52 Ancestors: #11 The Wollscheid-Barthelmes Family of Kirsch, Germany

Longuich-Kirsch

Longuich-Kirsch is situated on the Moselle River, one of Germany’s most beautiful river landscapes. No less than nine roads lead from the old Roman road to this place founded around 100 A.D. Later, the village was governed for over 1200 years by the Trier Abbey of St. Maximin.

Longuich and Kirsch, the second being where the WOLLSCHEID-BARTHELMES family lived, are two places of Roman and Celtic origin which have grown together to form a place now known as Longuich-Kirsch. Longuich comes from the Latin longus vicus meaning long village; Kirsch, the German word for cherry, was formerly cressiacum, a Latinized Celtic word. Another interpretation of the name Longuich says it is of Celtic origin and derived from lunc-wich meaning crooked creek. The Mosel River actually curves and bends around the piece of land Longuich-Kirsch lies on.

The two yellow icons on the map above show the location of Kirsch and Longuich in relation with the Kalberger Hof (green icon) featured last week.

The WOLLSCHEID-BARTHELMES family lived in Kirsch before the two places grew together and formed what in German is known as a Doppelort, a double place or location.

Jacob’s Childhood

Johann WOLLSCHEID (1725-1773) married Anna Maria WILLWERT (1728-1789) on 10 January 1747[1] in the Catholic Church St. Michael in Trier, Germany. Trier, or Treves as it is known by the French and English, claims to be the oldest city in Germany.

Johann and Anna Maria had only two known children. Both were born in Tarforst on the outskirts of Trier. Johann Peter was born in 1748[2] and nearly 18 years later his brother Jacob was born on 13 March 1766.[2] I suspect more children were born to the couple. Family books for the towns in the area need to be consulted.

Little Jacob was barely eight years old when his father died on 24 April 1773.[2] His mother died when he was 23 years old on 27 October 1789.[2]

Katharina’s Childhood

Johann BARTHELMES (1728-1802) married Eva BARZEN (1729-1789) before 1758.[3] They had two sons and a daughter in 1758, 1760, and 1762 before their daughter Katharina was born on 12 July 1763 in Kirsch.[3] Her godparents were Peter GEIBEN and Katharina BARTZEN of Kirsch, a maternal aunt. Katharina’s birth was followed by two more sons and a daughter born in 1765, 1769, and 1771.[3] Katharina was 25 years old when her mother died on 13 February 1789.[3]

Jacob and Katharina Marry

Jacob “Jacobus” WOLLSCHEID married Katharina BARTHELMES on 25 January 1797 in Longuich, Rheinland, Germany.[4] Jacob was 30 and Katharina was 33. Their religious ceremony may have taken place in one of two churches. In the Kirsch Chapel, the succursal church of St. Sebastian, built in 1781 on the site of a former church built nearly 200 years before, or the St. Laurentius Parish Church built in 1771, also on the site of a former church. Both churches still stand today in [Zoom in on the yellow icons on map above for the locations of the churches.]

A little more than two years later they started their family with a son Johann Peter who was born on 7 April 1799 in Kirsch and was baptized the next day in Longuich.[4] The father was 33 years old and the mother was going on 36.

The following year their next child, a daughter, was born in Kirsch on Christmas Eve, in a new century. Anna Maria was baptized on Christmas Day 1800 in Longuich.[4]

A year later their second daughter Christina was born in Kirsch on 5 January 1802 and was baptized the next day in Longuich.[4]

Katharina’s father Johann BARTHELMES was about 74 years old when Christina was born. He’d outlived his wife by more than a dozen years. But by the time winter came around that year his death was being reported by his son-in-law Jacob on 15 November 1802.[3]

Seven months later death visited the little family once again. Their youngest, Christina, died on 2 June 1803 in Kirsch at the age of 17 months. She was buried the following day in Longuich.[4]

For two years Johann Peter and Anna Maria were the only children of Jacob and Katharina. Then on 24 November 1805, their last child, a daughter, Katharina was born in Kirsch and baptized the following day in Longuich.[4] Jacob was 39 years old and his wife Katharina was 42 years old.

Jacob’s only known brother Johann Peter WOLLSCHIED died 16 December 1821 in Morscheid. He left a widow and one son. Like his brother Jacob, he had also had three daughters but they all died when still young.

Exactly one year later Jacob’s wife Katharina BARTHELMES died on 16 December 1822 in Kirsch. Jacob followed her three years later on 5 January 1826. He was buried two days later on 7 January 1826.[5] He left a son and two daughters.

The WOLLSCHEID Children

A double wedding took place on 17 January 1827, a year after the death of Jacob WOLLSCHEID. His first daughter Anna Maria married Nicolaus SCHMITT[6] and his youngest daughter Katharina married Caspari FERGER.[7] Both marriages took place at the church in Longuich. Katharina’s civil marriage took place the previous day. A mention of Anna Maria’s civil marriage was not found in the family books which were viewed.

After the girls’ marriages, their brother Johann Peter waited another year before marrying Angela KOCH on 7 February 1828 in Longuich.[8]

Katharina, the youngest of the WOLLSCHEID children, gave birth to six children in ten years. Three months after giving birth to her last child she died at the age of 34 years on 23 December 1839 in Kirsch.[9]

The only son, Johann Peter, died on 16 December 1854 in Longuich.[10] He was the father of seven children, two of whom died young. His wife outlived him by nearly 17 years.

My children’s fourth great-grandmother Anna Maria, also known as Marianna, was the last living WOLLSCHEID child. After living with her husband Nicolaus SCHMITT on the Kalberger Hof and raising a family, she died in Osweiler, Luxembourg, at the home of her son-in-law Johann SCHWARTZ on 3 November 1857.[11]

Two Grandsons Go to America

Jacob and Katharina’s only son Johann Peter had five children who grew to adulthood. The two youngest sons went to America a little more than a decade after their father died. Nicholas was the first to go after requesting permission to emigrate on 18 July 1865. His younger brother Paul applied on 29 May 1867 saying he would be able to live with his brother who was already in America. Paul was underage and had to have permission from three persons from his paternal and three persons from his maternal family. His application to emigrate was approved however, I have found no evidence he went or lived in America.[12]

His older brother Nicholas fought in the Civil War, enlisting in Petersburg, Virginia, with Capt. Nicodemus on Valentine’s Day 1866. He was 24 years old, a 5-foot 4-inch wagon maker with brown eyes, light hair. He was discharged three years later in Winchester, Virginia when his service expired.[13] Less than two weeks later, on 27 February 1869, he married Johanna C. Schroeder,[14] a widow with a six years old daughter. Nicholas, his wife, and step-daughter lived in Bloomery, Hampshire County, West Virginia in 1870. By 1880 they had settled in Dunbar, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. There were no children in their household, the 16 years old step-daughter was married and living in the area. Nicholas died in 1899[15] leaving his widow Johanna who lived with her daughter, son-in-law, and two granddaughters. Johanna died in 1909.[16]

When Nicholas, a German and veteran of the American Civil War, died the connection to America for this family ended. There may be some who would question this as the step-daughter’s death certificate suggests Nicholas Walsche was her father. Her mother is listed as Joana Roth which would have been her first married name and the surname of Ernestine’s father, John P. Roth.

Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1964. Ancestry.com : accessed 17 March 2017.

Ernestine’s death certificate shows she was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Her obituary, below, gives White Front, Virginia. In the 1870 to 1940 census listings found for her, she was born in Maryland except in 1940 which has Pennsylvania. It is not the place of her birth which is important. She was born in 1863 in America and Nicholas did not apply to emigrate to America until 1865.

The Daily Courier (Connellsville, Pennsylvania) 22 December 1956; Ancestry.com : accessed 17 March 2017

With this aside on the grandsons of Jacob WOLLSCHEID and Katharina BARTHELMES, I would like to end this post. It was fun getting into the U.S. records and following up on the possibility of there being WOLLSCHEID descendants of this couple still in America but the search was to no avail.

bestwishescathy1

Sources:
[1] Germany Marriages, 1558-1929 / Deutschland, Heiraten, 1558-1929, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 530,205. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J4DM-CJD : accessed 12 March 2017), Joannes Wolschie… and Anna Maria Wilwerts, married 10 Jan 1747; citing Waldrach, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany; father of bride Petri Wilwerts.
[2] Armin Giebel, compiler, Familienbuch Standesamt Ruwer-Waldrach, (Stand: Sept. 2016), page 3991, family 20387. Wollscheid-Willwertz family group.
[3] Ibid., page 83, family 310. Barthelmes-Barzen family group.
[4] Ibid., page 3996, family 20406. Wollscheid-Barthelmes family group.
[5] Ibid., page 3994-3995, family 20400. Wollscheid-Dehen family group.
[6] Germany Marriages, 1558-1929, FHL microfilm 469,141. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J4FC-TYK : accessed 1 August 2015), Nicolaus Schmidt and Maria Anna Wolschett, married 17 Jan 1827, parents of groom Friderici Schmidt and Elisabethae Plein, parents of bride Jacobi Wolschett and Catharinae Barthelmaes; citing Longuich, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany.
[7] Ibid., (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J4FC-TY6 : accessed 10 March 2017), Casparus Ferger and Catharina Wolschet, married 17 Jan 1827 in Longuich, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany; parents of groom Matthiae Ferger and Gertrudis Biver; parents of bride Jacobi Wolschet and Catharinae Barthelmaes.
[8] Ibid., (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J4FC-TBT : accessed 10 March 2017), Joannes Wollscheid and Angela Koch, married 07 Feb 1828; parents of groom Jacobi Wollscheid and Cath. Barthelmes; parents of bride Joannis Petri Koch and Barbarae Horsch.
[9] Germany Deaths and Burials, 1582-1958 / Deutschland Tote und Beerdigungen, 1582-1958, (index), FamilySearch, FHL microfilm 469,141. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J4MS-JPY : 28 November 2014), Catharina Wolscheid Ferger; age 44; died  23 Dec 1839 in Longuich, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany; buried 26 Dec 1839; marital status married; spouse Caspari Ferger.
[10] Germany Deaths and Burials, 1582-1958. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J4MS-VJ4 : accessed 15 March 2017), Petrus Wollscheid; died 16 Dec 1854 in Longuich, Rheinland, Preußen, Germany; age 55; marital status married; spouse Angelae Coch.
[11] Luxembourg, Registres d’état civil, 1662-1941 (images), FamilySearch (original records at Luxembourg National Archives, Plateau du Saint-Esprit, Luxembourg), Rosport > Décès 1853-1891 > image 52 of 510. 1857 Death Record No. 24. (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-DYJ3-VZ7?cc=1709358&wc=9RY9-16X%3A130314401%2C130472201 : accessed 13 March 2017).
[12] Armin Giebel, Ortsfamilienbuch des StA Longuich bis Okt. 1931 (June 2013), page 2378-2379, family 11530. Wollscheid-Koch family group.
[13] Register of Enlistments in the U.S. Army, 1798-1914; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M233, 81 rolls); Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780’s-1917, Record Group 94; National Archives, Washington, D.C. Ancestry.com : accessed 15 March 2017
[14] Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940, database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X51K-SYN : accessed 16 March 2017), Jno. P. Wollscheid in entry for …id…olar Wollscheid and Johanna Schraider, 27 Feb 1869; citing Winchester, Frederick, Virginia, reference 106; FHL microfilm 2,048,496.
[15] Find A Grave Memorial# 100851368, Find A Grave (https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=100851368 : accessed 16 March 2017)
[16] Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1964, database, Ancestry.com : accessed 17 March 2017.

© 2017, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

Rupe/Roop/Ruppe/Rupp Migration in the Years 1752-1820

The immigrant Johann Jacob RUPP came from Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg, Northern Alsace, present-day France, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1752 with his wife Maria Barbara NONNENMACHER and their three sons Johann Jacob, Johann Michel, and Johann Martin.

The Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg connection and the ship they came on will be discussed in later posts.

In the Beginning There was Family Tradition

Colonial_Roads_in_the_South
Public domain, released by David Dilts, a Family History Research Wiki user.

From the following report given by Johann Jacob RUPP’s great-great-grandson Redmond Ira ROOP at a family reunion in 1927 in Carroll County, Maryland, the family very likely took the Great Valley Road in green in the map above (with some continuing on the dotted green road).

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

Who doesn’t have a story of several brothers? My 5th great-grandfather Henry RUPE was the youngest son of Johann Jacob RUPP and and Maria Barbara NONNENMACHER. I would like to believe he traveled with three older brothers but this may be “exaggereated” (to use Redmond’s spelling). To simplify things I’m dropping the Johann from the father and his three sons’ names as, after they came to America, the second name was found in records.

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

This is where I’m seeing the families from 1752 to 1820.

migrationmap

  1. Henry’s parents Jacob and Barbara and his three oldest brothers Jacob, Michael, and Martin came to America in 1752 arriving in Philadelphia.  This will be discussed in a later post. The length of time they remained in Pennsylvania is unknown.
  2. Henry’s father Jacob RUPP was in Frederick and Baltimore County, Maryland, from about 1759 to 1792. Church records as well as three sets of newly found records confirm his residence in Pipe Creek Hundred in Baltimore County. They will be discussed in more detailed upcoming posts.
  3. Family tradition (above) tells of Henry and his brothers crossing the Potomac at Harpers Ferry in 1796. The transcript of the report by Redmond ROOP may not be reliable. The information has been copied many times and cannot be traced back to its origin. Theron Rupe, another researcher for the family, wrote the family left Maryland in 1793 after Henry sold 100 acres of the original 115 acres owned by his father Jacob.
  4. Family tradition (above) tells of Henry’s family remaining at Buffalo Creek in Rockbridge County, Virginia, until about 1800. I have not found proof of this or of their building or running a mill at this location. Henry ROOP was in Rockbridge County on 13 January 1801 when Polly NULL, from Baltimore County, Maryland, and daughter of Anthony NULL married James HART. Henry gave oath of the bride being of age. [I have images of both records] The 1800 census for Virginia is not available and tax lists have been used as substitutes. The 1801 tax list for Rockbridge was used as a substitute. James HART was listed but Henry RUPE/ROOP appears to have already left the county as he was not on the list. There for the marriage, gone for the tax list!
  5. Henry RUPE was seen in Montgomery County buying land in 1804 from Abner Lester. He continued to acquire land and deeds show his name spelled Roop. On the 1810 trough 1840 census the surname was spelled Roop, Roope, and Rupe. He lived in Montgomery County until his death in 1845.
  6. Martin RUPE was a resident of Surry County, North Carolina from 1795 to about 1810. He may not have taken care of all business in the county before moving on as he was seen on the 1812 tax list. George WEAVER was a resident of Stokes County, North Carolina in 1800. By 1820 the WEAVER family was living next door to Henry RUPE in Montgomery County, Virginia. George’s wife was the sister of Henry RUPE.
  7. Martin ROOP (indexed Roap) was in Union County, South Carolina, by 1810. The area became Cherokee County. Many of his descendants lived there as well as across the state line in Rutledge and Cleveland counties in North Carolina. His descendants in the Carolinas used the surname spelling RUPPE.
  • Places of birth of the children of Henry RUPE indicate he was in Maryland in 1786-1792, Virginia from about 1794.
  • Places of birth of the children of Martin RUPP indicate he was in Maryland in 1779, Pennsylvania 1780-1788, Virginia 1790, North Carolina 1796-1805.
  • Places of birth of the children of George WEAVER indicate he was in North Carolina in 1778* and back in Maryland in 1781-1790.

*Another family tradition, which I will be discussing in a future post, suggests Jacob RUPP and his family, during the American Revolutionary War, “bought land in a  North Carolina land company and after the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783 the family resurfaced in Baltimore County.” Records I’m finding show Jacob was in Baltimore County during this time and do not support the theory of his being in North Carolina. George WEAVER’s oldest child was listed on the 1850 census as born abt. 1778 in North Carolina. She died before 1860, her children died in 1848, 1865, and bet. 1860-1870. This left no possibility of confirmation of the mother’s place of birth on the 1880 census.

It was important to me to map the migration pattern of the family during this period. I am convinced it will help me prove or disprove the family tradition by pointing me in the right direction at the right time. Of course, any suggestion on a course of action would be greatly appreciated.

Sources:
[1] C. T. Zahn and Frederick S. Weiser, translators and editors, Maryland German Church Records Volume 10, subtitle: Zion Church “The German Church”, Manchester, Carroll County — today Trinity United Church of Christ Records, 1760-1836 and Immanuel Lutheran Church Records, 1760-1853 (published by the Historical Society of Carroll County, Westminster, Maryland).

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Johann Jacob RUPP
Parents: Johann Jacob RUPP Jr. and Maria Apollonia FETZER
Spouse: Maria Barbara NONNENMACHER
Parents of spouse: Johannes NONNENMACHER and Maria Barbara STAMBACH
Whereabouts: Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg, Pennsylvania, Maryland
Relationship to Cathy Meder-Dempsey: 6th great-grandfather

  1. Johann Jacob RUPP
  2. Heinrich Thomas “Henry” RUPE Sr.
  3. James ROOP
  4. Gordon H. ROOP
  5. Gordon Washington ROOP
  6. Walter Farmer ROOP
  7. Myrtle Hazel ROOP
  8. Fred Roosevelt Dempsey
  9. Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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

Do you feel responsible for errors in others’ family trees?

Door 1This door is a symbol for the research done on the immigrant Johann Jacob RUPP of Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg, Northern Alsace, France. The first door is open showing a passage way leading to another door which is closed.

The First Door Opens

Theron A. Rupe found records in the 1990s for RUPP individuals in the Family History Library’s International Film #775041:

Steinseltzrecords Parish registers, in German, of baptisms, marriages, and deaths for Steinselz, Elsaß-Lothringen, Germany; now Steinseltz, Bas-Rhin, France, including Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg were filmed in the Strasbourg Archives. Note: As of 20 July 2010 these records are browsable online at the Archives Départementales du Bas-Rhin.

Theron’s research opened the first door. We corresponded by postal mail as he did not have internet access and a few emails were passed along by his son-in-law. In 2001 he shared photocopies with me of the records he found showing Johann Jacob RUPP b. 1723 was the son of Johann Jacob RUPP Jr. This in turn led him to Johann Jacob RUPP Sr. who he found had remarried and was fathering children at the same time as Johann Jacob RUPP Jr.

At the time I was more concerned with proving my grandmother’s ROOP line back to RUPE and the RUPP immigrant. Theron was “satisfied with information we have on family in America” and would “appreciate only information relating to Oberhoffen.”

I visited Steinseltz and Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg on a day trip in December 2001 but did not have the time to visit and/or do research at the archives in Strasbourg. This put an end to our collaborating as I did not have access to the records needed to satisfy his interest in the family of Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg.

A Second Door Opens

Fast forward a dozen years, in June 2013 I learned the church records were online in the Bas-Rhin Archives. I learned later they had been online for several years as noted above. I’d cancelled my Ancestry.com subscription the previous month and had plenty of time to delve into the church records.

I searched the baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and deaths beginning in 1685, the earliest records available, until 1752 the year my 6th great-grandfather Johann Jacob RUPP (b. 8 March 1723) came to America. I found about 130 church records for RUPP related individuals in Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg and Steinseltz. This included any record with a RUPP mentioned, for example, as a godparent on a baptismal records. Here a name, there a name, and before you know it you are connecting the dots and can see the whole picture.

What I found completely changed the RUPP family tree. I attempted contacting Theron with the new information however he is no longer doing genealogy. Without a subscription to Ancestry.com I wasn’t able to contact the people who had trees with the wrong information which I felt responsible for.

Why did I feel responsible?

In 2001 I entered the information found by Theron into my family tree. At the time, with the few photocopies of the old church records he shared with me, it looked good [to the new to US genealogy researcher] as the information was also included in Louise Roop Anderson Akers’ book The Family Rub, Rup, Rupe, Roop, Roope  (2001 Printed by Jamont Communications, 339 Luck Ave., Roanoke, VA 24016). Although many other genealogists researching the family also bought the book I was one of the first to share the information online.

On 6 December 2002 I uploaded my GEDCOM file to RootsWeb’s WorldConnect Project for the first time and it included the Roop information. A few years later I discovered my file had been included in the Ancestry Family Tree (later becoming a part of the OneWorldTree). Over the years dozens of owners of family trees on Ancestry.com have merged the incorrect information into their trees.

Yesterday I was looking at some of the trees and was reminded of why I do not want my family tree on Ancestry.com. I wish a user’s license was the prerequisite for using the family tree feature as well as reviewing and accepting hints. I can understand how people new to genealogy will make mistakes but there is no need to accept all hints without question.

What has changed in the RUPP family tree?

After sleeping on it, I’ve decided against contacting owners of trees with the incorrect information. My 1752 immigrant was not the only RUPP to come to America. Others came before and after him which only adds to the confusion seen in the trees found online.

To begin I plan to write about my 5th great-grandfather Heinrich Thomas “Henry” Rupe Sr. 1765-1845. There are several aspects of his life I would like to discuss in separate posts. They may not be done in this particular order but will include the migration from Maryland to Virginia, his life in Virginia, his children, and his siblings.

A post on how the connection was made between the immigrant and the ship he came over on will hopefully clear up the “it cannot be” comment I found on one of the “stories” attached to several trees on ancestry.

Once the ship has sailed I’ll write about the three RUPP generations found in the French archives who changed the family tree. Hopefully by writing their stories I will no longer feel responsible for mistakes seen in other people’s family trees.

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

In 2016 I’m Going To….

….get my money’s worth out a 6-month Ancestry.com subscription.

I believe one of my ancestors was looking out for me over the holidays. Ancestry.com was offering $10 off their regular $99 price for the 6-month gift subscription of the US collection and I wanted it.

gifttinyI tried to get the offer but was thrown in a loop going from Choose gift to Pay now to Choose gift to Pay now to Choose gift. I could NOT get to the billing page. I was told to try another browser or call in. I gave up before the offer ran out on Christmas Day even after I found a browser I don’t use which worked. I’m kind of stubborn that way.

Two days after Christmas I see 50% off on the regular $99 price!! Stubbornness on my part or someone looking out for me? Whatever, this time billing worked!

In May 2013 when Ancestry said, “We’ll be seeing you” they didn’t know it would be two and a half years later. 🙂

ancestryThe four Virginia Vital Records databases at Ancestry, primarily “Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2014,”  were the reason I finally caved in and took this great deal for six months. Let the research work begin….

© 2016 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

Slave Name Roll Project: RELEASING Willobey and Plimoth

Following my three part series on the slaves of my 5th grand-father James Sims I made a commitment to write a post on a monthly basis until I’ve RELEASED all of the names of slaves owned by my ancestors. Today I’m RELEASING Willobey and Plimoth.

I’m sorry to say I cannot give credit to the person who found the document I am using to release Willobey and Plimoth. While cleaning out my files I found three images of pages from Essex County. At the time I saved them I did not make a note of the source of the document. I believe it may have been attached to a tree on ancestry.com. I found it referenced as: Essex County Deeds and Wills 1711-1714 p. 79. I am sharing this transcript I made from the image as no transcription of the will was found online.

James LANDRUM may have been my 7th great-grandfather. His connection to my 5th great-grandfather of the same name, James LANDRUM, has not been researched or proven by me. Landrum Brick Wall

James LANDRUM born abt. 1671 in Turriff, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, married in Essex  (Old Rappahannoch) County, Virginia, on 10 August 1696 Mary BROWNE, daughter of William and Elizabeth BROWNE. He died after 11 April 1738 when he wrote his will and before 18 December 1739 when his will was presented to court by his widow and the executors mentioned.

In the name of God Amen I James Landrum of
the County of Essex and parish of St. Anne being perfect sound sence and
memory do ordain Constitute and appoint this my last will and Testa=
ment first I bequeave my soul to God who gave it me and my Body to this
Earth to be decently Buryed by my Excutors Impes I give and Bequeave
to my son Saml Landrum that tract of Land Whereon he now lives with
all Impurtenances there unto belonging to him and his Heirs forever
Item I give my son James Landrum that tract of Land where on he now
lives with all appurtenances there unto belonging to him and his heirs
forever Item I Lend this tract of land whereon I now live to Mary my
Loving wife During her Natural life with all my other Estate goods and
Chattles that I now am possest with and after her deceas I give this said Land
to my son Patrick Landrum with all Impurtenances there unto belonging
with my Negrow Man Willobey to him and his Heirs forever Item I give
and bequeave to my Daughter Darcos Landrum my negrow boy Plimoth to
her and her heirs Lawfuly Begotten of her body for ever Item I give Charles
Dhisson Sen. twelve Acres of Land out of James and Saml Landrum tracts
of land to him and his heirs foever Item all the rest of my Estate give to Mary
my Loving wife to Dispose of as She thinks proper Item I also appoint
William Clark and Henry Beazley or Either of them my whole and Sole Ex=
ecutors of this my Last will and Testament In Witness here of I have hereunto
set my hand and fixt my Seal this 11th day of April in the year of our Lord
God one Thousand Seven hundred thirty and Eight
Signed Sealed and published
in presents of us                                             his
William Clark                                     James X Landrum
            his                                                       mark
Henry X Beazley
         mark

Essex County, Virginia [added to the bottom of the image]. The next two images had page numbers 220 and 221 at top which could mean the above was page 219.

Note: Seen as X above, the mark left by Henry Beazley was an H and by James Landrum was an E rotated once clockwise.

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Parents and Siblings

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

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

Mother Remarries

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

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

Siblings Marry

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

Orphaned at Fifteen

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

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

Marries at Seventeen

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

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

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

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

Becomes a Father at Eighteen

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

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

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

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

Moves his Family to West Virginia

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

Wife and Daughter Die in a House Fire

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

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

Motherless Children Go into Foster Care

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

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

Mentioned in his Grandfather’s Will in 1890

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

Marries a Second Time and Fathers More Children

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

They had five children in five years:

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

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

Dies at the Home of his Daughter

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

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

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

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

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

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

52 Ancestors: #11 Mary M. DEMPSEY abt. 1845-bet. 1880-1888

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

This is my 11th contribution to Amy Johnson Crow’s challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Shona Duit!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

A Small Explanation Up Front

I have two DEMPSEY lines in my paternal family tree. My entries for this challenge have included my father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather, all with the surname DEMPSEY:

#1 Fred Roosevelt DEMPSEY 1935-1974
#2 Fred Rothwell DEMPSEY 1899-1975

#4 William Henderson DEMPSEY 1860-1941
#8 William A. W. DEMPSEY 1822-1867

chart
Screenshot of five-generation pedigree generated by Ancestral Quest 14

Mary M. DEMPSEY, one of my 4 paternal great-great-grandmothers, is from the other DEMPSEY line in my family tree. The lines are connected as Mary’s daughters Octava and Laura INGRAM married sons of William A. W. DEMPSEY. However a common DEMPSEY ancestor has not been found to connect the two DEMPSEY lines.

52 Ancestors: #11 Mary M. DEMPSEY abt. 1845-bet. 1880-1888

Mary M. DEMPSEY was born about 1845 to Seaton Y. DEMPSEY and Clementine M. GOWING who were married on 3 January 1829. They had 5 children before Mary was born and then two more bringing the total to eight children. All of these events took place in Amherst County, Virginia.

Sib 1: George W. Dempsey (1831-aft. 1870)
Sib 2: Geneva Elizabeth “Jennie” Dempsey (1836-aft. 1910)
Sib 3: William S. Dempsey (1839-1860s)
Sib 4: Thomas G. Dempsey (1840-1860s)
Sib 5: John J. Dempsey (1843-1860s)
Sib 7: Martha Ann “Matties” Dempsey (1847-1909)
Sib 8: Julia Victoria Dempsey (1853-1926)

1850censusAmherst
1850 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Amherst > Eastern District > Sheet 76A > HH #40 [online https://archive.org/stream/populationschedu0933unix#page/n149/mode/1up : accessed 11 March 2014]
1850 U.S. Federal Census
Amherst County, Virginia
Eastern District
HH #40-40
Dempsey, C. Y. 47 M Farmer 500 Virginia
Dempsey, C. M. 35 F
Dempsey, Geo W. 19 M
Dempsey, Elizabeth 14 F
Dempsey, Wm S. 11 M
Dempsey, Thomas G. 10 M
Dempsey, John J. 7 M
Dempsey, Mary M. 5 F
Dempsey, Martha A. 2 F

Following the 1850 census Mary’s older siblings began to marry and have children. Her sister Jennie had illegitimate children, a daughter about 1857 and twin daughters about 1859. Her brother George married Rhoda A. STATON (1825-aft. 1870?) on 20 December 1852 and her brother William married Mary Eliza CLEMENTS (1839-?) on 26 April 1857, both in Amherst County.

The family moved to Fayette County, (West) Virginia

Mary’s father Seaton and her uncle Wilson M. DEMPSEY moved their families to Fayette County, (West) Virginia, in the late 1850’s. Mary’s brother William and sister Jennie remained in Amherst County with their young families.

The 1860 census listing shows Mary’s parents in one household followed by her brother George’s household. Mary and and her siblings Thomas, John, Martha, and Julia were listed in George’s household. Normally Mary and her siblings would have been listed in her parents household. I suspect that the entire family group was living together and George was given a household and family number making it look like his siblings were living in his household.

1860censusseaton
1860 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Fayette > District 2 > Sheet 304 [online https://archive.org/stream/populationschedu1344unix#page/n310/mode/1up : accessed 11 March 2014]

1860 U.S. Federal Census
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
Fayetteville Twp
HH #1352-687
Dempsey Ceton Y. 57 M W farmer Virginia
Clementine M. 47 F W wife Virginia
HH #1353-688
George 28 M W farm labor Virginia
Rhoda 35 F W wife Virginia
Ceton A. 5 M W Virginia
Thomas G. 18 M W farm labor Virginia
John J. 15 M W farm labor Virginia
Mary M. 13 F W Virginia
Martha A. 10 F W Virginia
Juda V. 7 F W Virginia

Older siblings returned to eastern Virginia in the 1860s

Following the 1860 census Mary’s brother Thomas returned to eastern Virginia and joined the 58th Virginia Infantry in August 1861 in Amherst County. It is possible that her brother John also went east and joined up in Rockbridge County where their brother William was living. There is no trace of William, Thomas, or John in 1870 or later. Mary’s brother George and his wife disappear after the 1870 census. Their sons remained in Fayette County while a daughter went back to Amherst and later lived in Rockbridge County.

Mary’s sister Jennie had more illegitimate children and married Marshall S. TERRY (1843-aft. 1920) about 1866-1869 (per 1900 and 1910 census). She died between 1910-1920 in Rockbridge County, Virginia. No marriage record has been found for Jennie and Marshall Terry. In 1895 Chancery Records found in Rockbridge County concerning the estate of her uncle Wesley G. DEMPSEY, one of Seaton and Wilson’s brothers, Jennie was seen as Wesley’s niece Jennie TERRY (née DEMPSEY) wife of Marshall TERRY. Prior to finding the chancery records it had been assumed that the daughter seen only as Elizabeth in 1850 had died by 1860. Finding her as Jennie Terry, wife of a man who was seen as a mulatto in the earlier census listings, has brought up a whole bunch of questions that need to be answered. This discovery also gives me faith in the documents that are going to help open the doors in the DEMPSEY brick walls!

Back in Fayette County, West Virginia

Mary’s parents Seaton and Clementine remained in Fayette County with the three youngest daughters Mary M., Martha A., and Julia V. By 1870 Mary and her sister Martha had married and only Julia was living at home with her parents.

Mary’s sisters Martha and Julia marry

Martha Ann “Matties” DEMPSEY married George L. “Little George” JOHNSON (1846-bef 1880) on 20 September 1866. They had four children before Little George left her a widow. She married second Joseph Henry ARBAUGH (1853-1927) on 18 July 1880 in Ansted, Fayette County, West Virginia. They were the parents of three children. “Matties” died on 11 March 1909.

Julia Victoria DEMPSEY married Joseph Henry PRESSON (1850-1934) on 3 June 1872. They were the parents of 7 children. Julia died 1 May 1926 in Ansted.

What became of Mary M. Dempsey?

On 23 May 1867 Eli WOOD, Minister of the Gospel, performed the marriage ceremony in Fayette County, West Virginia, for  Mary M. DEMPSEY and her groom Irvin Lewis INGRAM, son of Robert INGRAM and Huldah JOHNSON. [line 37]

The 1870 census listing for Mary and her young family has not been located. I suspect that the family may have been missed. From later records we know that Mary’s first daughter Octavia Dell INGRAM (1866-1923) was born 14 March 1866 Fayette County, West Virginia. This was a year prior to Mary’s marriage to Irvin Lewis INGRAM on 23 May 1867.  Following the marriage their second daughter Laura Belle INGRAM (1868-1940) was born 24 April 1868 at Ingram Branch on Loop Creek in Fayette County. There are no birth records for Octava and Laura and we must rely on the information passed on to descendants, in Octava’s case, and given on Laura’s death certificate.

Mary and Irvin’s third daughter’s birth was entered in the register of births: Harriet F. Ingram (1871- ) born 8 March 1871 at Loup Creek, Fayette County, West Virginia. This daughter most likely died before 1900 as she has not been found in the 1900 census nor has a marriage record been found for her at WVCulture.org. Note that her father Irvin was missed in the 1900 census and it is possible that Harriet may have also been missed.

1880censusingram
1880 U.S. Federal Census > WV > Fayette > ED #27 Sheet #17A [online https://archive.org/stream/populationsc18801402unit#page/n36/mode/1up : accessed 8 Mar 2014]

In 1880 we see Mary age 31 with her husband Irvin age 35 and their three daughters, Octavi D. age 14; Laura B. age 12 and Harriet F. age 9. This is the last record we find to document Mary’s life.

Was Mary still living when her daughters married in the early 1880’s? Octavia Dell married Elijah Lewis DEMPSEY (1862-1943) on 19 October 1882 and Laura Belle married William Henderson DEMPSEY (1860-1941) on  1 October 1884. Both marriages were performed by I. C. Cavendish.

Mary’s husband Irvin Lewis INGRAM’s marital status was widower when he married Susie Aliff on 11 February 1888 therefore Mary must have died after the 1880 census and prior to Irvin’s marriage in February 1888. She would have been 43 years old in 1888.

I planned out my 52 Ancestors in January and only noticed today that I would be blogging about the same ancestral line as I did last year on St. Patrick’s Day.
Lá Fhéile Pádraig Shona Duit!

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

52 Ancestors: #8 My Most Frustrating Brick Wall – William A. W. DEMPSEY

52ancestorsWhen I made the decision to participate in Amy Johnson Crow’s challenge 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks I chose to begin with my father and work my way back through the generations of my paternal line. I’m starting on his great-grandparents with this week’s contribution. They’ll take me through another 8 weeks!

52 Ancestors: #8 My Most Frustrating Brick Wall – William A. W. DEMPSEY

My father’s cousin Geraldine Dempsey Workman (1931-2007) was the first person I know of who worked on our family tree. I have so much respect for the work she did pre-internet. In 1995 she wrote “This project started when Laura my youngest daughter had a mini course in high school at Midland Trail. The paper work was passed onto Earldine my oldest daughter. She tired of the project when the information was scarce. By that time I picked it up as a hobby. I took a night class taught by Laura’s teacher in high school. I began at our courthouse, then ventured onto other courthouses in other states.”

Geraldine Workman of Lansing has worked tirelessly and quietly in the fields of genealogy, historical identification and preservation. She is a charter member of the Fayette and Raleigh County Genealogical Society and held numerous offices. As archivist she spends many hours researching and answering inquiries that are directed to the society. She co-authored four census books for Fayette County, invested 20 years in the preservation of the records of hundreds of cemeteries, and as a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, helped identify 20 unknown Confederate soldiers buried in a local Civil War interment site. Nominated by Genealogy Society of Fayette and Raleigh Counties.”
[Source: Meet West Virginia’s History Heroes For 2001; West Virginia Division of Culture and History; online http://www.wvculture.org/history/hisher01.html : accessed 20 Feb 2014]

DSCN1021 OPiBW

William A. W. DEMPSEY (b. ca. 1820-1822 d. ca. 1867)

William A. W. DEMPSEY’s parentage has remained a mystery to me for the nearly 20 years that I’ve been doing genealogy. I need a key to open the door in this brick wall.

Not only do I not know who his parents were, it’s been nearly impossible to prove family tradition with documents (that I have access to) from the time period that he lived in. He was seen on the 1841 tax list of Rockbridge County, Virginia, and the 1850 and 1860 census in Fayette County, (West) Virginia, with his wife and children; however a marriage record has not been located. Part of the family tradition is that he served during the Civil War and died in a logging accident after the war. No documentation has been found to confirm when he died or his cause of death. My paternal great-great-grandfather William A. W. DEMPSEY lies in a grave marked with another man’s name! This error could lead other genealogists down the wrong path. However we are uniting in an effort to get this corrected!

MRIN08669 William A. Dempsey Gravemarker
Wm A. Dempsey
Pvt Co C
7 Va Inf
1822
1867

I’ve suspected for several years that Geraldine applied for and placed a Civil War marker on William’s grave in the cemetery in Chestnutburg on Ames Heights Road, 1.75 miles off Route 19, Fayette County, West Virginia, for the wrong veteran.

My respect for Geraldine and her work kept me from bringing up the subject of the Civil Marker marker. I placed a remark in William’s notes in my gedcom file questioning the possibility that there was an error. Then I decided to go public and posted the photo above [I have a tiny obsession with old doors] with my findings to my Facebook page in December 2012.

This past week while preparing to write this entry for the Challenge I contacted Geraldine’s daughters. Laura confirmed that she removed the information about William’s serving in the 7th Virginia Infantry from her Ancestry.com tree last year. Laura and Earldine, a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, have talked about correcting the error. Earldine said her mother had told her that she may have had the wrong Dempsey long after the marker was set. However at the time it was no longer a priority as Geraldine was diagnosed with cancer.

In search of William’s parentage I studied all of the Dempsey families in the Virginia/West Virginia area during that time period hoping to make a connection. I had help from Norma Dempsey who in 2001 sent me copies of everything she accumulated in the search for her husband Richard’s Dempsey line [he descends from my other Dempsey line]. I checked on the 7th Virginia Infantry. To make a long story short, I found enough information to show that William A. DEMPSEY of Orange County, Virginia, was the man who served in Company C of the 7th Virginia Infantry and not our William A. W. DEMPSEY of Fayette County, West Virginia.

US Census 1820, 1830, 1840

Without the names of his parents it is impossible to locate William A. W. DEMPSEY in the U.S. Federal Census prior to 1850.

The wall is beginning to crumble!! (Part I)

At least that is what I thought on 10 November 2007 when I found William A. W. DEMPSEY listed on the 1841 tax list of Rockbridge County, Virginia. The question I asked myself was were people taxed at the age of sixteen, eighteen or twenty-one during this time period in this county? Assuming that it was age twenty-one, William would have been born 1820 or earlier. Initials seen on the taxlist are the same as on the 1850 census in Fayette County, (West) Virginia. Does William’s being in Rockbridge County mean that he may be related to Tandy DEMPSEY of Rockbridge (whose son John W. DEMPSEY also lived in Fayette County) and in turn to the DEMPSEY’s of Amherst County?

1841taxlist
1841 Rockbridge County, Virginia, Taxlist
[online https://archive.org/stream/historyofrockbri00mortrich#page/380/mode/2up/search/taxpayers : accessed 22 Feb 2014]

1841 Rockbridge County, Virginia, Taxlist
Name: Dempsey, William A. W.
43 – Nathaniel Gaylor’s to Cumings and Carter’s, intersecting Gilmore’s Road. Others who lived in the same road precinct:
George Agnor, Jacob Agnor, Sr., Jacob Agnor, Little Jake Agnor, John Agnor, John H. Agnor, David Entsminger, Albert Gilliat, and William T. Ruley
[Source: Oren F. Morton, B. Lit.; “A History of Rockbridge County, Virginia”; published by The McClure Co., Inc., Staunton, Virginia 1920; pgs. 380, 552]

William’s Marriage and Children’s Naming Pattern

William A. W. DEMPSEY married Sarah Ann WOOD, daughter of Elijah WOOD and Rachel HONAKER, most likely before the Mexican-American War which began 25 April 1846. A marriage record has not been found. Their first child Elizabeth Rachel “Lizzie” was born about 1846. Following the end of the Mexican-American War on 2 February 1848 their second child and first son James Alexander “Buck” was born on 1 April 1848. Their first daughter’s middle name was the same as Sarah’s mother and grandmother. Is it possible that their first son was named for William’s father and/or grandfather?

US Census 1850

1850census
1850 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Fayette > 14th District >Sheet 336B
[online https://archive.org/stream/populationschedu0943unix#page/n275/mode/2up%5D
1850 U.S. Federal Census
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
The 14th District, Sheet 336B
Enumerated by me on the
25th day of July, 1850.
T. B. Hamilton, Ass’t Marshal.
HH #85-85
Wm. A. W. Dempsey 28 M Laborer VA
Sarah A. Dempsey 22 F VA
E. R. Dempsey 3 F VA
Jas. A. Dempsey 1 M VA

US Census 1860

In 1860 the family was living in the household of the widower John A. McGRAW and his three motherless children. John’s deceased wife Nancy M. McGRAW (maiden name McGRAW) was the double first cousin once removed of Sarah Ann WOOD. I would like to think that the families were living together so that Sarah could help care for the widower’s children who had lost their mother in 1855. I believe that the families may have been living together for several years. Both families had sons named James. William’s James was seen with only his middle name, Alexander, possibly an attempt to avoid confusion as the boys were close in age.

1860census1
1860 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Fayette > Sheet No. 365
[online https://archive.org/stream/populationschedu1344unix#page/n371/mode/2up%5D
1860census2
1860 U.S. Federal Census > Virginia > Fayette > Sheet No. 365
[online https://archive.org/stream/populationschedu1344unix#page/n371/mode/2up%5D

1860 U.S. Federal Census
Fayette County, (West) Virginia
District 3, Page No. 55
Enumerated by me on the 3rd day of
July, 1860. P. Morton, Ass’t Marshal.
Pleasant Hill Post Office, Sheet No. 365
HH #408-368
John A. McGraw 45 M Farmer $2000 $100 VA
Margaret McGraw 17 F Day Laborer VA
James McGraw 11 M VA
N. J. McGraw 9 F VA
Wm. Dempsey 40 M Farmer $0 $30 VA
Sarah Dempsey 36 F VA
Elizabeth Dempsey 14 F VA
Alexander Dempsey 10 M VA
Mary V. Dempsey 8 F VA
Eunice J. Dempsey 7 F VA
John Dempsey 3 M VA

The wall is beginning to crumble!! (Part II)

The American Civil War began 4 February 1861 when William was about 41 years old. In December 2012 I found William A. W. DEMPSEY in the Union Provost Marshals’ File. What is this and why is it important?

The provost (pronounced provo) marshals served in territorial commands, armies, and Army corps as military police. I found two databases: “United States, Union Provost Marshal Files of Individual Civilians, 1861-1866” and “Union Provost Marshals’ File of Papers Relating to Two or More Civilians” on FamilySearch.com. From information about the files and their content, I learned that some cross-reference slips in the first database are stamped “PROVOST MARSHAL FILE” and show the name of a civilian and a number that cites a document in the second database.

MRIN08669 William A. W. Dempsey
Provost Marshal File
Dempsey, William A. W.
2323
Rebel
MRIN08669 William A. W. Dempsey 2
2323
May to Sept /62
Cits
MRIN08669 William A. W. Dempsey 3
List of Prisoners with their Own Statements: George W. Gibson, George W. Commer, Washington B. Woods, Marion Commer, William Ellison
MRIN08669 William A. W. Dempsey 4
List of Prisoners with their Own Statements: William Ellison cont., William A. W. Dempsey, Presley W. Gill

On the lower right image:

“William A. W. Dempsey – citizen residing on Dogwood Ridge, Fayette Co., farmer, left home on the 18″. Started when they heard firing at the Court House, came down to get work in the Valley, refers to Simpson Wood, Styris Wood, and G. W. McVay, of the Oil Works, (brothers-in-law of his). Knows Hamilton as Hamilton of Hawks Nest.”

Dates mentioned in the other statements in the document allowed me to conclude that the 18th was in the month of May. James Simpson Wood and Elijah Stuart “Sty” Wood were William’s wife Sarah Ann Wood’s brothers. George Washington McVey (of the Cannelton Oil Works) may have been mentioned as a reference as he was an outstanding citizen. He was not a brother-in-law but lived in the same area as the Wood families. [See images 722, 723, 724]

1890b map highlighted
1890 New Map of West Virginia; Rand McNally & Co., 1890; from Rand McNally & Co.’s Family Atlas of the World

The documents show that my William was taken prisoner by the Union army between May and September of 1862 and his statement proves that he was a citizen of Fayette County and living at Dogwood Ridge. Generals John B. Floyd and Henry A. Wise were in charge of the Civil War encampment known as “Camp Dogwood at Dogwood Gap” which was placed high on Dogwood Ridge, where the surrounding plateau could be easily watched. There is no mention of William’s being a member of the Confederate army.

Importance of Middle Initials

William A. W. DEMPSEY was seen with double middle initials in 1841 on a tax list, in 1850 on the census, and in 1862 on the Provost Marshals’ List. I am convinced that these initials were very important to him.  Alexander may have been one of his middle names as it is a name that was passed down through the generations. Multiple middle initials might point to his having been named after a relative or an important or famous person.

Did William resemble his sons?

MRIN01121 Elijah Lewis Dempsey
Elijah Lewis DEMPSEY (1866-1923)
MRIN08552 William Henderson Dempsey
William Henderson DEMPSEY (1860-1941)

John Henry DEMPSEY:
Jessica Bartrum Taylor wrote, “We don’t have a photo of John Dempsey. My grandmother, Lucille Geraldine Hess Bartrum, described him as having a big handlebar mustache and being a big, tall man with black hair.”

The description fits his brothers Elijah Lewis and William Henderson DEMPSEY!

Killed in a logging accident?

Following the end of the Civil War in 1865 and before the 1870 census William A. W. DEMPSEY died. Geraldine wrote, “….as fate would have it Wm. A. would not live to see his family grown. We’re told by family members he was killed in a logging accident about 1867 or 1868.”

Next week I will discuss his wife Sarah Ann WOOD, their seven children, and what became of the family after William’s death.

© 2014 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

William DEMPSEY b. abt. 1779 d. bef. 20 June 1836

Door 8This is not a repeat posting of a brick wall. I have two DEMPSEY lines with a William DEMPSEY – both are brick walls.

William DEMPSEY was first seen in Amherst County, Virginia, in 1799 when his mother Susannah DEMPSEY gave consent for his marriage to Patsy LANDRUM [Hurrah! for marriage consents].
He was on the 1800 Tax List and 1810 & 1820 census for Amherst. He bought land in that county in 1810 and is mentioned in land deeds for land that adjoined his property up until 1830.
On 29 June 1835 the “Lynchburg Virginian” published a notice of Martha DEMPSEY’s death on 27 September 1834 with a request for the papers in the state of Ohio to publish the information for Mr. William DEMPSEY, the husband of the deceased, who was supposed to be somewhere in that state. A year later, as William did not return home, a bond was filed making Wilson DEMPSEY the administrator of William DEMPSEY’s estate. The division of the estate was well documented as court records were found from 1836 until 1848 when the suit was discontinued. These records show that his children were Wilson M., Seaton Y., Isham Coleman, Wesley G., Louisa J. (wife of Simeon J. Burch), and Eliza (wife of Patrick H. Rowsey).
Did William go to Ohio with his son Coleman who lived in Ross County, OH, from 1830 until 1854 when the family immigrated to Missouri?
Were Jane DEMPSEY, wife of Allen CAMERON (md. 1795) and Tandy DEMPSEY, husband of Nancy THOMPSON (md. 1801) William’s siblings?
Was William DEMPSEY, a man who had land in Amherst in 1771, the husband of Susannah?
Were John and Jane DEMPSEY, a planter and his wife who lived in Amherst as seen in court records from 1762 to 1768, the parents-in-law of Susannah?
Hopefully these questions will one day be answered.
A special thank you to Norma Dempsey for sharing the court and land records!