Roper Families in West Indies
L. David Roper
6 July, 1993

The Original Lists of Persons of Quality 1600-1700: 3 Aprilis 1635 at Gravesend: Theis underwritten names are to be transported to St. Christophers imbarqued in the Paul of London, Jo: Acklin, Mr. bound thither. There was Cert: brought from the Minister of St Katherins of their conformitie of their discipline orders to ye Church of England the Men did take ye oath of Alleg: and Supremacie: Hanna Roper 23

St. Christophers (also called St. Kitts-Nevis) is an island in the Leeward Islands chain about half way between Puerto Rico and Guadeloupe.

Barbados played a unique role in the settlement of colonial America. Thousands upon thousands of Englishmen, Scotsmen, Welshmen and Irishmen sailed first to that small West Indian island before immigrating to the mainland colonies. These immigrants included convicts, Quakers, political rebels, indentured servants, Jews, younger sons of wealthy, established families and slaves. Some stayed in Barbados only a short time. Others, of course, settled there, but many of their descendants later planted new roots in New England, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia. Anyone searching for the origin of his American ancestors, therefore, would be well advised to consider the possibility of a family connection in "Little England."

Memoirs of the First Settlement of the Island of Barbodo and the other Caribean Islands by William Beebe, 1741: Names of the inhabitants of Barbados, in the year 1638, who then possessed more than ten acres of land: ....Robert Rope

Barbados Records (CS261 B3 S247 1984): Barbados Baptisms:
St. Michael Parish:
p.18, RL1/1, 1650 25 Dec, Jno: son of Jno: Roper
p.227, Rl1/1, 1678/9 1 Jan, Wm: son of Wm: & Margrett Roper

LDS Genealogical Index for Barbados:
Jno. Roper c 25 Dec 1650 s/o Jno. Roper St. Michael
William Roper b abt 1655 Rel: Henry Roper St. Michael
Eliza. Roper m 16 Aug 1655 Geo. Bacon St. Michael
Mrgrett Roper m 3 Oct 1657 Tho. Page St. Michael
Mary Roper m 12 May 1666 John Coggence St. Michael
William Roper c 1 Jan 1678 s/o William & Margaret Roper St. Michael
Wm. Roper m 20 Mar 1676 Grace Glover St. Michael
William Roper c 1 Jan 1678 Rel: Henry Roper St. Michael
Humphrey Roper d 15 Jun 1678 Rel: Henry Roper St. Michael

Barbados Wills V.1 (CS261 B3 S26 1979):
Smither, William of Bdos: 10 Sep 1651, RB6/13, p.66: Julian Nelson-Xtrx; William Davis; William Roper; Samuel Oklie; Elizabeth Swift; Thomas Prosser; Thomas Meneken Jr. signed Wilm: (x) Smither Wit: Thomas (x) Nock, James Gill. Proved 20 Oct 1654, John Pococke Depute Secr: p.332
Thomas Rooper, 5 Aug 1657, being the day before he died, RB6/13, p.210. Nuncupative will; chn William Roper, Thomas Roper & John Roper, all under age; wf Margaret Roper-Xtrx & Gdn; voiding a will made about 3 years ago & in the hands of Richard Harper. Wit: John Redford, William Davis, David Jeffes. Proved 2 Sep 1657 p.308
Edward Jordan: St. Peters Parish, 20 May 1659, RB6/14, p.430: wf Elizabeth Jordan Xtrx. signed Edward Jordan. Wit: Hen: Heathcott, Robt: Heathcott, George (x) Brooker, John Rooper. Proved 20 Mar 1659 p.204
V.2: William Roper, planter. St. Michael Parish, 15 Sep 1683, RB6/12 p.391: Son Thomas Roper; wf Grace Roper-Xtrx; mo Margarett Brumbey; bro Thomas Page & friend Edmond Ford-Xtrs in trust & Gdns; Richard Glover & William Glover, sons of aforesaid wf. signed William (x) Roper. Wit: John Rogers, John (x) Handy, Dority (x) Hornfress. Proved 4 Oct 1683 John Gent Sandiford. St. Andrews Parish, 12 Sep 1684, RB6/41
p. 169: Sons Thomas Sandiford and William Sandiford both at 18; bro Jno: Sandiford; the issue bro Henry had by his wf he married in New England; my mo; wf Ann Sandiford and bros William Sandiford, Charles Sandiford, Henry Sandiford & Edmond Sandiford-Xtrs in trust. signed John Sandeford. Wit: Richard Edwards, James Roper, Isaac Ismod, Anthony Perryman, John Gofrasey. Proved 12 Jul 1689. p.312
V.3: Henry Raper, surveyor. St. Michaels Parish, 26 Feb 1717, RB6/4,p.255To be interred in the Quakers burying place near the spot where son Henry Raper was interred; kinsmen Richard Raper apothecary and Thomas Raper mercer both in London-Xtrs in Great Britain and Gdns of sons; son John Raper and youngest son Richard Raper who live in Great Britain both at 21; money due me from Robet Haddock merchant in Liverpool; my wf Eve Raper; my said dau at 14 or marriage; my friends Lt. Col. Richd: Forstall Esq and John Wadsworth merchant-Xtrs in Bdos. Signed Henry Raper. Wit: John Bannatyne Gent., George Read, Ja: Maxwell. Proved 12 Mar 1717 (court names testator Henry Roper) p.277

Omitted Chapters from Hotten's Original Lists of Persons of Quality Genealogical Pub. Co. 1982: pp.169-188: Barbados census of 1679/80, Colonel Bate's Regiment of Foot. Jan 6th 1679: John Elliott, Capt....Capt. Elloit's Co.: Mr. William Roper 7 acres 1 soldiers

Thomas Roper of Wrightinham in Lancashire, aged 19 yeares, bound for 4 years, 28 Mar 1698/9 is listed in "Acct of Servants that Went to the West Indies in the Ann and Mary, John Dann, master, and bound to him, 1698/9" (from Liverpool)

Barbados and America by David L. Kent: p.206: 1715 census of Barbados: Henry Raper: Men:1, Women: 1, Boys:1, Girles:1, Mens ages: 35, Womens ages: 33, Boys ages: 6, Girles ages: 9

A Narrative of the Adventures and Escape of Moses Roper from American Slavery, 1838 Preface: Roper subsequently entered the University College at London to prepare for missionary work in the West Indies.
Black Writers of America, A Comprehensive Anthology, by R. Barksdale & K. Kinnamon, 1972: Whether Roper went to Africa or the West Indies is not known. As late as 9 Oct 1839, he was still in England.

Journal of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, V.15, 6 Jan 1849 deaths: Editor state that the only passenger drowned when the sloop Mary was lately wrecked on a reef off Guadeloupe, was Mr. Smith, son of a rector in Jamaica and one of the students of Codrington College who was traveling to his home in Jamaica via Antigua and Nevis. Another collegian who escaped a watery grave was Mr. Roper.
(This is the only Roper entry in the index to the BMHS journal up to 1993.)

14 June 1993 letter from Cannon Noel Titus, Principal of Codrington College, St. John, Barbados to the compiler: ...members of your family who attended this institution...There was one entry for 1846 concerning William Thomas Roper of Nevis, who matriculated in 1846 at the age of 18. He was contemporaneous with John Stewart Smith of Jamaica who matriculated the same year aged 19. This should confirm the report about the accident at sea.

LDS Genealogical Index for Barbados: Alexander Roper m 28 Jun 1855
Elizabeth Frances Quallis St. James
Mary Rebecca Roper c 21 Nov 1855 d/o James Roper & Sarah Brewster St. James
Charles Samuel Roper c 11 Sep 1869 s/o James Osborne Roper & Lucretia Elliot Chase St. Joseph
Rosetta Augusta Roper c 9 Jan 1870 d/o ? & Johanna Roper St. James

Barbados Resources: Barbados related news, books and regional resources.

L. David Roper genealogy web page.

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