Roper Families in
I have worked for over forty years on the Roper family history in the
United States and England.
The major Roper families in early Virginia
- Descendants of Capt. William Roper
(b 1606 England d 1650 Northampton Co. VA) and Katherine Graves (a relative of
mine through my mother). He 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. (See
article: "Elizabeth and Thomas Roper, Proprietors: Tavern Keeping in
Colonial Virginia," Sarah E. Sargent, Virginia Cavalcade, Winter 1999, pp-
Order it.) Perhaps some of the other Ropers listed below
were his descendants. Here is a picture of Capt. William Roper's house, which
is still in use:It is the only structure of the 1600-1700s Virginia Ropers that
- Descendants of Joan Roper (b 1640 Somerset Co. England d 1661 Isle of
Wight Co. VA) and William Cooke II. Her father is Hugh Roper. Many descendants of the Cooke's
spread all over the South.
- Descendants of John Roper (b c1645
England? d c1698 New Kent Co. VA) in
City and New Kent Counties, VA. He was
Church. (See St. Peter's-Blisland
boundary dispute.) This family is difficult to trace because of the early
records being destroyed by several fires. It is possible that he descends from
the William Roper given above. A plaque
honoring him has been donated to St. Peter's Church by
Roper Union II. The
St. Peter's Parish register is available on-line.
- Descendants of John Roper, Jr. (b
1660 d c1759 Charles City Co. VA) 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. This family is difficult to trace because of the early records
being destroyed by several fires. It is possible that he descends from the
William Roper given above. My best guess is that this is my Roper family. See
John Roper, Jr. Descendants (b c1660) Files.
- Descendants of Richard Roper (b
c1700 Fauquier Co. VA d 1782 Greensville Co. VA) and wife Judith and wife Ann
Lewis. He lived probably most of his adult life in Northampton Co. NC, just
across the border from southeastern Virginia. Daniel Calhoun Roper, a cabinet officer under
Pres. Franklin Roosevelt, is a descendant of this Richard Roper and Ann Lewis.
Daniel wrote an autobiography Fifty Years of Public Life. He was a
graduate of Trinity College (now Duke University), Durham NC.
- Descendents of Charles Roper (b
c1720 England d 1801 Edgeville Co. SC) and Ann Dinwiddie of Dinwiddie Co. VA.
Many South Carolina Ropers were his descendants. A book about part of this
family is A History of the Roper, Stockton, Daniel and Lewis Families,
Robert Lamb Roper, email@example.com, 1994.
- Descendants of Nicholas Osborn Roper
(b 1740 Suffolk Co. England d 1817 Jefferson Co. VA [now WV]) and a slave
woman. He also had children Nancy and John by his wife Mary Horn, but I know
nothing about their descendants. His son James Nicholas Roper has many
descendants in that area of West Virginia.
- Descendants of 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.
- Descendants of John Roper (b 1770
Cumbria Co. England d 1830 England) who 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
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Most of the early data about the Charles City and New Kent Counties
Ropers come from the following documents:
- Vital Records of Three Burned Counties: Births, Marriages,
and Deaths of King and Queen, King William, and New Kent Counties, Virginia
1680-1860, Therese Fishe, Heritage Books, 1995.
- The Parish Register of St. Peter's Parish, New Kent County,
Virginia 1680-1787, Genealogical Pub. Co., Baltimore MD, 1996.
- The Vestry
Book of St. Peter's Parish, New Kent County, Virginia 1682-1758,
Genealogical Pub. Co., Baltimore MD, 1997.
We probably will never know exactly how the early Ropers in Virginia fit
together, because the St. Peter's and other meager data are not sufficient.
Probably the best we can do is find out which families from there are related
by Y-chromosome testing
of at least one male-line Roper in each family that connects back to early
Notes about Roper documents in Virginia:
Timelines for Virginia Roper data:
Map of Virginia counties
Map of John
Roper 1714 land patent in Charles City Co. VA
(prepared with the help of
William Alexander Roper, Jr.)
I have many data on the Roper family in England. The northern United
States Ropers, who descend from John Roper who
came from England to Massachusetts c1637, are well connected back to England.
(I have many data on this family.) Despite large efforts by me and others, only
one of the southern Roper families connection to England is known. I continue
to work and hope for finding those connections.
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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