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

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

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

A More Intense Focus on the Sources

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

The 1850 census

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

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

An 1856 marriage record

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

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

His children’s birth records

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

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

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

The 1860 census

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

Gordon Roop on the 1860 census.

The Civil War documents

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

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

His children’s marriage records

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

His children’s death records

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

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

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

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

Obituaries were not found for Gordon’s three children.

Garten H. ROOP in an abstract

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

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

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

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

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

What about these scenarios?

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

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

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

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

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

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


  1. Virginia passed a law requiring counties to record births in 1853.  Further information on https://www.familysearch.org/en/wiki/How_to_Find_Virginia_Birth_Records. 
  2. 1850 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8054/), citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll: M432_943, Virginia, Floyd County, sheet 445A, household 938-938, lines 5-16, James Roop (accessed 17 October 2014). 
  3. Rena Worthen & Barbara Reininger (co-project), “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” index and images, part of the Floyd County, Virginia, The USGenWeb Project online https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/floyd.htm, citing the images of Floyd Co., VA marriages downloaded by Rena Worthen from the Library of Virginia Microform indexed by Barbara Reininger, Marriage License of Gordon Roop age 18 and Emeline Lester age 20 married 10 Mar 1856. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1856/FCVA1856RoopLester.jpg : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  4. “Virginia, U.S., Birth Registers, 1853-1911,” (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/418338:62153), citing Virginia, Birth Registers, 1853–1911at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Floyd County Register of Births 1857, page 49 (stamped), line 34, 24 Feb 1857, Doll__ E. Roop, female, white, Gorden Roop and Emaline Roop, informant E R, mother (image 509 of 599). (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/417852:62153 : accessed 3 January 2023). 
  5. Ibid., Floyd County Register of Births, page 4 (stamped), line 43, 6 Mar 1859, John R. Roop, male, white, Gordon Roop and Emaline Roop, informant E R, mother (image 473 of 599). (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/416365:62153 : accessed 13 October 2022). 
  6. 1860 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7667/), citing Eighth Census of the United States, 1860 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls, Roll: M653_1345, Family History Library Film: 805345, Virginia, Floyd County, page 101, sheet 535 (handwritten), lines 33-36, household 723-680, Gordon Roop (accessed 26 February 2011). 
  7. “Index to compiled service records of Confederate soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Virginia,” index and images, Fold3 (https://www.fold3.com/publication/872/civil-war-service-index-cmsr-confederate-virginia), NARA Series M382 (62 rolls), citing United States Adjutant General’s Office, The National Archives, Washington, D.C., General Index Card, Gorden Roop, Company A, Fifty-fourth Infantry, enlistment rank Private, discharge rank Private. (https://www.fold3.com/image/307677383 : accessed 12 February 2014). 
  8. “Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Virginia,” database with images, Fold3 (https://www.fold3.com/publication/42/civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia), citing The National Archives, NARA microfilm publication M324, Company A, Fifty-fourth Infantry, Gorden Roop/Gordon Roop, page 1 through 5 (https://www.fold3.com/image/12913722 and 4 subsequent images : accessed 12 February 2014). 
  9. Worthen and Reininger, Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940, FCVA1873_0087, Marriage License and Minister’s Return of Marriage dated 7 Nov 1873 for the marriage of Giles Sumner of Dolly E. Roop. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1873/FCVA18730087.jpg
    accessed 11 January 2023). 
  10. “Virginia, U.S., Marriage Registers, 1853-1935,” (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i> (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/62154/), citing Virginia, Marriage Registers, 1853–1935 at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Floyd County Register of Marriages 1876, page 119, line 84, 11 November 1876, John T. Roop and Ardelia E. Waitman (accessed 6 June 2022). 
  11. Worthen and Reininger, Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940, FCVA1879_0137, register 3, page 61, Marriage License dated 29 Dec 1879 and Minister’s Return of Marriage dated 1 Jan 1880 for Gordon Washington Roop and Milla Susan Peters (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1879/FCVA18790137.jpg : accessed 11 January 2023). 
  12. “Virginia, U.S., Marriage Registers, 1853-1935,” Montgomery County, 1880, Register of Marriages, page 239, line 37, 18 May, Jno Thos Roop, 23, divorced, b. Floyd to Gordon & E Roop, Va. Tomlinson, 24, single b. Rockbridge to Jas. & N. Tomlinson, married by J. L. Weaver. (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/288387:62154 : accessed 11 January 2023. 
  13. “Marriages, 1890-1969; marriage index, 1850-1969,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/93137), citing microfilm of original records at the Raleigh County courthouse, Film 598428, DGS 7499395, Marriage index, v. 1-2 1850-1937, image 93 of 651, Register of Marriages, page 45, line 11, 9 Mar 1889, Jno T Roop, 30 yrs 3 days, born Floyd, Ellawiser Burgess, 33 yrs, born Roanoke, res. of Raleigh, married by Jas. P. Thompson. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89Z5-FP17?i=92&cat=93137 : accessed 13 January 2023). 
  14. West Virginia Vital Research Records Project (database and images), West Virginia Division of Culture and History citing county records in county courthouses, West Virginia (A collaborative venture between the West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah to place vital records online via the West Virginia Archives and History Web site accessible at https://archive.wvculture.org/vrr), West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 521720, image 432, West Virginia, Kanawha County Register of Marriages 1894, page 350-351 (stamped), line 276, 25 Aug 1894, Gordon W. Roop and Nancy E. Johnson, citing Kanawha County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/521720/00432.jpg : accessed 14 March 2022). 
  15. Ibid., West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 598425, image 298, West Virginia, Raleigh County Register of Deaths, page 81, entry 56, Jno F Roop (sic), age 46 y 6 m 5 d, 11 Sep 1902, citing Beckley, Raleigh County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/598425/00298.jpg : accessed 7 March 2022). Age at death: 46y 6m 5d, calculates to date of birth: 6 March 1856. This is off by exactly 3 years. 
  16. Ibid., West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 1953605, image 484, Certificate of Death, State File No. 465, Gordon W. Roop, 30 January 1930, citing Kanawha City, Kanawha County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/1953605/0000484.gif: accessed 2 February 2022). 
  17. Ibid., West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 1983330, image 883, West Virginia Standard Certificate of Death 18364, Mrs. Dollie Sumner, 14 December 1837, citing Clear Creek, Raleigh County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/1983330/0000883.gif : accessed 16 January 2007). 
  18. Weaver Jeffrey C and G. L Sherwood. 54th Virginia Infantry. 2nd ed. H.E. Howard 1993. 

The Roop Boy Who Died Twice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

William H. T. ROOP and William ROOP

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

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

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

Conflicting evidence

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

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

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

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

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

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

Civil War Carded Record for Willliam ROOP courtesy of Fold3

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

What is the source of the source?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The ROOP boy didn’t die twice

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

Family Tradition Updated

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

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


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

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]

tinymill
Enter a caption

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 ROOP
4. Gordon Washington ROOP
5. Walter Farmer ROOP
6. Myrtle Hazel ROOP
7. Fred Roosevelt Dempsey
8. Cathy Meder-Dempsey

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

52 Ancestors: #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 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.

Vapittsylvania
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.1

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.2 James was born about 1742 in Amelia County, he married Elizabeth about 1771 and died 1812 in Pittsylvania.3 Levina had 5 known siblings:

Sib 1: Elizabeth DOSS (1772-1830) was born about 1772. Elizabeth DOSS married Ebenezer ANGEL (1769-1850) on 15 December 1794 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.4 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 (the date 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- ) was 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.5 She may have married(2) James BELL in about 1820.

Sib 4: William DOSS (1785-1820) was born about 1785. William married Martha CREWS (1789- ) on 29 April 1812 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.6 He died before 1820.

Sib 5: Edward DOSS (1795-1850) was born about 1795. Edward married Nancy MITCHELL (1803-1860) on 19 December 1822 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.7 He died before 1850.

Pittsylvania County censuses for the years 1790, 1800, and 1810 are lost but a substitute is available.8 The loss is unfortunate and the substitute is helpful 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.9

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.

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

1820 U.S. Federal Census10
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 Census11
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 Census12
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 the 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.

Child 1: Thomas DOSS (abt.1801-1881) was born about 1801 in Pittsylvania County. He married(1) Elizabeth EADS (abt.1802-bet.1860-1867) on 6 March 1827 in Caswell County, North Carolina.13 He married(2) Martha Forbes GORDON (1824-1881) on 28 April 1867 in Chariton County, Missouri.14 Thomas died on 1 April 1881 in Chariton County and was buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in the same county.15

Child 2: _____ (female) DOSS born bet. 1795-1804 (inferred from the 1820 census)

Child  3: _____ (male) DOSS born bet. 1804-1810 (inferred from the 1820 census)

Child  4: William DOSS (abt.1811-1888) was born about 1811 in Pittsylvania County. He married Elizabeth BARBER (abt.1814-1898) on 12 May 1828 in Pittsylvania County.16 It is possible that his wife died as he married again on 28 December 1837 in Mason County to Elizabeth HENRY.17,18 William died on 22 November 1888 in Mason County, West Virginia.19,20

Child 5: Phillip Valorius “Phil” DOSS (abt.1814-aft.1880) was born about 1814 in Pittsylvania County. He married Elizabeth BAILESS (abt.1815-aft.1880) on 25 December 1835 in Campbell County, Virginia.21 Phillip died after 1880.

Child 6: Mary E. “Polly” DOSS born about 1816 in Pittsylvania County, died bef. 1892 in Mason County, West Virginia. She never married but had eight children with William CLONCH.

Child 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.22 She married(2) John William STEED (abt.1806-aft.1880) on 26 October 1848 in Gallia County, Ohio.23 Betsy died after 1880.24

The only documentation I have found for Levina are the two census listings in which she was named as the head of a household. None of her children’s marriage records have their mother’s name mentioned. All of her known children died after 1880 and before 1900. Only her son William’s death record was found but it didn’t include information on his parentage.

Credits and a New Cousin

While preparing to write this last blog post for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge I learned 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” from her hobby? If I can find my ancestors shouldn’t I be able to find Libbie? In the days prior to social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), we used message 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 which 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 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’.”

ScreenClip
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.25 In the issue of the newsletter Libbie sent 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 don’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 added footnotes to items that have additional remarks or information.

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

“I’m sure you can imagine 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.”

This Post was Updated on 25 December 2022Missing source citations were added, images were scaled, and some corrections were made to the text and format.

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

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

  1. Halifax County (Virginia). County Surveyor, “Survey and plat books, 1746-1901, 1975-1976; general indexes, 1747-1966,”, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/367219?availability=Family%20History%20Library), citing microfilm of original records at the Halifax County Courthouse in Halifax, Virginia., Film 31940, DGS 8151700, Survey book, v. 1 1751-1901 (Has a record of surveys done ca. 1746-1747 when Halifax County was part of Lunenburg County), image 167 of 288, page 132, 25 April 1755 survey of 272 acres for James Doss. Lunenberg County was created from Brunswick County in 1746 and Halifax County was created from Lunenberg County in 1752. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSKJ-9SLN-M?i=166&cat=367219 : accessed 28 June 2022). 
  2. 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 unproven. “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 stepmother) 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’s lived near (adjoining?) James DOSS Jr.” [Source: Libbie Griffin, The Doss Connection, Vol. 2. No. 1, page 8] 
  3. “Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983,” index and images, Ancestry, citing original data of Virginia County, District, and Probate Courts, Pittsylvania > Accounts Current, No 5-7, 1812-1824 > image 83+84 of 769, Book 5, pages 139-140, Inventory of James Doss dated 16 November 1812 pursuant to an order of the Pittsylvania Court bearing date of September Court 1812. (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9085/images/007646034_00083 : accessed 9 June 2019). 
  4. “Marriage bonds, 1767-1859,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1152970), citing microfilm of original records at the Pittsylvania County Courthouse in Chatham, Virginia, Film 2056408, DGS 7741058, Marriage bonds, 1794-1798, image 92-94 of 817 (bond and permission), 15 Dec 1794 Eben Angel and Charles Right went bond for marriage of Eben Angel and Elizabeth Doss; James Doss gives permission for his daughter. “.” (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C91Z-C9ZQ-M?i=92&cat=1152970 : accessed 3 December 2022). 
  5. “Marriage bonds book, 1767-1861; marriage register, 1861-1900,” searchable database, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/475922), citing microfilm of original records at the Pittsylvania County Courthouse in Chatham, Virginia, Film 33326, DGS 4093099, image 124 of 580, Marriage bonds book, no. 1, 1767-1861, page 50, line 9, 2 Jan 1811 Preston Dudley and Mary Ann Doss, Will Doss bondsman, Mary Ann Doss signed certificate. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99LX-MHFN?cc=4149585 : accessed 3 December 2022). Note: The marriage bonds and old marriage register were copied in 1930 into the marriage bonds book, no. 1, 1767-1862, by the Rawley Martin Chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy. The original bond and certificate were not located in the collection with 1811 bonds: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C91C-Y722-M?i=29&cat=1152970.&#160;
  6. “Marriage bonds, 1767-1859,” Film 2056408, DGS 7741058, Marriage bonds, 1810-1814, image 451-452 of 823 (bond and cover), 29 Spr 1812 William Doss and Andrew Crews went bond for marriage of William Doss and Patsey Crews. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C91C-Y7NY-8?i=451&cat=1152970 : accessed 3 December 2022). 
  7. Ibid., Film 2056415, DGS 7741065, Marriage bonds, 1821-1825, images 258+262-263 of 1263, (authorization, bond and cover), 19 Dec 1822 Edward Doss and Charles Angel went bond for the marriage of Edward Doss and Nancy Mitchell. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C91C-B3N5-B?i=261&cat=1152970 : accessed 3 December 2022). Note: image 258 of 1263: 10 Dec 1822 Nancy Mitchell authorized Edward Doss to obtain the license. 
  8. Binns Genealogy 1790 / 1800 Virginia Tax List Censuses. Stephen Binns, the site owner, passed away in June 2020. Information on the website is no longer freely available. 
  9. “Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983,” Pittsylvania > Accounts Current, No 5-7, 1812-1824 > image 83+84 of 769, Book 5, pages 139-140, Inventory of James Doss dated 16 November 1812 pursuant to an order of the Pittsylvania Court bearing date of September Court 1812. (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9085/images/007646034_00083 : accessed 9 June 2019). 
  10. 1820 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7734/), citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll: M33_140, Virginia, Pittsylvania County, page 827, sheet 75 (76 stamped on next page), line 33, Levina Doss (accessed 3 July 2014). 
  11. 1830 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8058/), citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, Nara Roll M19_201, FHL Film: 0029680, Virginia, Pittsylvania County, page 348(double-page spread), line 18, Levina Doss (accessed 3 July 2014). 
  12. Ibid., NARA Roll M19_201, FHL Film: 0029680, Virginia, Pittsylvania County, page 348 (double-page spread), line 15, Bettsy Doss (accessed 3 July 2014). 
  13. “North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1675514), citing North Carolina State Archives Division of Archives and History, FHL microfilm 478485, Caswell > Marriage bonds, 1780-1868, vol D > image 202 of 273, 6 Mar 1827 Thomas Doss and Richard R Kennon went bond for the marriage of Thomas Doss and Betsy Edes. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-D14N-JB?cc=1726957&wc=QD8P-6KH%3A1588772755%2C1588773214 : accessed 1 July 2022). 
  14. “Missouri Marriage Records, 1805-2002,” database with images, Ancestry, citing original data: Missouri Marriage Records. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives, Chariton > Record images for Chariton > 1821-1888 > image 141 of 435 > page 111 > 28 Apr 1867 Thomas Doss and Martha F Gordon. (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/8814536:1171? : accessed 27 December 2012).
    Note: The index of the marriage record at Ancestry and at FamilySearch both have 8 February 1867 as the date of marriage. The image of the page of the marriage record on Ancestry clearly shows they married on 28 April 1867. 
  15. Find A Grave, database with images, (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/11078817/thomas-doss : accessed 01 July 2022), memorial page for Thomas Doss (1801–1 Apr 1881), Find a Grave Memorial ID 11078817, citing Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Musselfork Township, Chariton County, Missouri, USA; Maintained by Vivian Pattee (contributor 46577214). 
  16. “Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940,” database with images, FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 33326, Marriage bonds book, 1767-1861; Marriage bonds book, no. 1, 1767-1861, page 91, William Doss and Betsey Barber, 12 May 1828; citing Pittsylvania, Virginia. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99LX-MHDP?i=143 : accessed 1 July 2022). 
  17. West Virginia Vital Research Records Project (database and images), <i>West Virginia Division of Culture and History</i> citing county records in county courthouses, West Virginia (A collaborative venture between the West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah to place vital records online via the West Virginia Archives and History Web site accessible at https://archive.wvculture.org/vrr), West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 567389, image 20, Mason County marriages, page 32, line 2, William Doss and Elizabeth Henry 28 Dec 1837. (http://images.wvculture.org/567389/00020.jpg : accessed 26 October 2019). 
  18. Ibid., West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 1953109, image 1391, Certificate of Death 7657, Sarah Jane Neville, daughter of William Doss and Elizabeth Henry. (https://images.wvculture.org/1953109/0001391.gif : accessed 12 April 2009). This death record shows Elizabeth HENRY was her mother and therefore all children seen with William and Elizabeth in 1850 were from his 2nd marriage except for his sons John age 22 and William age 14. 
  19. Ibid., West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 567384, image 381, Mason County Register of Deaths, page 26 (stamped, double-page spread), entry 77, William Doss, died 22 Nov 1888, age 77. (http://images.wvculture.org/567384/00381.jpg : accessed 15 November 2018). 
  20. According to Libbie’s article, William DOSS died on 21 November 1888. His death record names “Lavina” as his mother, father unknown, and indicates he was born in 1812. [Source: Libbie Griffin, The Doss Connection, Vol. 2. No. 1, page 17] I found two versions of the register of death; neither gives the names of his mother or parents. 
  21. “Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940,” database with images, FamilySearch, Film 31050, Book 1, page 44, line 17, Phillip Doss and Elizabeth Bailiss married 25 Dec 1835 in Campbell County, Virginia (names of parents and minister blank). (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-V6Y7?i=268&cat=281365 : accessed 1 July 2022). 
  22. “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2016,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1614804), citing digital images of originals housed at the county courthouses in Ohio, Gallia > Marriage records 1803-1843 vol 1 > image 213 of 240 > Record of Marriages of Meigs County, page 400 (stamped), 4th entry, 15 Sep 1842, John Clonch and Elizabeth Doss. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9RMD-S2Q4?i=212&cc=1614804 : accessed 21 June 2022). 
  23. Ibid., Gallia > Marriage records 1843-1862 vol 2 > image 53 of 238, page 123, entry 3, Steed, John md. Clontch, Elizabeth on 26 October 1848 in Gallia County, Ohio. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GRMD-S2TC?cc=1614804&wc=ZRCJ-T38%3A121350101%2C121462701 : accessed 1 July 2022). 
  24. Libbie believed 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 Elizabeth was this young daughter, named after her grandmother, and she came to Mason County with her brothers and sister in the 1830s, most likely before December 1837 when brother William married Elizabeth HENRY. 
  25. Chancery Records of Virginia, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia, Local Government Records Collection, Virginia Memory (https://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/), Lynchburg City (Va.) Chancery Causes 1805-1945, Exr of James Doss Sr etc David Hunt vs David Hunt etc Nathan Thurman etc, Index Number 1818-017. (https://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/case_detail.asp?CFN=680-1818-017 : accessed 16 May 2021). Note: Theses are the chancery records that were not available at the time this post was written in December 2014. 

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

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

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

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

#45 Cynthia SUMNER abt. 1815-aft. 1880

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s Talk About Cynthia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now wouldn’t that be a story worth documenting?

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

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


  1. “Register of marriages, Montgomery County, Virginia, 1777-1853,” (browse-only images), FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, Film 32633, DGS 7579015, Index of marriage register, 1777-1853 — Register of marriages, 23 Nov 1813 Owen Sumner and Polly Newton. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-FXT7?cc=4149585 : accessed 31 October 2022). 
  2. “U.S., War of 1812 Pension Application Files Index, 1812-1815,” database with images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/1133/), citing original data: War of 1812 Pension Applications. Washington D.C.: National Archives. NARA Microfilm Publication M313, 102 rolls. Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group Number 15., Roll M313_90; Pension Number – #1: WO 15611; Soldier: Owen Sumner; Widow: Lucinda Sumner; Military Service Location: Virginia. (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/55072:1133 : accessed 4 November 2014). 
  3. As of February 2021 images for surnames A-Shaw were available at Fold3 (https://www.ngsgenealogy.org/preserve-the-pensions/ : accessed 31 October 2022). 
  4. Rena Worthen & Barbara Reininger (co-project), “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” index and images, part of the Floyd County, Virginia, The USGenWeb Project online https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/floyd.htm, citing the images of Floyd Co., VA marriages downloaded by Rena Worthen from the Library of Virginia Microform indexed by Barbara Reininger., FCVA1835_23: Joel Ross and Owen Sumner went bond on the marriage of Joel Ross and Sarah Sumner. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1835/FCVA1835_23.jpg : accessed 31 October 2022). 
  5. Barbara Reininger, Families of Floyd County, Virginia (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/BarbR_FCVAResearch/zz_main_surnames.htm), Surnames of Families of Floyd Co., Virginia > R > Ross > Ross, Joel > Joel Ross 1st m. Sarah “Sary” Sumner 24 Sep 1835 Floyd Co., VA. Married by Jesse Jones. Sarah d. 20 Feb 1842. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/BarbR_FCVAResearch/ross.htm : accessed 31 October 2022). 
  6. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” FCVA1844_49: Minister Return of Owen Sumner including the marriage of Joel Ross and Elizabeth Holliday. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1844/FCVA1844_49.jpg : accessed 31 Octboer 2022) 
  7. 1900 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7602/), citing Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T623, 1854 rolls, Roll: T623_1708, FHL microfilm: 1241708, Virginia, Floyd County, Alum Ridge, Enumeration District 10, Sheet 8A, lines 20-22, household 129-129, Owen Sumner (accessed 4 November 2014). 
  8. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” FCVA1844_49: Owen Sumner celebrated the marriage of Joel Sumner and Lucinda Thompson on 15 Feb 1844. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1844/FCVA1844_49.jpg : accessed 31 October 2022). 
  9. Handwritten biographical sketch of Elder Jesse Sumner by J. C. Hall, page 393 (stamped). Source unknown. 
  10. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” FCVA1845/MR2: Owen Sumner’s minister return including the marriage of Jesse Sumner and Timandra Sumpter on 9 Dec 1845. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1845/MR2.jpg : accessed 1 November 2022). 
  11. “Virginia, U.S., Death Registers, 1853-1911,” index and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/250856:62152), citing original data: Virginia, Death Registers, 1853–1911 from the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Floyd County Register of Death 1861, page 21, 10th entry, Jesse Sumner, white, male, 10 Nov 1861, Floyd, consumption, age 33, farmer, father Owen Sumner informant. “.” (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/250891:62152 : accessed 30 October 2022). 
  12. Find A Grave, database and images, (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/136390629/susan-correll: accessed 01 November 2022), memorial page for Susan Sumner Correll (14 Mar 1828–20 Aug 1913), Find a Grave Memorial ID 136390629, citing Huffville Cemetery, Huffville, Floyd County, Virginia, USA; Maintained by John Tippet (contributor 47295921); photo of the marker by Tracy C. (contributor 48269220). Date of death on the marker conflicts with date on certificate of death. 
  13. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” FCVA1852_CorellSumnerMar: Owen Sumner’s minister’s return for the 11 Jan 1852 marriage of Jacob Correll and Susan A. Sumner dated 9 Feb 1852. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1852/FCVA1852_CorellSumnerMar.jpg : accessed 1 November 2022). 
  14. “Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014,” index and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/9278/), citing Virginia Department of Health, Richmond, Virginia,
    Certificate Number: 1913019456, Susan Correll, female, white, age 81, born abt 1832, died 19 Aug 1913 in Locust Grove, Floyd County, Virginia. (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9278/images/43004_162028006053_0025-00144?pId=219859 : accessed 1 November 2022). 
  15. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” FCVA1863_SumnerSowers: Marriage license, certificate, and minister’s return for the marriage of Jehu Sumner and Elizabeth Sowers on 20 Aug 1863. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1863/FCVA1863_SumnerSowers.jpg: accessed 1 November 2022). 
  16. “Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014,” index and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/9278/), citing Virginia Department of Health, Richmond, Virginia,
    Certificate Number: 1919026620, Joshua Sumner, male, white, age 86, born 19 Dec 1832, died 19 Nov 1919, Otter, Bedford, Virginia. (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9278/images/43004_162028006053_0093-00205 : accessed accessed 7 August 2018). 
  17. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” FCVA1854SumnerMiller_neeEarlyMar: Marriage license, certificate, and minister return for the marriage of Joshua Sumner and Mary G Miller née Early on 19 July 1854. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1854/FCVA1854SumnerMiller_neeEarlyMar.jpg : accessed 1 November 2022). 
  18. “Marriage registers, 1854-1909, 1976; general indexes to marriage registers, 1854-1976,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/785673), citing microfilm of original records at the Bedford County Courthouse in Bedford, Virginia, Film 30597, DGS 7578831, Marriage registers, v. 1-2 1854-1909, image 303 of 583, 1892 Register of Marriages, page 218 (double-spread), line 5252, 24 Aug, Joshua Sumner 58 widower and Joe E. Crenshaw 30 single. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99XF-2P6V?i=302 : accessed 1 November 2022). 
  19. See Note #16, supra 
  20. Find A Grave, database and images,  (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/42501258/joseph-lorenzo-sumner: accessed 01 November 2022), memorial page for Joseph Lorenzo Sumner (17 Jan 1835–30 Jan 1888), Find a Grave Memorial ID 42501258, citing Brookline Cemetery, Brookline, Greene County, Missouri, USA; Maintained by JD Day (contributor 46967895). Photo of marker by Gomer and Judy (contributor 47255402) confirms the dates listed. 
  21. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” FCVA1856/FCVA1856SumnerHarris: Marriage license, certificate, and minister return for the marriage of Joseph Sumner and Juliann Harris on 4 Sep 1856. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1856/FCVA1856SumnerHarris.jpg : accessed 1 November 2022). 
  22. See Note #20, supra 
  23. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” FCVA1855SumnerBoothMar%20Dark: Marriage license, certificate, and minister’s return for the marriage of Jathan Sumner and Sarah Booth dated 18 Sep 1855. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1855/FCVA1855SumnerBoothMar%20Dark.jpg : accessed 1 November 2022). 
  24. “Virginia, U.S., Death Registers, 1853-1911,” Floyd County Register of Death 18892, page 2, line 45, Daniel Sumner, male, white, age 50, born abt 1842, died 8 Nov 1892, Floyd. (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/253648:62152 : accessed 1 November 2022). 
  25. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” FCVA1867_WadeSumner_129: Marriage license, certificate, and minister’s report for the marriage of Jacob Wade and Jane Sumner on 5 Dec 1867. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1867/FCVA1867_WadeSumner_129.jpg : accessed 1 November 2022). 
  26. 1820 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i> (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7734/), citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll: M33_130, Virginia, Montgomery County, Blacksburg, sheet 183A, line 3, Owen Sumner (accessed 4 November 2014). 
  27. 1830 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i> (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8058/), citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, Nara Roll M19_198, FHL Film: 0029677, Virginia, Montgomery County, Christiansburg, page 91 (double-page spread), line 23, Owen Sumner (accessed 20 June 2013). 
  28. 1840 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8057/), citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, Roll: 704_555, FHL Film: 0029685, Virginia, Floyd County, page 186 (stamped, double-page spread), line 30, Owen Sumner (accessed 20 June 2013). 
  29. 1850 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8054/), citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll: M432_943, Virginia, Floyd County, District 15, sheet 431B (stamped), household 759-759, lines 8-17, Owen Sumner (accessed 22 October 2014). 
  30. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” FCVA1834_LesterSumnerBond: Jacob Lester and Owen Sumner went bond on the marriage of Jacob Lester and Sintha Sumner on 18 Aug 1834. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/1_Marriages%20of%20Floyd%20County.htm : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  31. Ibid., FCVA1834_zMR1: Owen Sumner’s minister return for the marriage of Jacob Lester and Syntha Sumner of 4 Sep 1834. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/1_Marriages%20of%20Floyd%20County.htm : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  32. Pittman, R. H. (Reden Herbert), 1870-1941, Biographical history of primitive or old school Baptist ministers of the United States; including a brief treatise on the subject of deacons, their duties, etc., with some personal mention of these offices,Anderson, Ind., Herald Printing Co (1909) , pp. 259-260, biographical sketch of Elder Owen Sumner
    (https://archive.org/details/biographicalhist01pitt/page/258/mode/2up?q=Sumner : accessed 1 November 2022). 
  33. 1840 U.S. Federal Census, Roll: 704_555, FHL Film: 0029685, Virginia, Floyd County, page 181 (stamped, double-page spread), line 15, Jacob Lester (accessed 29 October 2014). 
  34. Jacob was found on the PPT list up until 1842 when no tithe was listed suggesting he was deceased. An inventory and sale of his estate took place on 8 March 1844 and the current account was dated 22 October 1850. 
  35. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” FCVA1844_14: Michael Howry’s minister return for the marriage of John W. Cox and Cynthia Lester daughter of Owen Sumner on 1 Jun 1843. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1844/FCVA1844_14.jpg : accessed 2 November 2022). 
  36. 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Roll: M432_943, Virginia, Floyd County, District 15, Sheet 431B, household 758-758, lines 4-7, John W. Cox (accessed 20 June 2013). 
  37. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),”  1855 George W. Lester and Amanda Roop marriage. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1855/FCVA1855LesterRoopMar%20Light.jpg : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  38. Ibid., Marriage license, certificate, and minister’s return for the marriage of Gordon Roop age 18 and Emeline Lester age 20 on 10 Mar 1856. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1856/FCVA1856RoopLester.jpg : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  39. 1860 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7667/), citing Eighth Census of the United States, 1860 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls, Roll: M653_1345, FHL Film: 805345, Virginia, Floyd County, page 48, sheet 482, household 345-324, lines 16-17, Cyntha Cox (accessed 4 November 2014). 
  40. “Virginia, U.S., Death Registers, 1853-1911,” Floyd County Register of Death 1860, page 18, line 12, w, f, 22 Sep 1860, Floyd County, fever, age 60, parent Pasta Nuton, born Patrick County, farmer, married, Owen Sumner husband and informant . (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/250796:62152 : accessed 30 October 2022). 
  41. “Virginia, U.S., Marriage Registers, 1853-1935,” (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/62154/), citing Virginia, Marriage Registers, 1853–1935 at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Floyd County Register of Marriages 1861, page 49, line 1, Marshal E F Moore and Susan L Cox (accessed 6 June 2022). 
  42. “Marriage registers, 1843-1925,” browse-only images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/363663), citing microfilm of original records at the Floyd County Courthouse in Floyd, Virginia, Film 31345 Item 2, DGS 7578964, image 145 of 606, Register of Marriages, page 14, entry 11, 11 Mar 1861, Owen Sumner 64 widowed and L. Sowers 26 single both of Floyd. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99XF-K9MX-Q?i=144 : accessed 2 November 2022). 
  43. “Virginia, U.S., Birth Registers, 1853-1911,” index and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/418338:62153), citing Virginia, Birth Registers, 1853–1911at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Floyd County Register of Births 1861, page 61, line 5, 7 November 1861, Cintha Moore, white, female, alive, father E F Moore, farmer, mother Susan Moran (sic), informant father (accessed 6 June 2022). 
  44. “Virginia, U.S., Death Registers, 1853-1911,” Floyd County Register of Death 1861, page 20, line 25, Cinthia Moore, white, female, age 21 days (sic, 17), died 24 Nov 1861 in Floyd County, Virginia, of diphtheria, parents: E & Susan Moore (accessed 6 June 2022). 
  45. Ibid., Floyd County Register of Death 1861, page 20, line 24, Susan Moore, female, white, age 16, died 25 November 1861 Floyd County, Virginia, of diphtheria, consort of Elijah Moore, informant E. Moore, husband (accessed 6 June 2022). 
  46. Find A Grave, database and images. (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/209078601/gordon-w-roop: accessed 28 February 2022), memorial page for Gordon W. Roop (6 May 1862–31 Jan 1931), Find a Grave Memorial ID 209078601, citing Rich Creek Cemetery, Jodie, Fayette County, West Virginia, USA; Maintained by Jennifer Nottingham (contributor 49369720). 
  47. “Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Virginia,” database with images, Fold3 (https://www.fold3.com/publication/42/civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia), citing The National Archives, NARA microfilm publication M324, Fifty-fourth Regiment Virginia Infantry, Gordon Roop, 1 Nov 1863 in Flewellen Hospital, Cassville, Georgia. (https://www.fold3.com/document/12913782/roop-gorden-page-4-civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia: accessed February 2014). Note: His name appears on a Register of Officers and Soldiers of the Army of the Confederate States who were killed in battle, or who died of wounds or disease. 
  48. “Virginia, U.S., Marriage Registers, 1853-1935,” Floyd County Marriage Register 1869, page 88, line 12, 8 February 1869, P. D. Epperly and Emaline Roop (accessed 5 June 2022). 
  49. 1870 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7163/), citing Ninth Census of the United States, 1870 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T132, 13 rolls, Roll: M593_1646, Virginia, Floyd County, Alum Ridge, page 8, sheet 4B, household 55-53, lines 16-19, Cynthia Cox (accessed 18 October 2014). 
  50. “Marriage registers, 1843-1925,” browse-only images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/363663), citing microfilm of original records at the Floyd County Courthouse in Floyd, Virginia, Film 31345 Item 2, DGS 7578964, page 43, entry 86, 7 Nov 1873 Giles Sumner 20 Floyd son of John and Mahala and Dolly E. Roop 21 Floyd daughter of Gordon and Emeline. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-KB5Y?i=173&cat=363663 : accessed 2 November 2022). 
  51. “Virginia, U.S., Death Registers, 1853-1911,” Floyd County Register of Death 1874, no page number, line 4, Owen Sumner, male, white, age 78y4m7d, died 20 Nov 1874, Alum Ridge, farmer, parents Hezekiah and Isabelle, Wm T Lester informant. (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/251782:62152 : accessed 1 November 2022). 
  52. “Virginia, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Death Records, 1853-1912” database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of the original records at the Virginia State Library at Richmond, Virginia, Death registers, 1853-1906 (Virginia), Film 2056980, DGS 4225427 > Floyd County, 1853-1896> image 153 of 673 > Register of Deaths 1877, line 7. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DRMQ-65R?cc=3940896 : accessed 14 March 2022). 
  53. 1880 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/6742/), citing Tenth Census of the United States, 1880 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls, Roll:T9_1365; Virginia, Floyd County, Alum Ridge, Enumeration District: 25, page 31, sheet 276B, lines 38-39, household 278-278, Cynthia Cox (accessed 4 November 2014). 

52 Ancestors: #44 Jacob LESTER 1812-1842

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

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

#44 Jacob LESTER 1812-1842

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

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

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

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

Door16Jacob’s Parents and Siblings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Courtship and Marriage

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Short Life Ends

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Was Noah a son of Jacob?

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

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

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

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

Jacob’s Name

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  1. “Virginia, Marriages 1740-1850,” (index-only), Ancestry, citing Dodd, Jordan R., et al., Early American Marriages: Virginia to 1850, Precision Indexing Publishers, Bountiful, Utah. James Rupe, male, spouse Elizabeth Earl (sic), female, marriage date 23 Jul 1830 in Montgomery County, Virginia. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 6 April 2016). This is indexed information. The actual record was found on 23 December 2021. The date of marriage was Wednesday, 8 June 1830. The marriage was published on Saturday, 23 July 1830 by Richd Buckingham. The bride’s maiden name was Carrol and not Earl as indexed. See Footnote 2. 
  2. “Marriage records, 1785-1861,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/1135002), citing microfilm of original records at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Christiansburg, Virginia, Film 2047122 (item 3), DGS 7740792, Marriage record, 1812-1841, image 101 of 854, right page, 7th entry, 8 Jun 1830, James Roop and Elizabeth Carrol. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C91C-TPS4?cc=2134304 : accessed 23 December 2021). Marriage record, 1812-1841, were copied from the ministers’ returns. 
  3. Ibid., Film 2047122 (item 3), DGS 7740792, Marriage record, 1812-1841, image 111 of 854, left page, 2nd entry, Joseph Roop and Mary Carl married 13 Sep 1831 by Richd Buckingham who published it 26 Jun 1832. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C91C-TPSM?cc=2134304 : accessed 25 December 2021). 
  4. “Marriage bonds, 1773-1857,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Christiansburg, Virginia, Film 2047132, DGS 7740802, Marriage bonds, 1844-1848, images 405+406 of 699, William Rupe and Robert Carrell went bond on 4 Nov 1846 for the marriage of William Rupe and Catharine Carrell. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C91C-53V2-M?cc=2134304 : accessed 25 December 2021). 
  5. 1850 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8054/), citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll: M432_962, Virginia, Montgomery County, sheet 52B, household 708-708, lines 23-27, William Roop (accessed 22 October 2014). 
  6. “Death registers, 1853-1906 (Virginia)” browse-only images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/780106), Virginia Bureau of Vital Statistics, citing microfilm of the original records at the Virginia State Library at Richmond, Virginia., Film 2056980, DGS 4225427, Death registers Floyd County, 1853-1896, image 165 of 673, 1881 Register, entry 17, John Carrel, m w, 1 Oct, farmer, 75 yrs, Robert + Anne Carrel (parents), b. Montgomery, consort of Dosha Carrel, informant: Jacob Carrel, son. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DRMQ-DYQ?i=164&cc=3940896 : accessed 14 October 2022). 
  7. Ages estimated from census: 1850 age 42, 1860 age 50, 1870 age 62, 1880 age 71. 
  8. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, The Library of Congress, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/, The Times Dispatch  (Richmond, Virginia), 13 January 1907, page 4, column 1, “Christiansburg,” 2nd and 3rd paragraph  (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85038615/1907-01-13/ed-1/seq-18/ : accessed 4 April 2016). 
  9. Ibid., The Times Dispatch (Richmond, Va.) 1903-1914, 09 January 1909, page 2, column 7, “Mrs. Mary Roop”  (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85038615/1909-01-09/ed-1/seq-2/ : accessed 4 April 2016). 
  10. “Virginia, U.S., Marriage Registers, 1853-1935,” (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/62154/), citing Virginia, Marriage Registers, 1853–1935 at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Carroll County Marriage Register 1890, page 78 (stamped), line 97, 12 Nov 1890 Geo. W. Lester 53 widowed and Lucy D. Dillon 22 single by Isaac Webb. (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/121504:62154 : accessed 29 May 2022). 
  11. West Virginia Vital Research Records Project (database and images), West Virginia Division of Culture and History citing county records in county courthouses, West Virginia (A collaborative venture between the West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah to place vital records online via the West Virginia Archives and History Web site accessible at https://archive.wvculture.org/vrr), West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 598425, image 277, Raleigh County Register of Deaths, page 61, line 48, Manda Lester, w, f, 10 Feb 1894, dropsy, age 64, parents James & Eliza Roop, born Montgomery VA, Barbie Thompson sister informant. (http://images.wvculture.org/598425/00277.jpg : accessed 12 October 2022). 
  12. “Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014,” index and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/9278/), citing Virginia Department of Health, Richmond, Virginia, Certificate of Death No. 4986, Registration Area No. 601A. Floyd Roop, male, white, age 89, born 14 May 1833, died 4 Feb 1923 in Montgomery, Virginia, registration date 8 Feb 1923, father James Roop, mother Betsy, spouse Mary. (accessed 28 December 2015). 
  13. “Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983,” (index and images), Ancestry, citing original data of Virginia County, District, and Probate Courts, Floyd County, Virginia, Will Book F, page 486, Last Will and Testament of James Roop dated 31 January 1890.(https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9085/images/007645227_00302 : accessed 14 March 2022). 
  14. Find A Grave, database and images. (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/116584501/peradine-mills: accessed 12 October 2022), memorial page for Peradine Roop Mills (15 May 1836–30 Mar 1909), Find a Grave Memorial ID 116584501, citing Simmons Cemetery, Mountview, Raleigh County, West Virginia, USA; Maintained by Walter Pack Family (contributor 47557175); photos of marker by D. Mack (contributor 46909657) confirm the dates of birth and death. 
  15. “Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Virginia,” database with images, Fold3 (https://www.fold3.com/publication/42/civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia), citing The National Archives, NARA microfilm publication M324, Fifty-fourth Regiment Virginia Infantry, Gordon Roop, 1 Nov 1863 in Flewellen Hospital, Cassville, Georgia. (https://www.fold3.com/document/12913782/roop-gorden-page-4-civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia: accessed February 2014). Note: His name appears on a Register of Officers and Soldiers of the Army of the Confederate States who were killed in battle, or who died of wounds or disease. 
  16. “Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Virginia,” database with images, Fold3 (https://www.fold3.com/publication/42/civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia), citing The National Archives, NARA microfilm publication M324, Giles H Roop, 6 pages (accessed 12 February 2014). Cards 5 and 6 note the 19 September 1863 death (killed in action). 
  17. “Virginia, U.S., Death Registers, 1853-1911, ” index and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/250856:62152), citing original data: Virginia, Death Registers, 1853–1911 from the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Floyd County Register of Deaths for 1862, page 27, line 30, William T Roop, male, age 19, died May 1862, parents James & Elizabeth Roop, informant father. (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/251118:62152?ssrc=pt&tid=164805854&pid=102139722136 : accessed 16 May 2022). 
  18. “U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865,” (no images), Ancestry, data compiled by Historical Data Systems of Kingston, MA, The Virginia Regimental Histories Series. Name: William H.T. Roop, Enlistment Age: 17, Birth Date: abt 1844, Enlistment Date: 10 Sep 1861, Enlistment Place: Jacksonville, Virginia, Enlistment Rank: Private, Muster Date: 10 Sep 1861, Muster Place: Virginia, Muster Company: A, Muster Regiment: 54th Infantry, Muster Regiment Type: Infantry, Muster Information: Enlisted, Muster Out Date: 20 Sep 1863. Muster Out Place: Chickamauga, Georgia, Muster Out Information: Killed, Side of War: Confederacy, Survived War?: No, Occupation:Farm Laborer.
    This is conflicting information to a death record found in Floyd County, Virginia, for William T. Roop, son of James and Elizabeth who died in May 1862. 
  19. Find A Grave, database and images, (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/142274044/rachel-manacha-simmons: accessed 17 October 2022), memorial page for Rachel Manacha Roop Simmons (28 Jun 1845–16 Dec 1901), Find a Grave Memorial ID 142274044, citing Simmons Cemetery, Mountview, Raleigh County, West Virginia, USA; maintained by James E. Snyder (contributor 47214013); photo of the marker by D. Mack (contributor 46909657) confirms the dates of birth and death. 
  20. WVCulture.org, West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 494264, image 230, Register of Marriages, entry 17, 5 Jul 1919, J.A. Roop and Alemta J Hollandsworth. (http://images.wvculture.org/494264/00230.jpg : accessed 12 October 2022). 
  21. “Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014,” State file no. 10617, Registration Area no. 152A, Registered no. 14, 17 May 1928. James A Roop, male, white, age 78, born 16 Sep 1849, died 16 May 1928 in Altavista, Campbell, Virginia, registration date 17 May 1928, father James A Roop, mother Betty Conal, spouse Almeda J Hollandsworth. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 January 2016). 
  22. Ibid., Certificate of Death No. 40835, Registration District No. 601B. Ham N. Roop, male, white, age 63, born 10 Aug 1855, died 8 Dec 1918 in Montgomery, Virginia, registration date 9 Dec 1918, father James Roop, mother Mary Carl. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 December 2015). 
  23. Ibid., Certificate of Death No. 29331, Registration District No. 802. Charles Monroe Roop, male, white, age 73, born Aug 1855, died 22 Dec 1928 in Roanoke, Virginia, registration date 31 Dec 1928, father James Roop, mother Rachael Carroll, spouse Martha Roop. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 December 2015). 
  24. This declaration has to be retracted as William, the son of James Roop and Elizabeth Carroll, died in Floyd County in May 1862. More research needs to be done to determine who William Roop died at Chickamauga was. 
  25. Find A Grave, database and images,  (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/209078601/gordon-w-roop : accessed 28 February 2022), memorial page for Gordon W. Roop (6 May 1862–31 Jan 1931), Find a Grave Memorial ID 209078601, citing Rich Creek Cemetery, Jodie, Fayette County, West Virginia, USA; Maintained by Jennifer Nottingham (contributor 49369720). 
  26. The date of death of James ROOP needs to be proven. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◉ Elizabeth ROOP married James COMPTON about 1811.11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  1. 1810 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7613/), citing Third Census of the United States, 1810 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M252, 71 rolls, NARA Roll M252_70, Vam252_70-0085; FHL Roll: 0181430, Virginia, Montgomery County, Christiansburg, page 641, line 10, Henry Rupe (accessed 17 October 2014). 
  2. 1880 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/6742/), citing Tenth Census of the United States, 1880 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls, Roll: T9_433; Kentucky, Menifee County, Ridge, Enumeration District: 74, page 39-40, sheet 668C lines 47-50 and sheet 668D lines 1-2, household 327-344, Smith Roop with father William in the household (accessed 7 March 2011). 
  3. Ibid., Roll: T9_1378; Virginia, Montgomery, Auburn, Enumeration District: 56, page 22, sheet 485B, lines 41-45, household 183-191, James R. Pharris (accessed 9 Jan 2005). 
  4. Ibid., Roll:T9_1375; Virginia, Lee County, Jonesville, Enumeration District: 41, page 26, sheet 202B, lines 32-41, household 217-218, Asa Roop (accessed 19 December 2010). 
  5. Ibid.,  Roll: T9_1378; Virginia, Montgomery County, Christiansburg, Enumeration District: 50, page 18, sheet 356B, lines 45-46, James Roop Sr. (accessed 18 October 2014). 
  6. C. T. Zahn and Frederick S. Weiser, translators and editors, Maryland German Church Records Volume 10, Zion Church “The German Church”, Manchester, Carroll County — today Trinity United Church of Christ Records, 1760-1836 and Immanuel Lutheran Church Records, 1760-1853  (published by the Historical Society of Carroll County, Westminster, Maryland). 
  7. Ibid. 
  8. Where I Found the Land Records of my RUPE Ancestors in Maryland 
  9. Redmond Ira ROOP (1869-1947), a report given at the 1927 family reunion in Carroll County, Maryland, by Henry’s great-grandson Redmond as noted in the research of Linda P. (Dickey) Roop (1943-1994). Linda’s source is unknown. 
  10. Update as of 10 Oct 2022: Personal Property Tax lists of Rockbridge, Botetourt, and Montgomery counties were consulted. Henry was found in Rockbridge from 1794 to 1800 with a possible entry for 1793 (surname spelled Rupert). Henry was in Montgomery as of 1804. The gap between 1800 and 1804 indicates a possible stopover. The only county between Rockbridge and Montgomery County was Botetourt where no listing for Henry was found. The Lunenburg PPT lists are not listed in the FamilySearch catalog. The information that Mary ROOP was born in Lunenburg was given by her oldest son Crocket ROOP in 1868 when he reported her death. This record has not been found. I find it hard to believe the family traveled to Lunenburg and then back west to Montgomery. All counties contained in the triangle formed by Rockbridge, Lunenburg, and Montgomery need to be checked to confirm the tale. 
  11. No record of the marriage has been found. James Compton was first seen on the 1810 Montgomery County PPT indicating he had just turned 21 years of age. Henry Compton, the first known child of Elizabeth and James was born about 1812. As Elizabeth appears to have been living at home in 1810, I’ve estimated the marriage at about 1811. 
  12. “Register of marriages, Montgomery County, Virginia, 1777-1853,” (browse-only images), FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, Film 32633, DGS 7579015, Index of marriage register, 1777-1853 — Register of marriages, 1777-1853, image 603 of 673, page 361, John Roup and Betsy Thompson married by Jonathan Hall on 14 Jan 1813. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-FXT7?i=602&cc=4149585&cat=361831 : accessed 11 October 2022). 
  13. Ibid., Film 32633, DGS 7579015, Index of marriage register, 1777-1853 — Register of marriages, 1777-1853, image 604 of 673, page 362, 20 April 1815 Jacob Rupe and Susannah Alley married by Jonathan Hall. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-FXQT?i=603&cc=4149585&cat=361831 : accessed 12 October 2022). 
  14. Ibid., Film 32633, DGS 7579015, Index of marriage register, 1777-1853 — Register of marriages, 1777-1853, image 384 of 673, page 146, 27 Jun 1815 Jacob Acres and Caty Rupe, witness/security Henry Rupe. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-FFNX?i=383&cc=4149585&cat=361831 ; accessed 12 October 2022). 
  15. “Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002,” index and images, Ancestry, citing “Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002,” (microfilm) Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville, Tennessee. George Roupe, male, married 5 Dec 1818 in Jefferson County, Tennessee, spouse Margaret Baldwin. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 March 2016). 
  16. “Register of marriages, Montgomery County, Virginia, 1777-1853,” Film 32633, DGS 7579015, Index of marriage register, 1777-1853 — Register of marriages, 1777-1853, image 408 of 673, page 170, 7 Jun 1820 William Rupe married Ester Akers, father of groom Henry Rupe, father of bride Blagburn Akers, 5 securities/witnesses. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99XF-F6Q8?i=407&cc=4149585&cat=361831 : accessed 12 October 2022). 
  17. Louise Roop Anderson Akers, comp., The Family Rub, Rup, Rupe, Roop, Roope (2001 Printed by Jamont Communications, 339 Luck Ave., Roanoke, VA 24016). Photocopy of a document dated 25 July 1816 concerning the examination of Barbary Roop by E. Howard concerning the bastard child she delivered on 20 November 1815 and naming George Peterman as the father. 
  18. “Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XRS5-Z9D : accessed 6 April 2016), Wm. Lane and Barbara Roop, 02 Jul 1856, bride’s father’s name reputedly L. Dobbins; citing Montgomery, Virginia, reference n 44; FHL microfilm 2,048,462. Images not available online 12 October 2022. 
  19. 1820 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7734/), citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll M33_130, image 349, Virginia, Montgomery, Newburn, sheet 181A, line 16, Henry Roop Sr. (accessed 16 December 2004). 
  20. “Register of marriages, Montgomery County, Virginia, 1777-1853,” Film 32633, DGS 7579015, Index of marriage register, 1777-1853 — Register of marriages, 1777-1853, image 423 of 673, page 185, 7 Jun 1823 Henry Rupe married Polly Thompson, Elswick Thompson father of bride was security/witness. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99XF-F6Q6?i=422&cc=4149585&cat=361831 : accessed 12 October 2022). 
  21. Ibid., Film 32633, DGS 7579015, Index of marriage register, 1777-1853 — Register of marriages, 1777-1853, image 426 of 673, page 188, 20 Oct 1823 John B. Pharis and Rachel Rupe, Henry Rupe security/witness. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-FXVN?i=425&cc=4149585&cat=361831 : accessed 12 October 2022). 
  22. 1830 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8058/), citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, Roll M19_198, Family History Library Film: 0029677, Virginia, Montgomery County, Blacksburg, page 89, line 14, Henry Roope Sr. (accessed 17 October 2014). 
  23. “Virginia, County Marriage Records, 1771-1989,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing Marriage, Virginia, United States, Circuit court clerk offices, Virginia, Marriage records, 1785-1861, DGS 7740792, Film 2047122 (item 3), Marriage record 1812-1841, image 101 of 854, right page, 7th entry, 8 Jun 1830, James Roop and Elizabeth Carrol, citing Montgomery County, Virginia. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C91C-TPS4?cc=2134304 : accessed 23 December 2021). 
  24. Ibid., Marriage records, 1785-1861, DGS 7740792, Film 2047122 (item 3), Marriage record 1812-1841, image 111 of 854, left page, 2nd entry, Joseph Roop and Mary Carl married 13 Sep 1831 by Richd Buckingham who published it 26 Jun 1832. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C91C-TPSM?cc=2134304 : accessed 25 December 2021). 
  25. Ibid., Marriage records, 1785-1861, DGS 7740792, Film 2047122 (item 3), Marriage record 1812-1841, image 113 of 854, left page, last entry, 7 Jan 1834 Saml Roop and Patsy Townsley married by Richd Buckingham and published 14 Jan 1834. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C91C-TPQW?i=112&cc=2134304&cat=1135002 : accessed 23 December 2021). 
  26. Marguerite Tise, comp., The Lester Family of Floyd and Montgomery County Virginia (copyright 1996 Marguerite Tise, P.O. Box 343, Floyd, VA 24091-0343), pg. 20. 
  27. “Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014,” index and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/9278/), citing Virginia Department of Health, Richmond, Virginia, Certificate of Death No. 4986, Registration Area No. 601A. Floyd Roop, male, white, age 89, born 14 May 1833, died 4 Feb 1923 in Montgomery, Virginia, registration date 8 Feb 1923, father James Roop, mother Betsy, spouse Mary. (accessed 28 December 2015). 
  28. Find A Grave, database and images. (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/39327168/eveline-ratliff: accessed 12 October 2022), memorial page for Eveline Roop Ratliff (3 Mar 1835–1 Mar 1900), Find a Grave Memorial ID 39327168, citing Edgemont Church Cemetery, Montgomery County, Virginia, USA; Maintained by Cardsfan23 (contributor 49145760). Photos by Gayle Fisher (contributor 47054020) confirm the dates of birth and death. 
  29. Ibid., (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/116584501/peradine-mills: accessed 12 October 2022), memorial page for Peradine Roop Mills (15 May 1836–30 Mar 1909), Find a Grave Memorial ID 116584501, citing Simmons Cemetery, Mountview, Raleigh County, West Virginia, USA; Maintained by Walter Pack Family (contributor 47557175); photos of marker by D. Mack (contributor 46909657) confirm the dates of birth and death. 
  30. Rena Worthen & Barbara Reininger (co-project), “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” index and images, part of the Floyd County, Virginia, The USGenWeb Project online https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/floyd.htm, citing the images of Floyd Co., VA marriages downloaded by Rena Worthen from the Library of Virginia Microform indexed by Barbara Reininger, Marriage License of Gordon Roop age 18 and Emeline Lester age 20 married 10 Mar 1856. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1856/FCVA1856RoopLester.jpg : accessed 2 March 2020). The groom’s birth is estimated at about 1838: 1850 age 12 (census), 1856 age 18 (marriage), and 1860 age 22 (census). 
  31. The source for the date of birth of Barbary Ellen is at this time unknown. It may have come from one of the two books on the Roop families. Both need to be checked for confirmation. 
  32. 1840 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8057/), citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, Roll: 704_567; FHL Film: 0029689, Virginia, Montgomery County, page 26, line 22, James Roop (accessed 16 December 2004). 
  33. The source for the date of birth of Barbary Ellen is at this time unknown. It may have come from one of the two books on the Roop families. Both need to be checked for confirmation. 
  34. Ibid. 
  35. Estimated from age at the time of the census and other documents. 
  36. “Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983,” (index and images), Ancestry, citing original data of Virginia County, District, and Probate Courts, Montgomery County > Mixed Records, Vol 7-8, 1842-1856 > Will Book 7, page 285-286, 1845 Will of Henry Roupe (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9085/images/007645480_00161 : accessed 11 October 2022). 
  37. “Virginia, County Marriage Records, 1771-1989,” Marriage bonds, 1844-1848, Film # 007740802, images 405+406 of 699, William Rupe and Robert Carrell went bond on 4 Nov 1846 for the marriage of William Rupe and Catharine Carrell. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C91C-53V2-M?cc=2134304 : accessed 25 December 2021). 
  38. Everette L. McGrew, My Mother Was A Rupe (revised August 2000). 
  39. “Deed books, 1831-1900; general indexes, 1831-1980,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/399119?availability=Family%20History%20Library), citing microfilm of original records at the Floyd County Courthouse in Floyd, Virginia, Film 31339, DGS 8572238, Deed books, v. D-F 1844-1853, image 485 of 790, Deed Book E, page 377, Roop from Graham deed for 600 acres in Floyd County. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C373-GH5Q?i=484&cat=399119 : accessed 13 October 2022). 
  40. “Virginia Historical Inventory,” Library of Virginia (https://lva-virginia.libguides.com/historical-inventory), Peters, Genevieve H. et al.,
    Jimmie Roop homeplace : survey report, 1938 Jan. 12, call number VHIR/10/0586, 4 image files (Library of Virginia, 1999). This write-up is a part of the Virginia W.P.A. Historical Inventory Project sponsored by the Virginia Conservation Commission under the direction of its Division of History. (https://lva.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/01LVA_INST/altrmk/alma990006904200205756 : accessed 11 September 2007). 
  41. 1850 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8054/), citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll: M432_943, Virginia, Floyd County, sheet 445A, household 938-938, lines 5-16, James Roop (accessed 17 October 2014). 
  42. On the 1900 census his month and year of birth were noted as December 1854. He was seen in 1860 as age 7 and in 1870 as age 17 and later became younger. As the early census could be more reliable than the later, I estimate his birth at about December 1853. The date of birth on the death certificate, 10 August 1855, was written in two different hands. See footnote 43. 
  43. “Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014,” Certificate of Death No. 40835, Registration District No. 601B. Ham N. Roop, male, white, age 63, born 10 Aug 1855, died 8 Dec 1918 in Montgomery, Virginia, registration date 9 Dec 1918, father James Roop, mother Mary Carl. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 December 2015). The informant may have confused his date of birth with that of his brother Charles who was born on 10 August 1854. 
  44. “Virginia, U.S., Birth Registers, 1853-1911,” (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/418338:62153), citing Virginia, Birth Registers, 1853–1911at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Floyd County Register of Births 1854, page 27 (stamped), line 19, 10 August 1854, Charles M Roop, male, white, 10 Aug 1854, James Roop and Elizabeth Roop (accessed 13 October 2022). 
  45. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” 1855 George W. Lester and Amanda Roop marriage. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1855/FCVA1855LesterRoopMar%20Light.jpg : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  46. Ibid., 1855 Floyd Roop and Mary Blackwell marriage. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/1_Marriages%20of%20Floyd%20County.htm : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  47. Floyd County (Virginia) County Clerk, “Marriage registers, 1843-1925” (browse-only images), FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Floyd County Courthouse in Floyd, Virginia., Film 31345 (Items 3), DGS 7578964, image 138 of 606, Floyd County Register of Marriages 1855, line 16, 30 Aug 1855, Sylvester Mills and Peradine Rupe. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-K9SM-B?i=137&cat=363663 : accessed 13 October 2022). 
  48. “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” Marriage License of Gordon Roop age 18 and Emeline Lester age 20 married 10 Mar 1856. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1856/FCVA1856RoopLester.jpg : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  49. 1860 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7667/), citing Eighth Census of the United States, 1860 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls, Roll: M653_1345, Family History Library Film 805345, Virginia, Floyd County, sheet 533-534, page 99+100, lines 30-40 and line 1, household 712-669, James Roop (accessed 8 January 2016). 
  50. “Marriage registers, 1843-1925,” Film 31345 (Items 3), DGS 7578964, image 152 of 606, Floyd County Register of Marriages 1855, line 33, 8 Mar 1866, Wm L Simmons and Rachel M Roop. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-K9SM-4?i=151&cat=363663 : accessed 13 October 2022). 
  51. “Virginia, U.S., Marriage Registers, 1853-1935,” (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/62154/), citing Virginia, Marriage Registers, 1853–1935 at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Montgomery County Marriage Register 1868, page 202, line 107, 26 Nov 1868 James Roop 20 and Elizabeth J Roop 25 married by Amos Dickerson. (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/286910:62154 : accessed 13 October 2022). 
  52. 1870 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7163/), citing Ninth Census of the United States, 1870 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T132, 13 rolls, M593_1646; Virginia, Floyd, Alum Ridge, page 9+10, sheet 5A+5B, line 39+40 and lines 1-3, household 68-66, James Roop (accessed 8 January 2016). 
  53. “Marriage registers, 1843-1925,” Film 31345 (Items 3), DGS 7578964, image 171 of 606, Floyd County Register of Marriages 1872, line 55, 15 Aug 1872 Hamilton N Roop and Mary E Epperley married by Owen Sumner. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-KBT7?i=170&cat=363663 : accessed 13 October 2022). 
  54. Ibid., Film 31345 (Items 3), DGS 7578964, image 173 of 606, Floyd County Register of Marriages 1873, line 33, 17 Mar 1873 Chas M Roop and Martha Epperley married by Owen Sumner. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-K99Y-G?i=172&cat=363663 : accessed 13 October 2022). 
  55. 1880 U.S. Federal Census, Roll: T9_1378; Virginia, Montgomery County, Christiansburg, Enumeration District: 50, page 18, sheet 356B, lines 45-46, James Roop Sr. (accessed 18 October 2014). 
  56. “West Virginia, U.S., Compiled Marriage Records, 1863-1900,” index-only, Ancestry https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/4484/), original data: Dodd, Jordan, comp. West Virginia Marriage Records, 1863-1900, Nathaniel Thompson, male, married Barbara E. Roop, female, 12 Sep 1888 in Raleigh County, West Virginia, citing Raleigh County, West Virginia Marriages, 1865-1900. County court records located in Beckley, West Virginia, or Family History Library microfilm #0598403 (unavailable online at FamilySearch). Not available on WVCulture.org
  57. West Virginia Vital Research Records Project (database and images), West Virginia Division of Culture and History citing county records in county courthouses, West Virginia (A collaborative venture between the West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah to place vital records online via the West Virginia Archives and History Web site accessible at https://archive.wvculture.org/vrr), West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 598432, image 268, Marriage License of Henderson Beckelheimer and Barbara Ellen Thompson. (http://images.wvculture.org/598432/00268.jpg : accessed 11 October 2022). 
  58. Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 589347, image 37, Marriage Register, line 6, 21 Aug 1906 Charles Cochran and Barbary E. Beckenhamer [Beckelheimer]. (http://images.wvculture.org/589347/00037.jpg : accessed 11 October 2022). 
  59. Barb Reininger (transcribed & annotated by), 1890 Floyd County, Virginia Census, RootsWeb (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/BarbR_FCVAResearch/zz_census_1890_fcva_main1.htm). “Floyd County, Virginia, is nearly unique in that the 1890 Census record for the county is one of the very few surviving census records for that year for the entire country.” 
  60. “Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983,” index and images, Ancestry, citing original data of Virginia County, District, and Probate Courts, Floyd County, Virginia, Will Book F, page 486, Last Will and Testament of James Roop dated 31 January 1890.(https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9085/images/007645227_00302 : accessed 14 March 2022). 

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

“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.

#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.1,2 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 1762 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 on Valentines Creek of Staunton River and shared a line with land James DOSS already owned.3 The land granted to James DOSS was surveyed for him in 1755.4

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 1812.5

1820censusdoss
1820 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Pittsylvania

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

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) was 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.6 He married(2) Martha Forbes GORDON (1824-1881) on 28 April 1867 in Chariton County, Missouri.7 Thomas died on 1 April 1881 in Chariton County and was buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in the same county.8
• Sib. 2: _____ (female) DOSS born bet. 1795-18049
• Sib. 3: _____ (male) DOSS born bet. 1804-181010
• Sib. 4: William DOSS (abt.1811-1888) was born about 1811 in Pittsylvania County. He married(1) Elizabeth BARBER (abt.1814-1898) on 12 May 1828 in Pittsylvania County.11 He married(2) Elizabeth HENRY on 28 December 1837 in Mason County.12 William died on 22 November 1888 in Mason County, West Virginia.13
• Sib 5: Phillip Valorius “Phil” DOSS (abt.1814-aft.1880) was born about 1814 in Pittsylvania County. He married Elizabeth BAILESS (abt.1815-aft.1880) on 25 December 1835 in Campbell County, Virginia.14 Phillip died after 1880.
Subject of this post: 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.15 She married(2) John William STEED (abt.1806-aft.1880) on 26 October 1848 in Gallia County, Ohio.16 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.17 In William DOSS’s household was a young lady who fits the age group of their sister Elizabeth. None of the households had an older woman, and neither did their brother Phillip, who remained in Pittsylvania.18 It is believed that Levina DOSS died between 1830-1840.

1840censusdossclaunch
1840 U.S. Federal Census > (W)VA > Mason > page 214

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 enumerated with the DOSS surname.19 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

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.20

1860censusclonch
1860 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Mason > District 2 > Page 46 > HH#345-316

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) was born in December 1840.21
•  Alexander CLONCH (1842-1910), husband of Tabitha Ann “Tobitha” COOLEY, was born on 2 March 1842.22
• Lavina Ann DOSS (1846-1945) was born about 18 March 1846.23,24,25 Note: Inconsistency concerning the date of birth is discussed in footnotes.
• Jeremiah DOSS (1847-1850) was born abt. 1847 and died bet. 1850-1860.26
• Elizabeth Jane “Betsy” CLONCH (1851-1899) born abt. 1851.27
• Joel CLONCH (1852-1910) was born abt. January 1854. 28
• Thomas Eli CLONCH (1852-1913) was born in November 1852.29
• Charles Henry CLONCH (1855-1925) was born in November 1855 (on 10 November 1855 per death record).30,31

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.32

Less than a year later the father of her children, William CLONCH, died on 20 January 1863.33 William had the foresight [or maybe Mary influenced him] to write a will leaving his land to Mary and her children.34

will
1863 Last Will and Testament of William Clonch

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 and her husband contested the last will and testament. The will was admitted to probate and John and Mariah Jane PATTERSON were ordered to pay the expenses of Mary DOSS and the other legatees. 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.35,36 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].37 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

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 1870.38 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 Three Marriages

The 1880s began with a divorce and three marriages.

Alexander CLONCH finally divorced Mary Ellen LEMASTER in March 1880 in Mason County, West Virginia.39 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.40,41

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).42 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.43

1880censusclonch2
1880 U.S. Federal Census > WV > Mason > Clendennin > ED 93 Sheet 245B HH#202-207

Mary’s son Alexander married Tabitha Ann “Tobitha” COOLEY (1861-1913) on 19 August 1880 in Gallipolis, Gallia County, Ohio.44 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.45 All of Mary’s children, except for young Jeremiah, survived her.

Joel who had remained single finally married in 1893 at the age of 41.46 John W. at long last married his Mary Ellen in 1895.47 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].48

Mary E. DOSS’s children continued “to be fruitful and multiplied” bringing the total grandchildren to 60. The youngest and last surviving died in 1994.49

This Post Was Updated on 3 July 2022Missing source citations were added, images were scaled, and some corrections were made to the text and format.

Genealogy Sketch

Name:  Mary E. “Polly” DOSS
Parents: Levina DOSS and unknown father
Spouse: William CLONCH
Children: John W., Alexander, Lavinia Ann, Jeremiah, Elizabeth Jane, Joel, Thomas Eli, Charles Henry
Whereabouts: Pittsylvania County, VA and Mason County, WV
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 3rd great-grandmother

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

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


  1. 1820 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7734/), citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll: M33_140, Virginia, Pittsylvania County, page 827, sheet 75 (76 stamped on next page), line 33, Levina Doss (accessed 3 July 2014). 
  2. 1830 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8058/), citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, Nara Roll M19_201, FHL Film: 0029680, Virginia, Pittsylvania County, page 348(double-page spread), line 18, Levina Doss (accessed 3 July 2014). 
  3. “Land Office/Northern Neck Patents & Grants” (index and images from microfilm), Library of Virginia Archives (https://lva-virginia.libguides.com/land-grants), Virginia State Land Office, Grants A-Z, 1-124, reels 42-190; Virginia State Land Office, Grants 125- , reels 369-. The collection is housed in the Archives at the Library of Virginia, Patents No.34, 1756-1765, (VOL.1, VOL.2, VOL.3, & VOL.4), page 1084, Reel 033_0572, James Doss land grant, 25 September 1762, 272 acres on Valentines Creek of Staunton River in Halifax County. (https://lva.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/01LVA_INST/altrmk/alma990007479520205756 : accessed 28 June 2022) Note: incorrectly indexed as Boss. 
  4. Halifax County (Virginia). County Surveyor, “Survey and plat books, 1746-1901, 1975-1976; general indexes, 1747-1966,”, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Halifax County Courthouse in Halifax, Virginia, Film 31940, DGS 8151700, Survey book, v. 1 1751-1901, image 167 of 288, page 132, 25 April 1755 survey of 272 acres for James Doss.  (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSKJ-9SLN-M?i=166&cat=367219 : accessed 28 June 2022). 
  5. “Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983,” (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/62347/), citing original data of Virginia County, District, and Probate Courts, Pittsylvania > Accounts Current, No 5-7, 1812-1824 > image 83+84 of 769, Book 5, pages 139-140, Inventory of James Doss dated 16 November 1812 pursuant to an order of the Pittsylvania Court bearing date of September Court 1812. (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/9085/images/007646034_00083 : accessed 9 June 2019). 
  6. “North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing North Carolina State Archives Division of Archives and History, FHL microfilm 478485, Caswell > Marriage bonds, 1780-1868, vol D > image 202 of 273. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-D14N-JB?cc=1726957&wc=QD8P-6KH%3A1588772755%2C1588773214 : accessed 1 July 2022). 
  7. “Missouri Marriage Records, 1805-2002,” database with images, Ancestry, citing original data: Missouri Marriage Records. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives, Chariton > Record images for Chariton > 1821-1888 > image 141 of 435 > page 111. (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/8814536:1171? : accessed 27 December 2012). 
  8. Find A Grave, database and images. (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/11078817/thomas-doss : accessed 01 July 2022), memorial page for Thomas Doss (1801–1 Apr 1881), Find a Grave Memorial ID 11078817, citing Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Musselfork Township, Chariton County, Missouri, USA; maintained by Vivian Pattee (contributor 46577214). 
  9. 1820 U.S. Federal Census analysis seen in this post under the heading, “Early Census Analysis.” 
  10. Ibid. 
  11. “Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940,” database with images, FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 33326, Marriage bonds book, 1767-1861; Marriage bonds book, no. 1, 1767-1861, page 91, William Doss and Betsey Barber, 12 May 1828; citing Pittsylvania, Virginia. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99LX-MHDP?i=143 : accessed 1 July 2022). 
  12. West Virginia Vital Research Records Project (database and images), West Virginia Division of Culture and History citing county records in county courthouses, West Virginia (A collaborative venture between the West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah to place vital records online via the West Virginia Archives and History Web site accessible at https://archive.wvculture.org/vrr), West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 567389, image 20, Mason County marriages, page 32, line 2, William Doss and Elizabeth Henry 28 Dec 1837. (http://images.wvculture.org/567389/00020.jpg : accessed 26 October 2019). 
  13. Ibid., West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 567384, image 381, Mason County Register of Deaths, page 26 (stamped, double-page spread), entry 77, William Doss, died 22 Nov 1888, age 77. (http://images.wvculture.org/567384/00381.jpg : accessed 15 November 2018). 
  14. “Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940,” database with images, FamilySearch, FHL Film Number: 31050, Book 1, page 44, line 17, Phillip Doss and Elizabeth Bailiss married 25 Dec 1835 in Campbell County, VIrginia. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-V6Y7?i=268&cat=281365 : accessed 1 July 2022). 
  15. “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2016,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing digital images of originals housed at the county courthouses in Ohio, Gallia > Marriage records 1803-1843 vol 1 > image 213 of 240 > Record of Marriages of Meigs County, page 400 (stamped), 4th entry, 15 Sep 1842, John Clonch and Elizabeth Doss. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9RMD-S2Q4?i=212&cc=1614804 : accessed 21 June 2022). 
  16. Ibid., Gallia > Marriage records 1843-1862 vol 2 > image 53 of 238, page 123, entry 3, Steed, John md. Clontch, Elizabeth on 26 October 1848 in Gallia County, Ohio. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GRMD-S2TC?cc=1614804&wc=ZRCJ-T38%3A121350101%2C121462701 : accessed 1 July 2022). 
  17. 1840 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8057/), citing Sixth Census of the United States, 1840 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls, FHL Film 0029689; NARA Roll M704_571, Virginia, Mason; image 4+5 of 69, Sheet 214A+B, line 8-10, William Doss, William Claunch, and Thomas Doss (accessed 13 January 2019). 
  18. Ibid., NARA Roll: M704_573, FHL Film: 0029691, Virginia, Pittsylvania, Regiment 107, page 91 (double-page spread), line 22, Phillip Doss (accessed 5 May 2009). The official enumeration day of the 1840 census was 1 June 1840. “.” 
  19. 1850 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8054/), citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll: M432_959, West Virginia, Mason County, District 38, Sheet No. 422A, lines 18-23, household 842-853, William Clonch (accessed 13 January 2019). 
  20. 1860 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7667/), citing Eighth Census of the United States, 1860 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls, Roll: M653_1361, FHL Film: 805361, West Virginia, Mason County, District 2, Page No. 46, lines 21-30, household 345-316, Wm Claunch (accessed 13 January 2019). 
  21. 1900 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7602/), citing Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T623, 1854 rolls, Roll: 1756, FHL microfilm: 1241756, West Virginia, Cabell County, Barboursville, enumeration district 2, sheet 4B, lines 83-90, household 78-82, John W. Clonch (accessed 15 March 2019). 
  22. Clonch Family Cemetery, Mount Olive, Fayette County, West Virginia (photos of gravemarkers taken by Heather Manley-Duncan), gravemarker of Alex Clonch Mar 2, 1842 – June 3, 1910, and Tobitha Cooley His Wife Feb 11, 1861 – Dec. 16, 1913, photographed 31 May 2014. 
  23. WVCulture.org, West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 1983804, image 290, Certificate of Death 9284, Lavina Patterson b. 18 March 1838 (sic) d. 1 Aug 1945. (http://images.wvculture.org/1983804/0000290.gif : accessed 20 June 2022). 
  24. 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Roll T623_1765, FHL microfilm: 1241765, West Virginia, Mason County, Clendenin, enumeration district 50, sheet 14A, lines 9-14, household 230-231, Luvina Patterson (accessed 20 June 2022). 
  25. When Lavina died the family added several years to her age at death on her death records and in a newspaper article. She was tooted as the oldest person in Mason County when she died at the age of 109 years! An exaggeration of 10 years as she was not quite 100 at the time of her death. The 18 March 1838 date seen on her death certificate is incorrect and off by 8 years. Lavina Ann Doss consistently gave her true age on the census except in 1930. In 1900 she gave March 1846 as her month and year of birth. Her date of birth has been estimated at about 18 March 1846. 
  26. He was enumerated with his family on the 1850 census as a 2-year-old. No records of birth or death have been found. 
  27. She was seen in the census: 1850 age 9, 1860 age 15, and 1880 age 29. 
  28. He was seen in the census: 1860 age 6, 1870 age 14, 1880 age 25, 1900 age 46 born Jan 1854 (indexed as 1864 however calculation of age would be 1854), and 1910 age 60. 
  29. 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Roll T623_1765, FHL microfilm: 1241765, West Virginia, Mason County, Arbuckle, enumeration district 49, sheet 10B, lines 55-66, household 189-189, Thomas Clonch (accessed 7 February 2020). 
  30. WVculture.org, West Virginia Births, 1853-1930, FHL microfilm 1855007, image 129, Register of Births for Mason County, page 18 (double-page spread), line 3, Nov 1856, Charles Clonch. (http://images.wvculture.org/1855007/00129.jpg : accessed 20 June 2022). 
  31. “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” index and images, FamilySearch, index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City, citing digital images of originals housed at the Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, Ohio, Film 1992616, DGS 4001611, Deaths, file no. 11801-14700, 1925, image 2895 of 3251, Certificate of Death 14375, Charles Henry Clonch. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GPKX-K36?i=2894&cc=1307272 : accessed 7 February 2020). 
  32. Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2016, Gallia > Marriage records 1862-1874 vol 3 > image 14 of 276. John W. Clonch and Jane Foster, 20 Feb 1862. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GRMD-SKRT?cc=1614804&wc=Q6SP-7R2%3A121350101%2C121498701 : accessed 18 Dec 2013). 
  33. WVCulture.org, West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 567384, image 168, Mason County Register of Deaths, 1862-1863, line 24, William Clonch, 20 Jan 1863, typhoid fever, parents not known, born Kanawha County, Va., gunsmith, consort of Mary Clonch. (http://images.wvculture.org/567384/00168.jpg : accessed 15 December 2009). 
  34. “West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971” (database with images), FamilySearch (digital images of originals housed at local county courthouse in West Virginia), FHL Film #567420, Item 2; DGS 4715359; Mason Will book, v. 01A 1833-1875, image 104 of 165, page 166-167. Last will and testament of William Clonch. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-18256-40179-14?cc=1909099&wc=10916722 : accessed 12 January 2019). Transcribed by Cathy Meder-Dempsey, 25 September 2011. 
  35. WVCulture.org, West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 567389, image 218, West Virginia, Mason County Register of Marriages, page 120, James Wm Patterson and Lavina Ann Doss, 16 July 1863 at the Virginia House in Point Pleasant. (http://images.wvculture.org/567389/00218.jpg : accessed 25 January 2019). 
  36. Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2016, FHL Film 317653 > Gallia > Marriage records 1862-1874 vol 3 > image 19 of 276, page 23 (stamped), entry 7, Alexander Clonch and Mary Ellen Lemaster married 10 November 1863 in Gallia County, Ohio. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9RMD-SVR3?cc=1614804&wc=Q6SP-7R2%3A121350101%2C121498701 : accessed 19 February 2019). 
  37. 1870 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7163/), citing Ninth Census of the United States, 1870 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T132, 13 rolls, Roll: M593_1692, West Virginia, Mason County, Clendenin, page 32, sheet 147B, household 228-230, lines 30-33, Mary Clonch (accessed 5 July 2014). 
  38. WVCulture.org, West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 559881, image 101, Mason County Register of Deaths, page 96 (stamped, double-page spread), line 11, Manuel Clonch, died 10 Aug 1894, born Mason County. (http://images.wvculture.org/559881/00101.jpg : accessed 14 November 2007). 
  39. “Mason County, West Virginia, Circuit Court, Chancery orders, 1831-1929” (database with images), FamilySearch (Microfilm of originals at the county courthouse, Point Pleasant, West Virginia.), Film 1861962 Item 1, DGS 7615569, Chancery orders, Vols. 4 1877-1880, image 321 of 899, Folio 274 and 275, March Term 1880. 1880 Divorce of Alexander Clonch from Mary Ellen Lemaster. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99VP-2SNQ?i=320&cat=659762 : accessed 6 January 2019). 
  40. Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2016, FHL microfilm 317655, Gallia > Marriage records 1878-1884 vol 5 > image 114 of 352, page 156 (stamped), No. 463, Clonch, Charles H. md. Woods, Nancy F. on 24 March 1880 in Gallia County, Ohio. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1951-22512-70651-21?cc=1614804 : accessed 29 June 2014). 
  41. Ibid., FHL microfilm 317655, Gallia > Marriage records 1878-1884 vol 5 > image 120 of 352, page 168 (stamped), No. 500, Clonch, Thomas E. md. Shultz, Missouri C. on 14 May 1880 in Gallia County, Ohio. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-22512-71421-72?cc=1614804 : accessed 29 June 2014). 
  42. 1880 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/6742/), citing Tenth Census of the United States, 1880 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T9, 1,454 rolls, Roll: 1408, West Virginia, Mason County, Clendennin, enumeration district 93, page 22, sheet 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) (accessed 13 August 2007). 
  43. Ibid., Roll: 1401, West Virginia, Cabell County, Guyandotte, enumeration district 18, sheet 175C, lines 1-9, household 24-24, John W. Clonch (accessed 15 March 2019). The official enumeration day of the 1880 census was 1 June 1880. 
  44. Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2016, Marriage records (Gallia County, Ohio), 1803-1955 ; index, 1803-1950 > Marriages, v. 5 1878-1884 > image 132 of 352 > page 193 > no. 576 > Alexander Clonch and Tabitha Cooley, 19 August 1880. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33S7-9RMD-SV3N?cc=1614804&wc=M94Q-V7T%3A390869322 : accessed 18 December 2013). 
  45. “Mason County, West Virginia, County Clerk, Deed books, 1803-1901,” database with images, FamilySearch (Microfilm of original records at the Mason County Courthouse), Film 567368, DGS 8293095, Deed book, v. 53 1892-1893, image 160+162 of 382, pages 202-204. 1892 Heirs of William Clonch to Lovinia Patterson. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSR7-Z9XS-2?i=159&cat=76718 : accessed 12 January 2019). 
  46. Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2016, FHL microfilm 317657, Gallia > Marriage records 1890-1895 vol 7 > image 214 of 339, page 342 (stamped), No. 1026, Joel Clonch and Emma Ames, 08 Feb 1893; in Gallia, Ohio. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-22512-98081-62?cc=1614804 : accessed 27 March 2014). 
  47. Ibid., FHL FIlm 317658, Gallia > Marriage records and index 1895-1899 vol 8., page 5 (stamped), No. 15, John W. Clonch married Mary Lemasters on 7 May 1895 in Gallia County, Ohio. (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1942-22447-41148-85?cc=1614804&wc=M94Q-VH7:315901437 : accessed 13 Nov 2013). 
  48. WVCulture.org, West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 567394, image 35, Mason County marriage license, certificate, and return, page 31, Joseph White and Betsy J. Clonch married 14 Dec 1899. (http://images.wvculture.org/567394/00035.jpg : accessed 11 September 2011). 
  49. “New Jersey, U.S., Death Index, 1901-2017,” index only, Ancestry, citing original data: Death Indexes. New Jersey State Archives, Trenton, New Jersey, Year Range: 1994; Surname Range: A-F; Title: New Jersey, Death Indexes, 1904-2000; Name: Sylvia V Clonch, Age: 84, Birth Date: 20 Aug 1909, Death Date: 23 May 1994, Death Place: New Jersey, USA. 

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

“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.

#23 Emaline LESTER abt. 1836-1877

My great-great-great-grandmother Emaline LESTER was the firstborn child of Jacob LESTER (1812-1842) and Cynthia SUMNER (1815-1880) who married 4 September 1834 in Floyd County, Virginia.1 Following Emaline’s birth in about 1836 her brother George Washington LESTER was born in 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.2

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.3,4 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 Virginia 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

George Washington LESTER, although younger than his sister Emaline was the first to marry on 23 March 1855 to Amanda “Manda” ROOP (1831-1894).5.6 A year later, on 10 March 1856, Emaline LESTER married Amanda’s brother Gordon ROOP.7 Both 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 1857.8 A little over two years later she gave birth to a son John Thomas ROOP (1859-1902) on 6 March 1859.9 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.10

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 one year.11

Emaline’s half-sister Susan had married earlier that year and was expecting her first child.12  Susan gave birth to a daughter on 7 November 1861.13 Baby Cynthia died of diphtheria when she was 17 days old.14 Her mother Susan died the next day of the same illness at the age of 16 years.15 One female relative less whom Emaline could rely on while her 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, whose husband Floyd ROOP 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 likely helped out as did others who lived with her.16 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.17

Emaline gave birth to my great-great-grandfather Gordon Washington ROOP on 6 May 1862.18,19,20 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 ROOP died in Flewellen Hospital in Cassville, Bartow County, Georgia.21 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 Owen Sumner.22

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 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.23 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
1870epperleyroop2
1870 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd > Alum Ridge > Page 3 > HH#13-13

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 1873.24 John Thomas ROOP married Ardelia E. WAITMAN (1858- ) on 16 November 1876.25 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.26

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.27,28

This Post Was Updated on 6 June 2022: Floyd County birth, marriage, and death registers were checked on Ancestry. These collections were not available online when this post was originally written. At that time the extensive work of Barbara Reininger on the families of Floyd County had been the main source used. Missing source citations were added and some corrections were made to the text and format.

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


  1. Rena Worthen & Barbara Reininger (co-project), “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” index and images, part of the Floyd County, Virginia, The USGenWeb Project online https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/floyd.htm, citing the images of Floyd Co., VA marriages downloaded by Rena Worthen from the Library of Virginia Microform and indexed by Barbara Reininger. FCVA1834_LesterSumnerBond. 1834 Jacob Lester and Sintha Sumner bond. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/1_Marriages%20of%20Floyd%20County.htm : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  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), pg. 20. 
  3. 1850 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8054/), citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll: M432_943, Virginia, Floyd County, District 15, Sheet 446B, household 958-958, lines 9-12, John Lester (accessed 30 October 2014). 
  4. Ibid, Roll: M432_943, Virginia, Floyd County, District 15, Sheet 431B, household 758-758, lines 4-7, John W. Cox (accessed 20 June 2013). 
  5. Rena Worthen & Barbara Reininger (co-project), “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” 1855 George W. Lester and Amanda Roop marriage. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1855/FCVA1855LesterRoopMar%20Light.jpg : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  6. Ibid., 1855 George W. Lester consent from his mother Synthy Cox. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1855/FCVA1855LesterCoxConsent.jpg : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  7. Ibid., 1856 Gordon Roop and Emeline Lester marriage. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1856/FCVA1856RoopLester.jpg : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  8. West Virginia Vital Research Records Project (database and images), West Virginia Division of Culture and History citing county records in county courthouses, West Virginia (A collaborative venture between the West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah to place vital records online via the West Virginia Archives and History Web site accessible at https://archive.wvculture.org/vrr), West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 1983330, image 883, West Virginia Standard Certificate of Death 18364, Mrs. Dollie Sumner, 14 December 1937, citing Clear Creek, Raleigh County, West Virginia. Date of birth 24 February 1857. (http://images.wvculture.org/1983330/0000883.gif : accessed 16 January 2007). 
  9. Ibid., West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 598425, image 298, West Virginia, Raleigh County Register of Deaths, page 81, entry 56, Jno F Roop (sic), age 46 y 6 m 5 d, 11 Sep 1902, citing Beckley, Raleigh County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/598425/00298.jpg : accessed 7 March 2022). Age at death: 46y 6m 5d, calculates to date of birth: 6 March 1856. This is off by 3 years. 
  10. 1860 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7667/), citing Eighth Census of the United States, 1860 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls, Roll: M653_1345, Family History Library Film: 805345, Virginia, Floyd County, page 101, sheet 535 (handwritten), lines 33-36, household 723-680, Gordon Roop (accessed 26 February 2011). 
  11. “Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Virginia,” database with images, Fold3 (https://www.fold3.com/publication/42/civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia), citing The National Archives, NARA microfilm publication M324, Fifty-fourth Infantry R Roop, Gorden Page 2. (https://www.fold3.com/document/12913746/roop-gorden-page-2-civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia: accessed 12 February 2014). 
  12. “Virginia, U.S., Marriage Registers, 1853-1935,” (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/62154/), citing Virginia, Marriage Registers, 1853–1935 at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Floyd County Register of Marriages 1861, page 49, line 1, Marshal E F Moore and Susan L Cox (accessed 6 June 2022). 
  13. “Virginia, U.S., Birth Registers, 1853-1911,” (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/418338:62153), citing Virginia, Birth Registers, 1853–1911 at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia. Floyd County Register of Births 1861, page 61, line 5, 7 November 1861, Cintha Moore, white, female, alive, father E F Moore, farmer, mother Susan Moran (sic), informant father (accessed 6 June 2022). 
  14. “Virginia, U.S., Death Registers, 1853-1911, ” (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/250856:62152), citing original data: Virginia, Death Registers, 1853–1911 from the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia. Floyd County Register of Death 1861, page 20, line 24, Susan Moore, female, white, age 16, died 25 November 1861 Floyd County, Virginia, of diphtheria, consort of Elijah Moore, informant E. Moore, husband (accessed 6 June 2022). 
  15. Ibid., Floyd County Register of Death 1861, page 20, line 25, Cinthia Moore, white, female, age 21 days (sic, 17), died 24 Nov 1861 in Floyd County, Virginia, of diphtheria, parents: E & Susan Moore (accessed 6 June 2022). 
  16. 1860 U.S. Federal Census, Roll: M653_1345, FHL Film: 805345, Virginia, Floyd County, page 48, sheet 482, household 345-324, lines 16-17, Cyntha Cox (accessed 4 November 2014). The official enumeration day of the 1860 census was 1 June 1860. 
  17. 1870 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7163/), citing Ninth Census of the United States, 1870 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T132, 13 rolls, Roll: M593_1646, Virginia, Floyd County, Alum Ridge, page 8, sheet 4B, household 55-53, lines 16-19, Cynthia Cox (accessed 18 October 2014). 
  18. Find A Grave, database and images, (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/209078601/gordon-w-roop : accessed 28 February 2022), memorial page for Gordon W. Roop (6 May 1862–31 Jan 1931), Find a Grave Memorial ID 209078601, citing Rich Creek Cemetery, Jodie, Fayette County, West Virginia, USA; maintained by Jennifer Nottingham (contributor 49369720). 
  19. Documentation to prove the date of birth is not accessible to me at this time. The FamilySearch collection, “Floyd County, Virginia Births, 1853-73” is only available at a family history library. May 1862 was seen on the 1900 census. 
  20. 1900 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7602/), citing Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T623, 1854 rolls, FHL microfilm: 1241761, West Virginia, Kanawha County, Cabin Creek, enumeration district 41, sheet 2B, lines 87-93, household 33-33, Gordon W. Roop (accessed 2 February 2022). 
  21. “Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Virginia,” database with images, Fold3 (https://www.fold3.com/publication/42/civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia), citing The National Archives, NARA microfilm publication M324, Fifty-fourth Regiment Virginia Infantry, Gordon Roop, 1 Nov 1863 in Flewellen Hospital, Cassville, Georgia. (https://www.fold3.com/document/12913782/roop-gorden-page-4-civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia: accessed February 2014). Note: His name appears on a Register of Officers and Soldiers of the Army of the Confederate States who were killed in battle, or who died of wounds or disease. 
  22. “Virginia, U.S., Marriage Registers, 1853-1935,” Floyd County Marriage Register 1869, page 88, line 12, 8 February 1869, P. D. Epperly and Emaline Roop (accessed 5 June 2022). 
  23. 1870 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7163/), citing Ninth Census of the United States, 1870 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T132, 13 rolls, Roll: M593_1646, Virginia, Floyd County, Alum Ridge, sheet 1B, page 2, lines 39-40, household 13-13, Pleasant Epperly (accessed 18 October 2014). 
  24. “Virginia, U.S., Marriage Registers, 1853-1935,” Floyd County Register of Marriages 1873, page 92, line 86, 7 November 1873, Giles Sumner and Dolly E. Roop (accessed 6 June 2022). 
  25. Ibid., Floyd County Register of Marriages 1876, page 119, line 84, 11 November 1876, John T. Roop and Ardelia E. Waitman (accessed 6 June 2022). 
  26. “Virginia, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Death Records, 1853-1912”, database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of the original records at the Virginia State Library at Richmond, Virginia, Death registers, 1853-1906 (Virginia), Film 2056980, DGS 4225427 > Floyd County, 1853-1896> image 153 of 673 > Register of Deaths 1877, line 7. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DRMQ-65R?cc=3940896 : accessed 14 March 2022). 
  27. “Virginia, U.S., Marriage Registers, 1853-1935,” Floyd County Register of Marriages 1878, page 113, line 86, Pleasant Epperly and Rowena Jane Basham (accessed 6 June 2022). 
  28. 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Roll T623_1718, FHL microfilm: 1241718, Virginia, Montgomery County, Christiansburg, enumeration district 69, sheet 11B, lines 64-69, household 203-204, Pleasant D. Epperley (accessed 4 June 2022).