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
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
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
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
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
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
In 1876 when John married, his father was listed as Gordon ROOP in the register.10
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
Also in 1880, Gordon’s son John married a second time. The father’s name was spelled Gorden.12
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
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.
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.?
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.
- 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. ↩
- 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). ↩
- 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). ↩
- “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). ↩
- 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). ↩
- 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). ↩
- “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). ↩
- “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). ↩
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). ↩
- “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). ↩
- 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). ↩
- “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. ↩
- “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). ↩
- 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). ↩
- 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. ↩
- 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). ↩
- 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). ↩
- Weaver Jeffrey C and G. L Sherwood. 54th Virginia Infantry. 2nd ed. H.E. Howard 1993. ↩