The Roper Family of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

L. David Roper (

The first Roper to arrive in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia was Henry Roper, a loyalist from Norfolk, Virginia. It appears that most Ropers currently in Cape Breton are his descendants; they also are scattered across Canada. He arrived in Port Hood on the west coast of the island in 1788 in the early days of the 350 or so loyalists that were resettled on the Cape.

John Roper (1772-1832), who owned land in Port Hood and later settled in the Ingonish area in 1823, was apparently a son of Henry. It appears that most Ropers currently in Cape Breton are his descendants.

The only other known child of Henry is Mary (1775-1794), who married Denis Kehoe. I have not yet tried to determine her descendants. If anyone has data for her descendants, please contact me.

In the summer of 2000 we were on vacation in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada and noticed a Roper Bridge and a Roper Road in Ingonish. The next summer on vacation there I visited the library in Halifax and found a book on the Jackson family (Jackson Kith and Kin by Elva E. Jackson) that contained much data about the Roper family, mostly from Ingonish. We stayed for a few days in Ingonish. On the Sunday after the day we arrived in Ingonish we went to the local Anglican church. When the priest in welcoming visitors asked us our name, he asked if we were related to the Ropers in Ingonish. I said, "I don't know, but I would like to find out." Then he said "Two of them are sitting in the pew beside you." So, we visited in the homes of several Ropers in Ingonish. One of them, Carl Stern Roper, a retired fisherman, agreed to be Y-chromosome tested.

One of the descendants of Henry Roper, Carl Stern Roper, has the same 37 Y-chromosome markers as do most Southern USA and early Massachusetts Ropers. (See

The major locations of Ropers currently in Cape Breton are (The numbers are the numbers in the phone book.):

The data I have collected so far can be obtained by e-mailing me: