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

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

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

A More Intense Focus on the Sources

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

The 1850 census

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

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

An 1856 marriage record

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

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

His children’s birth records

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

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

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

The 1860 census

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

Gordon Roop on the 1860 census.

The Civil War documents

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

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

His children’s marriage records

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

His children’s death records

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

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

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

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

Obituaries were not found for Gordon’s three children.

Garten H. ROOP in an abstract

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

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

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

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

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

What about these scenarios?

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

#45 Cynthia SUMNER abt. 1815-aft. 1880

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s Talk About Cynthia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now wouldn’t that be a story worth documenting?

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

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


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

52 Ancestors: #44 Jacob LESTER 1812-1842

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

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

#44 Jacob LESTER 1812-1842

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

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

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

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

Door16Jacob’s Parents and Siblings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Courtship and Marriage

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Short Life Ends

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Was Noah a son of Jacob?

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

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

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

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

Jacob’s Name

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

#23 Emaline LESTER abt. 1836-1877

My great-great-great-grandmother Emaline LESTER was the firstborn child of Jacob LESTER (1812-1842) and Cynthia SUMNER (1815-1880) who married 4 September 1834 in Floyd County, Virginia.1 Following Emaline’s birth in about 1836 her brother George Washington LESTER was born in about 1837. Emaline and George, the only children of Jacob and Cynthia, were both born in Floyd County.

When Emaline was about 6 years her father Jacob died of unknown causes. There was a delay of two years in settling his estate during which time his widow Cynthia married John W. COX.2

In 1850, while her brother George was with his LESTER grandparents, Emaline was living with her step-father John W. COX, mother Cynthia, and half-sister Susan.3,4 On the 21st day of August 1850, the enumerator Joseph Howard, Ass’t Marshal, filled in North Carolina for the state of birth of John W. COX and then “do” (ditto) for the rest of the family. This is an error as Cynthia and her daughters were born in Virginia. The next household was that of Emaline’s grandfather Owen SUMNER. Everyone in his household was born in Virginia but they also had the “do” (ditto) indicating that they were born in North Carolina.

1850censuscoxlester
1850 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd > District 15> Page 431 > HH #758-758

George Washington LESTER, although younger than his sister Emaline was the first to marry on 23 March 1855 to Amanda “Manda” ROOP (1831-1894).5.6 A year later, on 10 March 1856, Emaline LESTER married Amanda’s brother Gordon ROOP.7 Both the couples were married in Floyd County, Virginia.

Emaline gave birth to her first child, a daughter, Dollie Ann Ellen ROOP (1857-1937) on 24 February 1857.8 A little over two years later she gave birth to a son John Thomas ROOP (1859-1902) on 6 March 1859.9 Emaline is seen with her husband Gordon and their two children in the 1860 census of Floyd County. She appears to have been better educated than her husband who was listed as not being able to read and write.10

1860censusroopgordon
1860 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd > Page No. 101, Sheet No. 535 > HH #723-680 [Ancestry.com : accessed 30 May 2014]
Following the 1860 census, times were harder for the little family. Emaline was expecting her third child when her 22-year-old husband Gordon enlisted in Jacksonville as a private on 10 September 1861 in Company A, 54th Regiment of the Virginia Infantry, for one year.11

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

While Gordon was fighting in Virginia and Kentucky, Emaline was going through her pregnancy and caring for her two young children, Dollie age 5 and John age 2. Without the help of her little sister, she may have relied on her sister-in-law Mary BLACKWELL, whose husband Floyd ROOP had also enlisted. Mary and Emaline’s families were living next door to each other in 1860. Her mother Cynthia also lived in Alum Ridge and likely helped out as did others who lived with her.16 Cynthia had in her household in 1870 her pregnant baby sister Jane age 23 and Jane’s one-year-old daughter Elizabeth as well as a 15-year-old girl Dolly Ann ELDRIDGE whose relationship is unknown.17

Emaline gave birth to my great-great-grandfather Gordon Washington ROOP on 6 May 1862.18,19,20 She now had three young children to care for while her husband was away serving in the Confederate Army.

On 1 November 1863 Emaline became a war widow at the age of 27 years. Her husband Gordon ROOP died in Flewellen Hospital in Cassville, Bartow County, Georgia.21 I have no idea how long it took for the news to reach her back in Floyd County, Virginia.

A little over five years after the death of her husband, Emaline ROOP, née LESTER, age 32, married Pleasant D. EPPERLY (1848-1920), age 21, on 8 February 1869 in Floyd County, Virginia. They were married by Owen Sumner.22

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

A year later, Pleasant and Emaline were together with her ROOP children in the 1870 census in Alum Ridge in Floyd County.23 Once again Emaline appears to have been better educated than her husband Pleasant who could not read or write. Dollie, 13 at the time, could not read or write and John, 11, could not write. This makes me wonder if these children had to work to help support the family instead of attending school before their mother remarried. In later census years, Dollie and John are seen as being able to read and write.

1870epperleyroop1
1870 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Floyd > Alum Ridge > Page 2 > HH#13-13
1870epperleyroop2
1870 U.S. Federal Census > VA > Floyd > Alum Ridge > Page 3 > HH#13-13

In the 1870s Emaline’s children began to marry. Dollie Ann Ellen ROOP married her 2nd cousin once removed Giles SUMNER (1855-1920) on 7 November 1873.24 John Thomas ROOP married Ardelia E. WAITMAN (1858- ) on 16 November 1876.25 Both marriages took place in Floyd County.

This left only my great-great-grandfather, Gordon, at home with his mother and step-father. A year later he became an orphan at the age of 15 when Emaline died on 3 December 1877 in Floyd County of consumption.26

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

Her widower Pleasant D. EPPERLY remarried nearly 11 months later on 29 October 1878 and fathered four children with his second wife.27,28

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

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


  1. Rena Worthen & Barbara Reininger (co-project), “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” index and images, part of the Floyd County, Virginia, The USGenWeb Project online https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/floyd.htm, citing the images of Floyd Co., VA marriages downloaded by Rena Worthen from the Library of Virginia Microform and indexed by Barbara Reininger. FCVA1834_LesterSumnerBond. 1834 Jacob Lester and Sintha Sumner bond. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/1_Marriages%20of%20Floyd%20County.htm : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  2. Marguerite Tise, comp., The Lester Family of Floyd and Montgomery County Virginia (copyright 1996 Marguerite Tise, P.O. Box 343, Floyd, VA 24091-0343), pg. 20. 
  3. 1850 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8054/), citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll: M432_943, Virginia, Floyd County, District 15, Sheet 446B, household 958-958, lines 9-12, John Lester (accessed 30 October 2014). 
  4. Ibid, Roll: M432_943, Virginia, Floyd County, District 15, Sheet 431B, household 758-758, lines 4-7, John W. Cox (accessed 20 June 2013). 
  5. Rena Worthen & Barbara Reininger (co-project), “Index to Marriages of Floyd County, Virginia 1831-1940 (and few others too),” 1855 George W. Lester and Amanda Roop marriage. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1855/FCVA1855LesterRoopMar%20Light.jpg : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  6. Ibid., 1855 George W. Lester consent from his mother Synthy Cox. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1855/FCVA1855LesterCoxConsent.jpg : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  7. Ibid., 1856 Gordon Roop and Emeline Lester marriage. (http://sites.rootsweb.com/~vafloyd/Mar%20FCVA1856/FCVA1856RoopLester.jpg : accessed 2 March 2020). 
  8. West Virginia Vital Research Records Project (database and images), West Virginia Division of Culture and History citing county records in county courthouses, West Virginia (A collaborative venture between the West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah to place vital records online via the West Virginia Archives and History Web site accessible at https://archive.wvculture.org/vrr), West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 1983330, image 883, West Virginia Standard Certificate of Death 18364, Mrs. Dollie Sumner, 14 December 1937, citing Clear Creek, Raleigh County, West Virginia. Date of birth 24 February 1857. (http://images.wvculture.org/1983330/0000883.gif : accessed 16 January 2007). 
  9. Ibid., West Virginia Deaths, 1804-1999, FHL microfilm 598425, image 298, West Virginia, Raleigh County Register of Deaths, page 81, entry 56, Jno F Roop (sic), age 46 y 6 m 5 d, 11 Sep 1902, citing Beckley, Raleigh County, West Virginia. (http://images.wvculture.org/598425/00298.jpg : accessed 7 March 2022). Age at death: 46y 6m 5d, calculates to date of birth: 6 March 1856. This is off by 3 years. 
  10. 1860 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7667/), citing Eighth Census of the United States, 1860 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M653, 1,438 rolls, Roll: M653_1345, Family History Library Film: 805345, Virginia, Floyd County, page 101, sheet 535 (handwritten), lines 33-36, household 723-680, Gordon Roop (accessed 26 February 2011). 
  11. “Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Virginia,” database with images, Fold3 (https://www.fold3.com/publication/42/civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia), citing The National Archives, NARA microfilm publication M324, Fifty-fourth Infantry R Roop, Gorden Page 2. (https://www.fold3.com/document/12913746/roop-gorden-page-2-civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia: accessed 12 February 2014). 
  12. “Virginia, U.S., Marriage Registers, 1853-1935,” (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/62154/), citing Virginia, Marriage Registers, 1853–1935 at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia., Floyd County Register of Marriages 1861, page 49, line 1, Marshal E F Moore and Susan L Cox (accessed 6 June 2022). 
  13. “Virginia, U.S., Birth Registers, 1853-1911,” (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/418338:62153), citing Virginia, Birth Registers, 1853–1911 at the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia. Floyd County Register of Births 1861, page 61, line 5, 7 November 1861, Cintha Moore, white, female, alive, father E F Moore, farmer, mother Susan Moran (sic), informant father (accessed 6 June 2022). 
  14. “Virginia, U.S., Death Registers, 1853-1911, ” (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/250856:62152), citing original data: Virginia, Death Registers, 1853–1911 from the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia. Floyd County Register of Death 1861, page 20, line 24, Susan Moore, female, white, age 16, died 25 November 1861 Floyd County, Virginia, of diphtheria, consort of Elijah Moore, informant E. Moore, husband (accessed 6 June 2022). 
  15. Ibid., Floyd County Register of Death 1861, page 20, line 25, Cinthia Moore, white, female, age 21 days (sic, 17), died 24 Nov 1861 in Floyd County, Virginia, of diphtheria, parents: E & Susan Moore (accessed 6 June 2022). 
  16. 1860 U.S. Federal Census, Roll: M653_1345, FHL Film: 805345, Virginia, Floyd County, page 48, sheet 482, household 345-324, lines 16-17, Cyntha Cox (accessed 4 November 2014). The official enumeration day of the 1860 census was 1 June 1860. 
  17. 1870 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7163/), citing Ninth Census of the United States, 1870 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T132, 13 rolls, Roll: M593_1646, Virginia, Floyd County, Alum Ridge, page 8, sheet 4B, household 55-53, lines 16-19, Cynthia Cox (accessed 18 October 2014). 
  18. Find A Grave, database and images, (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/209078601/gordon-w-roop : accessed 28 February 2022), memorial page for Gordon W. Roop (6 May 1862–31 Jan 1931), Find a Grave Memorial ID 209078601, citing Rich Creek Cemetery, Jodie, Fayette County, West Virginia, USA; maintained by Jennifer Nottingham (contributor 49369720). 
  19. Documentation to prove the date of birth is not accessible to me at this time. The FamilySearch collection, “Floyd County, Virginia Births, 1853-73” is only available at a family history library. May 1862 was seen on the 1900 census. 
  20. 1900 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7602/), citing Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T623, 1854 rolls, FHL microfilm: 1241761, West Virginia, Kanawha County, Cabin Creek, enumeration district 41, sheet 2B, lines 87-93, household 33-33, Gordon W. Roop (accessed 2 February 2022). 
  21. “Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Virginia,” database with images, Fold3 (https://www.fold3.com/publication/42/civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia), citing The National Archives, NARA microfilm publication M324, Fifty-fourth Regiment Virginia Infantry, Gordon Roop, 1 Nov 1863 in Flewellen Hospital, Cassville, Georgia. (https://www.fold3.com/document/12913782/roop-gorden-page-4-civil-war-service-records-cmsr-confederate-virginia: accessed February 2014). Note: His name appears on a Register of Officers and Soldiers of the Army of the Confederate States who were killed in battle, or who died of wounds or disease. 
  22. “Virginia, U.S., Marriage Registers, 1853-1935,” Floyd County Marriage Register 1869, page 88, line 12, 8 February 1869, P. D. Epperly and Emaline Roop (accessed 5 June 2022). 
  23. 1870 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7163/), citing Ninth Census of the United States, 1870 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T132, 13 rolls, Roll: M593_1646, Virginia, Floyd County, Alum Ridge, sheet 1B, page 2, lines 39-40, household 13-13, Pleasant Epperly (accessed 18 October 2014). 
  24. “Virginia, U.S., Marriage Registers, 1853-1935,” Floyd County Register of Marriages 1873, page 92, line 86, 7 November 1873, Giles Sumner and Dolly E. Roop (accessed 6 June 2022). 
  25. Ibid., Floyd County Register of Marriages 1876, page 119, line 84, 11 November 1876, John T. Roop and Ardelia E. Waitman (accessed 6 June 2022). 
  26. “Virginia, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Death Records, 1853-1912”, database with images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of the original records at the Virginia State Library at Richmond, Virginia, Death registers, 1853-1906 (Virginia), Film 2056980, DGS 4225427 > Floyd County, 1853-1896> image 153 of 673 > Register of Deaths 1877, line 7. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DRMQ-65R?cc=3940896 : accessed 14 March 2022). 
  27. “Virginia, U.S., Marriage Registers, 1853-1935,” Floyd County Register of Marriages 1878, page 113, line 86, Pleasant Epperly and Rowena Jane Basham (accessed 6 June 2022). 
  28. 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Roll T623_1718, FHL microfilm: 1241718, Virginia, Montgomery County, Christiansburg, enumeration district 69, sheet 11B, lines 64-69, household 203-204, Pleasant D. Epperley (accessed 4 June 2022). 

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 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). 

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.