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

52ancestors“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Sib 2: Sarah “Sary” SUMNER (1817-1842) born about 1817 in Montgomery County, Virginia. She married Joel ROSS (1801-aft.1870) on 24 September 1835 in Floyd County. They were the parents of two children. Sarah died 20 February 1842 in Floyd County. When Joel remarried two years later his father-in-law (from his first marriage) Owen SUMNER performed the marriage.
  • Sib 3: Joel “Owen” SUMNER (1820-1900) born January 1820 in Montgomery County, Virginia. He married Lucinda E. THOMPSON (1826-1900) on 15 February 1844 in Floyd County, Virginia. They were the parents of eleven children. Joel died between 1900-1910.
  • Sib 4: Jesse SUMNER (1824-1861) born about 1824 in Montgomery County, Virginia. He married Timandra SUMPTER (1826-1912) on 9 December 1845 in Floyd County, Virginia. They were the parents of six children. Jesse died 10 November 1861 in Floyd County, Virginia
  • Sib 5: Susan A. SUMNER (1828-1913) born 24 March 1828 in Montgomery County, Virginia. She married Jacob CORRELL (1817-1888) on 22 January 1852 in Floyd County, Virginia. They were the parents of six children. Susan died 20 August 1913
  • Sib 6: John G. “Jehu” SUMNER (1835-1880) born about 1830 in Floyd County, Virginia. He married Elizabeth SOWERS (1841-1915) on 20 August 1863 in Floyd County at the home of Owen SUMNER. They were the parents of six children. John died between 1880-1900.
  • Sib 7: Joshua SUMNER (1833-1919) born December 1832 in Floyd County, Virginia. Joshua married(1) Mary G. EARLY (1821- ) on 19 July 1854 in Floyd County, Virginia. They were the parents of three children. He married(2) the widow Joe Ellen CRENSHAW (maiden name unknown) on 24 Aug 1892 in Bedford County, Virginia. They had one son. Joshua died 19 November 1919 in Bedford County, Virginia
  • Sib 8: Joseph L. SUMNER (1835-1888) born 17 January 1835 in Floyd County, Virginia. He married Julia Ann HARRIS (1837-1889) on 4 September 1856 in Floyd County, Virginia. They were the parents of six children. Joseph died 30 January 1888 in Brookline, Greene County, Missouri
  • Sib 9: Jonathan Newton “Jathan” SUMNER (1838-1882) born about 1838 in Floyd County, Virginia. He married Sarah Ann BOOTH (1836-1893) on 18 September 1855 in Floyd County, Virginia. They had eight children. Even though he was married, Jathan had a “permanent liason” with Fannie Duncan. He eventually left his wife to settle in Tennessee with Fannie and their children. He died about 1882 Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee.
  • Sib 10: Jubal SUMNER (1841-1892) born about 1841 in Floyd County, Virginia. He never married. Jubal died 8 November 1892.
  • Sib 11: Jane SUMNER (1845-1900) born about 1845 in Floyd County, Virginia. She married Jacob WADE (1849-1937) on 5 December 1867 in Floyd County, Virginia, at Owen Sumner’s residence. They were the parents of six children. Jane and Jacob divorced before 24 August 1879. Jane died between 1900-1910.

Cynthia’s known siblings “fit” into the family group of Owen SUMNER as seen in his pre-1850 and 1850 census listings. However from 1826 to 1830 the family may have grown by another 2 boys as reflected in the 1830 and 1840 censuses but they remain unknown. Owen and Sally named all their boys with names beginning with a J. – Joel, Jesse, Joshua, Joseph, John or Jehu, Jonathan or Jathan, and Jubal. Only their youngest daughter Jane was giving the same honor. If we consider that my Cynthia’s name was also spelled with an S, it could be said that they named all their girls, except Jane, with names beginning with an S – Syntha, Sarah, and Susan.

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

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

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

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

1850censussumner
1850 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Floyd > Western District 15 [ancestry.com]
1850 U.S. Federal Census
Floyd County, Virginia
The Western District No. 15
Enumerated the 21st day of August, 1850. Joseph Howard, Ass’t Marshal.
Page No. 431
HH #759-759
Owen Sumner 54 M Bapt. Minister $2500
Sarah Sumner 49 F
Joshua Sumner 17 M Laborer attended school within year
Joseph Sumner 15 M
John Sumner 20 M cannot read & write Deaf & Dumb
Jonathan Sumner 12 M
Jabell Sumner 9 M
Susan Sumner 21 F cannot read & write
Jane Sumner 4 F
Nancy Sumner 20 F (does not fit into the family group, a daughter-in-law?)
Note: All persons in the household were noted as born in North Carolina. I believe that the place of birth column was incorrectly filled out by the enumerator. In later years they are listed as born in Virginia.

Let’s Talk About Cynthia

Cynthia SUMNER was about 19 years old when she married 22 years old Jacob LESTER on 4 September 1834 in Floyd County, Virginia. They were married by Jesse Jones. Elder Jones had baptized Cynthia’s father Owen on 17 March 1822 when he united with the Primitive Baptist Church at West Fork, in Floyd County, Virginia.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

After the end of the Civil War Cynthia’s widowed daughter Emaline LESTER married Pleasant D. EPPERLY (1848-1920) on 8 February 1869 in Floyd County. Their marriage of eight years would not bare fruit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now wouldn’t that be a story worth finding documentation on?

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

52 Ancestors: #44 Jacob LESTER 1812-1842

52ancestors“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

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

52 Ancestors: #44 Jacob LESTER 1812-1842

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

Marguerite Tise in her book The Lester Family of Floyd and Montgomery County Virginia (copyright 1996) refers to my 4th great-grandfather as Jacob LESTER – without a middle name or initial.

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

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

Door16Jacob’s Parents and Siblings

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

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

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

In the late summer of 1997 Jerry Lester and Marguerite Tise made a trip around the Little River area. Jerry wrote, “I spent most of a day with Marguerite driving around Floyd Co., Va., at her direction while she pointed out family sites of interest to me (and her). I used my notebook computer with map software and GPS connection to record on the map the places of interest.”[7] Jerry made voice recordings of this trip down memory lane with Marguerite Tise.

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

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

  • Child 1: Hulen “Hugh” LESTER (1803-1880) born about 1803. Hulen married(1) Margaret SNYDER ( -1847) on 20 February 1823 in Montgomery County. They were the parents of 6 children. He married(2) Mary [–?–] LESTER (1814-1870) before 1847 in Shelby County, Indiana. They were the parents of 3 children. Hulen died 1880 in Shelby County, Indiana.
  • Child 2: Matilda LESTER (1805-1826) born about 1805. Matilda married Archelaus WEDDLE (1799-1870) on 23 September 1825 in Montgomery County. She died bet. 1826-1829 in Virginia. John LESTER Jr. left a bequest of $100 to his granddaughter, Julia Ann WEDDLE, daughter of Matilda. It is believed that she was the only child of this marriage.
  • Child 3: Malinda LESTER (1807-1890) born about 1807. Malinda married Riley BOOTHE (1801-1870) on 26 May 1831 in Floyd County (marriage bond). They were the parents of 3 children, one died young. She died bet. 1890-1900 in Floyd County.
  • Child 4: John LESTER (1808-1852) born 1 November 1808. John married Mary GARDNER (1812-1881) on 30 November 1832 in Montgomery County. They were the parents of 10 children. He died 1 April 1852 in Floyd County, Virginia.
  • Child 5: Amos Terry LESTER (1810-1890) born 30 November 1810. Amos married Susannah Jane LESTER (1814-1888) on 19 March 1835 in Floyd County. They were first cousins and parents of 10 children. He died on 14 February 1890 in Brown County, Indiana.
  • Child 6: Jacob LESTER born about 1812. More about this child below.
  • Child 7: Bird LESTER (1815-1864) born 1815. Bird married(1) Matilda SIMMONS (1820-1858) on 16 December 1835 in Floyd County. They were the parents of 8 children. He married(2) Rowena Mahulda LAMBERT (1818-?) on 6 July 1858 in Wyoming County, (West) Virginia. They had no known children. Bird died about 1864 in West Virginia.
  • Child 8: William Terry LESTER(1818-1890) born 18 Jan 1818. William married Mary Amanda “Polly” SIMMONS (1824-1887) on 2 March 1840 in Floyd County. They were the parents of 9 children. William died on 4 March 1890 in Floyd County, two days after his 50th wedding anniversary.
  • Child 9: Catherine Jane LESTER (1823-1902) born 13 March 1823. Catherine married James BOOTHE (1820-1863) on 10 October 1842 in Floyd County. They were the parents of 10 children. By 1863 four of these children were dead. James became deranged and shot himself. At the inquisition, Bird LESTER, Catherine’s brother, and Hulin BOOTHE, his 10 year old son, testified. Catherine died 30 January 1902.

In 1831, when Floyd County was formed, John LESTER was appointed a Justice of the Peace by the Governor of Virginia making him a member of the first Floyd County Court. He served the community in that capacity until his death. He also served as Sheriff of Floyd County in 1844-1845. He was a prominent and influential citizen, a successful farmer, a large land owner, and a slave owner.[8]

Courtship and Marriage

If you take another look at the map above you’ll see that John LESTER’s neighbor was the Rev. Owen SUMNER. Living in such close proximity, their children must have known each other growing up after John moved to the area. Owen’s oldest daughter Cynthia caught the attention of John’s son Jacob. We don’t know how long they courted but by the time Cynthia was 19 and Jacob 22, they were united in marriage by Jesse Jones. The marriage bond was taken out in Floyd County on 18 August 1834 and the marriage took place on 4 September 1834 in Floyd County. Cynthia SUMNER’s name was spelled “Sintha” on the marriage register and “Senthy” on the bond.[9]

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

Floyd County, VA DB A, pg. 417:
9 May 1836 between George Reed and Nancy his wife of Floyd County, VA and Champain Lester of Patrick County, VA for $350 land containing 145 acres on the gap fork of Beaver Creek, a branch of Little River bounded . . . on Andrew E. Reeds line. In presents of: And. E. Reed, Amos T. Lester, Jacob Lester signed: George (his x mark) Reed, Nancy (her __ mark) Reed (left blank) recorded: Floyd June Court 1836.[10]

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

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

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

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

A Short Life Ends

Jacob LESTER died about 1842 in Floyd County, Virginia. His widow remarried in June of 1843.

“Jacob Lester died about the age of 30, cause of death unknown. John Lester III* was appointed administrator of the estate in Feb. 1844. The appraisers, Isaac Moore, Riley Boothe, Topal O. Watkins, reported their appraisal of the estate as $106.12 1/2. The sale was held on March 8, 1844, which amounted to $105.75. There was a delay of two years in settling the estate of Jacob Lester, and his wife had remarried in the meantime. The reason for the delay is not known.” [11]

Two other sources also refer to the appraisal of Jacob LESTER’s estate being made in March 1844.[12], [13]

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

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

“His will, dated April 19, 1851, probated October 16, 1851, names his wife Mary and his nine children. He appointed his sons John III and William T. as executors of his estate. John III died suddenly seven months after his father’s death and the administration of the estate passed through several hands. The estate was not properly settled and much of it was dissipated. In 1890, years after John’s death, some of the heirs brought suit to gain possession of their inheritance. Nearly all of the principals had died by that time but eventually a satisfactory settlement was reached. The suit furnished some previously unknown information about the family.”[14]

The abstract of the will of John LESTER proved October 1851 names wife Mary; children Malinda Booth, Katherine Booth, Noah L., Hewline, John, Amos, Bird and William; grandchildren, George Washington and Emmeline Lester (children of deceased son, Jacob); two daughters of his deceased son Hewline and his first wife, Margaret; and Juliann Weddle (daughter of Matilda Weddle).[15]

Was Noah a son of Jacob?

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

However in the 1840 census Jacob had only one son listed in his household. His father John had a young male in his household in 1840 who could have been Noah who was born abt. 1834. A copy of the will needs to be obtained, or a true wording of the document, to determine the relationship of Noah to John and Polly. Marguerite Tise does not mention Noah LESTER in her book. John’s wife Polly, who had her last child at age 43, could not have been the mother of Noah as he was born when she was 53 years old. By 1860 Noah was married with 4 children. Polly was living with her son William T. LESTER, one of the executors of John’s estate. Polly died 14 February 1862 in Floyd County. Noah and his family have not been located after 1860.

Jacob’s Name

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

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

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

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

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

Sources:
[1] Jerry Lester, 28 Jan 2005, online http://jerrylester.com/Tise%20Introduction/
[2] Marguerite Tise, comp., The Lester Family of Floyd and Montgomery County Virginia  (Copyright 1996 Marguerite Tise, P.O. Box 343, Floyd, VA 24091-0343).
[3] Marguerite Tise, comp., The Lester Family of Floyd and Montgomery County Virginia (1996)
[4] Land Office Grants No. 51, 1802-1803, p. 113 (Reel 117); Luster, John Jr.; Library of Virginia; online http://lva1.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/F/?func=file&file_name=find-b-clas30&local_base=CLAS30.
[5] “Virginia, Marriages, 1785-1940,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XR8V-MQT : accessed 02 Nov 2014), John Lester and Polly Terry, 05 Oct 1802; citing Montgomery County, Virginia, reference P 95; FHL microfilm 32633.
[6] Marguerite Tise, comp., The Lester Family of Floyd and Montgomery County Virginia (1996)
[7] Jerry Lester, 28 Jan 2005, online http://jerrylester.com/Tise%20Introduction/
[8] Marguerite Tise, comp., The Lester Family of Floyd and Montgomery County Virginia (1996)
[9] Floyd County, Virginia, Marriages 1831-1900; transcribed by Barbara Reininger from images copied from microfilm by Rena Worthen; FCVA1834_0002; FCVA1834_0048. Register: 2. Page: 128. online http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~barbr/Female_S.htm. Note: Barbara Reininger lists: Jacob (Jacob Hiley) Lester. Cannot tell if she transcribed the middle name from the marriage register or got it from another source.
[10] Susan M. Jurban, Reed Land Deeds – Montgomery County, VA from LDS films 0032611, 0032612, 0032613 read & transcribed  April, 2001. Shared on Barbara Reininger’s site Families of Floyd Co., Virginia, online http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~barbr/zz_research_reed_land_deeds.htm.
[11] Marguerite Tise, comp., The Lester Family of Floyd and Montgomery County Virginia (1996); page 20
[12] Abstracts From Floyd Co, Virginia Will Book I, Barbara Reininger’s Families of Floyd County, Virginia site, online http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~barbr/zz_will_fcva_abstr_book1.htm
[13] Anne Lowry Worrell, Over the Mountain Men: Early Court Records in Southwest Virginia,  (1962), page 53
[14] Marguerite Tise, comp., The Lester Family of Floyd and Montgomery County Virginia (1996)
[15] Abstracts From Floyd Co, Virginia Will Book I, Barbara Reininger’s Families of Floyd County, Virginia site, online http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~barbr/zz_will_fcva_abstr_book1.htm

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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

52ancestors“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

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

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

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

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

According to family tradition three of Henry RUPE’s sons married CARROLL sisters. My fourth great-grandparents James ROOP and Elizabeth CARROLL married on 23 July 1830. In the abstract of the marriage[1] his last name was spelled RUPE and her maiden name was indexed as EARL. As mentioned last week RUPE and ROOP were used  interchangeably. The names of the bride’s and groom’s parents were not included in the transcript. To-do list: request copy of marriage record because….I believe that EARL is an indexing error and her maiden name was most likely spelled CARL as it was for her sister Mary the following year:

“I do hereby certify that I celebrated the rites of matrimony between Joseph Roop & Mary Carl of Montgomery Cty on the 13th day of September 1831 by virtue of a publication given under my hand this 26th day of June 1832. Richd Buckingham”[2]

On 4 November 1846 William ROOP gave bond with Robert CARRELL as security for the marriage of William to Robert’s daughter Catherine CARRELL.[3] In 1850 Anne CARLE age 62 was in the household of William and Catherine ROOP. The relationship is not listed however Anne would appear to be Catherine’s mother.

I had planned on including all information on the CARROLL family to show how everything I’ve found fits together. I wrote up 1500 words and then decided that it was too complicated to include here. So we are back to family tradition: the parents of the girls who married the ROOP boys were Robert and Anne CARROLL. These names are also seen on the abstract of their brother John CARROLL’s death in 1881.[4]

My 4th great-grandmother Elizabeth CARROLL was born about 1808. Most likely this was at the same place as her sister Mary who was born on the 1st day of January in 1809 “within a few miles of Riner” in Montgomery County, Virginia. Mary lived to be 100 years old and her memory was the wonder of the community.[5],[6]

After Elizabeth and James ROOP married in 1830 they started a family that grew until they had their 12th child in 1854. A dozen children in two dozen years! By this time they were living in their new home in Floyd County. The children were:

  • Ch 1: Amanda “Manda” ROOP (1831-1894) was born in September 1831 in Montgomery County, Virginia. She married George Washington LESTER (1837-aft 1900) on 23 March 1855 in Floyd County, Virginia. They were the parents of four children, one who died at the young age of 4 years. It has been speculated that this was a troubled marriage and they may have divorced as George was married again in 1890. Manda  died of dropsy on 10 February 1894 in Raleigh County, West Virginia. The person giving the information was her sister Barbie THOMPSON who gave Manda’s marital status as “married.” George was seen as widowed on the 1890 marriage, so it could be that he left Manda without divorcing her.
  • Ch 2: Floyd ROOP (1833-1923) was born on 12 May 1833 in Montgomery County, Virginia. Floyd married(1) Mary L. BLACKWELL (1832-bef. 1900) on 5 April 1855 in Floyd County. Mary gave Floyd six children before she died. He married(2) Lucinda [–?–] ROOP (1855-bef. 1920) about 1901. This marriage was without issue. Floyd died on 3 February 1923 in Auburn, Montgomery County, and was buried in White Oak Grove Cemetery, near the home that he grew up in, in Floyd County.
  • Ch 3: Evaline ROOP (1835-aft.1890) was born on 3 March 1835 in Montgomery County, Virginia. Evaline married Mathias RATLIFF (1836-1888) on 4 March 1856 in Floyd County. They were the parents of ten children. Evaline died after the 1890 and before the 1900 census.
  • Ch 4: Peradine ROOP (1835-1909) was born 30 November 1835 in Montgomery County, Virginia. She married Sylvester MILLS (1832-1909) on 30 August 1855 in Floyd County. They were the parents of eight children. Peradine died two months after her husband in March 1909 in West Virginia and was buried in Simmons Cemetery, Mountview, Raleigh County, West Virginia.
  • Ch 5: Gordon H. ROOP (1838-1863) was born about 1838 in Montgomery County, Virginia. He married Emaline LESTER (1836-1877) on 10 March 1856 in Floyd County. They were the parents of three children. Gordon died on the 1st of November 1863 in Flewellan Hospital, Cassville, Bartow County, Georgia, and was buried in Cassville Cemetery.
  • Ch 6: Barbary Ellen “Barbie” ROOP (1839-aft.1910) was born 28 June 1839 in Montgomery County, Virginia. She married(1) Nathaniel THOMPSON (1840-1896) on 12 September 1888 in Raleigh County, West Virginia. She married(2) Henderson BECKELHEIMER (1840-1905) on 20 December 1898 at her residence in Raleigh County. She married(3) Charles COCHRAN (1825-1910) on 21 August 1906 in Summers County, West Virginia. Barbary died after April 1910. She never had children.
  • Ch 7: Giles Henderson ROOP (1841-1863) was born 2 February 1841 in Montgomery County, Virginia. He died on 19 September 1863 in Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia.
  • Ch 8: William H. T. ROOP (1843-1863) was born 6 November 1843 in Montgomery County, Virginia. He died 20 September 1863 in Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia.
  • Ch 9: Rachel Monacha ROOP (1845-1901) was born about 1845 in Montgomery County, Virginia. She married William Lee SIMMONS (1843-1923) in 8 March 1866 in Floyd County. They were the parents of twelve children. Rachel died on 16 December 1901 and is most likely buried alongside her husband in the Simmons Cemetery at Mountview in Raleigh County, West Virginia.
  • Ch 10: James Anderson ROOP (1849-aft.1920) was born in September 1849 in Floyd County, Virginia. He married(1) Elizabeth Jane BURK (1848-1919) on 26 November 1868 in Montgomery County. They were the parents of six children. James married(2) Almeda Jane HOLLANDSWORTH (1876-1951) on 5 July 1919 in Fayette County, West Virginia. This was only a few months after the death of his first wife. There are no known children from this second marriage. James died between 1920-1930.
  • Ch 11: Hamilton N. ROOP (1853-1919) was born in December 1853 in Floyd County, Virginia. He married Mary Elizabeth EPPERLY (1852-1926) on 15 August 1872 at the residence of Owen SUMNER in Floyd County. They were the parents of seven children. Hamilton died in 1919 and was buried in Surface Cemetery in Riner, Montgomery County.
  • Ch 12: Charles Monroe ROOP (1854-1928) was born on 10 August 1854 in Floyd County, Virginia. He married Sarah Martha EPPERLY (1853-1933) on 17 March 1873 in Floyd County. They were the parents of four children, one dying at age 2. Charles died on 22 December 1928 and was buried in Fairview Cemetery, Roanoke, Virginia.

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

The deaths of these sons meant many grandchildren and descendants were not to be. I was lucky in that my 2nd great-grandfather Gordon was born “just in the nick of time.”[7]

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

Assuming that she died about 1889-1890, Elizabeth was survived by her children Manda, Floyd, Evaline, Peradine, Barbie, Rachel, James, Hamilton, and Charles.
She left 55 grandchildren: John, George and Cordelia LESTER; Amos, Manda, James, Mary Ellen, Sarah, and Jennie ROOP; Virginia, Cephas, Giles, Sarah, Charles, William, Landon, Mary, and Matthew RATLIFF; Mary, James, Rhoda, Giles, Julina, Susan, Laura, and Amos MILLS; Dollie, John and Gordon ROOP; Charlton, Angeline, Samuel, Amon, Laura, Dillard, Cora, John, Woodson, Tempey, and Frank SIMMONS; Lucy, Bill, James, Cephas, Maggie, and John ROOP; Giles, Ham, Silas, John, Ella, Mattie and Charles ROOP; Charles and William ROOP. One last grandchild Bertha ROOP would be born in 1898, the youngest child of her youngest child.
She left 40 great-grandchildren: Laura, Susan, John and Juber LESTER; Louvina, Minnie, Roxie Ann, James, and Amelia HUTCHINSON; Flora ROOP; Lucy ROOP, Arthur and Frank BISHOP; Lillie and Edgar ROOP; Mary, Lucy, Alice, Frank, James and Arthur STUMP; Victor, Archie, and Aaron RATCLIFFE; Sadie RATCLIFFE; Calla MILLS; Hattie, Ezra, Posey, Luverna, Adford SUMNER; Tillitha, Martin Otis, and Dolly Ann ROOP; George, Walter Farmer, Charles, James ROOP; Maggie and Betty DeLUNG. About 180 more great-grandchildren and at least 550 great-great-grandchildren would be born after her death. A true report of her descendants is not possible as not all great-grandchildren and their families have been researched.

Sources:
[1] Ancestry.com. Virginia, Marriages, 1740-1850 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999. Original data: Dodd, Jordan R., et al.. Early American Marriages: Virginia to 1850. Bountiful, UT, USA: Precision Indexing Publishers.
[2] Louise Roop Anderson Akers, comp., The Family Rub, Rup, Rupe, Roop, Roope (2001 Printed by Jamont Communications, 339 Luck Ave., Roanoke, VA 24016). Photocopy of page with marriages by Richard Buckingham.
[3] Louise Roop Anderson Akers, comp., The Family Rub, Rup, Rupe, Roop, Roope (2001 Printed by Jamont Communications, 339 Luck Ave., Roanoke, VA 24016). Photocopy of marriage bond of William Roop and Catherine Carrell.
[4] Ancestry.com. Virginia, Deaths and Burials Index, 1853-1917 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: “Virginia Deaths and Burials, 1853–1912.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010. Index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records. John Carril 1 Oct 1881 Floyd, VA.
[5] The Times Dispatch. (Richmond, Va.), 13 Jan. 1907. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. Online http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85038615/1907-01-13/ed-1/seq-18/
[6] The Times Dispatch. (Richmond, Va.), 09 Jan. 1909. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. Online http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85038615/1909-01-09/ed-1/seq-2/
[7] thegenealogygirl; 2 June 2014 comment on 52 Ancestors: #22 Gordon H. ROOP 1838-1863

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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

52ancestors“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

This is entry #23 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

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

My great-great-great-grandmother Emaline LESTER was the first born child of Jacob Hiley LESTER (1812-1842) and Cynthia SUMNER (1815-1880) who married 4 September 1834 in Floyd County, Virginia. Following Emaline’s birth about 1836 her brother George Washington LESTER was born about 1837. Emaline and George, the only children of Jacob and Cynthia, were both born in Floyd County.

When Emaline was about 6 years her father Jacob died of unknown causes. There was a delay of two years in settling his estate during which time his widow Cynthia married John W. COX.

In 1850, while her brother George was with his LESTER grandparents, Emaline was living with her step-father John W. COX, mother Cynthia, and half-sister Susan. On the 21st day of August, 1850, the enumerator Joseph Howard, Ass’t Marshal, filled in North Carolina for the state of birth of John W. COX and then “do” (ditto) for the rest of the family. This is an error as Cynthia and her daughters were born in Virginia. The next household was that of Emaline’s grandfather Owen SUMNER. Everyone in his household was born in Virgina but they also had the “do” (ditto) indicating that they were born in North Carolina.

1850censuscoxlester
1850 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd > District 15> Page 431 > HH #758-758 [Ancestry.com : accessed 3 Jun 2014]
George Washington LESTER, although younger than his sister Emaline was the first to marry on 23 March 1855 to Amanda “Manda” ROOP (1831-1894). A year later, on 10 March 1856, Emaline LESTER married Amanda’s brother Gordon H. ROOP. Both of the couples were married in Floyd County, Virginia.

Emaline gave birth to her first child, a daughter, Dollie Ann Ellen ROOP (1857-1937) on 24 February 1857. A little over two years later she gave birth to a son John Thomas ROOP (1859-1902) on 6 March 1859. Emaline is seen with her husband Gordon and their two children in the 1860 census of Floyd County. She appears to have been better educated than her husband who was listed as not being able to read and write.

1860censusroopgordon
1860 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd > Page No. 101, Sheet No. 535 > HH #723-680 [Ancestry.com : accessed 30 May 2014]
Following the 1860 census times were harder for the little family. Emaline was expecting her third child when her 22 year old husband Gordon enlisted in Jacksonville as a private on 10 September 1861 in Company A, 54th Regiment of the Virginia Infantry, for a period of one year.

Emaline’s half-sister Susan had married earlier that year and was expecting her first child.  Susan gave birth to a daughter on 7 November 1861. Baby Cynthia died of diphtheria when she was 17 days old. Her mother Susan died the next day of the same illness at the age of 16 years. One female relative less whom Emaline could rely on while he husband was gone.

While Gordon was fighting in Virginia and Kentucky, Emaline was going through her pregnancy and caring for her two young children Dollie age 5 and John age 2. Without the help of her little sister she may have relied on her sister-in-law Mary (Blackwell) ROOP, whose husband Floyd had also enlisted. Mary and Emaline’s families were living next door to each other in 1860. Her mother Cynthia also lived in Alum Ridge and most likely gave her support her as she did others. Cynthia had in her household in 1870 her pregnant baby sister Jane age 23 and Jane’s one year old daughter Elizabeth as well as a 15 year old girl Dolly Ann Eldridge whose relationship is unknown.

Emaline gave birth to my great-great-grandfather Gordon Washington ROOP on 6 May 1862. She now had three young children to care for while her husband was away serving in the Confederate Army.

On 1 November 1863 Emaline became a war widow at the age of 27 years. Her husband Gordon H. ROOP died in Flewellan Hospital in Cassville, Bartow County, Georgia. I have no idea how long it took for the news to reach her back in Floyd County, Virginia.

A little over five years after the death of her husband, Emaline ROOP, née LESTER, age 32 married Pleasant D. EPPERLY (1848-1920) age 21 on 8 February 1869 in Floyd County, Virginia. They were married by Michael Howry.

Being a young widow with little children, did she resign to live her life without a husband before she “robbed the cradle?” There were not many single men her age left after the recent war. Nearly 620,000 men were killed in the Civil War, approximately the same amount of deaths as in all other American wars from the Revolutionary War to the Korean War combined. As the death rate was especially great in the Confederacy, the number of men of marriageable age may have been quite low in Floyd County.

A year later Pleasant and Emaline were together with her ROOP children in the 1870 census in Alum Ridge in Floyd County. Once again Emaline appears to have been better educated than her husband Pleasant who could not read or write. Dollie, 13 at the time, could not read or write and John, 11, could not write. This makes me wonder if these children had to work to help support the family instead of attending school before their mother remarried. In later census years Dollie and John are seen as being able to read and write.

1870epperleyroop1
1870 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Floyd > Alum Ridge > Page 2 > HH#13-13; online https://archive.org/stream/populationschedu1646unit#page/n5/mode/1up : accessed 19 March 2014
1870epperleyroop2
1870 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd > Alum Ridge > Page 3 > HH#13-13; online https://archive.org/stream/populationschedu1646unit#page/n6/mode/1up : accessed 19 March 2014

In the 1870s Emaline’s children began to marry. Dollie Ann Ellen ROOP married her 2nd cousin once removed Giles SUMNER (1855-1920) on 7 November 1873. John Thomas ROOP married Ardelia E. WAITMAN (1858- ) on 16 November 1876. Both marriages took place in Floyd County.

This left only my great-great-grandfather Gordon at home with his mother and step-father. A year later he became an orphan at the age of 15 when Emaline died on 3 December 1877 in Floyd County of consumption.

Emaline was survived by her husband Pleasant D. EPPERLY; her daughter Dollie SUMNER; her two sons, John T. ROOP and Gordon W. ROOP; her mother Cynthia COX; her brother George W. LESTER; a granddaughter Hattie SUMNER; a nephew James Russell “John” LESTER; and a niece Cordelia Ann LESTER.

Her widower Pleasant D. EPPERLY remarried nearly 11 months later on 29 October 1878 and fathered four children with his second wife.

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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

52ancestors“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Parents and Siblings

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

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

Mother Remarries

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

1870epperleyroop1
1870 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Floyd > Alum Ridge > Page 2 > HH#13-13; online https://archive.org/stream/populationschedu1646unit#page/n5/mode/1up : accessed 19 March 2014
1870epperleyroop2
1870 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd > Alum Ridge > Page 3 > HH#13-13; online https://archive.org/stream/populationschedu1646unit#page/n6/mode/1up : accessed 19 March 2014

Siblings Marry

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

Orphaned at Fifteen

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

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

Marries at Seventeen

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

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

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

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

Becomes a Father at Eighteen

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

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

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

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

Moves his Family to West Virginia

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

Wife and Daughter Die in a House Fire

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

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

Motherless Children Go into Foster Care

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

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

Mentioned in his Grandfather’s Will in 1890

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

Marries a Second Time and Fathers More Children

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

They had five children in five years:

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

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

Dies at the Home of his Daughter

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hezekiah SUMNER

Door17Hezekiah SUMNER (abt. 1750-1823) of Botetourt and Montgomery County, Virginia

Hezekiah came to America from Wales about 1760-1765 according to family oral tradition. He may have migrated down Shenandoah Valley from the north or from the Tidewater area. Neither has been proven.

He was said to have been a known Tory, however, pension records show that he gave public service during the American Revolution being assigned to Capt. Easom’s Co., August 31, 1782, in Botetourt County, Virginia, to serve for three years.
Between 1786 and 1808 he obtained by land grants 596 acres on both sides of the Little River in Botetourt and Montgomery counties. He also bought land adjacent to his property in 1790 (acreage unknown). The 4 land grants (totaling 596 acres) were found in the Library of Virginia’s Land Office Grants database.

Marriage records have not been found. Isabella may have been his first wife as she is listed on son Owen’s death record as the mother. His will names Mary as his wife.
He died between 16 Nov 1822 (will) and Mar 1823 (probate) in Montgomery County, Virginia (Wills – Bk. 3 p. 522). [Need lookup for will!]

Known children were Rebecca Ann (md. Jacob England), Charity (md. Ralph Ratliffe), Priscilla (md. Joseph Harris), Owen (md. 1. Sarah Newton 2. Levina Sowers), Isaiah (md. Nancy Hungate), and Susannah (mentioned in father’s will, no further information known).

Lots of research still needs to be done on Hezekiah SUMNER and his descendants.

Don’t assume family tradition is right until you’ve proven it correct.

© 2013, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.