(Published in Burke County Genealogical Society Journal)

The Mysterious Meredith/Meriday Roper in NC

L. David Roper
February 8, 19981

Herein I attempt to follow the trail of Meredith/Meriday Roper from northeastern North Carolina (Northhampton Co.) starting in 1756 to northwestern South Carolina (Pendleton District) in 1810. Meredith set the pace for moving around that many of his Roper relatives emulated in the years of and following his life.

I shall assume that Meredith, Meridith, Meredeth, Merideth, Meriday, Merriday and Morriday (all Roper) are the same person. I shall use the name "Meredith" since that is the standard spelling of the name

The first mention that I have found of this person is the following:
The Granville District of NC 1748-1763, Abst. of Land Grants, V. 2: #3457 p.288 Arthur Harris 25 May 1756 400 acres in Northampton Co. in the Parish of Northwest, joining Rawlins line, Reavise's line, Watts line, Lashleys Run, and Arthur Jordon or: /s/ Arthr Harris. Wits: Montfort Eelbeck, Jno Haywood. Surveyed 11 Apr 1752:date>. SCC: Arthur Jordon, Morriday Roper. J Edwards D Surveyor

No other Morriday Roper has been found in any other record. I believe that this is the Meriday/Meredith Roper that appears in several records mentioned below.

John & Jane Roper deeded land to son David Roper in 1744 in Charles City Co. VA. About the same time John Roper of Charles City Co. was granted 1601 acres in Brunswick Co. VA, just north of the border above Northhampton Co. NC, in 1741-5. He deeded some of this land to others in 1746-8 while he was in Charles City Co. His estate was inventoried in 1759 in Charles City Co. VA, naming heirs Jane/Jean, David and Charles. It seems likely that John had more children than this; some may have moved to Brunswick Co. It is possible that Meredith/Meriday Roper is an older son of John & Jane who moved to Brunswick Co. and then on south into Northampton Co. NC. Or perhaps Meredith is a brother of John.

A Charles Roper family of Dinwiddie Co. VA moved into Brunswick Co. VA in 1767. All of the records mentioned above are several years before this date, so it appears likely that the Ropers in Brunswick Co. and Northampton Co. NC prior to this date were Charles City Co. Ropers.

The next records involving Meredith are:
Orange Co. Records, V.1: Granville Proprietary Land Office: David Roper warrant 12 May 1757:date> 640 acres on Rattlesnake Cr. Entered 26 (torn) 1757. Deed for 642 acres 23 Jul (torn)

V.5: Granville:PlaceName> Proprietary:PlaceName> Land:PlaceType>:place> Office Deeds & Surveys, 1752-1760 :#413. 2 Aug 1760:date>,

Benjamin Carter, planter, ten shillings, on both sides of Rattlesnake Cr., ...13 Jan 1758:date>.

David Rosser & Mriday Rosser, SCC (Obviously, these should be Roper, not Rosser.) #349.
(Rosser and Roper are often confused in transcriptions of the early handwriting, because of the way double-s was written.)

22 Jul 1760, David Roper, planter, ten shillings, on both sides Rattlesnake Cr., begin on W side of creek at a pine, S 260 p. crossing creek to a poplar in a brance, E 260 p. crossing creek to a white oak, N 260 p. to a hicory in Alexander Montgomery's line, his line W 260 p. to beginning, 422 acres, sixteen shillings eleven pence per year, surveyed by Sher. Haywood 14 Jan 1758:date>, Meriday Roper & Benjn. Carter, SCC.
#506. 7 Jun 1761:date>. John Roberts, planter, ten shillings, on ridges in fork of Rattlesnake Cr.,...surveyed 10 Dec 1760:date>, Meriday Rooper & Wm. Gladdin, SCC.

North Carolina:place>:State> Gazetteer: Rattlesnake Creek is formed in north Caswell Co. by the junction of the North Fork of Rattlesnake Creek and the South Fork of Rattlesnake Creek and flows north into the Dan River:place>. (near the Virginia:place>:State> border)

The author recently drove around the perimeter road that encircles the Rattlesnake Creek basin in Caswell Co. NC. The perimeter road is about thirteen miles in circumference and the creek is quite wide near Blanch where it enters the Dan River:place>.

So, Meredith had already moved west to Orange/Caswell Co. (Caswell was formed from Orange:place>:City> in 1777) by the time John Roper died in Charles City Co. in 1759. He apparently is closely related to the David Roper in these records.

Charles City Co. VA records show two David Ropers of Orange Co. NC exchanging land in Charles City Co. in 1762:
Virginia State Library records: Charles City Co. record dated July 1762: An Indenture of Bargain and sale Between David Roper of Orange County in North Carolina of the one part and David Roper of the same County and Province of the other part was this Acknowledged in Court by the past mentioned David Roper and is Ordered to be Recorded

It appears that a David Roper sold land to a relative David Roper because he planned to remain in Orange Co. NC where he moved about 1755. He is possibly the same David of the Orange Co. land grant of 1757-60 mentioned above and he might be a brother to the John Roper mention above from Charles City Co. VA who had land in Brunswick Co. VA in 1741-45.

The next available records of Meredith are also in North Carolina:place>:State>:
Rowan:PlaceName> County:PlaceType>:place> tax list for 1768 lists Meridith Roper.John Oliphant's list (present Iredell Co. and Catawba Co. area).

Meredith had moved on south and west in North Carolina:place>:State>.

Further records concerning Meredith are:
NC land grant #710, Caleb Phifer, 300 acres on Mecklings Creek of Lyles Creek on east side his mill survey including Ropers Cabbin,joining Cowans. Entered 1 Sept. 1778:date>.

Lyle:PlaceName> Creek:PlaceName>:place> and Mclin Creek run together in old Lincoln Co. NC, now Catawba:PlaceName> County:PlaceType>:place> near the city of Catawba:place>:City>. This area was once in old Burke:PlaceName> County:PlaceName>:place> and was later ceded to Lincoln Co.

On 4 Aug 1784:date> Meredeth Roper was a witness for a Lincoln County deed from Abraham Barrier & wife Elisabeth (Rowan Co.) to Balsor Sigman (Lincoln Co.) for 320 acres on a branch of Lyles Creek.

On 4 Aug 1784:date> Merideth Roper was a witness for a Lincoln County deed from Abraham Barrier & wife Elisabeth (Rowan Co.) to George Deal (Lincoln Co.) for 270 acres on a branch of Lyles Creek.

Therefore, the Ropers Cabbin mentioned above (1778) on Lyles Creek was probably Meredith Roper's. Lincoln Co. was then on the east border of Rutherford Co. and Burke Co.

The next available record is:
1790 US Census for NC: M 16up M <16 - F - other free - slaves Rutherford Co.:
Rev. David Roper 1 1 - 5 - 0 - 0 David Roper, Jr. 1 1 - 1 - 0 - 0
Charles Roper 1 2 - 5 - 0 - 0 Merideth Roper 3 1 - 4 - 0 - 0

Thus, Meredith Roper was born before 1774 and he had two males living with him who were born before 1774, one male who was born between 1774-1790 and four females. He had moved on south and west into Rutherford Co., probably to be near his relatives, the David Roper family, who were in Orange Co. previously with him. Perhaps the Charles Roper mentioned here is Meredith's son or brother, since he disappeared from Rutherford Co. about the same time Meredith did and appears with Meredith (Meriday) in the 1800 US census of Pendleton Dist. SC (see below). The following record shows that Charles Roper had gotten into some trouble, which may be the reason that Meredith and Charles moved on south into South Carolina:place>:State>.

In Rutherford:PlaceName> County:PlaceName>:place> Minutes of Court for January 1783:Whereas, Summonses having issued to the Sheriff to notify the following persons to appear and answer an Inquisition of treason, felony and forfiture found against them by the Grand Jury. To witt: (list of 150 names including
Charles Roper) And now being Solemnly called Show cause why their property should not be Confiscated, failed to appear to Show any Cause. It is therefore considered by the Court that their property be ADJUDGED forfited.

The 1777 tax list for Caswell Co. (just formed from Orange Co.) shows that two David Ropers were still in Caswell Co.:
Caswell County North Carolina Land Grants, Tax Lists, State Census, Apprentice Bonds, Estate Records, by Katharine Kerr Kendall:1777 Tax List: Amount Taxable Property of the Inhabitants of the Several districts in the County of Caswell also those who by law are liable to pay a poll Tax returned by the several assessors to December Court 1777. NB Those left blank are liable to pay a poll tax. Signed Wm Moore C.C. May 2d 1778:date>. ...David Roper Sen., Richmond District, 403 pounds & 8 shillings David Roper Jun., Richmond District James Roper, Richmond District William Roper, Richmond District

The following Revolutionary War pension application is probably for this David Roper Jun.:
Revolutionary War record S30683 for David Roper: He enlisted 16 Sep 1776:date> while a resident of Orange Co., NC. He was born in Orange:place> Co.in Oct 1755. At about age 25 (c1780) he moved to Rutherford Co.on Little Broad River near Gilbert Town (Rutherfordton) where he lived for 16 or 17 years; from thence he moved (c1796) to Garrard Co. Ky lived there 1 or 2 years; then he moved (c1798) to his farm in Pulaski Co., Ky where he "now lives." (illiterate)

An 18 Sep 1783:date> Rev. War pay voucher exists for David Roper for Morgan:PlaceName> District:PlaceName>:place> (includes Burke Co. & Rutherford Co.). No. 235211 pounds & 5 shillings

Thus, this David Roper was born in 1755 in Orange Co. NC, moved to Rutherford Co. in 1780, moved to Garrard Co. KY about 1796 and on to Pulaski Co. KY about 1798. It appears that the two David Ropers moved from Caswell Co. (north part of old Orange Co.) to Rutherford Co. between 1777 and 1790.

Prior to moving the elder David deeded his land-grant land mentioned above to son William Roper:
Caswell Co. Deeds: A:186-20 Jan 1779 422 acres. David Roper to William Roper (both of Caswell Co.). Land in Caswell Co. on both sides of Rattlesnake Creek. [Description identical to that of Orange Co. deed 3:454] Wit: James Bradley & David Cochran. David X Roper

This was just before David Roper (Jun.) stated, in his Revolutionary War pension application, that he moved from Caswell Co. to Rutherford Co. William later deeded some of the land back to father David and mother Sarah, apparently after David moved back to Caswell Co.:
Caswell Co. Deeds: H:85. 25 Sep 1792:date>. 50 acres. William Roper of Caswell Co. "for Love Goodwill & Effection that I bear unto David Roper & Sarah Roper my father & mother" Land in Caswell on Rattlesnake Creek; land where on said David Roper now lives; "beg. Edmund Alleys SW corner runing E. 61 poles thence S. with Edward Swans line to my corner thence W. with Hubberts line to Rattle Snake Creek then down the creek to white oak Saplin neare the upper part or fence of my plantation thence meare a NE Course to the first Station". "During their natural life" Test: Edmd. Alley, James Yates William X Roper

So, David Roper Sr. possibly moved to Rutherford Co. in 1779/80, when the younger Revolutionary War David Roper stated that he moved there, and back to Caswell Co. after 1790 and before 1792. The younger David then moved to Kentucky:place>:State> in 1796.

No Ropers are listed in the 1800 US:place>:country-region> census for Rutherford Co. One, James Roper, is listed in Burke Co., both in 1790 and 1800. (He possibly is the same James as in the Caswell Co. tax list for 1777.) (Burke Co. is just north of Rutherford Co.)

I have found no other records of Meredith Roper in North Carolina:place>:State>. However, in the next census of 1800 in Pendleton District, SC, just south and west of Rutherford Co. NC, Merriday Roper appears:
1800 US census for Pendleton District, SC:
M(0-10,10-16,16-26,26-45,45->) F(0-10,10-16,16-26,26-45,45->)# page
Benjamin Roper (b 1755-1774) 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 395 23
Charles Roper (b bef 1755) 2 1 0 0 1 4 2 0 1 0 2F 364 23
Gilham Roper (b 1774-1784) 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 410 23
John Roper (b 1774-1784) 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 248 23
John Roper (b 1755-1784) 2 2 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 248 23
Joseph Roper (b 1774-1784) 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 281 23
Joshua Roper (b 1774-1784) 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 404 23
Merriday Roper (b bef 1755) 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 408 23
Thomas Roper (b bef 1755) 3 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 201 23
William Roper (b 1774-1784) 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 246 23

There were already several Roper families there, so he was probably again joining up with relatives. Note that Gilham Roper and Joshua Roper lived near Merriday Roper, so may be his sons.

The name Meredith occurs later in Roper families' given names:
A Collection of Upper South Carolina Genealogical and Family Records Vol. I: Roper Family of Pickens County:City>, SC.:State>:place> Who gave the information is not given. 1. Benjamin Roper, Sr. died 8 Aug 1831:date> in Pickens Co. Wife Susannah Roper, left 12 children only 10 are mentioned. Children: Meredith Roper, John H. Roper, Jacob Roper, Aaron Roper, Keziah Roper, Cazzy Roper wife of John Birus, Rachel Ward, ___ Roper, M. J. M. Keith, Benjamin Roper, Nancy Roper. After his death Moses Hendricks bought the tract of land.

Lois York Hamilton (3500 Sycamore Drive:Street>, Boise:City>, ID:State> 83703:PostalCode>:address>) states:
Richard York of 1790 & 1800 Pendleton District:City> SC:State>:place> named a son Meredith Roper York, a name that was passed down through several generations. ... Meredith Roper married Lucinda Keith d/o Cornelius Keith from Stokes/Surry Co NC area. Ref: 1800 Pendleton Dist:City> SC:State>:place> census. Yorks:place>:City> had much land in the South:PlaceName> Mountains:PlaceType>:place> of Burke Co. near where the Ropers had land.

1830 US census for Pendleton District:
(0-5,5-10,10-15,15-20,20-30,30-40,40-50,50-60,60-70,70-80,80->) No.
Alfred Roper 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 275
Jacob Roper 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
John Roper 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 313
John H. Roper 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Joshua Roper 0 2 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 310
Meredith Roper 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 314
Reubin Roper 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 313
Singleton Roper 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 317
Tyre Roper 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 312
William Roper 3 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

Pickens County deeds:
Meredith Roper to Duke W. Glenn, Book D-1, p 345, 14 Dec 1836, Rec 10 Mar 1841, 162 (100?) acres Weevers Creek for $80, Wit: Alexander Edens & Jesse Adam & Wm. Edens

Family data sheet from Euline Hewitt Harris, Rt. 1, Box 224, Whitwell, TN 37397 (Marion Co.):
James Meridith Roper b 7 Aug 1833 Greenville Dist, SC parents b SC m 31 Jan 1861 Elizabeth Carter Bur: East Armurchee Cem, Lafayette, Walker Co., GA. Parents: William Roper and Susan Masters?. Elisabeth b 17 Jan 1843:date> d 29 Jan 1920:date> Lafayette:City>, GA:State>:place> (at Ma'Ma's of peneumonia) parents b SC. Bur same as husband. Children: John b Nov 1882 Walker Co., GA m Hattie Norton
James William b 23 Jul 1892:date> d 4 Jul 1948 Walker Co., GA Bur Concord Cem, Lafayette, Walker Co., GA m Ella Harkins.
Mary Joyce b 11 Dec 1878:date> Lafayette:City>, GA:State>:place> d 31 Jan 1957:date> Lafayette:City>, GA:State>:place> Bur Concord:place>:City> Cem. m Eligan C. Hewitt 21 Feb 1895:date> Lafayette:City>, GA.:State>:place>
Susan b 1868 m James Hammontree 26 Feb 1884:date>. Amanda Minor b 1872 m Roach.

None of the author's Roper ancestors, as far back as he knows them (see appendix), died in the same area where he was born. This Roper tendency to "move on" was exemplified in no other Roper more than in Meredith Roper.

The author is indebted to Betsy Pittman of the Burke County Genealogical Society for much help in gathering these data.


The author's lineage is:
John Roper, Jr. b 1660 d abt 1750 Charles City Co. VA uncertain
John Roper b 1708 New Kent Co. VA d 1784 Fauquier Co. VA uncertain
David Roper b Charles City Co. VA d abt 1794 Caswell Co. NC m Sarah (In Burke Co. NC abt 1780-1792) somewhat uncertain
James Roper b abt 1766 Orange Co. NC d 1853 Burke Co. NC
Samuel Roper b 6 Jan 1806 Burke Co. NC d 22 Nov 1869 Cherokee Co. NC m Rebecca Flowers
William Washington Roper b 19 Sep 1844 Burke Co. NC d 8 Jun 1916 Howell Co. MO m Cynthia Arminta Hall
Joshua Rufus Roper b 24 Jun 1869 Cherokee Co. NC d 26 Aug 1954 Ft. Worth TX bur Ellis Co. OK m Amanda Cordelia Sarah Catherine Little
Fred Lloyd Roper b 26 Nov 1907 Howell Co. MO d 1 Dec 1990 Woodward Co. OK bur Ellis Co. OK m1 Eva Lucille Franklin m2 Maude Dee Whitson
Leon David Roper b 13 Dec 1935 Ellis Co. OK m1 Thelma Lee Rowland m2 Jeanne Muriel Baril

Return to top