, p. 137). Lester was dead by March 1789 when his widow Lithe (probably Elizabeth’s step-mother) married John Ballinger. In 1824 Elizabeth Doss and John and Anna Lester sold what appears to be the same land to Asa Craddock (Pitts. Co. Deed Bk. 26, p. 224). This suggests that she was the sister of either John Lester or his wife Ann Minter Lester. Lester’s lived near (adjoining?) James Doss Jr.” [Source: Libbie Griffin, The Doss Connection, Vol. 2. No. 1, page 8]

[2] The death record of William DOSS’s daughter Sarah Jane NEVILLE shows that her mother was Elizabeth HENRY. Therefore all children seen with William and Elizabeth in 1850 were from his 2nd marriage except for sons John 22 and William 14.

[3] According to Libbie’s article, William DOSS died 21 November 1888. His death record names “Lavina” as his mother, father unknown, and indicates that he was born in 1812. [Source: Libbie Griffin, The Doss Connection, Vol. 2. No. 1, page 17]

[4] Libbie believed that Levina’s youngest daughter seen in the 1830 census may have died young. She may not have had all the information on marriages of DOSS individuals in Mason County, West Virginia, and Gallia County, Ohio, where many residents of Mason married. It is my belief that Elizabeth was this young daughter, named after her grandmother, and that she came to Mason County with her brothers and sister in the 1830s, most likely before December 1837 when brother William married Elizabeth HENRY.

I’m going to let Libbie have the final word.

“I’m sure you can imagine it how hard it was for me to keep from cheering loudly in the hushed halls of the Virginia State Library when I cut that string and read those old documents!  A similar experience led me to the answers I needed about my own Doss family.  It’s amazing what’s there to find if we look long enough.”

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Levina DOSS
Parents: James DOSS Jr. and his wife Elizabeth
Spouse: not applicable
Children: Thomas, William, Phillip Valorius, Mary E. “Polly”, and Elizabeth “Betty”
Surnames: Doss, Clonch, Roop, Dempsey, Eads, Rodman, Barber, Bailess, Steed
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey:
4th Great-grandmother

1. Levina DOSS
2. Mary E. “Polly” DOSS
3. Alexander CLONCH
4. Rebecca Jane CLONCH
5. Myrtle Hazel ROOP
6. Fred Roosevelt DEMPSEY
7. Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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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(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: #27 Mary E. “Polly” DOSS ~ An Unwed Mother, Not a Spinster

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 #27 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

Hard to believe that we are halfway through the year and beginning the 2nd half of the challenge this week.

52 Ancestors: #27 Mary E. “Polly” DOSS ~ An Unwed Mother, Not a Spinster

My 3rd great-grandmother Polly never married. She wasn’t a spinster. She couldn’t have been since she was my ancestor. She was the mother of eight children all from a bond she had with one man my 3rd great-grandfather William CLONCH.

Polly was the daughter of Levina DOSS. Period. One unmarried mother in my family tree would be easy to take. But two is a bit harder. Polly’s mother Levina had up to seven children and left no trace of who the father of these children may have been. Or maybe she did leave something to identify the father(s) but it hasn’t been found [yet]. Why did these ladies, mother and daughter, never marry? Did they want to avoid total dependency on a husband?

Single Woman vs. Married Woman

Although life may have been harsh, Polly possessed more rights as a single woman than a woman who was married. A single woman had a say over certain matters in her life. She could own property, enter into contracts, act as executor of an estate, or serve as a guardian. A married woman’s legal identity essentially ceased to exist when she married. A husband owned whatever belonged to his wife with the exception of personal items such as clothes and jewelry.

Levina or Lavina

Polly was born in Pittsylvania County around 1816. Per her mother Levina DOSS’s 1820 and 1830 census details she was the 6th of 7 children in the household. The censuses are the only documents I have seen with Polly’s mother’s name – Levina. No documents have been found for Polly’s mother’s name being spelled Lavina. I believe, that since Polly named a daughter “Lavina” after her mother, others have assume that her mother’s name was also spelled this way.

Roots in Pittsylvania County, Virginia

The Doss family has strong roots in Halifax and Pittsylvania County, Virginia. In 1755 Levina’s grandfather James DOSS received a land grant for 272 acres in Halifax County, an area soon to become part of the newly created Pittsylvania County in 1767. This land grant was located adjacent to Beechtree Creek and Staunton River.

Pittsylvania County lies in south midland Virginia, bordering on the North Carolina line. Bordering counties are Bedford (northwest), Campbell (northeast), Halifax (east), Caswell in North Carolina (southeast), Rockingham in North Carolina (southwest), Henry (west/southwest), and Franklin (west/northwest). The neighboring counties are important as we find marriages of Polly’s brothers, Thomas DOSS in Caswell in 1827 and Phillip DOSS in Campbell in 1835.

Early Census Analysis

In 1820 Polly is the youngest female in Levina’s household. Other members are four brothers, an older sister, her mother, and most likely her grandmother Elizabeth DOSS née LESTER who was widowed in 1812.

1820censusdoss
1820 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Pittsylvania [ancestry.com]
1820 U.S. Federal Census
Pittsylvania County, Virginia
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Levina Doss
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 2 (William b. abt. 1811 & Phillip b. abt. 1814)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15: 1 (unknown son b. bet. 1804-1810)
Note: no males 16-18 yo (therefore Thomas was 19 & under 26 yo)
Free White Persons – Males – 16 thru 25: 1 (Thomas b. abt. 1801)
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 1 (Mary E. b. abt. 1816)
Free White Persons – Females – 16 thru 25: 1 (unknown daughter born bet. 1795-1804)
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1 (Levina b. abt. 1775)
Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over : 1 (poss. mother Elizabeth b. abt. 1750)
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 2
Free White Persons – Under 16: 4
Free White Persons – Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 8
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 8

Can you tell that I love to do these?

By 1830 Polly and her younger sister Elizabeth were the only children living with their mother Levina. Next door was Polly’s brother William and her uncle Eben ANGEL, a Baptist minister and husband of Levina’s sister Elizabeth.

1830censusdoss
1830 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Pittsylvania [ancestry.com]
1830 U.S. Federal Census
Pittsylvania County, Virginia
Page No. 348
Levina Doss
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 1 (Elizabeth bet. 1821-1825)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 1 (Mary E. b. abt. 1816)
Free White Persons – Females – 50 thru 59: 1 (Levina, b. 1771-1775)
Free White Persons – Under 20: 2
Total Free White Persons: 3
Total – All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored): 3

Polly’s Siblings

  • Sib 1: Thomas DOSS (abt.1801-1881) born about 1801 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. He married(1) Elizabeth EADS (abt.1802-bet.1860-1867) on 6 March 1827 in Caswell County, North Carolina. He married(2) Martha Forbes GORDON (1824-1881) on 28 April 1867 in Chariton County, Missouri. Thomas died on 1 April 1881 in Chariton County and was buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in same county.
  • Sib. 2: [–?–] (female) DOSS born bet. 1795-1804
  • Sib. 3: [–?–] (male) DOSS born bet. 1804-1810
  • Sib. 4: William DOSS (abt.1811-1888) born about 1811 in Pittsylvania County. He married Elizabeth BARBER (abt.1814-1898) on 12 May 1828 in Pittsylvania County. William died 22 November 1888 in Mason County, West Virginia.
  • Sib 5: Phillip Valorius “Phil” DOSS (abt.1814-aft.1880) born about 1814 in Pittsylvania County. He married Elizabeth BAILESS (abt.1815-aft.1880) on 25 December 1835 in Campbell County, Virginia. Phillip died after 1880.
  • Mary E. “Polly” DOSS born about 1816 in Pittsylvania County, died bef. 1892 in Mason County, West Virginia
  • Sib. 7: Elizabeth “Betsy” DOSS born bet. 1821-1825. She married(1) John CLONCH (abt.1810-bet.1844-1847) on 15 February 1842 in Gallia County, Ohio. She married(2) John William STEED (abt.1806-aft.1880) on 26 October 1848 in Gallia County, Ohio. Betsy died after 1880.

DOSS Families Move to Mason County, (West) Virginia

In the 1830s Polly and her siblings, with the exception of Phillip, moved to Mason County in what would later become West Virginia. The DOSS siblings were a tight bunch. It is not known if their mother Levina was still living and made the move with the group or if she had died and the children moved on.

William CLAUNCH (aka CLONCH), with whom Polly DOSS was living, was enumerated between her brothers William and Thomas in 1840 in Mason County. In William DOSS’s household was a young lady who fits the age group for their sister Elizabeth. None of the households had an older woman, and neither did their brother Phillip, who remained in Pittsylvania. It is believed that Levina DOSS died between 1830-1840.

1840censusdossclaunch
1840 U.S. Federal Census > (W)VA > Mason > page 214 [ancestry.com : accessed 3 July 2014]
1840 U.S. Federal Census
Mason County, (West) Virginia
Page 214
Thomas Doss
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 3 (Philip, Charles & unknown)
Free White Persons – Males – 15 thru 19: 1 (too old to be a son from this marriage)
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 (Thomas)
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 1 (Judah)
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1 (Elizabeth)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
No. White Persons over 20 Who Cannot Read and Write: 2
Free White Persons – Under 20: 5
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 7
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 7
William Claunch
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 1 (Mariah J.)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (Polly)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
No. White Persons over 20 Who Cannot Read and Write: 2
Free White Persons – Under 20: 1
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 2
Total Free White Persons: 3
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 3
William Doss
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1 (James)
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 2 (William & unknown)
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 1 (John)
Free White Persons – Males – 20 thru 29: 1 (could this be John Clonch?)
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1 (William)
Free White Persons – Females – 15 thru 19: 1 (sister Elizabeth)
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1 (wife Betsy)
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 1
No. White Persons over 20 Who Cannot Read and Write: 2
Free White Persons – Under 20: 5
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 3
Total Free White Persons: 8
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 8

Polly’s Life with William CLONCH

In 1850 Polly DOSS is seen in William CLONCH’s household with their four children who are seen with the DOSS surname. The fourth child, Jeremiah age 2, is believed to have died before the 1860 census as he is not listed in that census or later mentioned in the will of William CLONCH. Jeremiah was the name of William’s grandfather.

1850censusclonch
1850 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Mason > 38th District > Sheet No. 422A HH#842-853; online https://archive.org/stream/populationschedu0959unix#page/n368/mode/1up : accessed 27 March 2014

During the 1850s Polly’s oldest brother Thomas moved with his family to Chariton County, Missouri. Her brother William and sister Elizabeth remained in Mason County.

By 1860 Polly was no longer using her nickname and is seen as Mary CLAUNCH (CLONCH). She is in William’s household with their children John W., Alex, Luvina, Elizabeth, Thos. E., Joel and Charles H. Also in the household was John W. CLARK age 64 whose relationship to the family has not been determined.

1860censusclonch
1860 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Mason > District 2 > Page 46 > HH#345-316; online https://archive.org/stream/populationschedu1361unix#page/n434/mode/1up : accessed 27 March 2014

Mary E. DOSS and her partner William CLONCH had four children before and four after the 1850 census. They are listed here with the surnames they were known to have used in later years.

  • John William CLONCH (1840-1919) born in December 1840
  • Alexander CLONCH (1842-1910) born 2 March 1842
  • Lavina Ann DOSS (1846-1945) born about 18 March 1846
  • Jeremiah DOSS born about 1847, died bet. 1850-1860
  • Elizabeth Jane “Betsy” CLONCH (1851-aft.1899) born about 1851
  • Joel CLONCH (1852-aft.1910) born in January 1852
  • Thomas Eli CLONCH (1852-1913) born in November 1852
  • Charles Henry CLONCH (1855-1925) born on 10 November 1855

The American Civil War period (4 Feb 1861-23 Jun 1865) brought changes for Mary E. DOSS and her family. Mary’s oldest son John William CLONCH married Sarah Jane FOSTER (1840- ) on 20 February 1862 in Gallia County, Ohio.

Less than a year later the father of her children, William CLONCH, died on 20 January 1863. William had the foresight [or maybe Mary influenced him] to write a will leaving his land to Mary and her children.

will
[Source: West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971; Mason Will book, v. 01A 1833-1875; Page 166-167 (image 104); online https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18256-40179-14?cc=1909099&wc=10916722%5D
There was a bit of trouble caused by his will. Mary’s step-daughter Mariah Jane also brought forward a will which was not admitted as the last will and testament. The will found in the Will Book is not an original, only a copy. William left his mark on the will and Matthias Long must have been the person who wrote the will for William. On the 1840 and 1850 censuses both adults in the household of William CLONCH could not read and write.

Life After William

I can’t imagine what Mary’s life would have been like if William had not left her the land that her children farmed. In 1863 Mary’s daughter Lavina Ann married James William PATTERSON (1836-1911) in Point Pleasant and her son Alexander married Mary Ellen LEMASTER (1847-1921) in Gallia County, Ohio. Alex’s marriage did not last as Mary Ellen was involved with her brother-in-law John whose marriage ended in divorce in 1864 when John and Mary Ellen moved in together. [A Little “Peyton Place” (Part II)]

By 1870 only three children were living at home with Mary: Joel, Elizabeth, and Charles Henry [who was mistakenly listed as Francis]. Next door was her sister Elizabeth DOSS with her second husband John STEED. Mary’s daughter Lavina was living with her husband in the same district several households away.

1870censusclonch
1870 U.S. Federal Census > WV > Mason > Clendenen > Sheet No. 147B > HH#228-230 [ancestry.com]
John W. and Mary Ellen and children; Alexander and Mary Ellen’s sister Rebecca and children; and Thomas Eli, who was single, were not located in the 1870 census. John’s son Emanuel was born in February 1870 in Mason County per his death register entry which places him in the county in 1870. How could it be that Mary’s three sons were missed? Could they have been omitted when the census was copied? Are they on the original census?

Life may appear to have been quiet during the 1870s for Mary and her family. There were no marriages but thirteen grandchildren were born. Her daughter Elizabeth Jane “Betsy” had two children out of wedlock. Alexander [who was still legally married to Mary Ellen] fathered two more children with Rebecca LEMASTER. John fathered five children with Mary Ellen. Only Lavina’s four children born in the 1870s were legitimate.

A Divorce and Two Marriages

The 1880s began with a divorce and two marriages.

Alexander CLONCH finally divorced Mary Ellen LEMASTER in March 1880 in Mason County, West Virginia. I wonder if he might have taken advice from his mother. Mary may have wished that William had done the same with his wife Ann Eliza HILL so that she could marry the father of her children.

At about the same time, Charles Henry CLONCH married Nancy Susan WOODS (1864-1928) on 24 March 1880 in Gallia County, Ohio, and Thomas Eli CLONCH married Missouri Catherine SCHULTZ (1862-1942) on 14 May 1880 in Gallia County, Ohio.

In 1880 Mary and all of her children except for John are enumerated on Sheet No. 245A+B in households #195-200 (Lavina), #197-202 (Alex), #198-203 (Thomas), #202-207 (Joel and Charles with their mother Mary) and #203-208 (Elizabeth Jane). Only Mary’s oldest son John W. CLONCH was in Cabell County with Alex’s ex-wife Mary Ellen LEMASTER with whom he now had seven children.

1880censusclonch2
1880 U.S. Federal Census > WV > Mason > Clendennin > ED 93 Sheet 245B HH#202-207 [ancestry.com]
Mary’s son Alexander married Tabitha Ann “Tobitha” COOLEY (1861-1913) on 19 August 1880 in Gallipolis, Gallia County, Ohio. He was the last of her children that she would see getting married.

As harsh as life could be for single women, they ironically possessed more rights than those who married. A single woman had her own legal identity, could enter into contracts and own property, allowing her to have some say over certain matters in her life.Read more : http://www.ehow.com/info_10071412_life-like-single-women-1800s.html

Mary E. DOSS died before 1892 when her children are seen selling the land left to her in William CLONCH’s 1863 will to their sister Lavina. All of Mary’s children, except for young Jeremiah, survived her.

Joel who had remained single finally married in 1893 at the age of 41. John W. at long last married his Mary Ellen in 1895. Betsy who had a third child out of wedlock in 1884 married a man half her age in 1899 and disappeared [I have not been able to trace her after the marriage].

Mary E. DOSS’s children continued “to be fruitful and multiplied” bringing the total grandchildren to 60. The youngest and last surviving died in 1994.

© 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

52 Ancestors: #12 Civil War Baby, Gordon Washington ROOP 1862-1930

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 my 12th entry in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

52 Ancestors: #12 Civil War Baby, Gordon Washington ROOP 1862-1930

My great-great-grandfather Gordon Washington ROOP, a photographer, miner, and farmer, was born 6 May 1862 in Floyd County, Virginia, during the Civil War.

Gordon’s father 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 may not have known at the time that his wife was pregnant with their third child. The 54th was engaged in battles in Bourbon County, Kentucky, on 15 April 1862 and at Princeton, (West) Virginia, on 16 May 1862. Was Gordon’s father given furlough to be at home for the birth of his son?

Gordon’s father 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 the 19th and 20th of September 1863, while Gordon was learning to walk and beginning to talk, his father was fighting his last battle at Chickamauga in Georgia. On 1 November 1863, when young Gordon was a year and a half, his father died in Flewellan Hospital, in Cassville, Bartow County, Georgia.

Parents and Siblings

Gordon’s parents Gordon H. ROOP (1838-1863) and Emaline LESTER (1836-1877) married on 10 March 1856 in Floyd County, Virginia. They had two children by 1860: Dollie Ann Ellen (1857-1937) born 24 February 1857 and John Thomas (1859-1902) born 6 March 1859, both in Floyd County, Virginia.

When the American Civil War began on 4 February 1861 the young family of four was living in Floyd County. Emaline gave birth to her second son and third child, Gordon Washington ROOP, on 6 May 1862. He was given his father’s first name and, as a middle name, the surname of the first U.S. President. Sadly we do not know how much time Gordon Sr. was able to spend with his family while serving in the Civil War until his early death at the age of 25 in 1863.

Mother Remarries

The end of the Civil War in June 1865 brought changes to America, Virginia, and families in Floyd County. We don’t know what price Gordon, his mother Emaline, and his sibings paid for his father’s loyalty to the Confederacy. Gordon’s mother Emaline waited nearly six years to remarry. She was 32 when she married Pleasant D. EPPERLY, 21, son of Solomon EPPERLY and Rachel RATLIFF, on 6 February 1869 in Floyd County. A year later we see Gordon and his siblings in the household of their step-father and mother in the 1870 census.

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

Siblings Marry

Gordon’s sister Dollie Ann Ellen married her 2nd cousin 1 time removed Giles SUMNER (1855-1920) on 1 7 November 1873 in Floyd County. His brother John Thomas married Ardelia E. WAITMAN (1858-?) on 16 November 1876 in Camp Creek, Floyd County.

Orphaned at Fifteen

A little over a year after John’s marriage, Gordon was orphaned at the age of 15 when his mother died on 13 December 1877. Did Gordon stay with his step-father or did he go to live with his sister or his brother? Gordon and his siblings were close to their ROOP and LESTER grandparents as well as the SUMNER family, their great-grandparents. I hope that he was well taken care of until he married two years later.

pedigreegordon
Screenshot of five-generation pedigree for Gordon Washington ROOP generated by Ancestral Quest 14

Marries at Seventeen

1880rooppetersmarriage 002
Photocopy of Marriage License obtained by Louise Roop Anderson Akers on 24 Feb 2001 from the records of the Circuit Court, County of Floyd, Virginia. Louise sent the original certified copy to me in April 2001.

William L. SIMMONS joined Gordon Washington ROOP, age 17, and Milla Susan PETERS, age 23, in marriage on 1 January 1880 in Floyd County at Jordan PETERS’ residence. On the marriage record the ages of the bride and groom were fudged. Gordon was listed as 21 and Milla as 20.

Gordon and Milla were first seen together on the 1880 census. They lived on Alum Ridge in Floyd County near the Montgomery County line.

1880roop
1880 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Floyd > Alum Ridge > ED 25 Page 4 Sheet 264B > HH#59-59; online https://archive.org/stream/10thcensus1365unit#page/n300/mode/1up : accessed 19 March 2014

Becomes a Father at Eighteen

Gordon and his wife Milla did not wait long to start their family. They had five children, four sons and a daughter, in ten years:

Ch 1: George Washington ROOP (1880-1950) born 19 September 1880in Floyd County, Virginia. Note: no birth record however WWI and WWII draft cards match date seen on his death certificate.
Ch 2: Walter Farmer ROOP (1883-1971) born 16 April 1883 in Montgomery County, Virginia.

Ch 3: Charles Turner ROOP (1885-1966) born 15 June 1885 in Montgomery County, Virginia. The father’s residence at the time was Raleigh County, West Virginia, and the birth was recorded there.

Ch 4: James H. “Old Man Jim” ROOP (1887-1962) born 30 May 1887 at Snuffer’s Branch, Clear Creek, Raleigh County, West Virginia.
Ch 5: [–?–] ROOP (1890-1891) born in June 1890 in Kanawha County, West Virginia. She died in a house fire in 1891.

Moves his Family to West Virginia

By 1885 Gordon moved his family to Raleigh County in West Virginia where he had the birth of his son Charles recorded. After the birth of their fourth son James, Gordon and Milla and their four sons moved to Kanawha County where their only daughter was born in 1890.

Wife and Daughter Die in a House Fire

Sadly the daughter born in June 1890 was not named and died with her mother in a house fire in 1891 according to family tradition as recounted in genealogy notes by Linda Pearl Dickey Roop. Neither death records nor newspaper articles have been found to confirm the story and year of this event.

Linda Pearl Dickey Roop (1943-1994) collaborated with Everette L. McGrew (1923-2008) on a book on the Roop family. The summer of 1994 she was diagnosed with cancer and died a month later. Everette took over the task of finishing the book which he titled My Mother Was A Rupe. He gave me an updated copy in 2002. Linda had done most of the work on our direct line as her husband is the grandson of Old Man Jim, Gordon’s fourth son.

Motherless Children Go into Foster Care

The four motherless boys were placed in the home of Henry Snuffer, the Sheriff of Kanawha County, and his brother, Lee Snuffer, until Gordon was able to care for them. Linda wrote, “Gordon married second to Nancy E. Johnson. When Gordon returned for his children, Walter, Charles and George went with him but James wanted to stay with the only family he knew, the Snuffers, so Gordon let him stay rather than insist he go with him. Henry and Martha E. Snuffer were a loving married couple who could not have children of their own. They took in and raised with loving care many children who had lost their parents.”

Further research brought to light that Lee and Eliza Snuffer, like Henry and Martha, did not have children of their own. James was living in Henry Snuffer’s and Charles was in Lee Snuffer’s households in 1900. Walter was with Gordon and his second family. George was not found. Is it possible that Charles, like his brother James, also wanted to remain with the Snuffer family he had been living with?

Mentioned in his Grandfather’s Will in 1890

Gordon’s grandfather James ROOP dated his will 31 January 1890. He died 2 November 1890 and final settlement of the will was made on 18 September 1897 in Floyd County, Virginia. In his will James ROOP mentioned among others, his son Gordon ROOP’s children Thomas, Gordon, and Dolly.

Marries a Second Time and Fathers More Children

Gordon Washington ROOP and Nancy Elizabeth JOHNSON (1860-1949) were married on 25 August 1894 in Pond Gap, Kanawha County, West Virginia, by L. D. Hill. [line 76]

They had five children in five years:

Ch 6: Samuel Pasley “Sam” ROUPE (1895-1956) born 30 October 1895 in Blue Creek, Kanawha County, West Virginia [line 39].
Ch 7: Julia Ann ROOP (1897-1990) born 4 January 1897 in Cannelton, Kanawha County, West Virginia [line 40].
Ch 8: Amanda O. “Mandy” ROOP (1898-1994) born 20 March 1898 in Hughes Creek, Kanawha County, West Virginia [line 12].
Ch 9: Hallie Beatrice ROOP (1899-1944) born 10 September 1899 in Kanawha County, West Virginia.
Ch 10: Hazel Vern ROOP (1900-1976) was born 28 December 1900 in Kanawha County, West Virginia.

1900censusroop
1900 U.S. Federal Census > WV > Kanawha > Cabin Creek > ED 41 Sheet 2B > HH #33-33; online https://archive.org/stream/12thcensusofpopu1761unit#page/n531/mode/1up : accessed 19 March 2014
1910censusroopg
1910 U.S. Federal Census > WV > Kanawha > Roe > ED 54 Sheet 6A > HH #100-106; online https://archive.org/stream/13thcensus1910po1684unit#page/n452/mode/1up : accessed 19 March 2014
1920roop
1920 U.S. Federal Census > WV > Kanawha > Cabin Creek > ED 79 Sheet 7B > HH#38; online https://archive.org/stream/14thcensusofpopu1957unit#page/n1007/mode/1up : accessed 19 March 2014

Dies at the Home of his Daughter

According to Linda Pearl Dickey Roop, Gordon was living with his daughter, Amanda WITHROW in Donnally Hollow in Kanawha City, West Virginia, before he died so that he could get to the doctors more easily. Gordon Washington ROOP died at 6:30 a.m. on 30 January 1930 in Kanawha City; cause of death was pulmonary tuberculosis with contributory factor being cardio-renal disease. He was buried in Jodie, Fayette County.

Gordon’s son Walter Farmer ROOP was the informant on the death certificate. Walter didn’t know the name of his grandmother and he got the name of his grandfather wrong. Or did he? The name he gave was Ham ROOP. Gordon’s father’s middle initial was H. in Civil War records. Is it possible that the H. was for Hamilton even though Gordon Sr.’s youngest brother was named Hamilton Null ROOP? Could Uncle Hamilton have raised Gordon Jr. after both his parents’ deaths?

Gordon Washington ROOP was survived by his second wife, all of his children except for the baby girl who died in the house fire, and his sister Dollie. His children’s families continued to grow giving him a total of 50 known grandchildren, 10 still living in 2014.

Gordon’s second wife Nancy Elizabeth Johnson died 14 June 1949 in Charleston.

1949obit
The Charleston Gazette, Wednesday, June 15, 1949

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey