How Jack and Jill Helped Solve the Holly Brick Wall

This post is dedicated to the memory of Paula Kelly Ward (1942-2022) who passed away on 28 July 2022. Her passion for genealogy research and the PETERS family is reflected in her work as well as that of the many she helped. She looked forward to seeing this DNA mystery solved.

Who was the father of Sanford H. HOLLY born in May 1847 in Franklin County, Virginia?

I didn’t set out to ask this research question or try to open the door in my cousin’s brick wall. The pieces of the puzzle came together with a bit of genealogy sleuthing, DNA tools, and curiosity on my part.

Sanford H. HOLLY (1847-1924)

Sanford H. HOLLY, born in Franklin County, Virginia, first married on 15 March 1864 at the age of 17.  The marriage register names Jack PETERS and Martha J. LOYD as his parents. In the remarks column, it is noted that the husband was illegitimate.1 This would explain why the groom’s surname was not PETERS.

Franklin County Register of Marriages entry for Sanford Holley and Elizabeth Ray

Why was his surname HOLLY? Martha Jane HOLLY, the daughter of James and Elizabeth HOLLY, married Thomas J. LOYD (LLOYD) in 1861.2 It was the only marriage found and indicates she was widowed. Was it assumed she was widowed as she had children?

Further research shows her parents, James HOLLY and Elizabeth RAFE married on 1 November 1809.3

Other researchers misread the marriage register entry and/or the marriage license of Sanford H. HOLLY and assumed his parents were Jack Peters HOLLY and Martha J. LOYD. I found the marriage register AFTER I suspected the PETERS connection. More about this later. Suspecting the connection helped me to look at the record differently than others had.

An image of the marriage license is attached to my cousin Laura’s tree. I was not able to locate this record online. The image has punched holes on the left side and appears to be the scan of a photocopy made of the original at the courthouse. The scanned record doesn’t include information on the husband being illegitimate. The parents’ names were written: Jack Peters & Martha J. Loyd. As with the entry in the register of marriages, the groom’s surname was HOLLY and it has been incorrectly assumed the father was a HOLLY. With this mistake, Jack PETERS became Jack Peters HOLLY.

On the 1900 census, Sanford’s birth month and year are listed as May 1847.4 It is more likely that he was born in May 1846 as he was not yet 18 in March 1864 when he married. For research purposes, I will assume he was born between May 1846 and May 1847.

Based on the information provided in his marriage record, Sanford was illegitimate and born about 1846-1847, his mother would have had a relationship with a man named Jack PETERS in 1845-1846. The father Jack would have been born about 1825 or earlier.

PETERS families of Franklin County, Virginia

Zachariah PETERS and his wife Kesiah LIVELY came to Franklin County around 1810 from Amherst County.5,6 There were other PETERS families in the Franklin County area. They were of German descent and not related to Zachariah PETERS of Amherst.

Paula Kelly Ward, a PETERS researcher, wrote in 2000:7

Franklin County VA had more than one Peters family. Two of these families were, without question, of German descent, and they and their descendants married other German families in the area.

What has been very interesting to me is that an analysis of these families reveals that Zachariah’s descendants did not marry any of the Peters of German descent nor any other German families in Franklin County VA. However, looking at a few cousin marriages, it appears that my Peters family definitely liked their own Peters family better than others!!! 😀

At any rate, Zachariah’s descendants did not marry into the German families in that area until the 20th century, and that is what caused the confusion in our Peters family research.

As will become clear later in this post, the German PETERS lines were not considered for this research question.

The candidates: PETERS-LIVELY grandsons

The male descendants of Zachariah PETERS and his wife Kesiah LIVELY were studied.

In 1846 Zachariah and Kesiah had four sons born between 1796 and 1810.

◉ Jordan, living in Fayette County, was 50 years old, father of 14 living children, and married 5 years to his 3rd wife.8

◉ William was about 48 years old, father of 4 children, and married 5 years to his second wife. He was in Franklin when he married in 1841.9 He was missed (or not yet found) in the 1840, 1850, and 1860 censuses. Further research is needed to prove he was living in 1846.

◉ Willis was 37 years old, married 17 years, and father of 8 children.

◉ Joseph was 36 years old, married 16 years, and father of 7 children.

These four men were all in marital relationships in 1846 with wives who were still bearing children. Although one of them could have strayed, it is more likely one of their sons could be Sanford’s father.

Jordan had sons who could have been the father of Sanford. William had sons born in 1826 (Owen) and 1828 (Henry) but they were not as likely to be the father of Sanford as Jordan’s sons. Willis and Joseph had sons but they were not old enough to be the father of Sanford born in 1846-1847.

Jordan had four sons who were 20 years or older in 1846: Henry, Zachariah, Stephen, and Jonathan. Henry and Stephen as well as two underage sons of Jordan were in Franklin County in 1845 on the personal property tax (PPT) lists.10 The two sons under 21 were Jonathan and James. Zachariah born in 1822 was not on the 1845 list.

Jordan moved his family to Fayette County around this time. He was on the PPT lists from 1846 to 1849. He lived in an area of Fayette that became Raleigh County in 1850.

◉  Henry b. 1821 was in Fayette County (now West Virginia) in February 1847 when he married.11

◉ Zachariah b. 1822 was in Franklin County on 27 November 1846 when he took out a bond with his future brother-in-law and on 3 December 1846 when he married Ally HALE.12

◉ Stephen b. 1824 was in Franklin County in January 1848 when he married.13

◉  Jonathan b. 1827 was likely with his father in Fayette County. He was not found on the 1850 census, i.e. he was not with his father. He didn’t marry until 1852 in Raleigh County (now West Virginia).14

It is unlikely that Henry, Stephen, or Jonathan went by Jack.

Jack PETERS

From Sanford’s marriage record we know that his father’s name was Jack PETERS.

Did Jordan’s son Zachariah PETERS (1822-1899) also go by the name Jack? Zachariah PETERS is the name seen on the census and in marriage records. No middle initial or nickname.

There are online trees with his name as Zachariah Jack PETERS or Zachariah Jackson PETERS. I searched for records that might include the nickname Jack or Zack or a middle name Jackson.

A civil war muster roll card was found for Zach PETERS. A private in the 21st
Virginia Cavalry, Capt. A. O. Dobyns’ Company, Peters’ Regiment, he
enlisted on 22 August 1863 at Floyd County Court House and was absent
with leave from January 1 to October 31, 1864. The reason for his absence was given as, “At home on wounded furlough, right leg amputated.” This matches the known information on Zachariah and shows that he also went by Zach.15

In 1870 Zachariah’s brother James wrote a letter in which he twice referred to him as Brother Zech.16

Zachariah was married three times and had at least 17 children between 1847 and 1895. Birth registers for Franklin begin in 1853. The early births were not registered. Most of the birth records have Zachariah as the father’s name. In three records, the father was seen as Zach or Zack: George born in 1854 (Zach), an unnamed daughter born in 1862 (Zack), and Martha Ella born in 1875 (Zack).17,18,19

Marriage records of Charles Robert PETERS and of Bessie Lee PETERS list Zach PETERS as the father.20,21

Death records of 13 children were found. The NC certificate of death of Charles Robert PETERS (1894-1961) gives W. J. PETERS as the father.22 This is an error as his birth record gives Z. Peters as the father. The certificate of death of James Jordan PETERS (1849-1927) names James Z. PETERS as the father. 23 This is the only record indicating the name James, likely an error on the part of the informant as no other records have been found with James as one of the names of Zachariah.

The certificates of death of Mary Jane PETERS (1852-1920) and Joseph Coleman PETERS (1865-1927) give the father’s name as Jackson PETERS.24,25 It is not unusual for the names of the parents on a certificate of death to be incorrect as the information is not being given by the decedent. However, it seems possible that Zachariah PETERS was also known as Jackson PETERS as two of his children’s death records have this name.

The memorial on Find A Grave lists his name as Zachariah Jackson PETERS.26 It doesn’t include a photo or documentation. Paula Kelly Ward shared a picture of the grave marker taken by Otis C. Scott on 20 November 2009. The name on the marker is Zachriah PETERS (sic, not Zachariah).

The research question has been asked and the known facts presented. The DNA evidence will now be revealed.

Jill

In mid-June, while reviewing and adding MRCAs to my DNA matches in the 50 cM range, a match with a peculiar username caught my attention. I’ll call her Jill. A tree is attached to the DNA with the names of her paternal grandparents but without dates and places. I’d looked at this match several times and wasn’t able to figure out how she fit into my tree.

While viewing Jill’s shared matches (also known as in common with or ICW), I noticed that my father’s paternal first cousin E.D. was on the list. My match with Jill is for 51 cM across 4 segments. As I have access to E.D.’s DNA, I know that Jill shares 61 cM across 3 segments with her. At the time, I thought this match might help solve the DEMPSEY brick wall I share with E.D. since she fell in the Extended Family range for E.D. and in the Distant Family range for me.

On Jill’s Ancestry profile, there is another tree (3 persons) with the names of her parents with dates of birth and death. I recognized her mother’s name, being a cousin to my father on his maternal line.

Jill is my 3C1R (third cousin once removed) through Moses, the son of my 3rd great-grandparents Jordan N. PETERS and Rachel PROFFITT and a 5C through Betsy, the daughter of my 4th great-grandparents Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah LIVELY. In the chart below, Jill’s maternal grandfather shares all of the pink ancestors with me:

Jill’s maternal grandfather’s tree

Chart #1 (pedigree chart generated with Ancestral Quest 16)

This match is on my father’s maternal grandfather’s side. As can be seen in the charts below, my Dad and E.D. are first cousins and share only their paternal lines (blue and green in the charts below).

Dad’s Tree

Chart #2 (pedigree chart generated with Ancestral Quest 16)

E.D’s Tree

Chart #3 (pedigree chart generated with Ancestral Quest 16)

E.D.’s tree has been well researched by her deceased sister Geraldine Dempsey Workman (1931-2007). Her research was sent to me in 1992 and awakened my interest in genealogy.

How are Jill and E.D. related?

I have access to 3 tests of descendants of Earl Stanley DEMPSEY (1910-1968) and Thelma Mae HOLLY (1914-1959) through 3 of their 4 children. E.D. is their daughter, Laura is E.D.’s niece through her sister Geraldine, and Sheila is E.D.’s niece through her brother James. The fourth child, a son, didn’t have any known children. E.D. is the only living child of the couple.

E.D.’s mother Thelma Mae HOLLY has an NPE (non-paternity event, i.e. father unknown) on her paternal side. The father of Thelma’s grandfather Sanford H. HOLLY is unknown hence my research question at the beginning of this post.

Jill and I share the PETERS-PROFFITT and the PETERS-LIVELY couples as MRCA. E.D. and I share the DEMPSEY-INGRAM couple as MRCA. But which couple or individual does E.D. and Jill share as MRCA?

E.D.’s and my ICW matches

The ICW matches for E.D. and myself on AncestryDNA are associated with our shared ancestors William Henderson DEMPSEY and Laura Belle INGRAM and their lines back. Matches attributed to my PETERS-PROFFITT and PETERS-LIVELY ancestors are also showing up in the list of shared matches. However, none are assigned to PROFFITT-COCKRAM (the parents of Rachel PROFFITT, 3rd wife of Jordan N. PETERS). Therefore I continued my analysis by concentrating on the PETERS branch and not the PROFFITT branch of my tree.

E.D.’s raw DNA file was uploaded to GEDmatch in 2018. Only 8 of my matches with MRCA being PETERS-PROFFITT or PETERS-LIVELY were found on GEDmatch to be in common with E.D. None of these matches share segments with E.D. and myself, i.e. there are no triangulations. All of the segments that E.D. shares with me (and/or my brother) are matches on our paternal side.

Does E.D. have matches with descendants of the  PETERS-LIVELY couple?

Over the years, I’ve worked on several generations of descendants of Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah LIVELY, mainly following their son Jordan N. PETERS’ descendants. There was intermarriage in the line which makes the research a bit of a challenge. This can be seen in the case of Jill being a descendant of the PETERS-LIVELY couple through both of her paternal grandfather’s parents (see chart #1). This is only one example.

I’ve been working with E.D.’s test results since 2018. I imported her AncestryDNA matches, their shared matches, and their trees to Genome Mate Pro, an earlier version of GDAT (Genealogical DNA Analysis Tool). Her profile in GDAT has since been updated with new matches. Until now, I concentrated only on her paternal matches and ignored her maternal line.

Looking over E.D.’s maternal matches

With this new development, I began analyzing 300+ trees of maternal matches for E.D.  Concentrating on her closest HOLLY matches and their shared matches, I found that the connection to Jill is likely coming through E.D.’s great-grandfather Sanford H. HOLLY’s unknown father.

Not all matches have trees attached to their AncestryDNA or their profiles on Ancestry. The same is true for GEDmatch. By comparing associated family groups, trees were built out for matches with small trees. Having a large tree with many descendants of the ancestors of interest makes the tree-building process easier. For many of the incomplete trees, one person with the PETERS surname was enough to take the match back to the common ancestors. I use One2Tree to convert my pedigree tree to an ahnentafel list that I import into GDAT.

Maternal matches on the HOLLY branch

As I marked maternal matches for E.D. with MRCA and added notes, a picture began to develop. Each MRCA was given a group name identifying the shared ancestral couple. These are the groups with the number of matches found in parenthesis (data from July 2022):

◉ Dempsey-Holly (11) – all descendants of Earl and Thelma (324 to 2139 cM)
◉ Holly-Parrish (1) – 1C1R, a descendant of Thelma’s sister (437 cM)
◉ Holly-Wray (17) – descendants of Sanford’s 1st marriage (12 to 249 cM)
◉ Holly-Ray (22) – descendants of Sanford’s 2nd marriage (14 to 246 cM)
◉ Holly-Rafe (6) – descendants of Sanford’s maternal grandparents (33 to 57 cM)
◉ Peters-Lively (215) – descendants of Zachariah and Kesiah (8 to 113 cM)

The closest matches were for Dempsey-Holly: E.D.’s children, grandchildren, nieces, grand-nieces, and grand-nephews. These were followed by matches back through the HOLLY line to Holly-Rafe.

After finding the known ancestors, I was left with 215 matches in common with the HOLLY matches who are descendants of Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah LIVELY.

The German PETERS line of Franklin County

As trees were added, built out, and analyzed, the absence of matches descending from the German PETERS line in Franklin County made itself clear and that line was not considered for this research question.

Matches with PETERS-LIVELY

The PETERS-LIVELY group ranges from 112.8 cM across 5 segments down to 8 cM across 1 segment with an average of 32 cM. There are likely many more but I concentrated on matches with trees and over 40 cM. The number of generations back to the PETERS-LIVELY couple indicates the 4th cousin range (sharing 3rd great-grandparents).

More matches below 40 cM with PETERS-LIVELY in their trees were found using GDAT features to sort matches, search their trees, etc.

The PETERS-LIVELY matches were split further. These are the children of Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah LIVELY (the number of matches found in parenthesis):

◉ Jordan N. thru his 1st marriage to Troup (166)*
◉ Jordan N. thru his 3rd marriage to Proffitt (25)
◉ Mary (0)
◉ William (5)
◉ Elizabeth (7)
◉ Lucy (0)
◉ Willis (42)*
◉ Joseph (1)
◉ Nancy (3)
◉ Susan (0)

*Note: Jordan’s granddaughter through his son Zachariah married Willis’ son and 29 matches come from this union. They are included in the total for both Jordan (166) and Willis (42).

Narrowing down to PETERS-TROUP

The largest amount of matches are descendants of Jordan N. PETERS and his first wife Mary TROUP. These matches were split further by the children of this marriage:

◉ Cynthia (5)
◉ Henry T. (23)
◉ Zachariah (73)
◉ Stephen (1) (+2 need to be proven)
◉ Mary (22)
◉ Jonathan (16)
◉ James (7)
◉ Jane (marriage and children have not been proven)
◉ Martha Ann (2)
◉ William (17)

Zachariah is represented by more matches than any of the other children of the PETERS-TROUP couple. The PETERS families were large. Zachariah married three times and was the father of 16 children. His father, also married three times and was the father of 21.

E.D.’s matches from highest to 50 cM were clustered

Before continuing I’d like to share the results of another tool I use. With Jonathan Brecher’s Shared Clustering tool, I clustered E.D.’s top 333 matches (50 cM and greater).

After adding MRCA notes from GDAT to the Excel sheet of the clustered matches, I identified the four grandparents and used colors for visualization. PGF=blue, PGM=green, MGF=pink, and MGM=yellow. Color highlighting is not a feature of Shared Clustering.

E.D.’s 50 cM and greater matches clustered using Jonathan Brecher’s Shared Clustering tool.

◉ Matches coming from the DEMPSEY branch were marked blue and lighter blue for more distant matches (Wood, Honaker, Wiseman).
◉ Matches coming from the INGRAM branch were marked green
◉ Matches coming from the HOLLY-RAY branch were marked bright pink
◉ Matches coming from the PARRISH branch were marked yellow
◉ Bright green indicates overlap in the DEMPSEY and INGRAM branches as two Dempsey brothers, William and Elijah, married Ingram sisters, Laura and Octavia.
◉ Purple is another group of matches that overlap. Descendants of DEMPSEY and HOLLY through the marriage of Samuel San HOLLY (son of Sanford) and Louisa A. DEMPSEY (a granddaughter of William A. W. DEMPSEY and Sarah Ann WOOD).
◉ The large lighter pink cluster represents Sanford H. HOLLY’s unknown paternal branch. Matches here include Holly-Parrish(1), Holly-Ray(3), Peters-Troup(26), Peters-Lively(19), and matches without trees(17).

The DNA picture was becoming clearer. PETERS-TROUP and PETERS-LIVELY matches (50 cM and greater) point to the father of Sanford H. HOLLY being a PETERS.

DNA segments with PETERS-TROUP and PETERS-LIVELY

Very few of the E.D.’s matches on AncestryDNA have their raw DNA files uploaded to GEDmatch. Below are 13 matches who have their tests on GEDmatch and have been identified as descendants of Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah LIVELY.

Imagine what this would look like if the over 300 matches I’ve identified as descendants of PETERS-LIVELY AncestryDNA had their tests on GEDmatch or if Ancestry had a chromosome browser on their website.

Conclusion

And that is how Jack and Jill helped solve the Holly brick wall.

Taking into account the number of maternal matches E.D. has with descendants of Jordan N. PETERS and Mary TROUP in their trees, the DNA evidence clearly points to this couple being the grandparents of Sanford H. HOLLY. The largest group of matches are the descendants of their son Zachariah. Further, Zachariah PETERS seen as Jackson PETERS on the death records of two of his children may have also been called Jack PETERS.

Considering all of the above, it is likely that Zachariah PETERS (1822-1899) was the father of Sanford H. HOLLY (1847-1924).

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


  1. “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., Franklin County Register of Marriages 1864, no page number, line 14, Sanford Holley and Elizabeth Ray (accessed 14 June 2022). 
  2. Ibid., Franklin County Register of Marriages 1861, no page number, line 1, Thomas J Loyd and Martha Jane Holly, married 21 Apr 1861 (accessed 27 July 2022). 
  3. Dodd, Jordan R., Et Al.; Early American Marriages: Virginia to 1850, index-only database, Ancestry, Pittsylvania County, Virginia, 1 Nov 1809, James Holley and Elizabeth Rafe 
  4. 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_1757, FHL microfilm 1241757; West Virginia, Fayette County, Fayetteville, enumeration district 12, sheet 32A, lines 15-28, household 533-539, John Stout household with his father-in-law Sanford Holly (accessed 27 July 2022). 
  5. Zachariah was first seen on the Franklin County PPT list in 1811. He was last in Amherst on the PPT list in 1804. From 1805 to 1810 he was not on Amherst or Franklin PPT lists. 
  6. 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, Roll 68, FHL Film 0181428, image 43, Virginia, Amherst County, page 492, line 1, Zachariah Peters (accessed 16 November 2014). 
  7. Paula Kelly Ward, RootsWeb PETERS Mailing List, “[PETERS] Re: Franklin Co VA Peters: German or English? (was: Zachariah Peters)” dated 19 April 2000 (https://mlarchives.rootsweb.com/listindexes/emails?listname=peters&thread=31401154 : accessed 25 July 2022) 
  8. Virginia. Commissioner of the Revenue (Fayette County), “Personal property tax lists, 1831-1850,” (browse-only images), FamilySearch Microfilm of original records at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, Film 2024536, DGS 7849112, image 416 of 589, 1846 PPT, district of George Alderson, page 19, 3rd to last entry on page, Jordan Peters, 1 white male above 16 yrs (only column marked). (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSQK-19JW-8?cat=777450 : accessed 1 October 2022). 
  9. Franklin County (Virginia). County Clerk, “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Franklin County Courthouse in Rocky Mount, Virginia, and at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia., Film 1977991, DGS 7490230, Marriage bonds 1813-1818, image 758 to 761 of 880, 1841 marriage bond William Peters and Jesse Edwards for the 27 March 1841 marriage of William to Lydia Kemplin and bride’s permission for William Peters to obtain the license. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZG-HJZD?i=758&cat=765574 : accessed 1 October 2022). 
  10. Virginia. Commissioner of the Revenue (Franklin County), “Personal property tax lists, 1786-1850,” (browse-only images), FamilySearch Microfilm of original records at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, Film 2024543, DGS 7849118, Personal property tax lists, 1842-1850, image 206 of 767, 1845 PPT, Robert Hairston dist., page 33, line 13, Apr 4, Jourden Peters 3 white males above 16, 1 horse, 1 clock. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSQ2-39CM-Y?i=205&cat=776095 : accessed 21 July 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 Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 584764, image 210, Fayette County, Marriage Record 1831-1866, page 41, 5th entry, Henry T Peters and Rebecca F Clay married 2 Feb 1847 by James J Dolliver. (http://images.wvculture.org/584764/00210.jpg : accessed 1 October 2022). 
  12. Franklin County (Virginia). County Clerk, “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Franklin County Courthouse in Rocky Mount, Virginia, and at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia., Film 31523 Item 1, DGS 7578970, Marriage bonds register 1786-1853, image 95 of 608, page 77, line 3274, Zachariah Peters and Ally Hale, bond dated 27 Nov 1846, surety David Hale, married by John Bowman 3 Dec 1846. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-VX19?i=94 : accessed 1 October 2022). 
  13. Ibid., Film 31523 Item 1, DGS 7578970, Marriage bonds register 1786-1853, image 95 of 608, page 77, line 3270, Stephen Peters and Elizabeth Palmer, bond dated3 Jan 1848, surety Samuel T Palmer, married by Geo. W. Kelly on 13 Jan 1848. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-VX19?i=94 : accessed 1 October 2022). 
  14. WVCulture.org, West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 598403, image 53, Marriage Record – Raleigh County, page 5, entry 6, 7 Jun 1852 (license) for Jonathan Peters and Catharine Dickens married 10 Jun 1852 by Fetin Ellison. (http://images.wvculture.org/598403/00053.jpg : accessed 1 October 2022). 
  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,  Roll 168, Twenty-first Cavalry (Peters’ Regiment) > P > Peters, Zachariah > Page 4. (https://www.fold3.com/document.php?doc=7624373&xid=215&p=ma : accessed 1 October 2022). 
  16. James Peters (Boone County, West Virginia) to “Dear Brother” [Zachariah Peters], letter, 5 November 1870; held by Franklin County Virginia Historical Society, Rocky Mount, Virginia (copy received 9 June 2014 per email from Paula Kelley Ward). The recipient, “Zechariah Peters” is identified at the end of the letter. 
  17. “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., Franklin County Register of Births 1854, page 29, line 24, 4 Jul 1854, Geo. W. Peters, male, alive, father Zach Peters, mother Alen Hale, informant Z Peters (accessed 22 July 2022). 
  18. Ibid., Franklin County Register of Births 1862, page 145, line 35, 23 Aug 1862, no name, female, white, stillborn, father Zack Peters, farmer, mother Ann Peters, informant Zack Peters father (accessed 25 July 2022). 
  19. Ibid., Franklin County Register of Births 1875, page 318, line 97, 26 Feb 1875, Martha E Peters, female, white, father Zack Peters, mother Narcissus Peters, informant father (accessed 22 July 2022). 
  20. “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., Franklin County Register of Marriages 1924, no page number, line 177, 24 Dec 1924, Chas.Robt.Peters 30 single & Willie Mae Hash 22 single, groom’s parents Zack & N V Peters, bride’s parents W P & Roxie Hash, married by J W Wimbish (accessed 22 July 2022). 
  21. “Registers of births, marriages, deaths, 1853-1915; index to births, marriages, deaths, 1853-1898,” browse-only, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Franklin County Courthouse in Rocky Mount, Virginia., Film 31523 (Items 2-3) DGS 7578970, Register of marriages, nos. 1-2 1853-1915, image 590 of 608, line 7, 14 Aug 1912 Jehu Robt Booth and Bessie Lee Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-V6FL?i=589 : accessed 18 July 2022). 
  22. “North Carolina, U.S., Death Certificates, 1909-1976,” index and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/1121/), Original data:North Carolina State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics. North Carolina Death Certificates. Microfilm S.123. Rolls 19-242, 280, 313-682, 1040-1297. North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina., Rockingham > 1961 > November > image 3 of 54 > Volume: 33, Page: 306, Charles R. Peters, died 2 No 1961, Rockingham, NC, age 67, born 1894, white (accessed 18 July 2022). 
  23. “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: 1927024373, James Jordan Peters, male, white, age 79, born 3 Mar 1848, died 22 Nov 1927 in Franklin, Virginia, father James Z Peters, mother Alley Hale, spouse Mary Jane Peters (accessed 1 October 2022). 
  24. Ibid., Certificate Number: 1920010546, Mary J Peters, female, white, age 69, born 9 Jun 1850, died 21 Apr 1920 in Floyd, Virginia, father Jackson Peters, mother Allie Hale (accessed 19 July 2022). 
  25. Ibid., Certificate Number: 1927017432, Joseph Coleman Peters, male, white, age 61, born 13 Nov 1865, died 26 Aug 1927 in Botetourt, Virginia, father Jackson Peters, spouse Lillian Peters (accessed 19 July 2022). 
  26. Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/92078774/zachariah-jackson-peters: accessed 01 October 2022), memorial page for Zachariah Jackson Peters (14 May 1822–15 Feb 1899), Find a Grave Memorial ID 92078774, citing Peters Cemetery, Ferrum, Franklin County, Virginia, USA; Maintained by gardengirl (contributor 47349735). No photo of the marker as of 1 October 2022. 

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Amy, Addison, Henry and his Enslaved Family

Samuel Pack (1779-1850) wrote his Last Will and Testament on 1 January 1850 in Fayette County, (West) Virginia. Three weeks later, on 23 January 1850, Raleigh County was formed. The will was the first item recorded in the Will Book for Raleigh County.

RELEASING Amy, Addison, and Henry

Saml Pack’s Will (in margin)

In the name of God Amen I Samuel Pack of the County of
Fayette & state of Virginia, calling to mind that is alotted (sic) once for
man to die do make and constitute this my last Will an (sic) testment (sic)
revoking all Wills or writings heretofore made by me in the manner
an (sic) form following (to wit)
first After my decease I desire my body may be buried in neat and
Christian like manner, that all my funeral expenses an (sic) just debts be paid
2 I give an (sic) bequeath unto my Deer (sic) Beloved wife Sally Pack absolutely
the whole of my estate both Real an (sic) personal and (sic) at disposal at her death
forever
3rd The heirs of William Pack each one I give an (sic) bequeath One dollar
to Each one to be paid by my Executor
4th To my son Andrew Pack I give an (sic) bequeath One Dollar
5/ To my son Augustus Pack I give an (sic) bequeath One dollar
6/ To my daughter Rachel Honaker I give an (sic) bequeath One dollar
7/ With this special Reservation that my three Negroes Amy, Addison,
& Henry at the death of my wife Sally Pack shall have the
Liberty of chewsing (sic) ther (sic) own Master out of all my schildren (sic) or
grand schildren (sic) an (sic) if that dont suit they shall be at Liberty to
take some other master by him paying the valuation of said Negro
or Negroes over to said heirs.
I have omitted certain of my children with this my last will
testament which is in consequence of the Land conveyed to William
Pack at the mouth Greenbrier River. Land to Andrew Pack on Cole
River, Land to Augustus Pack on Cole River
I do hereby appoint James M. Byrnsides as my executor
at this my last Will & testament
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand
and affixed my seal this 1 day January 1850
test                                             mark
Anderson Pack               Samuel   X   Pack      Seal
Washington H. Boyd                    his                
Jackson Vest

At a Court held for the County of Raleigh on Monday the
28th day of October 1850.
                                         The last Will and Testament of Samuel
Pack deceased was proved according to law by the Oaths of Anderson
Pack, and Jackson Vest, Witnesses thereto, and is ordered to be
recorded.
                                          A Copy
                                                    Teste
                                                         Daniel Shumate clk

True's statement

When doing genealogy research you realize how small the world really is. Samuel’s widow Sarah (Wyatt) Pack was living only a few households away from my 3rd great-grandparents Jordan N. Peters and Rachel Proffitt in 1850. Samuel and Sarah’s daughter Rachel Byrnside Pack was married to Henry Honaker (my 2C4R), grandson of my 4th great-grandfather Frederick Honaker‘s brother Henry. This led me to do a bit more research than usual on the slaves Amy, Addison, and Henry mentioned in Samuel Pack’s will.

After the Last Will and Testament

Samuel Pack died in July 1850 per the U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules Index. I found only one GEDCOM on RootsWeb with this date of death. All others have the day his will was proved in court as his date of death – 28 October 1850. On Ancestry there are over 550 trees and a little over 1/5 have the correct date of death. He was not on the 1850 census – a red flag that something must be wrong!

In 1850 his widow Sarah (Wyatt) Pack was living in Raleigh County and was enumerated on Schedule 2 for Slave Inhabitants with a 50 years old black female, a 29 years old black male, and a 25 years old black male. The schedule was dated 5 July 1850 and the three slaves mentioned are likely Amy, Addison, and Henry. As Samuel was not on the schedule his death must have been before July 5. Further, as the official enumeration day of the 1850 census was 1 June 1850 it is more likely he died before July or even June. Why else would Sarah be alone as of 1 June 1850 on the census?

By 1860 Sarah had moved in with her daughter Rachel and son-in-law Henry Honaker in Newbern, Pulaski County, Virginia. Once again she was enumerated on the Slave Schedule. This time with a 38 years old black male and a 35 years old mulatto male. From this I assume Amy may have died between 1850-1860. I believe the two males were Addison and Henry.

By the end of the year 1860 Sarah Pack was deceased. I have not found a record to confirm the 13 December 1860 date of death found on Find A Grave. Per her husband’s will at her death his Negroes should have the liberty to choose their own master out of his children or grandchildren or “take some other master.” I don’t know if they chose to remain with Rachel and Henry Honaker with whom they, as well as Sarah, were living. However I am sure Henry remained in Pulaski County. But what of Addison?

Addison

At this point I would like to note that I did not find any trace of Addison. “A cohabitation register, or as it is properly titled, Register of Colored Persons…cohabiting together as Husband and Wife on 27th February 1866, was the legal vehicle by which former slaves legitimized both their marriages and their children.” ~ Library of Virginia.  Pulaski County is not included on the site and may be one of the counties for which this register does not exist. I checked the surrounding counties and none had a Pack or Addison on their register. Without Addison‘s surname it is nearly impossible to locate him in the census or other records or even to guess if he was related to Amy and Henry.

Henry

I found Henry in the 1870 census as Henry Pack with wife Margaret Ann, five children, and an older woman named Jane Hall. All were listed as mulattoes except Jane Hall who was black. Henry was a carpenter and owned 60 acres of land. By 1880 his family had grown to nine children. His place of birth as well as his parents’ were listed as West Virginia which supported my assumption that this was the same Henry as seen in Samuel Pack’s will. The 1880 census included the relationships missing on the 1870 census and prove Jane Hall (b.  1800-1802) was the mother of Henry’s wife Margaret Ann Hall.

I began following the children of Henry Pack using the nine names found in the census and their mother’s maiden name. A tenth child was born after 1880. Several death records found had years of birth which did not match the census and suggested that Henry fathered more than one child in the 1880s. I found a couple of trees on Ancestry which have confused him with another Henry Pack who lived in Wythe County and died in 1925. Because of the conflicting information I decided to input all information into a family tree on Ancestry and attach the records found. This is something I have never done. I always work directly from my genealogy software, downloading the records and attaching them to the correct individuals in my GEDCOM file. But I was not sure I was following the correct persons and decided to try a different approach, i.e. a family tree on Ancestry.

Amy Was Henry’s Mother

It was while attaching all the records that I found the indexed death record of Henry Pack.

1881HenryPackDeathThere is no image for this record however the indexed information matches on several points.

  • The age at death and estimated year of birth match with the ages seen for the younger male slave of Sarah Pack in 1850 and 1860.
  • Although Raleigh County did not exist in 1825 it is where Henry lived in 1850 and likely where he was born. Pre-1850 census records of Samuel Pack were found and with changing county lines taken into consideration he lived at the same place in 1825.
  • Henry’s occupation matches the occupation seen on the 1870 and 1880 census.
  • Although seen as mulatto on the 1860 slave schedule, 1870 and 1880 census the death index has black.
  • His wife is a match with Margaret Ann Pack, her married name.
  • But the most important entries are the names of father and mother and confirm that Amy was Henry’s mother. Mr. Pack who is listed as his father very likely was not a black man as Amy was black and Henry was mulatto.

Henry’s Children, Enslaved and Free

As I researched Henry’s children I was so fixed on the three slave names in the last will and testament of Samuel Pack that I did not consider that some of Henry’s children were born into slavery. Two were born before the Emancipation Proclamation on 1 January 1863 and another was born before the abolition of slavery in Virginia in 1865: Louis, Mary Belle, and Henry Ollie.

A daughter was born two months after Henry’s death bringing the total children of Henry Pack and Margaret Ann Hall to ten:

  1. Louis PACK b. 20 January 1860 d. 8 December 1942
  2. Mary Belle PACK b. 18 March 1862 d. 4 April 1913
  3. Henry Ollie PACK b. 14 November 1864 d. 10 January 1943
  4. James Warren PACK b. 17 January 1867 d. 27 March 1940
  5. Lucy Ann PACK b. abt. 1869 d. 4 September 1881
  6. Joseph William PACK b. 27 January 1872 d. 25 Feb 1941
  7. Thomas Philip PACK b. 28 Oct 1874 d. 29 Dec 1950
  8. Walter A. PACK b. Feb 1877 d. 27 Feb 1944
  9. Creasy Jane PACK b. abt 1879 d. bet. 1917-1920
  10. Henrietta PACK b. Dec 1881 d. 3 May 1955

A death record was not found for Margaret Ann Hall. The unmarried children are missing from the 1900 census. Was their mother still living? Had she remarried? Could they be enumerated with a different surname? The family does not appear to have stayed in Pulaski County as marriages were found in Montgomery County for nearly all the children beginning in 1886. Most spent their entire lives in Auburn, Montgomery County.

The connection to Montgomery County may go back to Margaret Ann Hall’s side of the family. There were no Hall slave owners in Pulaski County in 1850 and 1860 but several in Montgomery County including Asa Hall Jr., son of Asa Hall Sr. a Revolutionary War soldier.

After inputting all information found I had 143 persons in the family tree for Amy, Addison, and Henry. I temporarily attached Addison as the son of Amy and brother of Henry. This can easily be undone if and when more information is found on Addison to prove or disproves his relationship to Amy. The tree includes ten children of Henry Pack, 32 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and counting. I did not do an exhaustive search for the second and later generations of Henry Pack’s descendants.

This exercise of using Ancestry to build a family tree was a first for me. I plan to keep the tree private as I am not a fan of the ability to click and add information from other public trees. I will reach out to those who have Henry’s children in their public trees and will give them access if they are interested. If you are related to this family, please feel free to get in touch with me by leaving a comment below.

Many thanks to my blog sister True Lewis of NoTeS To MySeLf for her feedback on my draft.

. . . . . .
The Slave Name Roll Project page can be found on
Schalene Jennings Dagutis’ blog Tangled Roots and Trees
.... ..

Following my three part series on the slaves of my 5th grand-father James Sims during Black History Month in February 2015 I made a commitment to write a post on a monthly basis until I’ve RELEASED all of the names of slaves owned by my ancestors or owned by persons I’ve researched who were relatives or neighbors of my ancestors. These posts are part of the Slave Name Roll Project.

bestwishescathy1

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

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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 H. ROOP (1838-1863) was born about 1838 in Montgomery County, Virginia. He married Emaline LESTER (1836-1877) on 10 March 1856 in Floyd County. They were the parents of three children. Gordon died on 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 H. ROOP, Giles Henderson ROOP, William H. T. ROOP, George Washington LESTER, and Sylvester MILLS. Her son-in-law Mathias RATLIFF served in Company E of the same regiment. Seven men in the family served and three did not come home: my third great-grandfather Gordon and his brothers Giles and William died in Georgia in 1863 while serving. Gordon was fighting his last battle at Chickamauga when his brothers Giles and William died within 24 hours of each other during the battle on the 19th and 20th of September 1863.24 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: #25 Rachel PROFFITT 1817-1899, Widow of War of 1812 Pensioner

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

This is entry #25 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

Note: The Distributed Denial of Service attack (DDoS) on ancestry.com and its sister sites last Monday took the site down for two days. This is still being felt in the genealogy world as several of the “minor” sites are still down. My apologies for links to Rootsweb pages in this post that are not working.

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

Rachel PROFFITT, my third great-grandmother, was born about 1817 in Franklin County, Virginia. Although her married life is well documented, the names of her parents have not been found in any written records. Her maiden name is seen on the death certificate of her youngest child Nannie Ellen CATES who died in 1942.1

1942 Nannie Ellen Cates death
Certificate of Death for Mrs. Nannie Ellen Cates

Many online GEDCOMs show that she was the daughter of David PROFFITT and Sarah “Sally” COCKRAM who married on 21 October 1813 in Franklin County, Virginia.2 Another possibility is that she was the daughter of Austin PROFFITT and Martha RAKES who married on 4 June 1813 in Franklin County, Virginia.3 Austin and David were brothers and the only children of Austin PROFFITT who died before 1803. Their mother “Betsey Prophet” is enumerated with her two young sons ages between 10 and 15 years on the 1810 census of Franklin County4 and may also be reflected in the household of her son Austin in 1820 and 1830.4,5,6 The ages found for the brothers in the 1850 and later censuses show they were quite young when they married in 1813.

Since I believe that there are unresolved questions concerning Rachel’s parentage, I’ll begin her story with her marriage to Jordan N. PETERS. This will give me time to do further research for my blogposts on her parents which are scheduled for weeks #48 and #49.

Rachel Marries at 24

Jordan N. PETERS, twice widowed with 10 children at home between the ages of 2 and 20 years [Peninah 2, William 6, Martha 8, Jane 10, James 12, Jonathan 14, Mary 16, Stephen 17, Zachariah 19  and Henry 20] needed a wife and a mother for his children. He was 45 years old when he married Rachel PROFFITT who was 24 years old. Jordan’s second wife Sarah COX had died five months earlier after giving birth to a child who did not survive.7 Rev. John Turner of the Hard Shell Baptist Church married Jordan and Rachel on 8 December 1841 in Franklin County. There is no official record of marriage as we learned in Jordan’s War of 1812 pension papers.8

Eleven months later Rachel gave birth to her first child Sarah “Sallie” on 2 November 1842.9 The child may have been named for her father’s second wife, as the first daughter born to a new marriage was often named after the deceased wife. A second possibility, which earlier researchers may have assumed, is that she was named after her maternal grandmother. This would explain why Rachel is consistently seen as the daughter of David and Sarah, not Austin and Martha.

Rachel continued having children less than two years apart: Joseph W. on 12 May 1844, Moses Samuel on 25 January 1846, Keziah Lucy about 1847, and Amanda Angeline on 2 October 1850.10 At the time of her 10th wedding anniversary, Rachel was finally getting a rest from caring for her extra-large family. She had five young ones of her own and nearly all of her step-children were married or old enough to take care of themselves. The time between the births grew to 3-4 years for the next four daughters: Caroline “Callie” was born on 13 June 185311, Milla Susan on 6 December 185612, Mary Elizabeth on 25 March 186013, and Nancy Ellen “Nannie” on 20 July 1864.14

Before the Civil War (1861-1865) Rachel’s oldest daughter Sallie married her first cousin David C. PETERS (1838-1906) on 21 January 1859 in Franklin County. An error was made on the marriage record. The names of the mothers of the bride and groom were switched and read Willis & Rachel and Jordan & Ruth instead of Willis & Ruth and Jordan & Rachel.15

The Civil War Years

As with so many other families during these times, Rachel and her husband Jordan would have sad memories of the Civil War. Both sons served on the Confederate side during the war between the states. Joseph enlisted on 8 March 1862 and was admitted to the hospital in Harrisonburg, Rockingham County, Virginia, where he died of unknown causes on 18 April 1862.16,17 Moses enlisted two years later on 22 April 1864 as a private in Company H, Virginia 4th Infantry Regiment.18 Rachel would see Moses come home after the war, marry and raise a large family.

Not only did Jordan and Rachel lose their son Joseph during the war, but their home was burned down in February of 1865, the year of the surrender. In later years, as they fought for Jordan’s War of 1812 pension, they would be reminded of this loss as the family bible and other important papers went up in smoke. The death of daughter Milla Susan ROOP and her young daughter in a house fire in 1891 most likely also brought sad memories of these times to Rachel after she lost her husband in 1890.19

Rachel’s Children Marry

Following the Civil War, Rachel’s children began to marry:

Ch 3: Moses Samuel PETERS married Elizabeth A. “Betty” TRUSLER (1854-1936) on 10 August 1869 at Jesse Edward’s in Floyd County, Virginia.20

Ch 5: Amanda Angeline “Mandy” PETERS married William Pascal BEVERLY (1844-1924) on 20 February 1873 in Montgomery County, Virginia.21

Ch 4: Keziah Lucy PETERS married Elkanah Yates MASSEY (1845- ) on 8 November 1874 in Patrick County, Virginia.22

Ch 6: Caroline “Callie” PETERS married Edward CLARK (1858-1930) on 3 November 1877 at the bride’s residence in Floyd County.23

Ch 7: Milla Susan PETERS married Gordon Washington ROOP (1862-1930) on 1 January 1880 at Jordan Peters’ residence in Floyd County.24

Ch 8: Mary Elizabeth F. “Emma” PETERS married James Thomas PRICE (1848-1938) on 10 October 1881 at Jordan Peters’ residence in Floyd County.25 She divorced him and married Peter ROTOLO in 1894.26 She was widowed and married Bernet James TILLEY in 1902.27

Ch 9: Nancy Ellen “Nannie” PETERS married John J. CATES (1864-1921) on 28 December 1882 in Patrick County.28

Rachel and Jordan’s Later Years

By the time Rachel’s youngest daughters had married, her elderly husband Jordan was in his early 80s and finally receiving his well-earned pension. They would have less than eight years to enjoy their first time alone as a couple. Jordan N. PETERS died on 14 October 1890 at Nettle Ridge in Patrick County of old age – he was 94.29 Rachel and Jordan would have celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary a few months later. They were married twice as long as Jordan was married to his first two wives.

Rachel Has Difficulties Getting her Widow’s Pension

The year following Jordan’s death his widow Rachel began giving evidence in order to claim her widow’s pension. The government was not able to identify the claim “from the data given.” The government files were still in disorder.

The Government would not grant Rachel a pension unless she could prove that she had been lawfully married to Jordan. Rachel was determined to provide some evidence but the Family Bible had turned to ashes in the 1865 fire that destroyed the Peters’ home. It was common practice at that time for people to pack up their Family Bibles and send them to the Government to verify marriages and other relationships in order to obtain their pensions. Complicating matters, the Clerk of Court in Franklin County could find no record of their marriage.

In order to prove her case, this elderly lady, 74 years old, walked many miles in the rain over muddy mountain roads to get sworn statements from friends, neighbors, the Clerk of Court and the Justice of the Peace. In March 1891, Rachel sent a letter to her law firm in Washington, D.C.: “…If you want the evidence of a U.S. Marshal, I can get it from Han Woolwine of this county who knows me well, but he resides at Stuart 13 miles from here…The Judge of the court lives 27 miles from here and the Clerk of the court 13 miles. This is a long and mountainous county and the mud in the roads are hardly passable…I have to walk around to get up this evidence, and you see my age, I am old…it is raining almost every day…”

MRIN00056 Rachel Proffitt Peters letter from War of 1812 package
Rachel’s 1891 letter to her law firm in Washington D.C. found in Jordan N. PETER’s War of 1812 pension file. Courtesy of Paula Kelley Ward.

Rachel’s friends and neighbors were indignant that she had to go to such lengths to prove her marriage. The Justice of the Peace, Mr. W. H. Cooper, was a friend who had known Jordan and Rachel for several years. Before he signed his name to his own testimony in her behalf, he added the following crusty comment: “…and I have known them for 9 or 10 years and they lived together as man and wife in this community and if they had not been so, I should have had them indicted for unlawful cohabitation and tried.”

Rachel’s effort was successful and within six months she was granted a pension of $12.00 per month plus the accrued pension due her from the date of Jordan’s death.30

Rachel PROFFITT received her pension for eight years before dying on 5 March 1899 near Nettle Ridge at the age of 82.31

Pension Odyssey Continues Following Rachel’s Death

You would think that this would be the end of the pension odyssey for the PETERS family, however, the story continues. I’ll let Paula Kelley Ward tell how the story finally ends.

It began on the day before Rachel Peters died. She was living with her daughter and son-in-law, Ellen and John Cates, in a house on the Taylor farm. For a time Rachel had been receiving her mail through the Post Office at Bassil, Virginia. The Post Mistress, Fannie L. Taylor, knew that Rachel had been ill with pneumonia for about ten days. Mrs. Taylor and her husband went to visit Rachel on Saturday, March 4, 1899. They brought Rachel’s pension vouchers for her to sign. Rachel could not write but she made her mark on the papers. “She was then in her right mind,” Mrs. Taylor said.

The next morning Abe and Lucy Pickrel visited John and Ellen Cates. Rachel told Lucy that she wanted her daughter, Ellen, to have her check. Lucy wrote a short statement which said: “Please let John Kates have my check when it comes, Rachel Peters” and Rachel made her mark on this paper. Later that same day, at sundown, Rachel passed away.

Eleven days later John and Ellen Cates went to the Bassil Post Office, gave Mrs. Taylor the statement that Rachel had signed, and Mrs. Taylor gave them the pension check. Lucy Pickrel met them at the Post Office and endorsed the check in Rachel’s name. John Cates later cashed the check in Rella, North Carolina.

When the Government learned that Mrs. Peters had died on March 5, but that her pension check had been cashed about two weeks later, it went into action. A special examiner for the Bureau of Pensions in Washington, D.C., E. H. Carver, was sent to Patrick County to investigate.

This was the Government that had prevented Jordan N. Peters from obtaining his rightful pension for ten years. It was the Government that had misfiled, lost, and was not able to read Jordan’s pension claims and testimony, the Government that had been responsible for Jordan’s widow having to walk all over the mountains to procure testimony in her behalf. Now this same Government was miraculously keeping an intact record of its so-called “Criminal Case.” The Bureau of Pensions had suddenly become efficient. Carver was sent to roam the Blue Ridge Mountains of Patrick County, Virginia to chase down witnesses in an attempt to indict Jordan’s son-in-law for forgery.

Carver obtained testimony from four people: Lucy Pickrel; Mrs. Fannie L. Taylor; Levi J. Lackey, the merchant from Rella, North Carolina who had cashed the check; and Joseph H. Brown, a blacksmith and general mechanic who had made Mrs. Peters’ coffin.

After taking signed statements under oath, the result of his interrogation of these people, Carver sent his report to the Bureau of Pensions charging John Cates with forgery. He wrote that John Cates “had fleeced everyone whom he had any dealings with,” but there was no evidence of this. John Cates had received $36.00 when he cashed the pension check, and $8.00 of that amount had been used to pay for Mrs. Peters’ funeral expenses. Carver claimed that the balance “was used on riotous living.” There was no proof of this allegation, either. Indeed, one wonders just how much “riotous living” could be bought with $28.00 in Patrick County, Virginia in 1899. It is a stretch of the imagination to conceive of Patrick County residents indulging in Carver’s idea of “riotous living,” whatever that was.

Shortly after the check was cashed, John and Ellen Cates moved to Winston, North Carolina. Carver naturally viewed this as an act of fleeing to avoid prosecution. One witness testified, however, that John Cates “got dissatisfied here. I do not suppose that he went there on account of the draft.”

Four months later the Federal Government brought its case before the Grand Jury in Danville, Virginia. For background, it also provided the Grand Jury with Jordan N. Peters’ pension records and the records of Jordan’s widow. Did the Grand Jury observe Jordan’s ten-year struggle to get his pension? Did it note that Rachel Peters had supplied an unusual amount of evidence to prove her marriage? The deliberations of the Grand Jury are not contained in Jordan’s pension file. All that is known is the Government’s attempt at indictment, which failed. The Grand Jury’s decision was “Not a true bill.” John Cates was not indicted.

The Government pursued the case, bringing it before a second Grand Jury at Lynchburg, Virginia. Again, the Grand Jury refused to indict John Cates for forgery. Was he guilty? It is true that he had cashed the pension check, but two of the four witnesses who had given their sworn statements to Carver had provided conclusive evidence that John Cates had not forged the check. Lucy Pickrel admitted that she herself had endorsed the check in Rachel Peters’ name.

Twice defeated, the Government decided to close its case because “it was futile and unnecessarily expensive.” That was an understatement since it must have cost the Government considerably more than $36.00, the amount of the pension check, to investigate the case and take it before two Grand Juries.

A final insult to Jordan’s service was found in his pension file on a slip of paper dated June 5, 1919. Twenty years after Rachel Peters had died, the Government added: “Rachel, widow of Jordan N. Peters…Papers found in Claim of Lucy A. Loveland, widow of Samuel W. Loveland…”

The War of 1812 Pension Application Files

Rachel and Jordan’s stories could not have been written without the help of the War of 1812 pension file that Paul Kelley Ward obtained in 1977 from the National Archives and Records Administration. Genealogists, historians, teachers, patriotic societies, and history buffs will soon have easier access to these wonderful records. The War of 1812 Pension Application Files are being digitized, indexed, and placed online as they are in grave danger of deterioration. As of today, 17% of the documents can be accessed FREE at Fold3. I would not be surprised if by the time the project is finished Jordan’s papers may have a few more pages than when Paula received her copy in 1977.

This Post Was Updated on 19 June 2022Missing source citations were added, images were scaled, and some corrections were made to the text and format.

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


  1. “North Carolina, Death Certificates, 1909-1975,” index and images, Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/1121), citing original data: North Carolina State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics. North Carolina Death Certificates. Microfilm S.123. Rolls 19-242, 280, 313-682, 1040-1297. North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, North Carolina., Forsyth, 1942, February, Certificate of Death 153, Nannie Ellen Cates (accessed 20 June 2014). 
  2. Franklin County (Virginia). County Clerk, “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Franklin County Courthouse in Rocky Mount, Virginia, and at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia., Film 1977991, DGS 7490230, Marriage bonds 1813-1818, images 45 and 46 of 880, 1813 David Profit and Elisha Rakes bond for the marriage of David Profit and Sarah Cockram. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99ZG-84FM?i=45&cat=765574 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  3. Ibid., Film 1977991, DGS 7490230, Marriage bonds 1813-1818, images 43 and 44 of 880, 1813 Austin Prophet and Elisha Rakes bond for the marriage of Austin Prophet and Patsey Rakes. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-84KZ?i=43&cat=765574 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  4. 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, Roll 68, FHL Film 0181428, image 608, Virginia, Franklin County, page 315 (stamped), line 13, Betsey Prophet (accessed 7 February 2020). 
  5. 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_136, image: 177, Virginia, Franklin County, page 159 (stamped), line 22, Austin Proffit (accessed 29 October 2013). 
  6. 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_192, FHL Film: 0029671, Virginia, Franklin County, page 86 (double-page spread), line 16, Austin Proffitt (accessed 7 February 2020). 
  7. Letter written by James Peters to his brother Zachariah Peters, (Boone County, West Virginia, 4 July 1864, 4 pages), a digital copy of a photocopy of the original letter received per email dated 8 June 2014 from Paula Kelley Ward, page 4 of the letter with dates of birth for the children of Jordan N Peters, including the date of death of his second wife, “…and the one dyed without being named was born July the 1st 1841 and dyed the same day and its mother died the 8th of July 1841.” 
  8. “War of 1812 Pension Files,” database and images, Fold3, citing “War of 1812 Pension and Bounty land Warrant Application Files,” compiled ca. 1871–1900, documenting the period 1812–ca.1900, National Archives, Washington, D.C., original data from The National Archives (http://www.archives.gov), RG15-1812PB-Bx2693, National Archives Catalog ID: 564415, service of Jordan N. Peters (Pvt Capt Robert Hairston Va Militia, War of 1812), widow Rachel Proffitt. (https://www.fold3.com/image/642937397 : accessed 27 March 2022). Conflicting dates of marriage were found in the pension file. On page 2, a cover sheet, the year of marriage was 1843. Jordan N. Peters states that he married on 8 December 1844 (page 18) and 8 December 1840 (page24). He married after the death of his 2nd wife in 1841 and before the birth of his daughter Sarah in November 1842 therefore I have assumed the marriage took place on 8 December 1841. 
  9. Letter written by James Peters to his brother Zachariah Peters, (Crook Township, Boone County, West Virginia, 4 July 1864, 4 pages), page 4 of the letter with dates of birth for the children of Jordan N Peters. 
  10. Ibid. 
  11. Ibid., The letter from her half-brother James wrote to her half-brother Zachariah listed her birth date as 13 June 1853. Her grave marker has 31 January 1855 as her date of birth. 
  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 Births, 1853-1930, FHL microfilm 598415, image 71, Raleigh County Register of Births, page 10 (double-page spread), line 44, 6 Dec 1856, Milla S. Peters, citing Hughes Creek, Raleigh County, Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/598415/00071.jpg : accessed 23 June 2014). 
  13. Discrepancy concerning her date of birth. She was three months old at the time of the 1860 census (b. abt. March 1860). In 1933 when she applied for a widow’s pension she noted that she was 75 on March 25, 1933 (b. 25 March 1858). On her death record, her grandson Earl E. Cundiff gave 22 March 1852 as her date of birth. The census being the most reliable and closest to the actual event, it has been assumed that her date of birth was 25 March 1860. 
  14. “North Carolina, Death Certificates, 1909-1975,” Forsyth, 1942, February, Certificate of Death 153, Nannie Ellen Cates (accessed 20 June 2014). Note: She is listed as born on 20 July 1870 in Floyd County, Virginia. The year of birth is an error. She was 6 years old on the 1870 census and 15 years old on the 1880 census, therefore her date of birth has been estimated at 20 July 1864. 
  15. “Registers of births, marriages, deaths, 1853-1915; index to births, marriages, deaths, 1853-1898,” browse-only, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Franklin County Courthouse in Rocky Mount, Virginia., Film 31523 (Items 2-3) DGS 7578970, Register of marriages, nos. 1-2 1853-1915, image 144 of 608, line 6, 21 Jan 1859, David Peters and Sarah Peters, parents of groom Willis and Rachel, parents of bride Jordan and Ruth, married by Michael Howery. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-VXZ2?i=143 : accessed 18 June 2022) Note: An error was made on the marriage record. The names of the mothers of the bride and groom were switched. 
  16. John D. Chapla, 42nd Virginia Infantry: The Virginia Regimental History Series, 3rd edition (1983), published by H.E. Howard, pg. 118, “Peters, Joseph W.: Pvt., Co. B. Enlisted 8 March 1862 Floyd Court House, Floyd Co., age 21. Hospitalized Harrisonburg by 4/18/22 (sic, typo in the book, probably supposed to be 18 April 1862) when died unspecified cause.” 
  17. United States. Adjutant General’s Office, “Index to compiled service records of Confederate soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Virginia,” index and images, FamilySearch, NARA Series M382 (62 rolls), citing The National Archives, Washington, D.C., Film 881437, DGS 8920385, M382 Roll 43, Index Pau – Ph, image 3315 of 14230, John W. Peters, 1861-1865. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QHV-13PK-L7F1?i=3314&cat=281165 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  18. Ibid., image 3324 of 14230, Moses Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QHV-13PK-L76P?i=3323&cat=281165 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  19. Everette L. McGrew, My Mother Was A Rupe (revised copy dated August 2000), page 104, family Rflec, Gordon Washington Roop, family tradition shared by Linda Pearl Dickey Roop (1943-1994). Linda Pearl Dickey Roop (1943-1994) collaborated with Everette Llavon McGREW (1923-2008) on a book on the ROOP family in the early 1990s. In the summer of 1994, she was diagnosed with cancer and died a month later. Everette took over the task of finishing the book which he titled My Mother Was A Rupe. He gave me an updated copy in 2002. “Milla and the young daughter died in a house fire in 1891.” 
  20. 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 162 of 606, Floyd County Register of Marriages 1869, line 48. Moses Peters and E. A. Truslow. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-K99T-6?i=161&cat=363663 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  21. Ibid., Film 31345 (Items 3), DGS 7578964, image 173 of 606, Floyd County Register of Marriages 1873, line 26, Wm Beverly and Amanda Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-K99Y-G?i=172 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  22. Patrick County (Virginia). Clerk of the County Court, “Marriage registers, 1791-1923 ; index to births, marriages, deaths 1853-1912” (browse-only images), FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Patrick County Courthouse in Stuart, Virginia., Film 33351, DGS 7579037, Register of marriages, no. 3, 1853-1912, image 242 of 457, Patrick County Register of Marriages 1874, line 17, 8 Nov 1874, E Y Masses and L K Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-RLMK?i=241 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  23. Floyd County, Virginia, “Marriage registers, 1843-1925,” Film 31345 (Items 1-3), DGS 7578964, image 186 of 606, Floyd County Register of Marriages 1877, line 85, 3 Nov 1877, Edward Clark and Callie Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-K9S3-H?i=185 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  24. Ibid., Film 31345 (Items 3), DGS 7578964, image 193 of 606, Floyd County Register of Marriages 1879-1880, line 137, 1 Jan 1880, Gordon Washington Roop and Milla Susan Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99XF-K9M8-L?i=192 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  25. Ibid., Film 31345 (Items 3), DGS 7578964, image 203 of 606, Floyd County Register of Marriages 1881, line 82. 10 Oct 1881, Thomas Price and Mary E. Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-K99T-X?i=202 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  26. Tazewell County (Virginia). County Clerk, “Marriage registers, 1800-1920 ; index to marriages, 1800-1939” (browse-only images), FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Tazewell County Courthouse in Tazewell, Virginia., Film 34214 (Items 5), DGS 4284960, Register of marriages, no. 3, 1853-1920, Tazewell County Register of Marriages 1894, page 110, line 57, 30 Apr 1894, Peter Rotolo and Emma Price. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-6LC9-VXV?i=532&cat=473283 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  27. WVCulture.org, West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 800736, image 328, Mercer County Marriage Register, page 155 (stamped), line 1, 4 June 1902, B J Tilly and Emma Rotolo. (http://images.wvculture.org/800736/00328.jpg : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  28. Patrick County, Virginia, “Marriage registers, 1791-1923; index to births, marriages, deaths 1853-1912,” Film 33351, DGS 7579037, Register of marriages, no. 3, 1853-1912, image 276 of 457, Patrick County Register of Marriages 1882, line 3, 28 Dec 1882, John Cates and N.E. Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-RLSD?i=275 : accessed 18 June 2022). 
  29. “War of 1812 Pension Files” service of Jordan N. Peters (Pvt Capt Robert Hairston Va Militia, War of 1812), widow Rachel Proffitt, image 2, pension file cover form 1501 with the dates of death of the soldier and his widow. (https://www.fold3.com/image/642937397 : accessed 27 March 2022). 
  30. Paula Kelley Ward, “Jordan’s Story,” p. 24-29, Wherever We Wander, compiled, designed, and edited by Carolyn Hale Bruce; cover designed by Charles Randolph Bruce. All stories in this book are copyrighted, 2005, by their authors and may not be reproduced in any form without written permission from the author(s), except for brief quotes in reviews or for publicity purposes. Note: Paula shared a revised version of “Jordan’s Story” in 2012 in a PDF. Excerpts are included here with her permission. 
  31. “War of 1812 Pension Files” service of Jordan N. Peters (Pvt Capt Robert Hairston Va Militia, War of 1812), widow Rachel Proffitt, image 2, pension file cover form 1501 with the dates of death of the soldier and his widow. (https://www.fold3.com/image/642937397 : accessed 27 March 2022). 

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

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

This is entry #24 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

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

Update (21 June 2014): A correction has been made to the name of this ancestor. Jordan N. PETERS’ supposed middle name, “Nichols,” has never been proven. His records only include the middle initial “N.” The middle name “Nichols” has been removed/changed to the middle initial in this blogpost.

My 3rd great-grandfather Jordan N. PETERS was born in Amherst County, Virginia, on 10 October 1796 to Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah LIVELY.1 Zach and Kesiah were married nearly two years when Jordan was born.2,3 Following his birth, the PETERS family continued to grow and moved to Franklin County, Virginia, sometime before the 1810 census.4 By 1810 Jordan, 14 years old, had 7 brothers and sisters. Four more would be born by the end of the War of 1812.

1810peterscensus
1810 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Franklin

Of the dozen children born to Jordan’s parents, the names are not known for two girls and two boys, however, they are documented in the pre-1850 census statistics. Jordan’s known siblings were Mary, William, Betsy, Lucy, Willis, Joseph, and Susannah.

War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 18 February 1815)

In 1977 Paula Kelley Ward obtained Jordan’s complete War of 1812 file from the National Archives and Records Administration. She transcribed and typed all the documents in the file. The complete transcription and the full story contained in the records came to nearly 50 typewritten pages. With information gleaned from his War of 1812 records, Paula wrote “Jordan’s Story.”5

In the years I’ve been doing genealogy, I learned that it is very important to share with other researchers. We can’t do everything on our own. A different perspective often helps push past the problems we have in our research. Paula, my 4C1R and 4C, has kindly allowed me to use the images of documents she found. Excerpts from “Jordan’s Story” are included here to allow Jordan to tell his story, through Paula, in his own voice.

Jordan said he enlisted in 1814 “to keep my father from being drafted.” He was about 17 years old then, six feet tall, with black hair, black eyes, and a dark complexion. He gave his occupation as “farmer” when he volunteered at Franklin Court House under Captain William Jones…..During his first term of service, Jordan said he “worked in the trenches and mustered every day for two months and 22 days.” He then became ill with the “bloody flux” and at about the same time his shoulder was dislocated…..Jordan was granted a discharge…

1812jordan
Index to War of 1812 Pension Application Files [https://archive.org/stream/indextowarof0074unit#page/n381/mode/2up : accessed 6 June 2014]
The second time he enlisted he was 18 years old and volunteered at Franklin Court House on February 6, 1815 in Captain Robert Hairston’s Company…. The Company had marched as far as Chester (or possibly Chesterfield), Virginia when word reached them that a Treaty of Peace had been ratified on February 16. “Peace was made, and we marched over the Bridge and were paid for our time,” he said. The Company was discharged at Richmond on February 19, 1815, and Jordan went home to Franklin County.

The Jordan and Polly Era (1817-1837)

MRIN07822 1817 Jordan Peters and Mary Troup permission to marry
1817 Permission slip. Courtesy of Paula Kelley Ward

Mary “Polly” TROUP was 18 years old when she married Jordan N. PETERS on 6 October 1817 in Franklin County, Virginia.6 Her parents Henry and Dorothy TROUP gave permission for their daughter Mary to marry Jordan PETERS.7 He was the first of the PETERS children to marry. His brother William married Polly’s sister Alice in December 1818.

In 1820 Jordan is first seen in the census as the head of household with his wife and young daughter.8 Interesting is that Jordan is enumerated after Austin PROFFITT, the uncle of the young lady he would later marry, have children with, and spend the rest of his life with.

1820peterscensus
1820 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Franklin [Ancestry.com : accessed 9 June 2014]
By 1830 Jordan’s family had grown to include 5 boys and 3 girls. One of these girls may have died young. Could his daughter Jane who is said to have been born on 22 June 1831 actually have been born in 1830 and included in the count of the 1830 census?9

1830peterscensus
1830 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Montgomery [Ancestry.com : accessed 9 June 2014]
Jordan’s wife Mary “Polly” TROUP died on 5 January 1837 in Franklin County, Virginia.10 She died at the age of 37 after bringing ten children into the world. When she died, her oldest child Cynthia was 17 and her youngest William was just 1 year and 3 months.

  • Cynthia was born on 8 Oct 181910
  • Henry T. was born on 17 Mar 182110
  • Zachariah was born on 14 May 182210
  • Stephen was born on 13 Mar 182410
  • Mary was born on 6 Aug 182510
  • Jonathan was born on 23 Apr 182710
  • James was born on 25 Jan 182910
  • Jane was born on 22 Jun 183110
  • Martha Ann was born on 19 Jan 183310
  • William Edward was born on 2 Oct 183510

In a letter written to Zachariah PETERS on 2 July 1864, James PETERS wrote,Dier Brother I comply with your request and send you the register of our ages as furnished me by our father I send it in short hand and you can copy it.” The dates of birth seen above as well as the date of death of the children’s mother followed. I received a transcript of the letter in 2003 and wondered if all information was transcribed correctly. Genealogy research has been Paula’s life work since the age of 16. It was no surprise that she had a photocopy of the original letter that she shared with me. I found that the items I questioned in the transcription were errors. Lesson learned: Do not rely on transcriptions – always verify with an image of the original when available.

Jordan’s Siblings and Parents

Let’s back up here a bit. While Mary and Jordan’s family was growing, his siblings were  marrying in Franklin County and starting their own families:

  • William PETERS married Alice “Alla” TROUP on 12 December 181811
  • Mary PETERS married Samuel SMITH on 18 December 182312
  • Elizabeth “Betsy” PETERS married Jesse EDWARDS on 17 June 182613
  • Lucy PETERS married Joseph JARRELL on 4 October 182714
  • Willis PETERS married Ruth SMITH on 21 March 182915
  • Joseph PETERS married Martha “Patsy” SMITH on 1 September 183016
  • Susan PETERS married Andrew REEL on 16 October 183917

At the time of this writing, a marriage bond index was used. The FamilySearch films are now available (2021-2022) and were checked to verify the above dates.11,12,13,14,15,16,17

Their parents most likely saw most of them marry except for their youngest Susannah. It has been assumed that Kesiah LIVELY and Zachariah PETERS both died between 1830–1840 in Franklin County, Virginia. There is no record of their deaths. Neither was enumerated as a head of household in 1840. None of their “known” children had older individuals in their households in 1840.

Update (6 June 2022): Recently found records prove that Kesiah was living on 16 October 1839. To be discussed in a future post…

The Jordan and Sarah Era (1837-1841)

MRIN07823 1837 Sarah Cox permission to marry Jordan Peters
1837 Permission Slip. Courtesy of Paula Kelley Ward.

Jordan wasted little time in marrying again. Mary TROUP died in January and seven months later on 15 August 1837, he married Sarah COX.18 Her mother Peninah COX gave permission for Sarah to marry Jordan on 9 August 1837.19 We don’t know how old Sarah was but she immediately became the stepmother of ten children. Three months later Jordan’s oldest child Cynthia married Sarah’s brother Moses COX on 26 November 1837.20 Both marriages took place in Franklin County.

MRIN07823 1837 Jordan Peters and Sarah Cox marriage
1837 Marriage Bond. Courtesy of Paula Kelley Ward.

Sarah’s first child, Peninah, born on 14 November 1839, was named after her mother, Peninah WALDEN, widow of Francis COX.21

In 1840 Jordan was enumerated with his second wife, their newborn daughter, and nine of his children from his first marriage.22

1840peterscensus
1840 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Franklin [Ancestry.com : accessed 9 June 2014]
Jordan and Sarah’s second child was born on 1 July 1841 and died the same day without being given a name.23 Sarah died about a week later on 8 July 1841.24

Jordan now had eleven children, all presumably still living at home except for Cynthia who married in 1837. Zachariah would marry in 1846, Henry in 1847, and Stephen and possibly Jane in 1848. The rest of his children from his first marriage were married by 1855.

The Jordan and Rachel Era (1841-1890)

On 8 December 1841, just five months after Sarah’s death, Jordan, age 45, married a third time to my 3rd great-grandmother Rachel PROFFITT, age 24.25 They married in Franklin County. In the next 23 years, she gave him 9 more children while the family moved back and forth between Franklin County, Raleigh County, and Floyd County. This is well documented in the War of 1812 papers, births of children, and census.

  • Sarah “Sallie” PETERS (1842-1899) was born on 2 November 1842
  • Joseph W. PETERS (1844-1862) was born on 12 May 1844
  • Moses Samuel PETERS (1846-1915) was born on 25 January 1846
  • Keziah Lucy PETERS (1847-1934) born abt. 1847
  • Amanda A “Mandy” PETERS (1850-1895) was born on 2 October 1850
  • Caroline “Callie” PETERS (1855-1930) was born on 31 January 1855
  • Milla Susan PETERS (1856-1891) was born on 6 December 1856
  • Mary Elizabeth F. “Emma” PETERS (1860-1944) was born on 22 March 1860
  • Nancy Ellen “Nannie” PETERS (1864-1942) was born in July 1864
1850peterscensus
1850 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Raleigh > District 59
1850censuscoxpeters
1850 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Raleigh > District 59

In 1850 we see Jordan living next door to several COX families in Raleigh County which would later be part of West Virginia. Daniel COX and his family are next door to his mother Peninah and three siblings. Jordan’s daughter Cynthia and her husband Moses COX are in the next household followed by Jordan and his family.26

By 1860 the Peters family was once again in Franklin County.27

1860peterscensus
1860 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Franklin > S.W. District

For reasons unknown today, Jordan did not declare his first term of service when he testified in 1855 to claim the bounty land due him. He received a Bounty Land Warrant for 160 acres in 1856. In later years when he provided sworn statements to the Government in an attempt to prove his first term of service, the records could not be found. In addition, he had received two discharges which would have proven his service but unfortunately these papers were burned along with everything else he owned in a fire which destroyed his house in February of 1865.

The statements made by Jordan and Rachel Peters concerning the fire could be interpreted today as suggesting that the house was burned deliberately. “The year of the Surrender we got our house and Family Record Bible of Ages and Marriage and Deaths all burnt up with everything else we had,” said Rachel. When the Civil War began, it must have been a sad event to those who had served in the War of 1812. Witness Jordan’s statement: “I loved the Stars and the Stripes that was the old Flag I went under. When I saw them pull them down [the old flag] and raise the Rebel Flag, I could not hardly keep…from shedding tears. I told them they would get enough of it, so they did. When I lived in Floyd County, Virginia, I got my house burnt up and all my papers.”

Jordan and Rachel were in Floyd County with their five youngest daughters for the 1870 census.28

1870peterscensus
1870 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd > Jacksonville

Congress approved the Act to provide a pension for service in the War of 1812 on 14 February 1871.29 Jordan, 74 years old, submitted his first pension claim.

In 1874, after three years of testimony and correspondence, the Government notified Jordan that his claim was rejected on the grounds that “evidence of 60 days service” was not proven.

Following the rejection notice there is a four-year gap in Jordan’s file, indicating that the Government may have misfiled or lost the records during those years. Then on February 23, 1878 at the age of 81, Jordan submitted another pension claim. Seven years had passed since he had first declared his service for a pension in 1871.

The Pension Office seems to have processed this claim hurriedly. In July of 1878 he was granted a pension of $8.00 per month. Then a Government examiner reviewed the claim and recommended that “this case should be rejected and certificate cancelled.” In October of that year Jordan’s name was dropped from the pension rolls and payment of pension was suspended because of “insufficient service.”

With persistence Jordan once again declared his service of two terms. Throughout 1879 and 1880 the Government offices inspected the muster rolls again. Several months passed before the Auditor reported to the Pension Office: “There are no rolls of Capt. Mackhenry, Mackhaney, McHoney or McHaney’s Company of Virginia Militia. Nor are there any rolls of Capt. Jack or John Wade’s Company of Virginia Militia on file in this office.”

While Jordan was fighting for his pension his children from his third marriage were growing and old enough to marry. Several of his children are seen marrying at his residence in Floyd County. One of these was my great-great-grandmother Milla Susan PETERS who married Gordon Washington ROOP (1862-1930) on 1 January 1880 in Floyd County, Virginia.30

1880peterscensus
1880 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd > Alum Ridge

By 1880 only Jordan’s two youngest daughters were still living at home.31 In two years they also would be married.

It was not until April of 1881 that someone was kind enough to listen carefully as Jordan told his story. That person was Mr. C. M. Stigleman. He interviewed Jordan and wrote down Jordan’s words on the letterhead of the Floyd County Superintendent of Public Schools. Jordan was 84 years old by this time and Mr. Stigleman remarked that “his memory is not good.” Even so, Jordan recalled the names of soldiers who had served with him in Captain William McHaney’s Company in Norfolk……

Mr. Stigleman seems to have been solely responsible for providing the information that at long last resulted in a pension. For ten years Jordan had steadfastly pursued his pension and finally in 1881 the Government restored his payments of $8.00 per month. In addition, he received the accrued pension from the time in 1878 when his name had been dropped from the rolls.

Jordan died of old age on October 14, 1890 near Nettle Ridge in Patrick County, Virginia. He was 94 years old. This is not the end of the story.

Jordan’s Story – page 24
Jordan’s Story – page 25
Jordan’s Story – page 26
Jordan’s Story – page 27
Jordan’s Story – page 28
Jordan’s Story – page 29

Update on links (7 June 2022): The links above are from snapshot captures by the Wayback Machine, an initiative of the Internet Archive. The original links to “Jordan’s Story” have been broken since Ancestry temporarily took RootsWeb offline on 23 December 2017 due to a security breach.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Jordan N. PETERS
Parents: Zachariah PETERS and Kesiah “Keziah” LIVELY
Spouses: 1. Mary TROUP, 2. Sarah COX, and 3. Rachel PROFFITT(*)
Whereabouts: Virginia and West Virginia
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 3rd great-grandfather

    1. Jordan N. PETERS
    2. Milla Susan PETERS
    3. Walter Farmer ROOP
    4. Myrtle Hazel ROOP
    5. Fred Roosevelt DEMPSEY
    6. Cathy Meder-Dempsey

This Post Was Updated on 13 June 2022: Missing source citations were added, images were scaled, and some corrections were made to the text and format.

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


  1. “War of 1812 Pension Files,” database and images, Fold3, citing “War of 1812 Pension and Bounty land Warrant Application Files,” compiled ca. 1871–1900, documenting the period 1812–ca.1900, National Archives, Washington, D.C., original data from The National Archives (http://www.archives.gov), RG15-1812PB-Bx2693, National Archives Catalog ID: 564415, service of Jordan N. Peters (Pvt Capt Robert Hairston Va Militia, War of 1812), widow Rachel Proffitt, images 42 and 43 of 218, affidavit of T. G. Tatum, dated 18 April 1891, with information Jordan N. Peters requested him to write down before his death as his house was burnt up and all papers lost. This includes his date of birth, two previous marriages, deaths of his previous wives, his pension certificate number, and his date and place of death. (https://www.fold3.com/image/642937438 and https://www.fold3.com/image/642937439 : accessed 27 March 2022). 
  2. “Register of marriages, Amherst County, Virginia, 1763-1853” (browse-only images), FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, Film 30273, DGS 7578824, image 382 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 97, entry 9, 1794 November 18, Zacherias Peters and Keziah Lively, each of Amherst Parish, security and witness Austin Woody. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9XF-NC7R?i=381&cat=680855 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  3. Ibid., image 738 of 786, Amherst County Register of Marriages, page 453, Ezekiel Campbell marriage returns for the year 1794, entry 8, Zachariah Peters and Keziah Lively. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89XF-N8GX?i=737&cat=680855 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  4. 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, Roll 68, FHL Film 0181428, image 43, Virginia, Amherst County, page 492, line 1, Zachariah Peters (accessed 16 November 2014). 
  5. Paula Kelley Ward, “Jordan’s Story,” p. 24-29, Wherever We Wander, compiled, designed, and edited by Carolyn Hale Bruce; cover designed by Charles Randolph Bruce. All stories in this book are copyrighted, 2005, by their authors and may not be reproduced in any form without written permission from the author(s), except for brief quotes in reviews or for publicity purposes. Note: Paula shared a revised version of “Jordan’s Story” in 2012 in a PDF. 
  6. Franklin County (Virginia). County Clerk, “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Franklin County Courthouse in Rocky Mount, Virginia, and at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia., Film 1977991, DGS 7490230, Marriage bonds 1813-1818, image 638 to 641 of 880, 1817 Jordan N Peters and Jacob Troup bond for the marriage of Jordan Peters and Mary Troup (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZG-87MT?cat=765574 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  7. Ibid., Film 1977991, DGS 7490230, Marriage bonds 1813-1818, image 641 of 880, 1817 Jacob and Dorothy Troup’s permission for daughter Mary to marry Jordan Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZG-8Q57?i=640&cat=765574 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  8. 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_136, image: 177, Virginia, Franklin County, page 159 (stamped), line 21, Jordan N Peters (accessed 29 October 2013). 
  9. 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_198, FHL Film: 0029677, Virginia, Montgomery County, Blacksburg, page 87 (double-page spread), line 1, Jordan Peters (accessed 10 Feb 2007). 
  10. Letter written by James Peters to his brother Zachariah Peters, (Boone County, West Virginia, 4 July 1864, 4 pages), a digital copy of a photocopy of the original letter received per email dated 8 June 2014 from Paula Kelley Ward, page 4 of the letter with dates of birth for the children of Jordan N Peters, including the dates of death of his first two wives. 
  11. “Marriage bond register, 1786-1853; loose marriage bonds and licenses, 1785-1900,” (Franklin County, Virginia), Film 1977991, DGS 7490230, Marriage bonds 1813-1818, image 818 to 821 of 880, 1818 William Peters and Jacob Troup bond for the marriage of William Peters and Alla Troup and Henry Troup and his wife Dorothy’s permission for their daughter Alla to marry William Peters.  (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99ZG-84X2?i=817&cat=765574 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  12. Ibid., Film 1977993, DGS 7490232, Marriage bonds 1823-1827, images 42+43 of 855, 1823 Samuel Smith and William Peters bond for marriage of Samuel Smith and Mary Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-D91X?i=42&cat=765574 : accessed 7 June 2022). 
  13. Ibid., Film 1977996, DGS 7490235, Marriage bonds 1835-1838, images 548-549 of 784, 1826 Jesse Edwards and Zachariah Peters bond for the marriage of Jesse Edwards and Betsy Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-D37H?i=548&cat=765574 : accessed 12 June 2022). 
  14. Ibid. Film 31523 (Item 1), DGS 7578970, Marriage bonds register 1786-1853 (Gives husband’s name, wife’s name, date of bond, name of surety, name of minister), image 82 of 608, No. 2167, Jarrell Joseph and Peters Lucy 4 Oct 1827 Peters Zachariah security. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9XF-VXYJ?i=81 : accessed 12 June 2022). 
  15. Ibid., Film 1977994, DGS 7490233, Marriage bonds 1828-1831, images 407-410 of 873, 1829 Willis Peters and John Powers bond for the marriage of Willis Peters and Ruth Smith and Gideon Smyth’s permission for his daughter Ruth to marry Willis Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-YW7?i=406&cat=765574 : accessed 12 June 2022). 
  16. Ibid., Film 1977994, DGS 7490233, Marriage bonds 1828-1831, images 630-633 of 873, 1830 Joseph Peters and Samuel Grimmett bond for the marriage of Joseph Peters and Patsy Smith and the Gideon Smith’s permission for his daughter Patsy to marry Joseph Peters. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-T6FC?i=629&cat=765574 : accessed 13 June 2022). 
  17. Ibid., Film 1977997, DGS 7490236, Marriage bonds 1838-1841, images 210-213 of 838, 1839 Andrew Reel and William Hixson bond for the marriage of Andrew Reel and Susan Peters and Kisiah Peters’ permission for her daughter Susan to marry Andrew Reel. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZG-HFP6?i=209&cat=765574 : accessed 13 June 2022). 
  18. Ibid., Film 1977996, DGS 7490235, Marriage bonds 1835-1838, images 526-527 of 784, 1837 marriage bond of Jordan N Peters and Sarah Cox. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZG-HQTW?i=526&cat=765574 : accessed 8 June 2022). 
  19. Ibid., Film 1977996, DGS 7490235, Marriage bonds 1835-1838, images 528-529 of 784, 1837 permission slip for bride. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-H779?i=528&cat=765574 : accessed 8 June 2022). 
  20. Ibid., Film 1977996, DGS 7490235, Marriage bonds 1835-1838, images 444-445 of 784, 1837 Moses Cox and Cynthia Peters bond. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89ZG-H7VD?i=444&cat=765574 : accessed 13 June 2022). 
  21. Letter written by James Peters to his brother Zachariah Peters, (Boone County, West Virginia, 4 July 1864, 4 pages), “Peninah Peters was born Nov the 14th 1839.” 
  22. 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, NARA Roll: M704_559, FHL Film: 0029686, Virginia, Franklin County, page 307 (double-page spread), line 16, Jordon Peaters (sic, Jordan Peters) (accessed 29 October 2013). 
  23. Letter written by James Peters to his brother Zachariah Peters, (Boone County, West Virginia, 4 July 1864, 4 pages), “…and the one dyed without being named was born July the 1st 1841 and dyed the same day.” 
  24. Ibid., “…and its mother died the 8th of July 1841.” 
  25. Conflicting dates of marriage were found in the pension file. On page 2, a cover sheet, the year of marriage was 1843. Jordan N. Peters states that he married on 8 December 1844 (page 18) and 8 December 1840 (page24). He married after the death of his 2nd wife in 1841 and before the birth of his daughter Sarah in November 1842 therefore I have assumed the marriage took place on 8 December 1841. 
  26. 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: 972, Virginia, Raleigh County, District 59, Page: 10B, lines 29-37, household 135-135, Jordan Peters (accessed 17 May 2021). 
  27. 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_1346; Family History Library Film: 805346, Virginia, Franklin County, South Western District, page 35, lines 17-25, household 234-231, Jordan N. Peters(accessed 29 October 2013). 
  28. 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, Jacksonville, page 29, sheet 57A, household 213-201, lines 3-9, Jordan Peters (accessed 29 October 2013). 
  29. “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. Information about the collection in the description on Ancestry was taken from the Descriptive Pamphlet to Index to War of 1812 Pension Application Files, Microfilm Publication M313.(accessed 12 June 2022). 
  30. Barbara Reininger, compiler and website owner of “Families of Floyd County, Virginia,” Floyd Co., Virginia Marriages, transcribed from images of microfilm records obtained by Rena Worthen from the Library of Virginia, “Marriage registers, 1843-1925,” film 31345 items 1-3, DGS 7578964, microfilm of original records at the Floyd County Courthouse, FCVA1879_0137, Register: 3. Page: 61, Gordon Washington Roop m. Milla Susan Peters 01-01-1880 at Jordon Peters’, Floyd Co., VA by William L. Simmons. (https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1879/FCVA18790137.jpg : accessed 12 June 2022). 
  31. 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: 1365, Virginia, Floyd County, Alum Ridge, enumeration district 25, page 5, sheet 264A, household 38-38, lines 1-4, Jordan Peters (accessed 13 August 2007). 

52 Ancestors: #13 Milla Susan “Millie” PETERS 1856-1891

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

This is my 13th contribution to Amy Johnson Crow’s challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

#13 Milla Susan “Millie” PETERS 1856-1891

Do you remember when you were young and one of your parents wanted to scold you and ran through the names of all your siblings before they got to yours? Image what it was like for Milla’s father, “Cynthia, Henry, Zachariah, Stephen, Mary, Jonathan, James, Jane, Martha, William, Peninah, Sallie, Joseph, Moses, Kesiah, Mandy, Callie, Elizabeth, Nannie, Milla!!!

Her siblings:
Child 1: Cynthia Peters (1819-?) born 18 October 1819 Franklin
Child 2: Henry T. Peters (1821-1890) born 17 March 1821 Franklin
Child 3: Zachariah Peters (1822-1899) born 14 May 1822 Franklin
Child 4: Stephen Peters (1824-1869) born 13 March 1824 Franklin
Child 5: Mary Peters (1825-1856) born 6 August 1825 Franklin
Child 6: Jonathan Peters (1827-1910) born 23 April 1827 Franklin
Child 7: James Peters (1829-1880) born 25 January 1829 Franklin
Child 8: Jane Peters (1831-1867) born 23 June 1831 Franklin
Child 9: Martha Ann Peters (1832-1902) born 19 January 1832 Franklin
Child 10: William Edward Peters (1834-1863) born 2 October 1834 Franklin
Child 11: Peninah Peters (1839-1859) born 14 November 1839 Franklin
Child 12: ___ Peters (1841-1841) born 1 July 1841, died 1 July 1841 Franklin
Child 13: Sarah “Sallie” Peters (1842-1899) born 2 November 1842 Franklin
Child 14: Joseph W. Peters (1844-1862) born 12 May 1844 Franklin
Child 15: Moses Samuel Peters (1846-1915) born 25 January 1846 Franklin
Child 16: Keziah Lucy Peters (1847-1934) born abt 1847 Floyd
Child 17: Amanda Angeline “Mandy” Peters (1850-1895) born 2 October 1850 Floyd
Child 18: Caroline “Callie” Peters (1853-1930) born 13 June 1853 Floyd
Child 19: Milla Susan “Millie” PETERS (1856-1891) born 6 December 1856 Raleigh
Child 20: Elizabeth F. “Emma” Peters (1860-1944) born 22 March 1860 Floyd
Child 21: Nancy Ellen “Nannie” Peters (1864-1942) born July 1864 Franklin

The 19th Child of Twenty-one

Milla Susan “Millie” PETERS was born 6 December 1856 in Raleigh County, (West) Virginia to Jordan N. PETERS (1796-1890) and Rachel PROFFITT (1817-1899).1 She was the 19th child of her 60-year-old father Jordan2 and the 7th child of her thirty-something 39-year-old mother Rachel.

Millie has been incorrectly seen as Willa or Willie in online GEDCOM files. Her 1856 birth record clearly shows Milla S. On the 1870 census I compared names beginning with M and W on the same page and her name was written as Millie Susan. B. P. Elliott, the enumerator of the 1870 census, was also the clerk who filled out the 1880 Marriage License for Milla. The handwriting is the same and it is an M and not a W. Millie is seen on the 1880 census. Her son George’s death certificate has her name listed as Millie Peters. Son Walter’s 1971 death certificate has Mary Peters listed, an obvious error. The persons who gave the information on her younger sons Charles and James’ death certificates did not know the name of the mother. I rest my case.

Family on the Move

Milla’s parents seem to have been constantly on the move. They were married in Franklin County, Virginia, in 18413 and by 18504 were living in Raleigh County, formed on 23 January 1850 from portions of Fayette County, then a part of Virginia, now West Virginia. Their daughters Mandy and Callie were born in Floyd County in October 18505 and June 18536 per their marriage records. Jordan was in Raleigh County in June 1855 when he testified to claim the bounty land due him for his service in the War of 1812.7 In September 1856 he was in Floyd County when he received a Bounty Land Warrant for 160 acres.8 By December 1856 he was back in Raleigh when his wife Rachel gave birth to Milla. After her birth, they moved again and were in Franklin County in 1860.9

1860censuspeters
1860 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Franklin > Long Branch > Page 35 HH #234-231

Milla Lives Through a House Fire

In February of 1865, a major event took place in the life of 8-year-old Milla Susan PETERS. According to statements made by her parents, their house “got burnt up” in Floyd County and all of her father’s papers, including the family bible, were lost.10

1870censuspeters
1870 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd > Jacksonville > Page 29 Sheet 57A HH#213-201

Was the place of residence in 1860, 1865, and 1870 the same? A portion of Franklin County was added to Floyd County in 1870. I wonder if the changes in the county line between Floyd and Franklin may make it appear that the family was moving around when they were actually in the same place.

Milla Marries a Younger Man

Milla Susan PETERS married Gordon Washington ROOP on 1 January 1880 in Floyd County, Virginia, at her father Jordan Peters’ residence.11 The bride and groom, or whoever gave the information, were not honest about their ages. Milla’s age was given as 20 but she had turned 23 the month before and Gordon’s age was given as 21 although he was 17 and would not turn 18 until four months later.

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

Milla and Gordon were first seen together in the 1880 census. They lived on Alum Ridge in Floyd County near the Montgomery County line.12

1880roop
1880 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Floyd > Alum Ridge > ED 25 Page 4 Sheet 264B > HH#59-59

 Milla and her husband Gordon didn’t wait long to start their family. She gave birth to five children, four sons and a daughter, in ten years:

Ch 1: George Washington ROOP (1880-1950) born 19 September 1880in Floyd County, Virginia.13
Ch 2: Walter Farmer ROOP (1883-1971) born 16 April 1883 in Montgomery County, Virginia.14
Ch 3: Charles Turner ROOP (1885-1966) born 15 June 1885 in Montgomery County, Virginia. The father’s residence at the time was Raleigh County, West Virginia, and the birth was recorded there.15
Ch 4: James H. “Old Man Jim” ROOP (1887-1962) born 30 May 1887 at Snuffer’s Branch, Clear Creek, Raleigh County, West Virginia.16
Ch 5: _____ ROOP (1890-1891) born in June 1890 in Kanawha County, West Virginia. She died in a house fire in 1891.17

After the birth of her only daughter in 1890, Milla’s father Jordan N. PETERS died on 14 October 1890 in Nettle Ridge, Patrick County, Virginia.18 His wife, Milla’s mother, Rachel PROFFITT died there on 5 March 1899.19

Second House Fire is Fatal

Milla Susan ROOP, née PETERS, died at the age of 34 with her only daughter, an unnamed baby, in a house fire in 1891.20 Family tradition is vague and does not tell us enough of the story. I cannot imagine the horror of living through one house fire and then perishing in another twenty-six years later. How was the fire started? Was it during the day or at night? Who else was in the house? When the fire broke out, where were Milla’s sons, aged between 10 and 3 years, and her husband? If it happened during the day, had the boys been playing outside? Did she save her sons from a fiery death? Was she overcome by smoke and flames? Was she suffocated or burned to death?

Milla’s grief-stricken husband Gordon Washington ROOP placed his sons George, Walter, Charles, and James with two Snuffer families until he was able to care for them.

This Post Was Updated on 27 March 2022: 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. 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 Births, 1853-1930, FHL microfilm 598415, image 71, Raleigh County Register of Births, page 10, line 44, 6 Dec 1856, Milla S. Peters, citing Hughes Creek, Raleigh County, Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/598415/00071.jpg : accessed 23 June 2014). 
  2. Jordan N. PETERS married first Mary “Polly” TROUP on 6 October 1817 in Franklin County. They had 10 children. Polly died on 5 January 1837 in Franklin County. Jordan married second Sarah COX (?-1841) on 15 August 1837 in Franklin County. Sarah died on 8 July 1841 in Franklin County a week after giving birth to her second child. Jordan married third Rachel PROFFITT on 8 December 1841 in Franklin County. They had 9 children. 
  3. “War of 1812 Pension Files,” database and images, Fold3, citing “War of 1812 Pension and Bounty land Warrant Application Files,” compiled ca. 1871–1900, documenting the period 1812–ca.1900, National Archives, Washington, D.C., original data from The National Archives (http://www.archives.gov), roll: RG15-1812PB-Bx2693, National Archives Catalog ID: 564415, service of Jordan N. Peters (Pvt Capt Robert Hairston Va Militia, War of 1812), widow Rachel Proffitt (https://www.fold3.com/image/642937397 : accessed 27 March 2022). 
  4. 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: 972, Virginia, Raleigh County, District 59, Page: 10B, lines 29-37, household 135-135, Jordan Peters (accessed 17 May 2021). 
  5. “Virginia, Select Marriages, 1785-1940,” (index only), Ancestry, citing FamilySearch collection only available through FHL, FHL Film Number: 31345, Reference ID: P42 E26. William Beverly, male, single, age 28, born 1845 in Amherst Co., VA, father Mat., mother Elizabeth, married 20 Feb 1873 in Montgomery, Virginia, spouse Amanda Peters, female, single, age 21, born 1852 in Floyd Co., VA, father Jordon, mother Rachael (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 2 February 2016). 
  6. 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, “Marriage registers, 1843-1925,” film 31345 items 1-3, DGS 7578964, microfilm of original records at the Floyd County Courthouse, FCVA1877_0085 Register: 3. Page: 54. “Edward Clark m. Callie Peters 11-03-1877 at the bride’s residence, Floyd Co., VA by John K. Harris. He 22 yo single w/m farmer, b. & living in Floyd Co., VA, s/o Baxter & Margaret Clark. She 22 yo single w/f, b. & living in Floyd Co., VA, d/o Jordan & Rachel Peters.” 
  7. War of 1812 Pension File of Jordan N. Peters, image 30 of 208. (https://www.fold3.com/image/642937397 : accessed 27 March 2022). 
  8. Paula Kelley Ward, “Jordan’s Story” revised version dated 2/2/2012, © 2012. 
  9. 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_1346; Family History Library Film: 805346, Virginia, Franklin County, South Western District, page 35, lines 17-25, household 234-231, Jordan N. Peters (accessed 29 October 2013). 
  10. In 1977 Paula Kelley Ward obtained Jordan’s complete War of 1812 file from the National Archives and Records Administration. From the information gleaned from the file, she wrote “Jordan’s Story” included on pgs. 24-29 of Whenever We Wander, compiled, designed, and edited by Carolyn Hale Bruce. 
  11. Barbara Reininger, Floyd Co., Virginia Marriages, FCVA1879_0137, register 3, page 61, “Gordon Washington Roop m. Milla Susan Peters 01-01-1880 at Jordon Peters’, Floyd Co., VA by William L. Simmons. He 21 yo single w/m farmer, b. & living in Floyd Co., VA, s/o Gordon & Emeline Roop. She 20 yo single w/f, b. Raleigh Co., VA & living in Floyd Co., VA, d/o Jordon N. & Rachel Peters.” 
  12. 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: 1365, Virginia, Floyd County, Alum Ridge, enumeration district 25, sheet 264B, line 44-45, household 59-59, Gordon Roop (accessed 1 February 2022). 
  13. “Birth records (Virginia), 1853-1896; indexes, 1853-1899; delayed birth indexes, 1912-1950,” (index and images), FamilySearch, Virginia. Bureau of Vital Statistics citing microfilm of the original records at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, Film 2046936, DGS 4284999, image 540 of 641, Virginia, Floyd County, Register of Births, 1880, line 120, George W. Rupe, 19 Sep 1880. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9YR-DCZS?i=539 : accessed 31 January 2022). 
  14. Ibid., Film 2046951, DGS 4254461, Montgomery County births, 1853-1896, Montgomery County Register of Births 1883, page 177 (stamped), image 364 of 595, line 152, 16 April 1883, Walter F. Roop, Montgomery County, Gordon W. Roop, farmer, Milly S. Roop. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9YG-5WT9-9?mode=g&i=363 : accessed 26 January 2022). 
  15. WVCulture.org, West Virginia Births, 1853-1930, FHL microfilm 598415, image 232, West Virginia, Raleigh County, Register of Births 1885, line 239, 15 June 1885, Charles T. Roop, citing Montgomery County, Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/598415/00232.jpg : accessed 1 February 2022). 
  16. Ibid., West Virginia Births, 1853-1930, FHL microfilm 598415, image 249, West Virginia, Raleigh County, Register of Births 1887, line 230, 30 May 1887, James Roop, citing Raleigh County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/598415/00249.jpg : accessed 1 February 2022). 
  17. Ibid., West Virginia Births, 1853-1930, FHL microfilm 521730, image 408, West Virginia, Kanawha County, Register of Births 1890, line 46, June 1890, unnamed female Roop, citing Cabin Creek, Kanawha County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/521730/00408.jpg : accessed 1 February 2022). 
  18. “War of 1812 Pension Files,” RG15-1812PB-Bx2693, National Archives Catalog ID: 564415, service of Jordan N. Peters (Pvt Capt Robert Hairston Va Militia, War of 1812), widow Rachel Proffitt, image 2, pension file cover form 1501 with the dates of death of the soldier and his widow, (https://www.fold3.com/image/642937397 : accessed 27 March 2022). 
  19. Ibid. 
  20. Everette L. McGrew, My Mother Was A Rupe (revised copy dated August 2000), page 104, family Rflec, Gordon Washington Roop, a family tradition shared by Linda Pearl Dickey Roop (1943-1994). “Milla and the young daughter died in a house fire in 1891.”
    Concerning this source: Linda Pearl Dickey Roop (1943-1994) collaborated with Everette Llavon McGREW (1923-2008) on a family book in the early 1990s. In the summer of 1994 she was diagnosed with cancer and died a month later. Everette took over the task of finishing the book which he titled My Mother Was A Rupe. He gave me an updated copy in 2002. 

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

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

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

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

My great-great-grandfather Gordon Washington ROOP, a photographer, miner, and farmer, was born 6 May 1862 in Floyd County, Virginia, during the Civil War.1

Gordon’s father enlisted in Jacksonville as a private on 10 September 1861 in Company A, 54th Regiment of the Virginia Infantry, for a period of one year.2 He may not have known at the time that his wife was pregnant with their third child. The 54th was engaged in battles in Bourbon County, Kentucky, on 15 April 1862 and at Princeton, (West) Virginia, on 16 May 1862. Was Gordon’s father given a furlough to be at home for the birth of his son?

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

On the 19th and 20th of September 1863, while Gordon was learning to walk and beginning to talk, his father was fighting his last battle at Chickamauga in Georgia. On 1 November 1863, when young Gordon was a year and a half, his father died in Flewellen Hospital, Cassville, Bartow County, Georgia.3

Parents and Siblings

Gordon’s parents Gordon H. ROOP (1838-1863) and Emaline LESTER (1836-1877) married on 10 March 1856 in Floyd County, Virginia.4 They had two children by 1860: Dollie Ann Ellen (1857-1937) born 24 February 1857 and John Thomas (1859-1902) born 6 March 1859, both in Floyd County, Virginia.5,6,7

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

Mother Remarries

The end of the Civil War in June 1865 brought changes to America, Virginia, and families in Floyd County. We don’t know what price Gordon, his mother Emaline, and his siblings paid for his father’s loyalty to the Confederacy. Gordon’s mother Emaline waited nearly six years to remarry. She was 32 when she married Pleasant D. EPPERLY, 21, son of Solomon EPPERLY and Rachel RATLIFF, on 6 February 1869 in Floyd County.8 A year later we see Gordon and his siblings in the household of their step-father and mother in the 1870 census.9

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

Siblings Marry

Gordon’s sister Dollie Ann Ellen married her 2nd cousin 1 time removed Giles SUMNER (1855-1920) on 1 7 November 1873 in Floyd County.10 His brother John Thomas married Ardelia E. WAITMAN (1858-?) on 16 November 1876 in Camp Creek, Floyd County.11

Orphaned at Fifteen

A little over a year after John’s marriage, Gordon was orphaned at the age of 15 when his mother died on 13 December 1877.12 Did Gordon stay with his step-father or did he go to live with his sister or his brother?

Gordon and his siblings were close to their ROOP and LESTER grandparents as well as the SUMNER family, their great-grandparents. I hope that he was well taken care of until he married two years later.

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

Marries at Seventeen

 

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

William L. SIMMONS joined Gordon Washington ROOP, age 17, and Milla Susan PETERS, age 23, in marriage on 1 January 1880 in Floyd County at Jordan PETERS’ residence. On the marriage record, the ages of the bride and groom were fudged. Gordon was listed as 21 and Milla as 20.13

Gordon and Milla were first seen together on the 1880 census. They lived on Alum Ridge in Floyd County near the Montgomery County line.14

1880roop
1880 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Floyd > Alum Ridge > ED 25 Page 4 Sheet 264B > HH#59-59

Becomes a Father at Eighteen

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

Ch 1: George Washington ROOP (1880-1950) born 19 September 1880in Floyd County, Virginia.15
Ch 2: Walter Farmer ROOP (1883-1971) born 16 April 1883 in Montgomery County, Virginia.16
Ch 3: Charles Turner ROOP (1885-1966) born 15 June 1885 in Montgomery County, Virginia. The father’s residence at the time was Raleigh County, West Virginia, and the birth was recorded there.17
Ch 4: James H. “Old Man Jim” ROOP (1887-1962) born 30 May 1887 at Snuffer’s Branch, Clear Creek, Raleigh County, West Virginia.18
Ch 5: _____ ROOP (1890-1891) born in June 1890 in Kanawha County, West Virginia. She died in a house fire in 1891.19

Moves His Family to West Virginia

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

Wife and Daughter Die in a House Fire

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

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

Motherless Children Go into Foster Care

The four motherless boys were placed in the home of Henry SNUFFER, the Sheriff of Kanawha County, and his brother, Lee SNUFFER, until Gordon was able to care for them. Linda wrote,

Gordon married second to Nancy E. Johnson. When Gordon returned for his children, Walter, Charles and George went with him but James wanted to stay with the only family he knew, the Snuffers, so Gordon let him stay rather than insist he go with him. Henry and Martha E. Snuffer were a loving married couple who could not have children of their own. They took in and raised with loving care many children who had lost their parents.”

Further research brought to light that Lee and Eliza Snuffer, like Henry and Martha, did not have children of their own. James was living in Henry Snuffer’s and Charles was in Lee Snuffer’s households in 1900.20,21 Walter was with Gordon and his second family.22 George was not found. Is it possible that Charles, like his brother James, also wanted to remain with the Snuffer family he had been living with?

Mentioned in his Grandfather’s Will in 1890

Gordon’s grandfather James ROOP dated his will 31 January 1890.23 He died on 2 November 1890 and the final settlement of the will was made on 18 September 1897 in Floyd County, Virginia.24 In his will, James ROOP mentioned among others, his son Gordon ROOP’s children Thomas, Gordon, and Dolly.

Marries a Second Time and Fathers More Children

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

They had five children in five years:

Ch 6: Samuel Pasley “Sam” ROUPE (1895-1956) born 30 October 1895 in Blue Creek, Kanawha County, West Virginia.26
Ch 7: Julia Ann ROOP (1897-1990) born 4 January 1897 in Cannelton, Kanawha County, West Virginia.27
Ch 8: Amanda O. “Mandy” ROOP (1898-1994) born 20 March 1898 in Hughes Creek, Kanawha County, West Virginia.28
Ch 9: Hallie Beatrice ROOP (1899-1944) born 10 September 1899 in Kanawha County, West Virginia.29
Ch 10: Hazel Vern ROOP (1900-1976) was born 28 December 1900 in Kanawha County, West Virginia.30

1900 U.S. Federal Census

1900 U.S. Federal Census > West Virginia > Kanawha > Cabin Creek > ED No. 41, Sheet No. 2B

1900 U.S. Federal Census
Kanawha County, West Virginia
Cabin Creek District
Enumeration District No. 41, Sheet No. 2B
Enumerated the 4th day of June, 1900, Mrs. Branham, enumerator
HH #33-33
Roop, Gordon W. head W M May 1862 38 married 6 years VA VA VA Photographer can read & write speaks English; rents home
Roop, Nancy E. wife W F Aug 1861 38 married 6 years mother of 4, 4 living WV VA WV can read & write speaks English
Roop, Samuel P. son W M Oct 1895 4 single WV VA WV
Roop, Julie A. daughter W F Jan 1897 3 single WV VA WV
Roop, Amanda daughter W F March 1898 2 single WV VA WV
Roop, Hallie B. daughter W F Oct 1899 9/12 single WV VA WV
Roop, Walter F. son W M Apr 1883 17 single VA VA VA Day Laborer hadn’t worked 6 mos attended school 1 mos. can read & write speaks English

1910 U.S. Federal Census

1910censusroopg
1910 U.S. Federal Census > WV > Kanawha > Roe > ED 54 Sheet 6A > HH #100-106

1910 U.S. Federal Census
Kanawha County, West Virginia
Roe Precinct
Enumeration District No. 54, Sheet No. 6A
Enumerated the 22nd day of April, 1910, J. B. Moon, enumerator
Hughes Creek, HH #100-106
Roop, Gordon W. head M W 47 married(2) 15 years VA VA VA speaks English Farmer, small farm, own account can read & write rents farm
Roop, Nancy E. wife F W 49 married(1) 15 years mother of 5, 5 living WV VA WV speaks English none can read & write
Roop, Samuel P son M W 14 single WV VA WV speaks English none can read & write, attended school
Roop, Julia A. daughter F W 13 single WV VA WV speaks English none can read & write, attended school
Roop, Amanda daughter F W 12 single WV VA WV speaks English none can read & write, attended school
Roop, Hallie B. daughter F W 10 single WV VA WV speaks English none can read & write, attended school
Roop, Hazel V. daughter F W 9 single WV VA WV none attended school
Roop, Myrtle M. granddaughter F W 2 single WV WV WV; none
Martin, Nancy wife’s aunt F W 73 single WV WV WV speaks English none can read & write 31

1920 U.S. Federal Census

1920roop
1920 U.S. Federal Census > WV > Kanawha > Cabin Creek > ED 79 Sheet 7B > HH#38

1920 U.S. Federal Census
Kanawha County, West Virginia
Hughes Creek, Cabin Creek Magisterial District
Enumeration District No. 79, Sheet No. 7B
Enumerated the 12th day of January, 1920, John M. Tucker, enumerator.
HH #38
Roop, G. W. head rents M W 59 married can read & write VA VA VA speaks English Farmer, farm, own account
Roop, N. E. wife F W 59 married WV VA WV speaks English none
Roop, July daughter F W 22 single can read & write WV WV WV speaks English; none
Roop, Hallie daughter F W 20 single can read & write WV WV WV speaks English; none
Bess, Flavl grandson M W 1 single WV WV WV none (poss. Flavil Schultz, s/o Hallie and Charles Schultz)
Roop, Floyd grandson M W 2 single WV WV WV none (poss. Floyd Hapney, s/o Julia and Lemon Hapney)32

Dies at the Home of his Daughter

According to Linda Pearl Dickey Roop, before he died Gordon was living with his daughter, Amanda WITHROW in Donnally Hollow in Kanawha City, West Virginia so that he could get to the doctors more easily. Gordon Washington ROOP died at 6:30 a.m. on 30 January 1930 in Kanawha City. The cause of death was pulmonary tuberculosis with the contributory factor being cardio-renal disease. He was buried in Jodie, Fayette County.33

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

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

Gordon’s second wife Nancy Elizabeth Johnson died 14 June 1949 in Charleston.34,35

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

 

This Post Was Updated on 20 March 2022: 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. 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). 
  2. “Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Virginia,” database with images, Fold3, NARA microfilm publication M324 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1961), roll 957. Gorden Roop, 1862, citing military unit Fifty-fourth Infantry (https://www.fold3.com/document/12913765/roop-gorden-page-3-civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia: accessed 12 February 2014). 
  3. Ibid., Fifty-fourth Regiment Virginia Infantry, Gordon Roop, 1 Nov 1863 in  Flewellen Hospital, Cassville, Georgia. “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.”  (https://www.fold3.com/document/12913782/roop-gorden-page-4-civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia: accessed February 2014). 
  4. Rena Worthen & BarbR (co-project), “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” index and images, 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 & passed on to BarbR for indexing, 1856 Gordon Roop and Emeline Lester marriage.(http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1856/FCVA1856RoopLester.jpg : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  5. 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 1837, citing Clear Creek, Raleigh County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/1983330/0000883.gif : accessed 16 January 2007). Date of birth 24 February 1857. 
  6. 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 46y 6m 5d, 11 Sep 1902, citing Beckley, Raleigh County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/598425/00298.jpg : accessed 7 March 2022). 
  7. Documentation to prove date of birth not available. The FamilySearch collection, “Floyd County, Virginia Births, 1853-73” is only available at a family history library. John’s death record gives his age at death as 46y 6m 5d which calculates to 6 March 1856. This is off by 3 years as he was listed as 1 year old on the 1860 census and born March 1859 on the 1900 census. 
  8. 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, “Marriage registers, 1843-1925,” film 31345 items 1-3, DGS 7578964, microfilm of original records at the Floyd County Courthouse, FCVA1869_0015; Register: 3. Page: 31. “Pleasant D. Epperly (3) m. Emaline Roop 02-08-1869 at Owen Sumner’s, Floyd Co., VA by Owen Sumner. He 21 yo single, farmer, b. & living in Floyd Co., VA, s/o Solomon & Rachael Epperly. She widowed 32 yo, b. & living in Floyd Co., VA, d/o Jacob & Syntha Lester.” The link to BarbR’s site was checked on 14 March 2022. The main page is available, however, the links to male and female marriages in alphabetical order are broken. 
  9. 1870 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), <i>Ancestry</i> (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 (stamped), page 2, lines 39-40, and sheet 2A (stamped) page 3, lines 1-3, household 13-13, Pleasant Epperly (accessed 18 October 2014). 
  10. Marguerite Tise, comp., The Lester Family of Floyd and Montgomery County Virginia (copyright 1996 Marguerite Tise, P.O. Box 343, Floyd, VA 24091-0343), page 20. 
  11. Barbara Reininger, Floyd Co., Virginia Marriages, FCVA1876_0084 Register: 3. Page: 51. “John T. Roop m. Ardelila E. Waitman 11-11-1876 at Camp Creek, Floyd Co., VA by M.A. Davidson. He 17y 8m, single w/m farmer, b. & living in Floyd Co., VA, s/o Gordon & Emeline Roop. She 17y 11m, single w/f, b. & living in Floyd Co., VA, d/o Charles H. & Talitha Waightman.” 
  12. “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). 
  13. Barbara Reininger, Floyd Co., Virginia Marriages, FCVA1879_0137, register 3, page 61, “Gordon Washington Roop m. Milla Susan Peters 01-01-1880 at Jordon Peters’, Floyd Co., VA by William L. Simmons. He 21 yo single w/m farmer, b. & living in Floyd Co., VA, s/o Gordon & Emeline Roop. She 20 yo single w/f, b. Raleigh Co., VA & living in Floyd Co., VA, d/o Jordon N. & Rachel Peters.” 
  14. 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: 1365, Virginia, Floyd County, Alum Ridge, enumeration district 25, sheet 264B, line 44-45, household 59-59, Gordon Roop (accessed 1 February 2022). 
  15. “Birth records (Virginia), 1853-1896; indexes, 1853-1899; delayed birth indexes, 1912-1950,” (index and images), FamilySearch, Virginia. Bureau of Vital Statistics citing microfilm of the original records at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, Film 2046936, DGS 4284999, image 540 of 641, Virginia, Floyd County, Register of Births, 1880, line 120, George W. Rupe, 19 Sep 1880. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9YR-DCZS?i=539 : accessed 31 January 2022). 
  16. Ibid., Film 2046951, DGS 4254461, Montgomery County births, 1853-1896, Montgomery County Register of Births 1883, page 177 (stamped), image 364 of 595, line 152, 16 April 1883, Walter F. Roop, Montgomery County, Gordon W. Roop, farmer, Milly S. Roop. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9YG-5WT9-9?mode=g&i=363 : accessed 26 January 2022). 
  17. WVCulture.org, West Virginia Births, 1853-1930, FHL microfilm 598415, image 232, West Virginia, Raleigh County, Register of Births 1885, line 239, 15 June 1885, Charles T. Roop, citing Montgomery County, Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/598415/00232.jpg : accessed 1 February 2022). 
  18. Ibid., West Virginia Births, 1853-1930, FHL microfilm 598415, image 249, West Virginia, Raleigh County, Register of Births 1887, line 230, 30 May 1887, James Roop, citing Raleigh County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/598415/00249.jpg : accessed 1 February 2022). 
  19. Ibid., West Virginia Births, 1853-1930, FHL microfilm 521730, image 408, West Virginia, Kanawha County, Register of Births 1890, line 46, June 1890, unnamed female Roop, citing Cabin Creek, Kanawha County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/521730/00408.jpg : accessed 1 February 2022). 
  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: 1241771, West Virginia, Raleigh County, Trap Hill, enumeration district 122, sheet 5A, lines 46-49, household 84-84, Hardy Snuffer (accessed 13 May 2005). 
  21. Ibid., FHL microfilm: 1241771, West Virginia, Raleigh County, Trap Hill, enumeration district 122, sheet 6A, lines 29-32, household 90-90, Lee Snuffer (accessed 22 November 2005. 
  22. Ibid., 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). 
  23. “Virginia, Wills and Probate Records, 1652-1983,” (images), Ancestry, citing original data of Virginia County, District, and Probate Courts, Floyd County, Virginia, Will Book F, page 486. The state of Virginia (and its respective counties that originally created these records) did not provide the appropriate permissions for these records to be placed online. The collection was removed from Ancestry’s Card Catalog prior to June 2016. 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). 
  24. Linda P. (Dickey) Roop (1943-1994), wife of Troy James Roop, wrote in her research that James Roop died 2 November 1890 in Floyd County, Virginia. Linda collaborated with Everette Llavon McGrew (1923-2008) on a book on the ROOP family. In the summer of 1994, she was diagnosed with cancer and died a month later. Everette took over the task of finishing the book which he titled My Mother Was A Rupe. He gifted me a copy of the revised August 2000 edition in 2002. 
  25. WVCulture.org, 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). 
  26. Ibid., West Virginia Births, 1853-1930, FHL microfilm 521730, image 490, Kanawha County Register of Births, page 187 (stamped), line 39, 30 Oct 1895, S. P. Roop. (http://images.wvculture.org/521730/00490.jpg : accessed 14 March 2022). 
  27. Ibid., West Virginia Births, 1853-1930, FHL microfilm 521730, image 534, Kanawha County Register of Births, page 229 (stamped), line 40, 4 Jan 1897, Julia Roop, citing Cannelton, Kanawha County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/521730/00534.jpg : accessed 14 March 2022). 
  28. Ibid., West Virginia Births, 1853-1930, FHL microfilm 521730, image 551, Kanawha County Register of Births, page 246 (stamped), line 12, 20 Mar 1898, Amanda Roop, citing Hughes Creek, Kanawha County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/521730/00551.jpg : accessed 14 March 2022). 
  29. Ibid., West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 580533, image 435, West Virginia, Wood County Register of Deaths, page 537 (stamped), 2nd entry, Hallie Beatrice Schultz, born 10 Sep (no year), died 24 Dec 1944 (no age at death). (http://archive.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view2.aspx?FilmNumber=580533&ImageNumber=435 : accessed 14 March 2022). Note: This entry in the death register doesn’t include a year of birth. She was listed on the 1900 census as born in October 1899 and no birth record has been found. 
  30. Everette L. McGrew, My Mother Was A Rupe (revised August 2000). 
  31. 1910 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7884/), citing Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., NARA microfilm publication T624, 1,178 rolls, Roll: T624_1684; FHL microfilm: West Virginia, Kanawha County, Roe Precinct, enumeration district 54, sheet 6A, lines 18-26, household 100-106, Gordon Roop (accessed 16 November 2002). The official enumeration day of the 1910 census was 15 April 1910. 
  32. 1920 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry  (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/6061/), citing Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., NARA microfilm publication T625, 2076 rolls, Roll: T625_1957; West Virginia, Kanawha County, Cabin Creek, Hughes Creek, enumeration district: 79, sheet 7B; line 65-70, household 38, G. W. Roop (accessed 5 November 2010). 
  33. WVCulture.org, 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). 
  34. Ibid., West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 1984026, image 2907, West Virginia Certificate of Death, State File No. 8882, Nancy Elizabeth Roupe, 14 June 1949, Charleston, Kanawha County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/1984026/0002907.gif : accessed 7 March 2022). 
  35. The Charleston Gazette, Charleston, West Virginia, Newspaperarchive.com, database created from microfilm copies of the newspaper; searchable text version and newspaper images, copyright 2006 Heritage Microfilm, Inc., Wednesday, 15 June 1949, page ?, column ?, Roupe, Nancy Elizabeth (death notice). (https://newspaperarchive.com/ : accessed before 24 March 2014). 

52 Ancestors: #6 Walter Farmer ROOP 1883-1971

My great-grandfather Walter F. ROOP was a blacksmith, coal miner, artist, poet, photographer, and cartoonist. He left us precious memories including this photo of the Gauley River.

“Homemade” panorama titled “Gauley River” by Walter F. ROOP
Closeup of title “Gauley River”

Walter took three photos at Jodie in Fayette County, West Virginia, in 1921, tinted them by hand, and put them together to make this panorama view.

As far as I know, no one has come forward with the camera(s) he used for his photography. I was surprised to find this photo on a cousin’s Facebook page of Walter with his photographic enlarger.

Walter F. Roop with his photographic enlarger. Photo courtesy of Roop family member.

I have images of his drawings and photos but none of his cartoons. My wish is that others will read this and remember that they have keepsakes hidden away in the attic or basement (please don’t let it be in a shed unless it’s a car). Photos in an old family album, poems and letters written by him, or old UMW journals in which he had his poems or possibly cartoons published.

Walter Farmer ROOP 1883-1971

Let me tell you about this wonderful man who loved his wife so much that he wrote at least five poems for her in 1950 following her death:

“The Letters You Loved and Kept”
“That Darling Pal of Mine”
“Admiration”
“My Garden: Gethsemane”
and an unnamed poem which begins with “Dear heart, since you have gone to rest I only think of you”.

Walter Farmer Roop ca. 1920-1930. Photo courtesy of Roop family member.

Walter Farmer ROOP was born on 16 April 1883 in Montgomery County, Virginia, to Gordon Washington ROOP (1862-1930) and Milla Susan PETERS (1856-1891).1 His parents were married on the first of January 1880 in Floyd County, Virginia, at the residence of Jordan PETERS, father of the bride.2 They lived on Alum Ridge at the time of the 1880 census and the 19 September 1880 birth of their oldest son George Washington ROOP (1880-1950).3,4

From my earliest research into the ROOP family (also seen as RUPE, ROUP, ROOPE, ROUPE) I have always believed my great-grandfather Walter was the oldest child. However, the birth, draft cards, and death records of George W. ROOP show that George was the oldest child.5,6,7

Following Walter’s birth, the next child was Charles Turner ROOP (1885-1966) born on 15 June 1885.8 He was born in Montgomery County, Virginia, per the Register of Birth of Raleigh County, West Virginia. The family of five likely moved to Raleigh County soon after his birth and did not have time to report it in Montgomery. The 1885 register of births for Montgomery County, Virginia, doesn’t have an entry for Charles.

Their fourth son, James H. “Old Man Jim” ROOP (1887-1962), was born on 30 May 1887 in Raleigh County.9 The family then moved to Cabin Creek in Kanawha County where a daughter was born in June 1890.10 Mother Milla and her baby daughter died in a house fire in 1891 and, according to family tradition, the four sons were placed in the homes of Henry and Lee Snuffer until their father was able to care for them. Gordon remarried in 1894. By 1900 Walter was living with his father, stepmother, and four stepsiblings.11 His brothers Charles and James were boarding with Snuffer families in Raleigh County while his brother George has not been located.12,13 Walter’s father Gordon was working as a photographer in 1900. Like father, like son.

U.S. Federal Census, 1900 > West Virginia > Kanawha > Cabin Creek > ED No. 41, Sheet No. 2B

Walter F. Roop is the first of the 4 Roop boys to marry in the 1910s

Walter (20), a miner, married Rebecca Jane CLONCH (16) on 12 July 1903 in Fayette County. On the marriage record, Walter’s place of birth was incorrectly listed as Kanawha County. The marriage was performed by James M. Epling. J. A. Tucker is mentioned under Remarks and may have been a witness.14 Their first child, Lacy Shelton ROOP (1904-1937), was born seven months later on  8 February 1904 in Pond Gap, Kanawha County.15 A second son Piercie Clay was born the next year on 15 March 1905 and died 5 May 1905. No record of birth or death has been found however the child is buried in the Clonch Family Cemetery at Mount Olive. Walter’s great-granddaughter Janice Louise Cox Bostic visited the cemetery and read the dates off of Piercie’s stone for me. Later, another cousin shared a photograph of the marker.16

Lacy Shelton Roop age 17. Courtesy of Roop family member

Three more children were born in Fayette County before the 1910 census: Myrtle Hazel ROOP (1906-1997) on 26 March 1906 in Belva; James Henry ROOP (1908-1957) on 11 February 1908 in Marting; and Walter Gordon ROOP (1910-1984) on 9 March 1910 in Mount Olive.17, 18, 19 The 1910 census listing, which should show that there were 4 of 5 children living, has not been found. On this map, we see the area that they were living in at this time. The distance from Marting to  Belva is 8 miles.

MartingBelvaMap
Marting, Mount Olive, Belva (Fayette Co., WV)

Walter and Rebecca’s fifth living child Edith Estelle “Edie” ROOP (1913-2003) was born on 9 June 1913 in Marting, a coal town along Smithers Creek.20 About mid-July 1913 the family moved to Jodie. Edith was six weeks old at the time. The family of seven traveled overland from Marting to Belva and then took a flat ferry up Gauley River to Jodie. We know this because Edith wrote on the back of the Gauley River panorama photo:  “We moved to this place (Jodie, W. Va.) in year of 1913 on a flat ferry up Gauley River (Fayette Co. W. Va.)” and “I was 6 wks old, Edith Roop Ramsey.”

Edith (left, age 6) and Myrtle (middle, age 13) with a friend (right) in 1919

World War I 1914-1918

Soon after Walter and his family moved to Jodie the first World War began. In 1918 Walter Farmer ROOP gave information on his World War I Draft Registration Card pertaining to his residence, birth, occupation, and physical description. He was working as a mine blacksmith for the Gauley Mountain Coal Company in Jodie. He was of medium height and build with blue eyes and brown hair.21

The Roop Family ca. 1919. Front seat from left to right: father Walter Farmer, oldest son Lacy Shelton, youngest daughter Edith Estelle. Back seat from left to right: James Henry, mother Rebecca Jane, Myrtle Hazel, and Walter Gordon.

Following the end of World War I the family was photographed in this car. We’ve been able to date the photo using the picture of the daughters Edith and Myrtle dated 1919 which shows them with the same hairstyles and wearing the same clothes. During that year Walter’s youngest son Alfred Lee ROOP (1919-1981) was born on 22 August 1919 in Jodie.22

The ROOP family was living in the mining town Jodie in the Falls district of Fayette County in 1920 at the time of the census. Walter and Rebecca were enumerated with their six living children.23

Walter’s youngest Alfred (early 1920’s). Photo courtesy of Roop family member.

Artist and Photographer

The year 1921 was a very productive year for Walter as an artist and photographer. Not only did he make the panorama photo of Gauley Bridge, he also made ink drawings that were passed on to his children and are now in the possession of grandchildren. His granddaughter Peggy Jean Ramsey Baker recounted that Panther and Deer and The Grizzly drawings were copied from pictures in a big book (maybe some sort of history book). She saw the pictures which were approximately 2×2.5 inches in size in the book as a child. She believes that there was a third drawing of “some sort of cat in tall grass.”

“Panther and Deer” by W. F. Roop dated December 26, 1921
“The Grizzly” by W. F. Roop

UPDATE 16 February 2016: The third drawing was found. See my post, Tuesday’s Child’s Family Heirlooms: Great-grandfather Roop’s Art.

About 1928 after his first three granddaughters were born, Walter photographed the girls and tinted the photo.

The Dempsey Girls by W. F. Roop ca. 1929. From left to right: Leona Mae b. 1927, Thelma Louise b. 1923, and Lois Emma b. 1925.

Three Marriages and a Death in the 1920s

Three of Walter’s children married in the 1920s: Myrtle Hazel married Fred Rothwell DEMPSEY in 1923, James Henry married Goldie M. WALKER in 1927, and Edith Estelle “Edie” married James David RAMSEY in 1929.24, 25,26

Shortly before the 1930 census Walter’s father Gordon Washington ROOP died on 30 January 1930 in Kanawha City and was buried in Jodie.27

With three children married, Walter and Rebecca had two children living at home in 1930. The Roop family was renting a house for $9 a month. Walter and his son Gordon were working as coal miners while young Alfred (10) was still going to school.28 Their oldest son Lacy was working in Raleigh County and living with his first cousin once removed Myrtle ROOP and her husband Golden Stewart BROWN.29

Three Marriages and a Death in the 1930s

Three more marriages took place in the 1930s: Walter Gordon married 18 July 1931 Ica Laurel CARR (1913-1993), Lacy Shelton ROOP married 28 March 1932 Lulu Irene HAYS (1915-1992), and Alfred Lee ROOP married 15 May 1937 Lorena Lea ELSWICK (1918-1992).30, 31, 32

lacydeath
The Raleigh Register, 9 July 1937

Walter’s oldest son Lacy Shelton ROOP was killed on 8 July 1937 in Sprague, Raleigh County.33 “He was crushed by a giant lump of slate 18 feet long which broke loose from the mine roof. He had finished his day’s work and was starting the gathering motor to take his load of coal to the tipple.”

By 1940 Walter and his wife Rebecca were living alone in a house they rented for $10 a month. Walter worked 35 hours a week as a utility man in the coal mines and earned $1,692 in 1939. Per the 1940 census, Walter had 8 years of schooling.34 In 1942 he was still working for the Gauley Mountain Coal Company. He was 5 ft. 6 in., weighed 155 lbs, had brown hair and grey eyes.35

Walter, the Poet, and his Poetry

Walter’s beloved wife, Rebecca Jane CLONCH, died 3 February 1950 in Belva, Nicholas County.36 Walter wrote poetry to mourn the death of his wife:

“The Letters You Loved and Kept”
“That Darling Pal of Mine”
“Admiration”
“My Garden: Gethsemane”
and an unnamed poem that begins with
“Dear heart, since you have gone to rest I only think of you”.

poemWe know that at least one of Walter’s poems “When We Retire” was published in the United Mine Workers Journal, 15 January 1952 issue. David C. Duke author of Writers and Miners: Activism and Imagery in America (published by University Press of Kentucky, 2002) referred to it in the notes on a chapter in the book. Part of the book is available on Google Books, unfortunately, the page that may include a quote from the poem is not included. The UMW Journal is only available online for the years 2006-2013.  It is my belief that Walter may have submitted other poems and maybe even the cartoons that family members say he drew but of which we have no copies. [Research to-do: request lookup in old UMW Journal]

Walter married second Mary Elizabeth GUNTER between 1951-1961. Mary was from North Carolina and was widowed. No marriage record has been located.

Walter Farmer ROOP died 1 June 1971 in Jodie and was buried in the Clonch Family Cemetery.37 He was a member of Jodie Baptist Church. Surviving were his second wife Mary, sons Gordon and Alfred, daughters Edith Ramsey and Myrtle Dempsey, and half-sisters Hazel, Mandy, and Julia.

This Post Was Updated on 6 February 2022: Missing source citations were added, images were watermarked, and some corrections were made to the text and format.

Many thanks to Amy Johnson Crow author of the blog No Story Too Small for not being that big on New Year’s resolutions. Why? Because her challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is turning into a wonderful research tool. As I work on one ancestor at a time I’m checking on his/her parents, siblings, children, and even grandchildren in relation to him/her. What seemed unimportant the first time around is turning into clues that lead to more interesting information. The best part is that the family is getting involved! They are sharing photos and anecdotes that are helping me to make the stories so much more interesting to write.

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

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  1. “Birth records (Virginia), 1853-1896; indexes, 1853-1899; delayed birth indexes, 1912-1950,” (index and images), FamilySearch, Virginia  Bureau of Vital Statistics, citing microfilm of the original records at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia, Film 2046951, DGS 4254461, Montgomery County births, 1853-1896, Montgomery County Register of Births 1883, page 177 (stamped), image 364 of 595, line 152, 16 April 1883, Walter F. Roop, Montgomery County, Gordon W. Roop, farmer, Milly S. Roop. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9YG-5WT9-9?mode=g&i=363 : accessed 26 January 2022). 
  2. Photocopy of Marriage License obtained by Louise Roop Anderson Akers on 24 Feb 2001 from the records of the Circuit Court, County of Floyd, Virginia. Louise sent the original certified copy to me in April 2001. Floyd County, Virginia, 1879 Marriages, entry 137, Register: 3, Page: 61, Gordon Washington Roop m. Milla Susan Peters 01-01-1880 at Jordan Peters’, Floyd Co., VA by William L. Simmons. He 21 yo single w/m farmer, b. & living in Floyd Co., VA, s/o Gordon & Emaline Roop. She 20 yo single w/f, b. Raleigh Co., VA & living in Floyd Co., VA, d/o Jordan N. & Rachel Peters. 
  3. 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: 1365, Virginia, Floyd County, Alum Ridge, enumeration district 25, sheet 264B, line 44-45, household 59-59, Gordon Roop (accessed 1 February 2022). 
  4. “Virginia Births and Christenings, 1584-1917,” (browse-only images), FamilySearch, Virginia Bureau of Vital Statistics citing microfilm of the original records at the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia., GS Film Number: 2046936, Digital Folder Number: 4284999, image 540 of 641, West Virginia, Floyd County, Register of Births, 1880, line 120, George W. Rupe, 19 Sep 1880. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9YR-DCZS?i=539 : accessed 31 January 2022). 
  5. “U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” (index and images), Ancestry, citing original data: United States, Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., FHL microfilm M1509, 4,582 rolls, George Washington Roop, serial no. 637, Local Board of Division Nr. 2, Kanawha County, West Virginia. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 August 2007). 
  6. “U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942,” (index and images), Ancestry, The National Archives At St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Cards (Fourth Registration) Record Group Number 147, National Archives and Records Administration, NAI: 563733, Roll: WW2_2240229, West Virginia, Kanawha County, Local Board 4, George Washington Roop, Serial No. 938. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 1 August 2007). 
  7. 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 1984145, image 186, Certificate of Death, State File No. 6177, George Washington Roop, 24 April 1950, citing Blakely, Kanawha County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/1984145/0000186.gif : accessed 16 January 2007). 
  8. Ibid., West Virginia Births, 1853-1930, FHL microfilm 598415, image 232, West Virginia, Raleigh County, Register of Births 1885, line 239, 15 June 1885, Charles T. Roop, citing Montgomery County, Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/598415/00232.jpg : accessed 1 February 2022). 
  9. Ibid., West Virginia Births, 1853-1930, FHL microfilm 598415, image 249, West Virginia, Raleigh County, Register of Births 1887, line 230, 30 May 1887, James Roop, citing Raleigh County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/598415/00249.jpg : accessed 1 February 2022). 
  10. Ibid., West Virginia Births, 1853-1930, FHL microfilm 521730, image 408, West Virginia, Kanawha County, Register of Births 1890, line 46, June 1890, unnamed female Roop, citing Cabin Creek, Kanawha County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/521730/00408.jpg : accessed 1 February 2022). 
  11. 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 25 January 2022). 
  12. Ibid., FHL microfilm: 1241771, West Virginia, Raleigh County, Trap Hill, enumeration district 122, sheet 6A, lines 29-32, household 90-90, Lee Snuffer (accessed 22 November 2005). 
  13. Ibid., FHL microfilm: 1241771, West Virginia, Raleigh County, Trap Hill, enumeration district 122, sheet 5A, lines 46-49, household 84-84, Hardy Snuffer (accessed 13 May 2005). 
  14. WVCulture.org, West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 58476, image 366, Fayette County, West Virginia, Register of Marriages, 1903, line 5, 12 July 1903, Walter F. Roop, Rebecca J. Clonch, citing Fayette County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/584765/00366.jpg : accessed 2 February 2022). 
  15. Ibid., West Virginia Births, 1853-1930, FHL microfilm 521731, Kanawha, West Virginia, Register of Births 1904, page 40, line 37, Lacy S. Roop, 22 Feb 1904; citing Pond Gap, Kanawha County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/521731/00046.jpg : accessed 15 January 2022). 
  16. Clonch Family Cemetery, Mount Olive, Fayette County, West Virginia, gravemarker photographed by Heather Manley-Duncan 31 May 2014 for Piercie Clay Roop 14 March 1905-6 May 1905. Note: The middle name and dates of birth and death were not known prior to viewing the photograph of this gravemarker. 
  17. WVCulture.org, West Virginia Births, 1853-1930, FHL microfilm 1992812, Delayed Certificate of Birth 7454, Myrtle Hazel Roop, 26 Mar 1906; citing Belva, Fayette, West Virginia. (http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=3448835&Type=Birth : accessed 7 March 2013). 
  18. Ibid., West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 2074135, Raleigh, West Virginia 1957 Certificate of Death 8106, James Henry Roop, 03 Jun 1957 citing Beckley, Raleigh County, West Virginia. (http://archive.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=1613279&Type=Death : accessed 15 January 2022). Includes date of birth: 11 February 1908. 
  19. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942, NAI: 2658141, West Virginia, Fayette County, Local Board 3, Walter Gordon Roop, Serial No. 2596. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 2 Feb 2022). 
  20. “U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014” (index only), Ancestry (citing Social Security Administration; Washington D.C., USA. Original data Social Security Death Index, Master File), SS #236-24-2765 issued in West Virginia, Edith R. Ramsey, born 09 Jun 1913, died 25 Oct 2003 (V), last residence Brooksville, Hernando County, Florida 34601. Note: No record of birth was found on WVCulture.org
  21. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, FHL microfilm M1509, 4,582 rolls, Walter Farmer Roop, serial no. 2370, Local Board of Division Nr. 2, Fayette County, West Virginia. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 Nov 2016). 
  22. WVCulture.org, West Virginia Births, 1853-1930, FHL microfilm 584755, Fayette, West Virginia, Register of Births 1919, page 298 (stamped), line 21, Alfred Lee Roop, 22 Aug 1919; citing Jodie, Fayette, County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/584755/00485.jpg : accessed 15 January 2022). 
  23. 1920 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/6061/), citing Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., NARA microfilm publication T625, 2076 rolls, Roll: T625_1947; Falls, Fayette, West Virginia; Enumeration District: 11; Page: 14A; line 15-22; HH #239-247; Walter F. Roop household (accessed 9 Feb 2014). 
  24. WVCulture.org, West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 494264, Fayette, West Virginia, Register of Marriage, 1923, page 39, line 4, Fred R. Dempsey and Myrtle Roop, 20 Jan 1923, citing Fayetteville, Fayette County, West Virginia. (http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view2.aspx?FilmNumber=494264&ImageNumber=168 : accessed 14 November 2010). 
  25. Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 494264, Fayette, West Virginia, Register of Marriages 1926-1927, page 149 (stamped), line 29, 20 Aug 1927, James Roop and Goldie Walker, citing Fayetteville, Fayette County, West Virginia. (http://archive.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=12056948&Type=Marriage : accessed 15 January 2022). 
  26. Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 494264, Fayette, West Virginia, Register of Marriages 1929-1930, page 151 (stamped), line 16, 23 Dec 1929, James Ramsey and Edith Roop, citing Fayetteville, Fayette County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/494264/00417.jpg : accessed 15 January 2022). 
  27. 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). 
  28. 1930 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/6224/), citing Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T626, 2,667 rolls, FHL microfilm: 2342265, West Virginia, Fayette County, Falls, enumeration district 5, sheet 6B, lines 61-64, household 42-107-110, Walter F. Roop (accessed 16 July 2002). 
  29. Ibid., FHL microfilm: 2342287, West Virginia, Raleigh County, Shady Spring, enumeration district 8, sheet 29A, lines 16-19, household 363-375, Golden S. Brown. The official enumeration day of the 1930 census was 1 April 1930. (accessed 29 January 2022). 
  30. WVCulture.org, West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 494264, Fayette, West Virginia, Register of Marriages 1929-1930, page 152 (stamped), line 32, 18 Jul 1931, GOrdon Roop and Ica Carr, citing Fayetteville, Fayette County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/494264/00418.jpg : accessed 15 January 2022). 
  31. Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 580561, Wood, West Virginia, Marriage License 574 (stamped), 28 March 1932, Lacy Shelton Roop and Irene Lula Hays, citing Parkersburg, Wood County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/580561/00604.jpg : accessed 15 January 2022). 
  32. Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 494265, Fayette, West Virginia, Register of Marriage 1937, page 147 (stamped), line 17, 15 May 1937, Alfred Roop and Lorena Elswick, citing Fayetteville, Fayette County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/494265/00288.jpg : accessed 15 January 2022). 
  33. Newspapers.com by Ancestry, website with images, The Raleigh Register (Beckley, West Virginia), Friday 9 July 1937, page 12, “Sprague Miner Is Killed By Fall Of Slate,”(https://www.newspapers.com/image/47915423 : accessed 16 February 2020). 
  34. 1940 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/2442/), citing Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D. C., NARA microfilm publication T647, 4,643 rolls, Roll: m-t0627-04401, West Virginia, Fayette County, Falls, enumeration district 10-5, sheet 19B, lines 60-61, household #368, Walter F. Roop (accessed 31 March 2012). 
  35. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942, NAI: 563733, Roll: WW2_2240229, West Virginia, Fayette County, Local Board 3, Walter Farmer Roop, Serial No. 181. (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 25 Nov 2016). 
  36. Newspapers.com, Beckley Post-Herald (Beckley, West Virginia), Monday Morning, 6 February 1950, page 2, column 5, “Roop Rites are Held on Sunday”. (https://www.newspapers.com/image/15739278 : accessed 20 February 2020). 
  37. WVCulture.org, West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 2114467 image 410, Fayette, West Virginia 1971 Certificate of Death 9903, Walter F. Roop, 1 Jun 1971 citing Jodie, Fayette County, West Virginia. (http://archive.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view2.aspx?FilmNumber=2114467&ImageNumber=410 : accessed 15 January 2022).