Speculations about U.S. Roper
I have worked for over thirty-five years on the Roper family history in
the United States and England.
Here are speculations about the origins of the early Roper families in
the United States:
- The early Roper
family in Massachusetts came from Norfolk County England c1637, who earlier
came from Kent County England. The progenitor John Roper was b c1587. No
connection has been found between these Ropers and the early Ropers in Virginia
- William Roper (b 1606 England d 1650
Northampton Co. VA) and Katherine Graves (a relative of mine through my mother)
was a shipping merchant in Accomack and Northampton counties and was in the
House of Burgesses in Williamsburg. Much data about him can be found in
County Court Records of Accomack-Northampton, Virginia 1632-1640,
Francis S. Philbrick, American Legal Records-Vol. 7. His descendants apparently
mostly moved into Maryland. One of his descendants may have been Thomas Roper
(b c1750 d 1788 Loudoun Co. VA) who owned a tavern in Leesburg, Loudoun Co. VA,
where George Washington had lunch in 1784. Perhaps some of the other
early Virginia Ropers are
- Joan Roper (b 1640 Somerset County England d 1661 Isle of Wight Co.
VA) married William Cooke II c1660 in Isle of Wight County Virginia. Her father
is Hugh Roper (b c1591 in Somerset County
England). Many descendants of the Cooke's spread all over the South. I have
found no connection between this Roper family and the other early
Roper families in
- It is possible that John Roper (b
c1645 England? d c1698 New Kent Co. VA) in Charles City and New Kent Counties,
VA descends from the William Roper given above. However this area of Virginia
abounded with people and place names from Kent County England, so I think that
is where he was from.
- John Roper, Jr. (b 1660 d c1759
Charles City Co. VA) lived in Charles City and New Kent Counties, VA. The dates
are not right for him to be a son of the John Roper mentioned directly above.
It is possible that he descends from the William Roper given above. However
this area of Virginia abounded with people and place names from Kent County
England, so I think that is where he was from. My best guess is that this is my
- Richard Roper (b c1700 Fauquier Co.
VA d 1782 Greensville Co. VA) and wife Judith and wife Ann Lewis lived probably
most of his adult life in Northampton Co. NC, just across the border from
southeastern Virginia. This is in northern Virginia, so it is not clear whether
he came from the William Roper family of eastern Virginia mentioned above,
perhaps through Maryland, or from the central Virginia families.
- William O. Roper (b c1709
England d 1772 SC) may have come to South Carolina from Barbados, which many
early Charleston settlers did. (There were several Ropers in
Barbados in the middle to late 1600s.) I have some data on William's
descendants, but am missing much data.
- Charles Roper (b c1720 England d
1801 Edgeville Co. SC) married Ann Dinwiddie (probably in Dinwiddie County VA)
of Dinwiddie Co. VA. Many South Carolina Ropers were his descendants. He surely
is a descendant of the central Virginia Ropers, but perhaps of William of
- Nicholas Osborn Roper (b 1740
Suffolk Co. England d 1817 Jefferson Co. VA [now WV]) had a child, James
Douglas Roper, by a slave woman, many of whose descendants are known. He also
had children Nancy and John by his wife Mary Horn, but I know nothing about
their descendants. Suffolk County England was rife with Ropers at the time of
his birth. One needs to search the Suffolk County records for a Nicholas Roper
born c1740; so far I have found none.
- Samuel Roper (b 1756 Charles City
Co. VA d 1811 Chesterfield Co. VA) and Henrietta Clarke. Many of this family
were in Fulton and Hickman counties KY. A book about this family is Roper
Footprints: Virginia/Kentucky and Beyond, Richard Samuel Roper, P.O. Box
4961, Annapolis MD 21403, 1991. Surely he is connected with the other early
Roper families in central Virginia
- John Roper (b 1770 Cumbria County
England d 1830 England) moved to Pennsylvania and then to Virginia. Members of
this family founded the Roper Lumber Co. in VA and NC and the Norfolk
Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. Roper NC is named for the Roper Lumber Co. No
connection to other families in early Massachusetts or Virginia are known.
My Roper ancestry goes back to my sixth great-grandfather
John Roper, Jr. (b c1660 d bef1759 VA) in New
Kent and Charles City Counties, Virginia in the late 1600s. My fourth
great-grandfather, David (b bef1727 VA d 1795 NC), moved to Orange/Caswell
County, North Carolina c1760 and on to Burke County, North Carolina c1790.
I am providing my computer as the repository of Roper family data. I
wish to collect all Roper family data that I can. Please contact me and tell me
all you know (names, dates and places of births, marriages and deaths) about
your Roper ancestry. (I like to have details about parents of spouses, also;
that often helps to make family connections.
Roper genealogy web page.
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